Cherished Collections: buttons and lace

The moment I read about Casey’s project of a blog tour about collections, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I’ve always been collecting things since I was a little girl. I believe there is something that we could call a “collector mind or spirit” that some people have and others haven’t. Those who don’t can never understand the reason behind collections. And those who do tend to amass things. I have several consiously chosen collections that I have built over the years, and some that just kind of built themselves through gifts and unplanned buyings. It took me a while to decide what I was going to talk about. Of course just after my teaser post last Sunday I started a new sewing project that gave me a totally different topic idea. I actually started to write two versions of this post on totally different subjects. The more I thought about it, the more I felt the new version was a better match for this blog tour. So I’m switching subjects and keeping my first idea in a corner of my head for a future post.

The collection I’m going to share is a treasure I discovered unexpectedly, not a collection I built myself, which is why I didn’t think of it as a suitable subject at first. It is hidden is those old boxes and tins. Can you guess what it is (you can actually see a glimpse of the content through the plastic boxes)? I didn’t when I first found them. They contain a nice collection of buttons!

To understand why it is special to me I have to explain how I came to have those boxes. When we arrived back in France in 2009 we were very lucky to find a temporary lodging among relatives. The people our house belonged to got too old to live by themselves so it was left empty, but wasn’t sold at first. We were allowed to live in there for some time in exchange for taking care of it. Those persons aren’t really blood relatives but I’ve known them since I was a child. I should say that the house hasn’t been emptied before we got there, so it was still full of its owners things. When we left we did a big clean up of all the rooms, going through everything. That’s when I discovered the tins, in a corner of the kitchen shelves. When I oppened them and found out what was inside I really felt like a child discovering a hidden treasure. I instantly called my mother to ask if I could keep them.

Full size pictures: First boxSecond boxThird boxFourth box

Because of this it is a “cherished” collection in many ways. First because I’m happy to have those buttons to turn to when I need some. And the fact that they have a history of their own makes them that little bit extra specials. But what makes them really special is whom they belonged to. That lady and I have absolutely no blood in common, but she saw me grow up and I love her as if she was my grand-mother for real. Not being real blood relatives make things a little less easy now she doesn’t live in her house anymore, especially since she’s now at the other side of France. So I feel happy to have her buttons, it’s like a special gift from her to me because I’m the only one who sews. And of course the last reason that make those buttons so perfect for this tour is that they have been someone else’s cherished collection before. It probably took her some time to amass all those buttons. Maybe she took some out of old clothes, she bought others, and slowly it became this collection I inherited. Isn’t it great?

There are different sizes and colours, although she seemed to like neutrals (light colors and blacks), blues and browns. Some of them seem to be the exact same design with slightly different colors. I wonder if it could be the effect of time on them or if they were different from the beginning. I love how she tied similar buttons together with a bit of thread! I never thought of that. I might do it with my other buttons. I included here a few pictures of some of the decorated buttons.

I’ll leave you with more eye candy and less talk. I took the opportunity to share another collection with you: my lace/crochet doilies and motifs collection. Those pieces come from various places (the first ones I got in Japan), some are vintage, others are new. I think the thing that started this addiction is this book which gave me new ideas on how to use lace. I love lace, I love how delicate and pretty it is. I’d love to use them as decorations in sewing projects (that’s the excuse I give myself when I buy them, I only get pieces I think I might use later).

Edit: I’ve decided to include all the doilies pictures here instead of directing you to Flickr. ^^There are not so many so the post won’t be too long and it will be easier for you.

Thank you for your visit and be sure to go to Casey’s blog to check all the other wonderful entries to the tour. ^_^

Week-end abroad

Last week-end we went for a two-days stay abroad with some friends. We left on Friday evening and came back yesterday morning. It was really nice! Here is a little puzzle for you (that will also explain why I’m talking about this trip here): judging from the picture below, which shows some of the items I brought back, can you guess were we went?

So the answer is: we went to London! Our friends lived there for some years, they shared their favourite places with us. It was my first time going to England. Of course we had to go admire the beautiful Liberty shop. I’ll share a few pictures once they’re sorted. But it wasn’t there that I bought my fabrics. Liberty is less expensive than French shops, but Shaukat is even less expensive. Something I found quite funny: the place was filled with french women! There were at least 6 of us, and I’m not sure I actually saw an english speaking person while I was there. Are French people especially found of Liberty? Do all french sewers go to Shaukat when they’re in London?

I was surprised by the look of the shop, I was waiting for something fancier. Most of the fabrics are in the basement, so the ground floor seems a little empty. It was very hard to choose which fabrics to bring home. There were so many beautiful prints! I decided to stick to cold weather fabrics to reduce the choices available (cold weather => no Tana Lawn => less choice). Here is a more detailed shot of what I finally got:

1. Liberty, 2. Liberty Mollybish, 3. Liberty Martha Grace, 4. Liberty

Two corduroy fabrics (I love corduroy, and it’s not easy to find some around here, especially this cute), a cotton-wool blend and cotton twill. Now I have work to do! I hope to quickly transform all this into nice garments, so that I can enjoy pretty winter outfits. A wool skirt would be nice considering the crazy cold temperature they predict. For now I’ll just go to bed, since I caught a cold with all this walking outside with the cold temperatures we have right now. I wanted to add more pictures to this post, but it will have to wait as I’m not feeling well at all. Sorry!

