Tag Archive | vintage

Tambour Embroidery

Vintage Purses with Tambour Embroidery

These three purses are from my vintage purse collection. All are embroidered with tambour embroidery, possibly French. Clockwise from the left:

  1. Handbag with plunger clasp and chain handle: black moire silk with cream and pink roses and sage green leaves. Circa early 1900’s.
  2. Handbag with double frame and cloth handle: black silk satin with light pink, deep pink, crimson, and mauve colored roses and olive green leaves. Circa early 1900’s.
  3. Handbag that flips open flat with chain handle: black faille with pink, red, yellow and orange roses and olive green leaves.
Close-up view of vintage tambour embroidery
Close-up view of vintage tambour embroidery

Tambour embroidery, introduced to the Western world by France, is a continuous worked chain stitch formed with a tambour hook, which forms a loop similar to a crochet chain. The stitch is formed on the fabric with the thread held underneath in one hand while the other hand inserts the hook down through the fabric to catch the thread. The needle is brought back through the same hole, forming a loop. The following stitches are formed a short distance from the previous stitch, catching the loop of the last stitch at the beginning of the next.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

Stitched Adornments

Vintage Floral Embroidery

Vintage Floral Embroidery

Floral embroidery is a descriptive term that was used for both thread embroidery (silk, wool or chenille); and ribbonwork flowers (a piece of ribbon or fabric that was stitched with a needle and thread). The flowers were arranged in sprays, or as a single bud on men’s waistcoats, ladies gowns, shawls and other accessories. Popular stitches for the embroideries were satin, long and short, and stem. The chain stitch that could also be worked with a tambour needle is often used as the only stitch in the design.

Ribbon work flowers such as aerophane or crepe floral embroidery (used in the late 19th century) had the details of leaves and stems stitched in with thread embroidery. The ribbon, a thin silk gauze or crepe would be cut then gathered with stitches to form each petal of the flower. Narrow silk “China” ribbons were available in shaded colors, and were first used in ribbon work floral embroidery. This narrow silk ribbon could also be threaded into a large eyed needle and stitched into flower shapes (usually a straight stitch) with added silk thread embroidered accents. The combination of ribbonwork flowers and silk ribbon embroidery gave the design dimension. The top image is from a satin purse, with the ribbonworked flowers and leaves of stitched chenille. A gift from my husband for my birthday, probably circa early 1900’s. It is incredible in person.

Vintage Floral Sewing Bag

Vintage Floral Sewing Bag

The second image with the whimsical floral vignettes was made, I believe as a sewing or knitting bag, but I use it as a purse, circa 1940’s judging from the fabrics used. Some of the flowers are made with ribbon, some with fabric scraps, some with added felt details. Primitive embroidery and beading were used to enhance the floral sections. I found this lovely treasure on eBay, and I adore it.

Happy Stitching! ~Christen

Artistry in Alchemy

The term gold-work embroidery was originally used to describe a form of decorative embroidery that employed real gold threads in a mixture of surface applications and techniques that use both laid and stitched yarns. The term now is extended to gold-work and metallic thread embroidery and includes all metals: gold (though this proved costly for most industries and was not used much after the 10th century), silver gilt, silver, pewter and copper, and metallic (alloy or synthetic) colored threads and yarns.

Vintage French Handbags with Metal Thread Embroidery
Vintage French Handbags with Metal Thread Embroidery

These two examples of incredible metal-thread embroidery are part of my vintage purse collection. The handbag I purchased at an estate sale, has copper, green and bronzed colored embroidery threads. The coin purse is mainly copper and silver colors, and I found this on eBay.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

Vintage at Heart: class/tutorial

Vintage at Heart: 1 lesson/ $25.00

vintageatheartThese hearts are a great way to mix the old with the new, and they are a great project that can be completed in a few hours. Bring your stash of vintage and new buttons, a bit of fabric and voila you have made an heirloom that can be treasured for years to come

heart broochLace and bits of ribbon can also be added in for extra touches. Finishing options for a pin will be covered and suggestions for an ornament and wall hanging will be discussed.

Bonus Handout: What is in Your Button Box? and Dating Buttons by Materials and Styles. All of us have a stash, and it is fun to find out just what is in that stash!

Skill Level Beginning: hand-sewing and embroidery knowledge needed

Class Information

This class can be purchased at any time, there is no set schedule. The class can be ordered by contacting Christen: thestoreonthecorner@gmail.com. She will send you an invoice through PayPal.

