Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Second Pair of Denim Earrings

I have had time to play with more denim, taking it from a worn out pair of jeans. I made a second pair of earrings that I like a lot better than the first pair. They are half the size and contain just a little beading. I took a class here in France a couple weeks ago on beginning jewelry making. I found it very useful in making the connection between the earring wire and the denim piece.

I was given the bottom beads as a gift by someone who came to visit me last year. It has taken me a while to find the right project for them. I have some others I was given as well that I need to find a use. It  will come in time. In the meantime I like what I see here.

I gotta say, what I like best about these earrings are they are lightweight, very durable and best of all they were very easy to make.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Baby Duvet

Exhibit A: A baby duvet

I found two of these small duvets in a second hand store well over a year ago. They were clean, with no stains to the covering and they smelled good, so I bought them. Upon purchase, I was immediately met with a problem and that was how to cover them. Being that I am a person who loves all things lace and vintage, I have been on search everywhere for the "right" covers for them.

In France duvets like these were and are now sometimes used on a babies beds. I have a French friend who told me that as a child she had one on her bed and that she hated it because it was too warm. Understandable, It is very, shall we say, puffy with its soft, warm, down filled wonder-ness.

Switching gears, I have friends in Germany who periodically come to visit. The daughter has fallen in love with my baby duvets. Every time she comes for a visit, a clean cover is on one of them and it is prominently displayed for her use in the spare bedroom.

For her birthday this year, I thought I would give her one of them. I knew I needed to give her one since she is the only other person besides me that thinks they are wonderful as a very large pillow. The decision that she really needed to have one of them happened at a second hand store.

Exhibit B: The almost perfect baby duvet cover. Size 50" square.

The price was right, 50 euro cents. Made using a high quality Damask.  It was damaged. There was a series of small rips on the top half, back of the pillow case. It also had a couple ugly stains on it and overall smelled musty, But I thought the dirt part would wash out. When I bought it I figured if I could not repair it that I would use the fabric for another purpose. Best case is that I would have a spare baby duvet cover.

Exhibit C:  Beautiful raised work embroidered intials
Oh, I forgot to mention the initial raised work embroidery on the center front, very large at 7 1/2" both in height and width. When I bought it, the cover was really too dirty for me to tell you what the initials were for sure. If I was right, I knew someone who would definitely be getting a duvet for her birthday.
After cleaning, the letters were confirmed. "AB". You know that child, the one who uses one of the duvets everytime she visits? Ya, those are her initials. What are the chances? The baby duvet and cover were clearly telling me that they want to go live in Germany. Well Ok then.
Exhibit D: Super zoomie darning stitch on my Bernina.
Now this is a really neat stitch. I have owned a Bernina for years and have never used this stitch until now. I had to pull out the manual to my machine. I have two machine here in France now. One, a Bernina 180 is making a visit to the repair shop and the second one, Bernina B215 I just bought so that I had something to travel with ,and sew with, while the first one was in for repair. Granted that there is not much to it, but the manual for this second machine is written clearly in French. After reading the information in French on how to use the stitch, I tried to get it to work. It did not. So I went on-line and found the manual in English. I tried it out again and finally got it to work. There is this clear button I was not hitting. Same mistake two languages....
So here is before:

and here is after:

Got to go now, I have 10 more repairs to go.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Irish Lace Sweater

I have to share my newest acquisition.  I bought it a week ago, but it badly smelled like mold so it needed a wash before I could asses it as to if it was something that needed repair, something to be cut up or something to leave as is. You never know until you wash it. I am pleased to report it is something that will be left as it is.

This sweater is gorgeous!

Here is a close up of the workmanship.

I bought it since I thought it might fit me. Due to it smell and degree of shall we say, less then cleanliness, I did not want to try to try it on until it was clean.  I tossed it into the washer along with some other whites and it came out of the wash beautifully.  It was laid flat to dry.

Does it fit? Well yes... mostly. It fits across the shoulders and the length of the arms are good. It fits across the upper chest. I can easily button the top buttons without stretching the garment. Where it does not fit is at the waist. The sweater must have been made to fit a woman's body wearing a corset. I do not have one of those and I do not plan on ever wearing one. The waist on the garment is a stretched 25", or 24 inches before stretching. At my smallest size in high school I had a 25" waist. That was when I weighed  104 lbs.

Even without a fitting waist, it fits like a bolero or shrug type garment. Very attractive and very wearable. This paired up with a pair of dress pants fit to the waist or a simple dress would work with this garment.

Looking over the garment as I pressed it, all of those little Irish flowers like to curl in, I noticed one change made later to the garment. At the wrist on both sides there is an extra loop made out of a different color yarn. It is white where as the rest of the garment is off white or ivory. 

Whoever wore this later had thicker wrists. For me, I can slide my hand through the original closed wrist area with no problem. 

I am wondering how someone could have larger wrists and have a 25" waist. Say ouch to the corset!