Saturday, May 9, 2015

Vintage Aprons & Teacup Angels

Greetings dear friends & readers,

My friend Claire had been given this beautiful vintage apron quite sometime ago by her cousin.

I have folded it to fit it in the photo

It had originally belonged to her Aunt who had lived to the ripe old age of 98 ... 
still using & wearing the apron Claire had thought.
I very much loved the detailed embroidery in it & also the very worn bias binding around the edges of the apron ...  together with some different coloured bias binding that had been used to repair one of the ties.
I loved the "make do & mend" philosophy of using what she had on hand.
Claire & I discussed what to do with it to best show off the embroidery.  I suggested a small plump bolster cushion that would look equally as lovely on a chair or a bed ...

I was really pleased to be able to use the entire bottom panel of the apron to utilise the beautiful embroidery.
I backed the cushion with a fine linen I had, in a slightly off white colour.
I also managed to make up a lavender bag using the "bib" part of the apron ... rather than draw it together at the top (& lose the effect of the embroidery), I sewed it down & added 3 mother-of-pearl buttons.
I really enjoyed doing this project & giving a second life to the apron .... I think Claire is planning to give the cushion back to her cousin as a gift.

We studied the embroidery together & laughed over how some of the hollyhock centres had been stitched in black but when she had perhaps run out of thread, she had used what she had on hand or left them unstitched.
Her stitches were exquisite & beautiful & had definately stood the test of time as the embroidery itself was in immaculate condition.

My dear friend Catherine had given me some fabric pieces & two beautiful vintage teacups along with a magazine - "stitch craft create"
Catherine had asked if I could please make up the Tilda teacup angel pattern in the magazine titled "Teaspoon Ladies" for her 
 I vaguely recalled my friend Claire mentioning she had made this pattern & recommending to enlarge it to fit more neatly in the teacups.
Unfortunately I remembered this after making my 1st calico body.
Yes, it definately does need enlarging, otherwise the angels appear a bit lost in the teacups ...

Catherine had chosen a lovely vintagey looking rosebud fabric for this teacup above, which was the first angel I made - a single pearl bead embellished her collar & a silk ribbon rosebud in her hair
I did love this simple green polka dot cotton fabric which perfectly set this teacup off.  I found a tiny vintage button in my stash for her collar.

I came across the feather wings at Davids Emporium in Hamilton but found I had to cut them down quite a bit as they were quite large for the delicate dainty angels.
Catherine was delighted with her pair which she tells me are currently residing in Lucy, her vintage caravan where I am sure they will be most at home.
I hope to make this pattern up for myself & some for the Cottage also.

Autumn is very much a gathering season here at my rather odd threadbear life ...
I have been gathering walnuts everyday this week & drying in big cane baskets out on the deck

I also finished harvesting my crops of pumpkins & gourds this past week ...

I love this little orange "jack-o-lantern" variety below but unfortunately only 2 grew, so I will save the seeds from them for next time round
I really, really enjoy growing gourds each year & hope to continue this for many years to come   :-)

And So ... the Pippi & Blackie Saga continues ...

Oh to be a kitten .... where life is just one big game - playing with toys, diving into neatly folded clothing piles etc ...

Blackie likes to sit out on his chair & sleep, contemplate life, or watch the world go by ... 
Miss Pippi likes to have someone to entertain her .... all day long !!!!
Her personal hygiene habits have improved just a smidgeon. I noticed the other day he got her in a headlock & some grooming went on ... she suffered it for only a very brief time

I hope you have a wonderful weekend dear friends & readers,
Thank you all for stopping by today,
Tomorrow is Mother's Day here in my part of the world,
To all the ones that care for others .... human & furry varieties included ... I wish you ALL a wonderful day

With much love & friendship to you,
Julie, Blackie & Miss Pippi


  1. Your posts are always brimmed full of interesting things! The apron was so beautiful, I think you made it into something very special that can be kept and appreciated - although if I had been that lady I would have worn the apron myself!! The old lady who made it must have been a clever soul and no doubt it would have been frustrating to run out of the black thread and 'make do' after all that hard work, but I guess in those days you just got on with, there were no 'ta da moments' and the things they made had to be used not admired! Nice to see your kitties are grooming together. The teacup dolls are pretty, I like their hair and rosy cheeks. Pumpkins so colourful, I love all the colour that comes with Autumn. Have a good weekend. Betty

  2. You are so clever coming up with wonderful ways to recycle lovely embroidery. I love the bolster and lavender bag. The cute little angels in the teacups are also a delight. I am sure they will go well in your cottage shop.

  3. There is nothing quite like the gorgeous embroideries that ladies of a bygone era meticulously stitched. I have a few of these aprons and the backs are as perfect as the fronts. The cushion you stitched, Julie is lovely, as is the lavender bag. Those angel tea cups are adorable, so so sweet. My goodness you look as if you have a market garden in production over there. So much lovely produce!! We had a few pumpkins but am afraid that Jack Frost devoured them!! Oh I love your Pippi. She is a bundle of energy and mischief, isn't she. It looks like Blackie and Pippi are getting on fine. Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow, Julie!

  4. I absolutely adore what you came up with using the beautiful vintage apron.

    The Angel in teacup idea is wonderful, I especially love the Royal Albert one, on the left.