Once the class is paid for, the supply list and handout/s will be sent out.

A high-speed internet connection is recommended, and you must have basic computer and internet skills. You will need to be able know how to download and save a document to your computer’s hard drive, open it, and print out a copy.

You can contact Christen with any questions pertaining to the class/class information throughout the length of the class.

Class fees will not be refunded.

Happy Stitching! ~Christen

Vintage at Heart

Vintage at Heart with Christen Brown

vintageatheartThese hearts are a great way to mix the old with the new, and they are a great project that can be completed in a few hours. Bring your stash of vintage and new buttons, a bit of fabric and voila you have made an heirloom that can be treasured for years to come

heart broochBasic straight stitches as well as embroidery stitches will be covered. Lace and bits of ribbon can also be added in for extra touches. Finishing options for a pin will be covered and suggestions for an ornament and wall hanging will be discussed.

Bonus Handout: What is in Your Button Box? and Dating Buttons by Materials and Styles. All of us have a stash, and it is fun to find out just what is in that stash!

Details:

Class Fee: $25.00/2 hour class

*Please note that this class does not include any of the materials, supplies or tools; these must be provided by the student.

Class Requirements: hand sewing a must, some embroidery knowledge will be helpful.

Date and time: This class is not currently scheduled.

Specifics:

This class fee is paid directly to Christen. This can be paid by a PayPal invoice, or by cash or check the day of class. Please email Christen:thestoreonthecorner@gmail.com to inquire about the availability of space for the date listed above.

Happy Stitching ~Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Mother of Pearl part 2

necklace made from vintage and new mother of pearl buttons

Enchanted Butterflies

Friday’s Favorites is continuing this month with Mother of pearl. This week I want to show you jewelry that I have made with MOP buttons, charms and beads.

Enchanted Butterflies is an adaptation of my “Entwined Treasures” pattern. The base is created by entwining and stitching silk cords, into a base. This base is then embellished with buttons and charms, and the beads are attached with the peyote stitch.

ribbon bracelets stitched with vintage mother of pearl buttons

Mother of Pearl Button Bracelets

Button bracelets have been around for many decades. You may have one of those cuff bracelets that your mom made with an elastic crochet or stretchy gimp base that is encrusted with vintage buttons and beads.
These two bracelets here are a take-off on those original bracelets.
I chose to use a ribbon for the base (because I don’t like the elastic), using a button for the closure. The top bracelet, which is a sample of my “Klimpt Kollage Kuff” pattern, is encrusted with buttons, while the buttons are stitched in a design on the bottom bracelet.

vintage tie neckpiece

Hopscotch

The neck-piece here is made from the tie that my dad wore at his wedding. The buttons are vintage carved Mother of pearl with celluloid discs.
The pin base is a wide ribbon, encrusted with Mother of pearl buttons and buckles, celluloid buttons, and roses that I made from gimp and vintage zippers.

necklace strand made from amethyst and mother of pearl buttons

Pearl's Delight

This necklace incorporates small mother of pearl buttons with beads, strung on #10 Soft Flex.. The beads are amethyst, fresh water pearls, mother of pearl and seed beads. This necklace and the bracelets below were created to wear with “Pearl’s Delight” jacket ensemble, that is covered in vintage lace and vintage Mother of pearl buttons.

bracelets made from mother of pearl buttons

Mother of Pearl Bracelets

These bracelets are all made from vintage Mother of pearl buttons. The top and bottom bracelets are samples from my “Bohemian Button Bracelet” pattern, these are strung on Soft Flex as the necklace above. The middle bracelet is a sample of my “Button Bracelet” pattern using the peyote stitch.

mother of pearl buttons

Vintage at Heart

These are two pins that I made using vintage Mother of pearl buttons. The pin on the left is made from muslin fabric and is covered with buttons. The pin to the right is made from silk fabric with a piece of vintage lace, the buttons are all carved.

Vintage Mother of pearl buttons are still around in some abundance, what will you make with them?
Enjoy what you do, it’s good for you! Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Celluloid Buttons

Celluloid Buttons

Celluloid Buttons

Today we will talk about the celluloid button. This necklace is part of an ensemble “Deco Drama” that I just finished. The base of the necklace is a vintage French ombre ribbon, ruched, with a silk cord stitched for the tie. As you can see celluloid was definitely the theme here, using many of my favorite types of celluloid button.

