Friday, 11 April 2014

Vintage embroidery transfer haul

Embroider ALL the things!
I had a bit of a grotty day on Wednesday, so to cheer myself up I bought a bundle of vintage embroidery transfers on Etsy. I got them from Mr and Mrs Magpie's Inexplicable Emporium on Etsy. Mrs Magpie is my friend Claire, but I paid full price and she had no idea I'd be the buyer! She has more tempting vintage haberdashery items if that's your thing, and also custom-makes felt cloche hats to order. Delivery was super-speedy; the patterns were with me by last night.



I've been wanting for ages to get back into embroidery - I haven't done any for years - and the 1930s embroidery book I got at Oxfam earlier this year has only fuelled that desire. The transfers include all sorts of designs. There are complete sets for different sizes of dressing table mat, large panels that would work as fire screens, others that would make excellent cushions, and even complete bag patterns.

I can do this!
As I don't want to spoil my original transfers, I think I'll get an embroidery transfer pen and some heavy-duty tracing paper and reproduce the ones I have. That way I don't need to cut these ones up in order to position them correctly on whatever I'm embroidering, and if I like a particular design I'll be able to put it on everything. There's one design, in particular, that has a very late 20s/early 30s look and would be perfect for using on a 20's style dress. Mr Robot has been really getting into Sewing Bee; I wonder if I could persuade him to make me some dresses if I bought him a sewing machine?

First, though, there's that time to find. I swear I don't know how other people do it - I must be about twice as slow at doing everything as everyone else, and I don't even have kids.

The pink and grey jumper is almost finished - it was complete, but I decided it was shorter than I liked, so I picked up a load of stitches around the bottom and am adding a couple of inches of extra ribbing. Hopefully I'll have photos to share next week. I had tried to be organised recently, and had put all my circular needles in a bag together... and I can't find the bag! Happily, a vintage one was stashed with my pile of vintage knitting items, so I'm now completing the jumper on an authentic 1940s circ. I'll say this for Abel Morrall's of Redditch, they weren't joking when they said their needles were rustproof. Moreover, the join between tips and cables is waaaaay nicer than on my modern Pony circs, which usually leave me swearing in frustration.

My next crafty project is the HP Lovecraft swap I've just joined on Ravelry. I'm hoping it will encourage me to get my knitting design head on again, it will certainly encourage me to knit faster and complete more items, and perhaps someone will end up with an embroidered Cthulhu...


12 comments :

  1. I love those transfers! I was fascinated by them as a child, and I have a few odds and ends of dressing table wear, and possibly an antimacassar or two, which were embroidered by my Great-Aunt. Good call on tracing the designs.

    Cthulu embroidery!! This has made me smile muchly this morning.

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    1. In his house at R'Lyeh, dead Cthulhu lies dreaming... and has some awfully nice luncheon mats ;-)

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  2. I have been scouring the thrifts for the past 2 months for transfers......not one ( not one!) has tipped up. Seems there were lots ....well, some....available before I started my search.

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    1. Maybe they're easier to find here in the UK. You could still buy them in the 1980s, I had some then that were given to me.

      Claire still has some for sale on her site!

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  3. I have a few lying about, some of which were in old magazines I bought.
    I used to do quite a lot of embroidery, some of it one strand stuff, but I find my eyes get strained very easily now, and I need new specs.
    That pansy design at the top looks lovely.
    My other half is really into HP Lovecraft, not my personal cup of tea, but he likes all that kind of thing very much.

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    1. Yes, the eye thing can be hard. I'm useless without my specs, can't even watch telly without them. Vic on Twitter loved the pansies too, but (as you'd expect) I'm keener to have a bit of fun with the crinoline ladies.

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  4. Amazing haul, lots of hours of fun there! Look forward to seeing what you embroider. Interested to see the jumper too!

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  5. How pretty! I've always loved the look of the embroidered hoops and now that they've come back into style (or I suppose it's just a younger twist on them) I've been dying to try my own hand at it! I'm dying for summer break to be here already so I can spend all summer doing crafts!

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    1. Give it a go! It's fun picking colours and building up skills.

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  6. What a wonderful find! It is such a lovely design too, so neat, and how evocative to see the the original threads wrapped around an envelope dated 1940!
    I think it would be a lovely idea to finish it, and somehow right and a tribute to the unknown lady and all the hard work already put into it, embroidered with what hopes and dreams and thoughts you will never know. Makes you wonder why it was never finished.

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  7. I too think you should finish it. The woman who started this was obviously skilled and it would be a wonderful tribute to her. You should frame the envelope with the thread wrapped around it. As someone else also suggested, check Mary Corbert's article about thread rot.

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