Tagged: charity shop

Feb 21

Scrap of the week #18

I haven’t been sharing any vintage scraps with you for a while, so here’s a floral curtain (late 1960s or early 1970s, I’m guessing) to kick off my 2012 offerings. This is one of my latest lucky finds at the charity shop.

Orange petals, green stamens

Orange petals, green stamens

Flower Power curtain

Flower Power

Leaf motif

Leaf motif

Orange flowers

Scalloped vertical

All my pictures are crooked (it’s been one of those days), but you can still see the charm of the textile, I hope: the bright orange flowers ( which are about 4.5cms across), the insistent vertical stripes. The fabric is substantial yet quite supple – definitely a furnishing weight – in either cotton or linen or a mixture of the two. There’s no marking at all on the selvedges so that could indicate an artisanal piece. The slightly wonky pattern placement here and there points the same way. If you know what this is, where it’s from, or have anything similar in your stash, I’d love to hear from you.

Now, what would you make with this? It screams “GYPSY CARAVAN CURTAINS!!!” to me (in the very best possible way), maybe with giant apple-green ric-rac or bobble edging and a lovely contrast lining. But then, I’m badly in need of a holiday. This fabric’s a little too much for most uses without a little judicious dilution, I reckon. Paired with the right solid or two (and restrained use of aforementioned jumbo ric-rac) it could make a really vibrant cushion, apron, tea-cosy or hand bag. It’s a little bigger than most of my scraps. In fact, there’s quite a lot of it (two curtains, each 88cms wide from selvedge to selvedge and 2 metres long) so plenty of scope for ingenuity.

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Nov 22

Scrap of the Week #6

Grey tweed

100% pure new wool

After a small gap, here’s another scrap in my continuing series. This is from a 100% pure new wool Marks & Spencer skirt which I found in a charity shop. The picture doesn’t really do it justice as my flash was too harsh. I particularly like the look of this kind of flecked, pepper-and-salt, slightly slubby tweed. This one feels really lovely and soft too. The original garment is great for my upcycling purposes as it’s good and big. I thought it would make a nice cushion, or possibly two.

Grey tweed skirt

Was: M&S skirt

I’ve slung it through the wash, slightly unceremoniously, though it advises dry-cleaning only on the label.  I don’t mind a little shrinkage. In fact, as a compulsive sweater-felter,  I usually actively encourage things to shrink. Forgive the wonky picture above – I was in an unseemly rush.

Sweater rhino

Will be: cute rhino cushion

And here’s what I’m doing with it. This project is a cushion cover for a male relative who happens to adore rhinos. I’m aiming for something that sits on the cute spectrum yet is still acceptable to a young adult male. OK, cushion covers per se aren’t the obvious boy choice, but men need cushions too: desk chairs, bachelor-pad beds, leather swivel armchairs… Feel free to fill in the gaps. This critter has been cut from a felted sweater (another charity shop purchase). Can’t claim credit for his shape – he’s out there on the internet somewhere, copyright-free for the looking. I’ve yet to decide how I want his applique stitching to look.

Sweater rhino

But I know he wants this beady button eye: a reclaimed vintage mother-of-pearl button (one of my favourite types of button, but don’t get me started). It makes him look friendly enough and yet nobody’s fool either: just as any self-respecting rhino should look. He’s already very, very, very late, so I’d better crack on. Will try to remember to take pics of the finished article to show you. Thanks for looking!

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