Celluloid was invented in the 1870’s and was one of the most versatile and the first of the man-made plastics. This lightweight material is thinner than Bakelite, though some of the same techniques could be used such as molding, stamping and machine tooling; but unlike Bakelite buttons they could also be created by pulling, hollow blowing, and extruding. The coloring of the celluloid button was often more diverse than that of the autumn and vibrant coloring of the Bakelite buttons. The versatility of celluloid made it extremely popular with manufacturer’s, however the serious drawback to this material was that it is flammable! For further reading may I suggest a book I use frequently: Button Button Identification & Price Guide by Peggy Ann Osborne.

bracelets made from vintage celluloid buttons

bracelets made from vintage celluloid buttons

Here are a series of bracelets that feature vintage celluloid, Bakelite and glass buttons. I made these over the summer using simple sewing techniques and materials so that the buttons would shine as the stars that they are!

  • The first bracelet base is vintage picot edged grosgrain ribbon. The buttons that I used are celluloid “glow bubbles”, tight-tops and a few brown Bakelite.
  • The second bracelet base is vintage cotton grosgrain ribbon. The heart shaped buttons are Bakelite and the cream colored buttons are celluloid.
  • The third bracelet base is taffeta ribbon with a strip of grosgrain ribbon stitched down the center. The incredible green buttons are vintage celluloid “glow bubbles” and the black buttons are carved celluloid.

ribbon bracelet

ribbon bracelet

This last bracelet is made using grosgrain ribbon and an old measuring tape. These were woven together and backed with interfacing. I then stitched vintage glass, celluloid and Bakelite buttons for decoration. I stitched snaps down for the closure.

Deco Decadence

Deco Decadence

This brooch was made to be worn with “Melon Balls jewelry ensemble and Hat, which is made using a variety of vintage and new buttons and beads in colors of melon and black.

The pin boasts a lovely display of “buffed celluloid” buttons. I just adore the black and tan combination. It took many years to collect the right sizes and colors for this brooch. The ribbon worked flowers are made from a vintage ribbed cotton ribbon and the leaves are from a taffeta ribbon.

The ribbon buttons and flowers are attached to florist wire wrapped in sating ribbon, and sit in a vintage jacquard ribbon vase. A pin back is stitched to the back of the vase.

So what is in your button box and need help with identifying what’s in there? Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Vintage Sewing Accessories

favorite sewing pretties

favorite sewing pretties

I love to sew and have been doing so every day of my life from the age of seven. My mother sewed all of our clothes, and I used to watch her at the kitchen table as she created these every day items on an old black singer sewing machine. I would remove the pins from each piece after she had sewn it, clip off the excess threads, and organize the pieces for the next stage of sewing. I started to make my own clothing when I was in the seventh grade.

Many of the sewing accessories from this group picture were handed down to me, and some I have acquired over the years at thrift or antique stores.

From left to right:

  • The felt dress is an etui that was purchased at a church auction by my father’s mother (my grandmother). She used it for many years, and when she passed away it was given to my mother.
  • The colorful metal piece is a thimble holder, this I found offered as a group of items on ebay, (along with a few of the other items shown here).
  • The wooden doll is a needle holder, her body lifts up and she dutifully holds your needles. A friend had given this to me when I was first married.
  • The wooden barrel behind her holds thimbles and was the part of the group I found on ebay.
  • The box of pins was found in a standing wooden sewing case that had belonged to my mother’s father, and was from my grandfather’s mother.
  • The sterling silver thimble on top had belonged to my mother’s mother. I am sure that my grandmother would not have approved that I drilled a hole in it and had worn it on a necklace! I have matured a little and hold it with respect, it now resides in an old tin along with the other treasures here.
  • The round tape measure was one of my earliest sewing accessories. I of course played with the button and pulled the tape out just to see it snap back. Luckily I didn’t ruin it and it is still functional.
  • The blue metal case is another thimble holder and the green case holds two wooden spools of thread. Both of these were from the group of items that I found on ebay.
  • The metal scissors are “oh so pretty” but they don’t cut worth a darn, I think the saying is that “they couldn’t cut hot butter”. The stork pair of scissors was a gift from my mom and dad, and the floral pair I found at a thrift store.

I just love to look at these items and imagine what project at hand each seamstress was working on; was it for something functional and necessary or was it created for the pure pleasure of sewing? I know that all of these items were treasured by the women whose legacy I have inherited. I salute every one of them and I am proud to keep that tradition alive, every day, one stitch at a time.

