Tag Archives: accessories

holiday monday

Thought I’d share some cards from the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections during the holidays.

Loving hats the way I do, couldn’t resist these two happy models.

Hope you enjoy!

click to go to original
click to go to original

what is elegance?

Madame Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, former directrice of Paris design house Nina Ricci

From the start, this little volume has made a big impression.  First was the alphabetically listed Table of Contents, from Accessories through Zoology.

In the Foreword, after she asks the above question, she answers it by giving the specific definition:  “elegance” is from the Latin eligere, “which means ‘to select’.”  The lady thinks like I do – gotta appreciate that!

I also realized this isn’t a book to read straight through, like a novel. For me, it’s more of a reference book, to be dipped into as needed, required, or when a refreshing sip is appropriate.

Here’s a snippet ~

Jewellery, p. 88

  • “Jewellery is the only element of an ensemble whose sole purpose is elegance…”
  • “… an elegant woman… should never indulge her fancy to the point of resembling a Christmas tree”

Whilst her sense of elegance might not fit everyone’s, I’m finding it a great little volume to have on my shelf!

weekly photo challenge: nighttime

Nothing says nighttime better than bling!

Night (?), n. [OE. night, niht… L. nox…] 1. That part of the natural day… when there is no light of the sun, but only moonlight, starlight, or artificial light.


Original WordPress post is here.

More piccies over here and here.

labor day…

vintage silk kimono
vintage silk kimono

how to hand-wash silk
I haven’t dry-cleaned silk in ages.  Just hand-wash it in cold water.  But don’t bung it in the dryer, even on low.  No way!

If you want to iron it straight away, and it’s a relatively small piece, wrap it in a towel to get rid of the excess moisture.

If it’s a large piece, particularly if it tends to bleed colour, such as this hand-dyed silk kimono, consider hanging it up to dry.  Then, if you can remember to catch it before it’s bone dry, iron with steam on the wrong side.

If you don’t catch it, sprinkle liberally with water, put it in a (clean!) plastic bag so the humidity gets into the entire garment, and then iron on the wrong side.

Why I was washing it out on Labor Day is another story.  There was a vacuum cleaner. . . and that’s all I’m saying.



weekly photo challenge: dialogue ~ tee shirt

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Hopefully these three piccies will tell even non-sewers how a simple un-needed tee shirt can be transformed with just a pair of scissors.

DIALOGUE, n. [Gr., to dispute; to speak.] 1. A conversation or conference between two or more persons

Original WordPress post is here.

Another dialogue is over here…

 Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is EDGE

luv to josée!

my new & totally adorable, upcycled fabric cosmetics bag from cul de sac, canada!
my new & totally adorable, upcycled cosmetics bag from cul de sac, canada!
click to go to her etsy shop

Guess what I got in the mail yesterday?  From my dear friend Josée, the owner of Cul de Sac, the cutest little cosmetics bag imaginable!  And it’s unique ’cause no one else has one with exactly these recycled fabrics, in this combination.  Blue & yellow always reminds me of France, and as Josée speaks French and lives in Québec, it’s serendipitous!

The bag’s lining is yellow, which I really like because I can easily spot a pesky lipstick.  Another thoughtful touch is the little charm on the zip pull ~ a bird in a cage ~ mirroring one of Josée’s favourite embroidery designs.

I can spot this easily inside the huge black bag I carry when travelling… when I don’t want to paw through a dark hole looking for a small bag.

Josée makes all her bags, scarves, key chains, and other upcycled items as she has time & finds materials.  She’s been known to unravel sweaters and reknit the wool into charming fingerless gloves, and other items.

Here’s where to find her creations, and make your own purchases.

And I still rank her double chocolate cupcakes as the absolute best indulgence in the whole wide world!


contemplating hats…

last summer's crocheted hat - too ruffley?  need to replace??
last summer’s crocheted hat – too ruffley? need to replace??

Inspired by Vintage Traveler Lizzie’s mentioning Susan Langley’s book, Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770-1970, found at my local library, I was hunting through the 1920s-1930s section for inspiration for a new summer hat.

Langley’s book is full of colour photos, as well as vintage adverts for hats and dresses.  Left me drooling, gave me lots of ideas, and held a big surprise…

I found an excellent example of my last summer’s hat, ripply brim and all – it was an actual style. Who’d have thought!  There’s even a sample, which I’ll leave in the book for copyright reasons.

