Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chopping up shirts/Mit Hemd, Pullover und Krawatte ...

Although end of September, it's still warm outside, so I can work in the garden.

I'm chopping up four men's shirts which I found at the parish flea market last weekend. One of the shirts is solid natural linen - mmm, this means lots of embroidery fabric ...

The other ones are heavy cotton - I chose them for the texture and for the faded colours. Maybe they would work well as a frame for my deer project?

I also have some broad men's neckties in my stash - and when using my little bias former/tape maker (Prym) the other day, I suddenly remembered that most ties are cut diagonally - what if I'd use them for making unusual bias bindings? They could look quite nice - and it would be repurposing and at the same time saving time and effort, when I don't have to prepare those fabric strips first ...

I bought a big mens' sweater at that flea market too - the price was 1 Euro! It's 75% cotton and the colours are off-white with a touch of brown inbetween, machine knitted in stockinette, the yarn consisting of three threads - two of them are straight cotton, the third one is a bit of a moderate bouclé.

As the seams are cut and overlocked, unravelling means getting a lot of ends - which is quite bad for knitting, but good for sewing. The straight natural white/light beige cotton threads will give me loads and loads of threads to handsew with - it's the perfect colour and the perfect thickness!

So, what are you waiting for, ladies? Hubby's not around? Where are those scissors ...?

(German summary: Am Flohmarkt habe ich einige feste Herrenhemden billig erstanden - guter Stoff, gute Farben - zum Nähen, Embellishen und Sticken - dann noch die Idee, aus alten, breiten Krawatten Schrägbänder zu nähen - und die einzelnen Fäden eines Baumwollpullovers für's Handnähen zu verwenden ...)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New start into autumn/Neuer Herbstanfang

Crisp, foggy mornings and red apples hanging sweet and shiny from the trees in my garden ... This year's Indian summer slowly turns into autumn and I realize it's been quite a while since last, dear friends ...

But it's been a great summer, warm and sunny, with friends and family visiting, some of them for several weeks. I've done a bit of this and that inbetween - maybe I'll show you some of those projects later on.

Things have happened: Elizabeth at Landanna is back blogging with fresh inspiration - Sara has moved to Argentina and told me in a mail, that there are lots of interesting textiles to see in Buenos Aires - Clare has visited a free-hand machine embroidery workshop and will certainly come up with new projects on that - and in other blogs, I've seen a lot of beautiful natural dyeing experiments, which look very exciting.

I think we are blessed to have this medium to share and inspire one another.

Two days ago, I received a very much longed-for, late big-birthday present from my Dad: a new sewing machine, a Bernina 350, to replace my still-working, but 50-year-old Singer. (Men understand the point better if you remind them that cars have improved a bit too during the last 50 years ... ;-).

I'm overwhelmed with this wonderful, new tool - and today I started playing with it, using the darning and quilting foot, exercising on a dog print fabric I had at hand:

The picture to the right shows the back - I think it looks rather funny too, almost like a newspaper comic!

Here's another one:

I did a couple of free-motion flowers as well - maybe for a greeting card - using an automatic machine pattern for the border:

And of course I had to try out free-hand writing on the machine too!

There are some books on this subject that might interest you:

- "Free & easy stitch style" by Poppy Treffry
(German title: "Das etwas andere Nähbuch")

- "Scandinavian Stitches" by Kajsa Wikman
(also known as Syko:

- The "Impatient embroiderer" by Jane Emerson
(German title: "Einfach maschinensticken")

- "Textile Natur/Textile nature" by Elsbeth Nusser-Lampe
(German and English text)

And while working, I had this somewhat crazy idea to simply colour some white thread with markers to get striped and dotted thread ... Of course this is more convenient to use for hand-sewing, as you will have to renew the pattern from time to time, when unravelling the upper layer - but it's fast and easy and it even looks decorative on the shelf!

(German summary: Herbstanfang und Neuanfang. So viel Neues gibt es bei euch, liebe Blogfreundinnen - schön, daß wir dieses Medium zum Austausch haben. Ich habe seit ein paar Tagen eine neue Nähmaschine und spiele jetzt vor allem mit der Freihandstickfunktion - einige Buchtipps zum Thema, drei Titel davon auch auf Deutsch - und eine verrückte Idee, mit einem Edding das Nähgarn auf Zebra zu trimmen :-)