While you are happily stitching away, take a closer look at your sewing treasures, what memories do they hold for you? Enjoy your day! Christen

Lothlorien Twilight

Lothlorien Twighlight

Lothlorien Twilight

“Lothlorien” is where Galadriel lives in J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical world. The cloaks that she and her ladies made, that were given to the “Fellowship of the Ring” were said to have been made with a cloth that reflected the leaf, branch, water and stone of this realm. I felt that the colors that I chose for this piece reflected the same thing. Hopefully the magic will be reflected here too!

embroidered center

embroidered center

The background is a vintage embroidered silk purse, probably from China. The purse itself was too delicate to be used as such, so I have tried to preserve it’s beauty, and add it to my collection of art. Each piece of embroidery is comprised of single “Peking or Chinese Knot”, incredible in itself the work that went into each piece! These were each stitched separately then attached by hand to the brown silk. The rows of gold work that attached each design had come apart so I hand stitched these back in place first before I added in my own embellishments.

Then it was time to add in some of my own work. I beaded three dragonflies that have a dentalium shell body that is beaded and wings that are beaded. I made several sets of brick stitched leaves and interspersed them through the sections of flowers. I also beaded a few vines of brick stitched leaves.

beadedcenter

embellished and beaded center

I hand stitched several butterflies from French wire ribbon, and added dentalium shell bodies which are beaded. I also made hand stitched flowers from grosgrain ribbon that I stitched with vintage celluloid button centers. I antiqued both the flowers and butterfly bodies with copper fabric paint.

Several more flowers were made from silk bias ribbon and vintage velvet ribbon. These have beaded centers and are interspersed between the butterflies and larger flowers.

I used many vintage buttons that I have collected over the years including carved Tahiti shell, “tinnies” and celluloid which were used around the outer edges. Several new dragonfly and butterfly buttons and charms were also found to complete the theme.

Full wall hanging

Full wall hanging

I had a wonderful time collecting all of these treasures, then finding a home for them to reside.

The last item I found at Maureen’s Vintage Acquisitions was the mini quilt hanger with the dragonfly on the top! Perfection!

I hope that you enjoy what you do, have fun today and do take a look at the other entries for this challenge, they are all unique and incredible!

Happy stitching, collecting and treasure what gifts you have! Enjoy! ~Christen

Melon Balls Vintage Ensemble

Melon Balls Vintage Necklace and Earrings

Melon Balls Vintage Necklace and Earrings

This entire collection of accessories started with with the coral colored rectangular molded glass pieces set into earring findings, which I found at the Salvation Army for $.99.

The next piece I found was the bracelet (shown below found on ebay), several years later with the same carved glass pieces set into a metal finding.

I wore these two parts of the ensemble for several more years until I came upon the glass beads (used in the necklace, also from ebay) with the same carved floral design. A few months after that I found the lovely melon colored souffle finished oval beads at a quaint little bead store outside of Julian, CA. I mixed these with black bicones and seed beads to create the necklace. I used a vintage glass button for the closure.

Melon Balls Bracelets

Melon Balls Bracelets

The second bracelet is comprised of vintage glass sew throughs (these I had been saving for just the right project), vintage glass buttons for the closure, and the left-over beads from the necklace.

Then I got to thinking about a brooch for this set, and I started to play with my celluloid buttons and ribbons in the same colors of the necklace.

Deco Decadence Brooch

Deco Decadence Brooch

The brooch boasts a lovely display of “buffed celluloid” buttons. I just adore the black and tan combination. It took many years to collect the right sizes and colors for this brooch. The ribbon worked flowers are made from a vintage ribbed cotton ribbon and the leaves are from a taffeta ribbon.

The ribbon buttons and flowers are attached to florist wire wrapped in 1/8″ satin ribbon, and sit in a vintage jacquard ribbon vase. A pin back is stitched to the back of the vase.

I found a great Chico’s jacket at a thrift store to wear all of these treasure with. Finally the hat and purse that I had collected a while back had a purpose.

Melon Hat and Vintage Purse

Melon Hat and Vintage Purse

The hat is a vintage crochet raffia by Laura Ashley found at a thrift store. I trimmed the brim with a textured lace. I made ribbon worked flowers from French wire ribbons, and used a vintage velvet leaf trim for the background of the vignette.

The vintage handbag was found on a treasure hunt. It is from China, embroidered in coral, melon and gray threads with gold work details. The frame is encrusted with pieces of turquoise and coral.

Yeah, I just love it when things like that work out!

Happy searching, I hope that you find a treasure today that will turn into a wonderous adventure like this one! Christen