My friend’s birthday is today and, like us, she loves to craft and sew. I really didn’t know what to get her but knew she would appreciate something thoughtful and hand-made. Finally, hit on the idea of a little hessian drawstring bag prettied up with some home-made fabric hearts and cotton border. The little heart-shaped button and ribbon came from a beautiful M & S bra that gave up the will to live and its underwiring in the tumble drier one day.
And inside…. lovely things, darling! Gorgeous things! I put together a few spools of ribbon from the East of India range. The spools they are wound on are objects of delight. Hardboard reels (if they could have been wood though! *Sigh*) but tough and beautiful in their modest simplicity. I always keep them and am very pleased I did. I bought a couple of metres of narrow ‘lace’ from Hickey’s haberdashery and wound it onto an empty reel and pinned it in place with a round-ended dress maker’s pin. They come in lots of colours.
Also included is a new stitch ripper, as she is forever mislaying hers, and they are so useful to have. Plus there are a few embroidery flosses, needles, fancy tiny buttons and a pin cushion I made a while ago. It’s the sort of gift I would love to receive and think she will like it too.
But back to the East of India spools! The price sticker left a rough patch on the spool where it had been affixed. To sort that little problem, I opened Illustrator and created a label to print and stick onto the spool. Simple concentric patterns with some text typed onto a circular path with some adjustment to the kerning to get the spacing to look neat. If you want to make your own, the diameter of the spool is 80 mm and the hole in the middle is 19.5 mm.
You can always use mine:
It’s here as a .png or you can register and download it as a PS / PSE brush:
Click here to download the label graphic – you will need to register but it’s free! Label for ribbon spool
I cut the labels out and Modge Podged them onto the spools. For good measure, I coated them with some Modge Podge on the top surface as well to make them waterproof and protect the image so that it doesn’t bleed.
See the sewing machine in the picture? It’s about 100 years old and still works. Its mechanism is smooth and makes a lovely sound when the handle is turned. I bought it a good few years ago for about €25 and they still cost around the same now! That’s of no matter. To me, it’s a thing of beauty and displayed as an ornament though it is missing a cover for the side compartment. The box is lovely, too but hides the machine so I keep it and when I need the space, box the machine up and put it away for a bit.
Every so often I visit a local auction and sale room to see if I can get the all-in-one machine and treadle table but not lucky so far. However, I think I can get a treadle on its own so might buy it if it’s cheap enough. The treadle has been converted into a table with a top made from a block of pine which doesn’t go at all but that can be covered with a fancy-edged table cloth. I have the perfect material – an almost sepia coloured linen with a vintage print that will do the job nicely so my plans are made!
Just look at the beautiful details! The gorgeous authentic antique typography!
The front plate with its lovely embossed metalwork of leaves and tendrils. Still shiny and crisp.
Not so shiny! It’s old and very rusty but it’s unmistakably a Victorian (or is that Edwardian? I looked up the serial number and it is, apparently, 102 years old which would make the year of manufacture 1911… nope not Victorian, not Edwardian but Georgian! George the 5th was on the throne.) ruffler foot. That is, if the ruffler was made at the same time as the machine, of course!
And a tiny bobbin reel. Like something from the Bagpuss shop! It fits inside a solid capsule-type case in ‘the workings’ hidden from view!
They don’t make them like this any more, do they? Bet my electric machines won’t be working in a hundred years time! Still, not like I’ll be here to bother about that!
While UK seems to be covered in blankets of snow and Oz is having a heat wave even by Australian standards, we’re still just cold, wet and very windy here though it did sleet a little this morning. The forecast is for snow showers throughout the day. We shall see how it goes.
Take care wherever you are and hope you have a great weekend.