    I've attempted pumpkin growing again this year, Autumn is harvest time in this neck of the woods, so at the moment my plants are just starting out. Your produce looks amazing.

    Your kitties are gorgeous, I love that they get along so well.

    Have a wonderful weekend ♥

    1. Thank you Yvonne ... I was really pleased how it all came out ... its very nervewracking cutting into other folks beautiful vintage linens!!! As you can imagine. Have a great week ahead Yvonne x0x

  5. Oh you clever chickie! Claire & Catherine will be delighted with the cushion, lavendar bag & two very sweet teacup angels...............if for some strange reason they don't, you know I would love them! I thought your saving the the well loved and worn apron that must have many a tale to tell (if it could!) exceptionally wonderful. Looks like Mr Blackie is teaching that little Miss Pippi a thing of two!

  6. Oh! My! Oh! My! Look at that photo of Pippi up top there!
    HeHe! That face..That tongue...How can you love anything
    else! Bless!
    And, lovely to see them in contact with each other...That's
    lovely! Think l'll just dwell on this for a while! Another lemon tea!
    Yes! Be right back...I think the little wheel on the mouse is wearing
    out....! HeHe!

    Must just say...The embroidery is very nice to...Speaking as a past expert.
    Julie..Just recently, l've discovered l can send pics/photos on the internet
    via my mobile...I'll try and send you a bit of embroidery l did when l was
    9yrs old. As l said before we Sicilian boys are raised as the girls are.
    We learn, to cook, sew, knit, etc...
    It's a 3ft by 2ft cover, which my Mother always kept, amongst other of my
    things, it sits on the back of the settee in the front room....It's an embroidery
    of a 'Carrettino Siciliano'...It took my nearly a year to complete....! So, l'll send
    it on to you....Think you'll have to open 'view slide show' then enlarge it.
    See what you think...!

    Happy Mothers Day to one and all....
    "A Mother is like a tea bag...You can't tell how strong she, is until you
    put her in hot water".
    (Eleanor Roosevelt).

    BIG (((HUGS))) and XXX's for the furry ones....Bless!xx

  7. I do love hearing about Pippi. The basket picture...smiling cat! I forget your in NZ. As I was seeing the harvest pictures I almost thought I had losy 6 months somewhere.

  8. Happy Mother's Day to you Julie! Cheeky little kitten you have there. I love the dolls in teacups too. xxx

  9. Hello Julie and the furry friends.

    Have a great Mother's Day. The teacup's are so lovely, it looks to me as if the ladies are dancing with how their hands are. The hollyhock cushions are lovely, so good to see them being used in a different way.

    Happy days.

  10. Happy Mother's day Julie. I adore what you have done with that treasured apron. A whole new life for it. Also I am very much in love with the Tea cup Angels xx

  11. How true you quote at the end is Julie!! Blackie looks so huge next to Miss Pip, such entertainment to sit and watch their antics, I am not sure how you get anything done. But you do, those tea cup angels are adorbs!!! Few pumpkin there love.

  12. Hi Julie, I have had a lovely time catching up with your posts. Your little Pippi is gorgeous, I love the photo of her playing and yawning/talking? You continue to amaze me with all the wonderful things you create, I love the cushion and lavender bag. Hugs Wendy

  13. Your heirloom projects are always my favourite, such a lovely way to remember someone.
    Hope you had a lovely day yesterday. xx

  14. Hello dear clever friend! Yes, indeed I (we) are loving our little teacup angels in Lucy. They are just adorable & we really can't thank you enough for making them for us. I hope you feel a nice sense of sweet satisfaction being responsible for so much joy & delight as you go about making, fashioning & re-purposing so many bits & pieces for us all. This particular art...of the heirloom revitalisation, is a very special one, dear-heart. Your needlework skills & sensitivity to the project at hand are quite unique. Perhaps this could be expanded, in time. Rescuing & re-treasuring one heirloom at a time.
    That's a jolly good collection of nuts & gourds. Which method do you use hammer or knife twist in the bottom of the nut, to get in to them? I've been hammering away...but ouch when you bang the walnut & it begins to crack & then closes on the skin of your thumb & you have to hold your breath while you quickly bang the nut again to make it let go : 0 ) There's something quite fascinating about the knobbly gourd, I feel. Are they actually edible, at all? Have a lovely week & many thanks again, Catherine x0x0x

  15. Your hoard of gourds is truly exceptional! Hope you have a great week, Lisa xx

  16. Great to see how you re-purposed the apron Julie and also the teacup angels are too cute for words - I know I have a similar pattern somewhere, need to pull it out I think! Blackie and Miss Pippi are too cute, bet it wont be long and they will be snuggling up together in front of the fire! Great autumn harvesting - I love gourds but have never grown them :-)

  17. Wow! Love what you did with the apron - you are very clever with the whole re-purposing ideas. It looks great! Love the tea-cup angels - they are so sweet, such pretty colours and love their hair and rosy cheeks! What fun Blackie and Pippi are having!

  18. Long live vintage!! Lovely pieces, the apron is beautiful.
    Love your two little helpers, and all your pics.
    Cheers, Anita.

  19. You have done a beautiful job of the vintage apron. Envy for the bolster pillow and sachet. Adore the teacups and the angels. Hello to Blackie and missy pippilongstocking, adorable. Hugs Shirley


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