Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cloth Napkins That Serve a New Purpose

There is no market for fine linens,
so I don't bother with listing them for sale in my etsy shop.
Believe me, I've tried, with little success.
But what to do with all of the cloth napkins from my grandmother?
I have been storing them for ages, wrinkled and unused.
This week I decided to cut them up *gasp!* and otherwise alter them.
Remember in my last post about cloth bags,
I told you I would rummage in my china cabinet drawers for more materials?
Well, I did.
And here is my report.
Linen napkins make fabulous sachets or gift bags!
This one was too "white", so I dyed it was some old tea left in my pot
(I drink sometimes 3 pots of black tea a day).
Once dry, I cut the napkin up into quarters and made a dainty bag from each quarter.
I sewed the lacy scraps and buttons on first,
then sewed the bags up on two sides, using the fold as one side.
The linen napkins I have are serged on all 4 sides,
so I used the finished edge for my opening st the top. 
Before I made the small ones, I made a large one from a single, uncut napkin. 
I gave it the same tea dye treatment to give it some age, and to disguise any stains
(none of my napkins are spotless!)
This napkin was also bordered on all four sides, so I used it.
It also had some machine embroidery on one corner, which I also used in my design.
 You might recognize the crowned heart from one of my first bags.
I plan to repeat that design until I run out of the crocheted doily I cut it from.
You may get really tired of seeing it, because I have a lot of that doily left!
So there you are.
Use folded paper towels at the dinner table and
save your good linen napkins for creating ditty bags!
Now go make something!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Another "Silk Purse"

On this bag, I knew I wanted to use a heart made from felted wool, after seeing what Patty (Magpie's Nest) did with some.
This heart was cut from an accidently shrunk wool sweater, given in a bag of hand-me-down clothing for Rebecca.
A tragedy for it's former owner, but free arting material for me!
The glass beads on the heart may be a little too modern looking compared to the old shell buttons, but I swallowed any misgivings and forged ahead.
 I have never claimed to be a purist.
And I like the sparkle the glass beads add!
I also like how this heart looks like a claddagh, without the hands, thanks to the odd bit of crocheted doily "crown".
Alas, I am out of ready made cloth bags, but this project has got me thinking about the possibilties for all of the tattered/ stained embroidered linens I have.
These simple bags would be so easy to make from old cloth napkins
(of which I have about a gazillion!)
I'm off to rummage in my china cabinet drawers, as soon as I hit "post"!
I'll be back with more show-and-tell!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Silk Purse From a Sow's Ear

This year I have a personal goal to use up materials I have stored for too long.
Even the good stuff.
Case in point-- the Swiss Colony bags saved from a gift of food.
There is nothing really special about them--they are just too interesting to throw out.
I almost threw them out three times, but each time, hesitated.
So then I gave myself a mental shake and finally decided now was the time to do something about those silly bags.
I left one unadorned so you could see the dramatic transformation.

The metal sewing machine is some of my good stuff.
I've had it for at least 6 years!
Saving it for something really special.
By the way, I opened up the bag's seam so I could easily stitch the lacy bits down 
with my sewing machine.  Only the buttons were attached by hand.
I might give this pretty bag to my mother-in-law, filled with chocolate, for Valentine's Day.
She loves old stuff --and sewing.
And chocolate!
Now go make something.
And use your good stuff!
I'm off to work on my second sow's ear...

My mother-in-law LOVED the bag.
The sewing machine embellishment really spoke to her.
Made me feel good about partiing with "the good stuff".

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Believe it or not, these are plastic sweet peas.
Aren't they lovely?
Surprisingly realistic looking too.
These adorned the crown of a wide brimmed, plastic straw hat that I am freshening up in preparation for selling in my etsy shop.
The flowers got an amonia and warm water bath and once dry,
I'll be sewing them (not hot glue!) back on the way I found them.
The jaunty head gear will be available to purchase soon for your Easter Parade and summer activities.
Speaking of that egg holiday, I just listed a pair of reproduction (but now vintage),
I grew up eating soft boiled eggs for breakfast with toast fingers for dipping.
Did you?