Archive for March, 2009

Old Gold Lace
March 31, 2009

Sometimes as crafters we do things that seem like a good idea at the time, only to doubt ourselves a day or two later. This post is about that experience, documented with lots of photos. I found this Irish crochet lace. I thought it looked really bad, spotted and discolored. The photo I took before I started to clean it makes it look OK, though the spots are visible. Then I soaked it in Oxyclean and it came out a really dirty grey color, like a used string mop. Again the photo doesn’t really show the color I thought I saw. Some places had been mended and the thread in those areas turned a gold color. Well, I thought why not dye it gold, and old gold color, that would go with gold trim so I could use it on Christmas decorations. The color came out pretty close to what I wanted. The olive gold color, DMC 834 is close, is not a pretty color by itself. It looks really good with deep reds and greens of an old fashion Christmas though. This is really old lace and was probably made by improvised women by candle light and I have turned it an odd color. What seemed like a good idea two days ago doesn’t seem that way today.








Hankie Edging
March 30, 2009

This hankie edging was all sewn up into a flounce of some sort. It may have been used as a little neck jabot. So the center was already cut out. Anyway the needlelace corners are done in an interesting way. A thin trimming lace has been wrapped with thread at intervals and crossed to give the joined wedding ring motif. The centers are then filled in with needlelace. It is another example of lace trim being combined to form an allover lace pattern.

Sorry the photo is off center. I am feeling a little rushed today.



The jasmine is in full bloom now.


Edwardian Collar
March 29, 2009

I had no idea what to call this collar. So I looked up pictures of different collars on the internet starting with 1880’s. Finally a cloth collar with hangsy-downsies appeared with a group of collars labeled Edwardian. I tried to find the style name, but I just can’t think anymore today. So Edwardian it is. The collar has a few holes, otherwise it is in really good condition. I had trouble figuring out how to photograph it, since it stretches out flat at a wide (obtuse) angle. The lace is pieced so meticulously. Look at how the back of the collar is pieced into the front in the closeup photo. I have no idea how this collar was worn. The lace tips are really pretty. They are really long too. I think it would be obnoxious to let them hang down the front, so maybe they were tied.




I know I should write more, but I am really tired today. I am trying to teach myself photoshop from a book every morning, In the afternoon I clean the next batch of lace, and then press and photograph something for this blog. In between I have the daily chores. The lace I am soaking at the moment is now the color of a used mop. It was a splotchy brown. It is real Irish crochet so I want to rescue it. Tomorrow I am going to try and dye it a golden color. Wish me luck.

March 28, 2009

I found a real life fichu among the the sundries in the cedar chest. It was discolored and full of starch. So I soaked it for a day and it is like new. Now I just need to find a Jane Austin Tea party to attend. Just kidding, but my upstairs balcony does look like like the Bennett girls have been busy. I have been using the railing that looks over the living room to dry the little lace pieces. It is right outside my sewing room, a very convenient location. The fabric on the fichu is so thin, but cottony. I haven’t seen anything like it in the fabric stores. The most interesting detail is the way the inside hem is rolled. It is stitched by hand pulling only a few threads together with each stitch. It is such a fine finish. Much better than my current way of hemming fine fabrics. The tucks are made by machine and similar ones that can be done with the blind hem feature most machines have now. I date it from the early 1900’s, about the time they were going out of style. Fichus started out being triangular but changed over the 80 odd years they were popular. I think a cameo brooch pinned in the middle covering the raw edges would have been all that was needed for it to adorn the neckline of a party dress.



The color of this photo is off, maybe because it is focused so close.


Bits and Pieces
March 27, 2009

I have been soaking this old lace for two days. It came out really nice. All will now reside in my crafting room and be used for projects. Except maybe the filet angel square. It looks almost presentable now, so might be worth preserving. The chemical lace in the front is a really nice imitation of Irish crochet. It is in many pieces and has been altered a few times. I am thinking I will cut out the motifs for some crazy quilting, There are two yards of the 1920’s lace next to the angel, enough for something major. The next lace is a bobbin lace and next to that is a narrow crochet lace. That is made by crocheting both sides of a looped machine made trim. It was two tone before washing, the inner trim having turned quite brown. It gives me the idea to look for trim I can crochet shells onto for a new version of this design. The wide crochet trim I am going to put on a tablecloth for my kitchen table for that cottage look. It is really sturdy and I have no idea how old it is. There is enough for a 60 inch round table cloth. The eyelet isn’t anything special, but it washed out nice and there are a couple of yards. I am sure I can find a new project for it. Today I am soaking some more ornate antique lace. I still have quite a bit to decide what to do with, one piece at a time. I am so thankful for this blog. It has been a great motivator to go though the cedar chest, rather than just putting things on top of it.