The “real” ruffle brim hat appears to be a stiffer straw, while mine is loosely crocheted, ripples varying according to gravity & wind. But I’ve temporarily postponed rushing to make another hat. Come summer’s heat & humidity, I know those crochet holes are  excellent ventilation!

the library tote

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Ever since I saw this fabric on Lovely Reader Samantha’s blog I’d thought what a great tote bag it would make to take to the library.  Then she surprised me by send over a metre of it – wow!

Using this video from the wonderful Missouri Quilt Company, another great find by Samantha, I took time to decide what features I wanted in the tote ~ pockets! ~ and finally put scissors to cloth.

I love it!


weekly photo challenge: threshold


Amy Barickman’s book, Vintage Notions, opened the door to my finding out about Mary Brooks Picken, which led me to reprints of ome of her booklets from the 1920’s and including the Singer book from the 1950’s.  How’s that for a book being the threshold to a wonderful world of vintage sewing ideas/!

Thresh”old, n. [OE. threswold, þreshwold, AS. þrescwald, þerscwald, þerscold, þrescold, fr. þrescan, þerscan, to thresh; akin to Icel. þreskjöde, þröskuldr, Sw. tröskel, Dan. tærskel. See Thrash. 1.]  The plank, stone, or piece of timber, which lies under a door, especially of a dwelling house, church, temple, or the like; the doorsill; hence, entrance; gate; door  2. Fig.: The place or point of entering or beginning, entrance; outset; as, the threshold of life.

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

Link to del’s other stuff here.

fabric stores = take-home art galleries

To those uninitiated into the mysteries of fabric stores, first thing to note is there are goodies & not-so-goodies. Just as in everything else.  And, what’s a goody for one person’s style ain’t necessarily a goody for you.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep looking!

The thing with fabric stores is you get to fondle the art works, take them home with you, and either make them into something you can wear or something you can use in your daily life.

Want some Picasso?  Start searching, because he’s on fabric.  How about Monet?  Ditto.

Have your own ideas?  Paint or photo them and do a quick search for a printer who can print them onto fabric for you (silk, cotton, linen – your choice). Presto – you’re a designer!

There have been small kits (from HP or Avery, in U.S.) for doing this with home printers, too. Used one meself, for a long gone tee shirt, over 10 years ago.  Give it a go if you’re so inspired!

today’s photos
Have been putting off doing pants for weeeks & finally figured out why.  I don’t want to make an error in fit, or go to the time & trouble of sewing a full muslin trial.  So out is coming a shorty pattern, for a trial, but eventually in the green teal, for summer.

Decided maybe something not too big, in a colourful rayon fabric I love, might get me over the hurdle.

Sigh.  Spring.  Wishful thinking.   Sigh

Counterbalancing that, did 2 quick updates for winter hats, one with an easily removable button, and the other with an even more easily removable pin.

Getting ready for Valentine’s Day!

weekly photo challenge: object

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OB”JECT, n. [L. objectum, objectus.] 1. That about which any power or faculty is employed, or something apprehended or presented to the mind by sensation or imagination.

Above are photos from the making of a pillow.  Said pillow isn’t completed, because some embellishment needs matching thread. Which I don’t have yet. But plans are under way.


Link to WordPress Challenge here.

warm weekend… relatively

IMG_4779What can one say about the freezing mark — it’s warmer than single digits?  This weekend was just that, clear and not too windy, so it was good to get out and keep the cabin fever at bay.  Good thing, as we’re back to arctic.


Being out rather than in doesn’t encourage sewing.  However, I did get out the Asian-inspired green print from stash and begin to make up a pillow.  I want to be able to launder the fabric (100% cotton) so zipped up a little insert out of an old sheet.  That is holding  the poly fill, but it’s a little flat.  May have to add some batting.


Trying to decide what to use for a closure.  Not pleased with these odd buttons.  What do you think, Lovely Readers?   Also considering snaps or a zip. Have never done a zipped pillow, and haven’t checked my zip stash either, which might effect a decision.  Have plenty of snaps, though.

That lovely damask fabric is a different green, but nice. It will look good with the solid green silk pillow covers friend Samantha sent over from Marks & Spencer (UK).  I feel so elegant when contemplating them. SILK!