Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Dye results, silk pieces on Ebay and old underwear!

 My friend Jean from the 'jeans muse' blog recently featured pictures of some delightful old victorian/edwardian childrens white fine linen bonnets, mostly hand stitched and one showing signs of repair and most with some signs of wear and slightly worn fine hand made lace.

Well, I managed to buy them off her cousin who had acquired them and although the temptation was to simply treasure them in a basket and fondle them lovingly now and then, because they seemed to have been made with care and skill for children now long gone.... Id also got an idea how to use them, individually in mixed media collages.

But.... then I bought a £1 bunch of eucalyptus branches from outside a health food shop and its leaves were long and thinner than my own rounded eucalptus tree.
So I made up a dye bath and also wrapped the twigs and leaves around tins with an assortment of fabric bits and afew long rusty nails.... and yes... one of the bonnets was cut apart and underwent a make over.
I feel guilty telling you, because these are small miracles that have survived so long and may well deserve to be in a museum...and I was right up to the last moment of cutting it, in two minds if I should do this....... but now its done, I still do feel guilty you may be relieved to know but .... the results are pretty good never the less.
This eucalptus obviously renders back not russet or yellow like my own but these are the results, above and lower down, on the bonnet and its lacey edges.. and below on a white bodice piece from a charity shop blouse.
Something Gothic springs to mind so far.
Spot the butterfly ish shapes below?

Then I stumbled on these old underwear garments at car boot, niether had ever been worn and were water stained  and the folds were marked where theyd been folded in packets.
So I washed them and they are fine old vests from yesteryear! One with sleeves that come to the elbow and both are half way down my thighs almost to my knees, and Im 5' 8" ! Now I recall seeing my Granma wearing much the same kind of vest, though a worn one and much thinner quality than these.
They are a 1930s? cream colour, not so yellow as in the top two pics and the lower one has come out white in the picture for some reason, but isnt at all........!

Even the labels are a joy arent they? Think I will use them both in the
(for visually impaired children) Topic Boxes Im putting together at work. They will be great for 'The way we were' box.
Now if anyone knows where there might be a liberty bodice..........that could go in too, and I promsie not to try and dye it!

Now I want to tell you folks about an Ebay seller who is selling vintage silk kimono pieces currently and I want to recommend her to you, so you will buy her silks and then I can't buy any more!!!
She is selling them for a song, theres no one else buying them, they are FABULOUS and reasonable sized pieces in mixed packs.
Not only do they come beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, but she includes a hand made card with each pack and a small little fabric wrapped posey of lavender!
She lives in Preston in the Uk and so please have a look at her ebay shop...shes no relation, I wont get a discount but I might then back off buying for a while!

Look what I just bought
I doubt this lady will starve if I dont buy ALL her silk pieces but I have NO discipline to not buy from her at the moment, now Ive seen how beautiful the silks are...please help me, by spending your money ... cos Im running out!! lol


  1. I'm wondering if the rusty nails are the cause of the very dark colours....Eucs are usually give a strong enough colour without any this extra - metals or mordants. Iron will make your results very dark too.

  2. Sue you may well be right, now youve mentioned it, I may have overkilled on the metals lol

  3. Ha....l buy too much silk and cotton too!Ha.I would agree that the rusty nails change the colour quite dramatically. xlove the rusts thoughx lynda

  4. Well you wont be disapointed if you buy this lady, Christines pieces, but I am NOT buying any more till Ive used most of what Ive accumulated lol

  5. Hey Linie Cat- It`s Wendy from Gracie and the Ontario Meadow- thanks so much for your thoughts on the Mudlark post! And for the link to Martin Waters`site, it is amazing. I`m going to spend more time on your blog here, it is awesome.

  6. Wendy thankyou for the kind comment! I thought your mudlark post was really interesting and iuts certainly given me reason to think since reading it.
    Martins art work I think is as much a comment about our careless society and the waste we abandon, without a care for our world... as ever it is about him making money from it.