Thursday, 30 November 2006

Broderie Anglaise II

Thought any readers I still have left (life is busy here), might like a look at this little treasure. It is a handmade dress and cape in Broderie Anglaise from the Sarah Carter Collection at Old Gippstown.


There is a full-size photograph HERE. It is a dress almost totally covered in hand-made Broderie Anglaise to fit a child about four (at a guess).

When I think about it, I can remember seeing photographs of children in dresses like this from the 1870s to the 1890s - maybe later. Must look at some of them again.

What also makes it more interesting is that I now know a little more about Broderie Anglaise. I was working in another collection, in another town, and we were looking at some similar items there, then another cataloguer talked about how it was made - her mother-in-law used to do it. They poked little holes with a spike she said, and then button-holed around the hole.

And, what was more, she still had her mother-in-law's tool. So she went home and brought it back:

Broderie Anglaise tool

This little pick (which is probably larger on the screen than in real life, was made from ivory. And, would you believe, this is just under 4cm long.

Broderie Anglaise tool2

I am still waiting to see a piece of work from the original owner of this tool - that will be special indeed. I wonder do they have a proper name????

Saturday, 25 November 2006

Knitted Lace


As Sunshine has pointed out - I have posted the wrong picture.

This is the Knitted Lace, which is actually on a half slip.


A larger size is HERE.

At least you would get to see this work ..... If you were to lift the hem of your dress up just that little bit ......

Lace on underwear

(This post has been edited - as I was wrong!)

Deep in the depths of Sarah Carter, my team and I are still cataloguing.

This is a beautiful piece of bobbin lace we found the other day. (I had mixed it up with the hand-knitted one)


Imagine doing all that work. Wouldn't you just be so proud to show it off?

So where is it???

On these bloomers!


We are finding lots and lots of beautiful night dresses as well - and the work on them is stunning.

Which has me thinking again about Glory Boxes - and wondering if the term and practice was just Australian. Where young women, as soon as they could sew, started work on their Glory Boxes, the linen they would take with them to their new home when they married.

There was one exhibition that toured along those lines many years ago - the boxes these women had in which they lovingly put away their finished work, ready for their first home of their own.

Some others referred to it as a "Bottom Drawer" - items put away there, to be ready.

Must do a bit more searching / thinking about it. I know there was a formula - how many nighties they should have, how many table cloths, how many supper cloths etc etc. I think my Mother started one, and she married in 1948, but I think it basically died as a practice in the 1950s.

Any thoughts, anyone???

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Week 2 sampler


Have to admit I have not done a lot on my sampler for this week's classes with Sharon. Life has been busy.

The top row is a little bit of Fly Stitch variation, then I was mucking around - I am quite taken with the woven detached chain (in the centre) and the idea of flowers as detached chain with long closing stitches.

Then, from memory, it was Moss Stitch and Crown Stitch.

Now what I am going to do is file this half-finished sampler with the notes, at the start of the week, and come back later and do some more. These classes are quite fun - I am not getting a lot of time to stitch, but more than half the fun is the class forums where you see how everyone else is interpreting the same stitch.

Saturday, 18 November 2006

Broderie Anglaise

We have been working on a number of items in the Sarah Carter collection that include Broderie Anglaise. This piece has particularly taken my eye, as I think it is hand-made, rather than machine-made.


The largest version is HERE.

In particular, I was taken with the little wheels woven towards the bottom.

There is more about this form of lace, which I have to admit I don't use a lot, on Lace Fairy. You need to go to Lace Identification, then choose Broderie Anglaise (which means, I think, English Embroidery).

Here is another piece I like very much, although this may be machine-made.


Sunday, 12 November 2006

So Easy

Here is why I am so excited about this catalogue. Instant clip art!

I know next to nothing about Photoshop, but this is what I could easily do with just one of the millinery pictures.


Now, I had better go and do some real work.

Fitzgerald Bros Catalogue

It was all too much for me - I had to go and get the catalogue from work. This is the cover:


and there are some sample pages HERE and HERE.

I was talking about this catalogue the other day - we are looking at options how to reproduce it on a CD, and sell copies to raise money to preserve the textiles collection. It is a mail-order catalogue from Melbourne (our state capital) for Spring and Summer 1906-1907. It is exactly a hundred years old, right now.

Christmas is Coming

Christmas is coming, and my Beloved and I have just been to the market. And he tells me he has bought my Christmas present, but he has had to hide it in my bag, and I am not allowed to peek.

Wonder what it can be?????


Saturday, 11 November 2006

Andrew the Peacock


Given the interest in Peacocks and Crazy Patch, I thought some of my readers might like to meet Andrew, one of the extra benefits of working at Old Gippstown. If you are an Australian, I don't need to explain his name - if you are not, it is probably no use my trying (unless you are a follower of Shirley McLaine).

