I have hundreds of ideas swimming through my mind at any given time, but the ones I'd like more time to explore and play around with are ideas for re-purposing vintage linens.
We had a lovely relaxed weekend.
On Saturday morning we checked out a few garage sales and found a brilliant rowing machine for minimal cost, I experimented in the kitchen and successfully came up with a lovely slice recipe which I'll share another day, Mr E pottered around with the car and wrote some school assessments, we watched a wonderful new movie (Lion), and eventually closed our weekend with fish and chips by the beach at sunset.
In between these activities I indulged myself by following through with a vintage doily idea that's been simmering away in my mind for weeks, so felt totally content when it was complete.
Some cutting here, some stitching there, I didn't rush anything but weaved the project throughout our two day break until all that was needed were a button and ribbon sewn in place early Monday morning.
I'll share with you the steps I took, but there's no measurements or patterns sheets because it grew from one circular cross-stitched doily I've had for many years. Your doily may be a different shape or size, but the basic instructions will work none-the-less.
I began by choosing two 1930's reproduction fabrics in pink and blue from my stash, with colours as close as possible to those used in the doily's cross stitch.
Then I cut a circle from the blue fabric about 1 1/4" wider in diameter than the doily, a square from the pink fabric slightly larger than my circle, and a square of Parlan which I fused behind the pink square.
(you could use thin fusible Pellon instead)
Lay the circle right side down on the pink square and pin the two fabrics together.
Sew around the circle with a 1/4" seam, leaving a 2"- 3" opening for turning out.
I used blue pins as my markers for where to begin and end the sewing.
Cut away the excess pink fabric...
...and clip into the curve with your scissors, being careful not to cut through the seam line.
Turn the circle right side out and press.
You now have two sides of the opening to hem.
Tack the curved fold of the Parlan backed pink fabric in a contrast colour and iron a curved hem along the edge of the blue fabric.
Ladder stitch the two sides together to close the opening and remove the contrast tacking thread.
Fuse a strip of applique bonding paper along the centre back of your doily, and once cooled, peel it off.
Gentle fuse the doily onto the centre of the blue side of your circle with a warm, dry iron.
Now you'll need two strands of blue embroidery thread, a length of cream Ric Rac, and some cream Perle #12 thread.
Sew a line of blue running stitch 1/4" inside the edge of the blue circle. It's fine for the stitches to show through on the pink side.
Turn over to the pink side of the circle and use the cream Perle #12 thread to hand sew the Ric Rac over the blue running stitch. Don't stitch right through the circle, just place your needle between the blue and pink fabrics as you stitch.
Use pinking shears to cut a circle of cotton or wool quilt wadding, two inches smaller than your fabric circle.
Fold the circle of wadding in half and sew a line of contrast tacking stitch just under the fold as a guide for you when working on the next step.
On one side of the fold, embroider some simple flowers with colonial knot centres, lazy daisy petals and cross stitch leaves.
I chose variegated threads very close in colour to the threads used in my vintage doily.
You can scatter the flowers around any way you like. I kept the middle of the half circle free because I wanted to add something there later.
Take a length of silk ribbon, lay it in position on the pink fabric circle, and carefully embroider a flower into the middle of it, whilst sewing only through the pink fabric and not through the blue.
The ribbon is to hold your scissors in place so choose where you want the scissors to be before you start the embroidery.
Turn the circle back to the blue side.
Blanket stitch around the edge of the doily with two strands of blue thread to secure it onto the fabric, being careful not to stitch through to the pink side.
Remove the tacking stitch from the wadding and sew the wadding to the pink side of the needle-book along the centre fold line with cream thread. Hide the stitches between the pink and blue sides of the needle-book.
From here you can finish the needle book as you like.
I sewed a mother of pearl button onto the centre lower front of my needle-book, then folded a length of blue silk ribbon in half and stitched the fold to the opposite edge of the circle.
This way when I close the needle-book I can wrap the ribbon around the button and tie a bow for closure.
Inside the needle-book I added a few vintage buttons and sewed a sweet round of crochet to the front of the embroidered wadding before adding a mother of pearl button to the centre of the crochet. Lastly I secured my very old embroidery scissors in place with the ribbon.
Now you might be fussy about wanting to hide the back of your wadding embroidery?
If so, you could add another piece of same sized wadding behind the embroidered one and blanket stitch around the edge of the two wadding circles to secure them together before sewing this piece in place on your needle-book.
I actually love the raw homeliness of my threads when the pin keep is opened...
Truly, this was a delight to make and I hope you have fun making something similar.
Have a blessed and joy filled week!