Spooky mailday!

I had the pleasure to find a package waiting for me tonight in my mailbox. A spooky package I couldn’t wait to receive. ^_^

I gave in and placed my first fabric order on Etsy at the beginning of the month. It was also the first time for me to order fabric from an american designer company, after admiring a lot of them on the Internet. I fell in love with this fabric the first time I saw it, in a preview post on True Up. As I always do with the american fabrics I like,  I let the expense frighten me and I thought I would wait, I would order it someday, later… But then I had a project idea, and I looked for the fabric online, and realized it was almost sold-out. I couldn’t let it pass, so I ordered some before it disappeared completely.

I have to say I’m really happy I did. I love it! Look at those witches! Aren’t they great? And this haunted house! Halloween fabrics are not always to my taste (at least to use for garments), they have a tendency to look very costumey. But this one is perfect! Okay maybe most people will think this is costumey also, but I hope I can make something nice and wearable from it. Be careful if you like it and haven’t seen it for real, the print is really big.

I also got those nice brass buttons, which I like a lot also. They’re even nicer on person than they were on the pictures. And I like their slightly heavy weight.

Now I have to get to work, I don’t have much time left before the end of the month…

Mentalist & Liberty

Here is a picture to confirm what I wrote about the other day. Sorry I didn’t think of looking for a picture the day I wrote the post (I’m going to edit it right away).

Looking at it I understand why I recognised it so easily: this Liberty is called Lauren and is one of the first Liberty print I liked and learnt to recognise. It’s so distinctive from other kind of prints, it’s easy to spot (unlike some of their more traditional floral prints).

(I found the picture on the Internet through Google, I don’t remember where it comes from)

You know you are addicted when…

How do you know that yes, you really are addicted to fabric?

Easy! When watching the first episode of The Mentalist on TV, you suddenly exclaim, in a very excited voice: “Oh my god! It’s Liberty fabric! I’m sure she’s wearing a Liberty blouse!!”. If there are people in the room who are not very close to you and used to your weird interests and habits, I think your reputation might suffer a little… ^^; Luckily for me I was alone with my husband.

I googled it a little after, to find that I’m not the only one who noticed. It’s nice to know you’re not alone. ^^ And you, have you ever spotted that a particular fabric was used in a movie?

I’m sorry that I’m not blogging more lately. I’m very actively looking for a job and that takes most of my time and energy. Plus my husband started his new job last week, and we need a little time to adjust to the new schedule. But I’m still here!

Quilt giveaway

Following the previous post, a piece of news that should please those who like Ms Paganelli’s fabrics: the nice ladies over at marie-madeline studio are offering a giveaway for a beautiful quilt created with fabrics from her different collections. I love it!

Isn’t it lovely and cheerful? In case you’d also like to get a chance to win this adorable quilt, you should link over to this post before August 8. Oh and if you’d be so nice and say you got the news here in your comment, that would be very much appreciated. ^^

Dance With Me

Yesterday morning, while checking blog updates on my Reader (rss reader that is, which allows me to get updates almost as soon as they’re up), I discovered an interesting post over at True Up. Actually all her posts are interesting, but this one especially caught my attention. She’s been publishing a lot of fabric designer interviews lately (True Up being a blog specialized in fabric). And that day she introduced us to Jennifer Paganelli, who designed several fabric collections for FreeSpirit, through this interview. I have to admit that I don’t know much about fabric designer, but I’m learning a lot lately, thanks to my Internet readings. I therefore didn’t know anything about Ms Paganelli and her fabrics, which is a shame really.

Thanks to the interview I discovered one of her newest collections, called Dance With Me. Isn’t this name adorable? I invite you to take a look at the collection, because it’s really nice. I’m a total fan! I love the designs, the motifs and bright colors she used.  The whole collection seems to me as very feminine, fresh and full of energy at the same time. Does that make any sense? I’m afraid my English fails me a little here… ^^; But I really like it. And for once it seems that I like all designs in the collection, not just one or two of them.

The cheater print is totally adorable! I’m in love (as far as you can be in love with fabric), it’s my favorite of the collection. I can picture it made into a long floaty skirt. I’m sure it would look beautiful.

This Paisley motif is also very nice. I really like the colors. You can see all colorways more clearly on the FreeSpirit page.

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this floral print was a classic lolita skirt or dress. Although the fabric might be a little light for that kind of clothing since it was made with quilts in mind, I’m sure one could find the perfect pattern to make it work.

Maybe the fabric that inspires me the least (I’m not quilting yet, only making clothes and accessories), but I still find it very pretty. It might be easier for me to use in the less contrasted versions. Or for accessories and not clothing.

What do you think? Isn’t this collection really nice and inspiring? What would you do with those fabrics if you had them? Which is your favorite design/colorway. I’m curious to get others opinion. ^^ You can also see all the collections she designed for FreeSpirit here, just look for “Jennifer Paganelli”.


Coming later: news of a giveaway and new book releases.