The large size picture is HERE. It was taken by Alisha, one of my cataloguing team.

Dressmaking Magazines

My cataloguing team is at work in Sarah Carter's Dressmaking Shop at Old Gippstown, so expect some fascinating discoveries as we work through the textiles, haberdashery and linen.

For example, on Thursday we found two dressmaking magazines from 1906 - exactly a hundred years old.

I though I had photographed the best, but I missed it, so you will have to wait until next week. That one is from 1906, from Melbourne (ie in my own state). It is full of designs for women's millinery and fashions, and some children's and men's fashions as well.

This one is English:


It has more text than photos, mainly about dressmaking. But lots and lots of fascinating advertisements.

We are examining ways of reproducing the Melbourne store catalogue as, although all the pictures are black and white, I am sure people with computers could add their own colours and make some beautiful fabric prints.

Then we could sell it as a CD - because we are looking for ways to raise funds for Sarah Carter - which is what is fermenting in my mind at the minute - stand by one day soon for the launch of the "Friends of Sarah Carter".

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Dragonfly Doiley

Here, just for a bit of fun, is a doiley that went past me the other day at work. It looks really simple - the wings appear to be outlined in long and short blanket stitch, with some french knots and running stitch.

The contrast isn't brilliant, but it is still worth a look.

P00969 Blite

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Sampler 2

Well, I have to say - 28 count linen is much better than 42 count to work with.

So I started again, on another postcard-size sampler, with the Guilloche, and thought ...... Boring!

So given that it reminded me a little of Chicken Scratch, I started to add some foundation stitches for that.


The larger version is HERE.

And then I started to experiment - and this was the result:


The biggie is HERE.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Fairy Heart finished


The Fairy Heart is now finished - she has been sitting around for soooo long, and just needed beading.

The large version is HERE.

This is how the Fairy looks - I have been experimenting with a higher dpi when I am scanning - it does produce a very detailed picture.


There is a larger version HERE.

I am not totally sure what is going to happen to this Heart yet - I have an idea or two fermenting in the back of my mind.

Sunday, 5 November 2006

Sampler one, report 2

Well, here I go. Who else would drag out 42-count linen. It is murder, even with the jeweller's headpiece.

This is the Guilloche Stitch, halfway through the French Knots.


I decided on a chain stitch around the outside, and nothing on the inside. The bars for the Guilloche and the Chain stitch are in a Kacoonda medium silk, the weaving in a Minamuura perle cotton.

Because the thread count was so high, these were too fiddly and fussy, so I am telling myself I like the "hand-not-machine" look.

After that, I worked the Feather Stitch combination, with a row of Portuguese stem stitch either side. One is a tad closer than I would like, but okay. The two threads don't really show off the knots all that well.


Then I decided I would fix the wagon of that dratted linen. So I got out some waste canvas, and did some posts for the Guilloche on it, with Colourstreams Ophir, which is a quite thick silk.

That's where I am at, at the moment. I love the Feather Stitch combination, and find Guilloche is quite similar to Chicken Scratch.

But I am hot-footing it off to my fabrics box for something with a lower count than 42!

(And, if you are wondering what I am rabiting about, this is the first week of lessons in Sharon b's wonderful Personal Library of Stitches class).

And Thank You to all who have said "Welcome Back". It is good to be back, although life is still busy, so there will be days when I am not here. But there are good things going on - one of which I hope to share with you soon.

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Sampler 1


Sampler one has been started. On backing - too late sharon suggested (very gently) that I try it without. Oh well. You have one in every class. :)

It is on some very old linen, where I count every scrap, so I guess I am saving a bit. Must go and count how many threads it is. The lien is at least fifty years old - you can see the cloth it comes from in the first photo HERE.

The border is going to be Guilloche Stitch, as per Sharon's lessons, and it is really tedious on this fine linen. Nice for one line - not for the whole border. Guess I could have come up with three more stitches for the border - might even yet for the fourth.

And I am still being monstered by deadlines, so not yet as much stitching time as I would like.

But looking forward to seeing what others do.

Friday, 3 November 2006

I'm still here

Hi Everyone,

I am still here, but being monstered by deadlines. But I have almost got them slain.

Maybe tonight I even get to put needle in fabric - if I can find my sewing things.

As I have just downloaded my first lesson from sharon b's personal library of stitches.

I can feel a block coming on. But right now I gotta go, as I have to hand in a strategic plan I have been writing, as they have the auditors coming! The sound of approaching auditors puts the quakes into any right-thinking person.