Monday, 19 January 2015

How do you like my Tea Cosy?

.... or perhaps I should say my 'ex' tea cosy.

Please excuse the inside of my light tent. This is half of a tea cosy cover from my vintage linen horde. It wasn't actually damaged in any way, so I felt a bit guilty cutting into it, but the old fashioned cosy (a padded but plain cosy - made pretty by the addition of an embroidered cover) doesn't seem a very practical item in my home. These cosies are a brilliant source of embroidery - they tend to be stitched on both sides.

Yesterday I listed a new type of bag in my Etsy shop (the flap cut from a vintage embroidered table runner):

This cosy has now provided the inspiration, and the flap, for a second:

The photo shows the main panels for this second bag. All (including the lining panels) are backed with fusible interfacing and the raw edges tacked under. A lining panel has been cut for the back of the bag consisting of a flap shape attached to the pouch shape of the body of the bag.The embroidered flap panel, and a blue toned outer back panel have been pinned to the lining panel as shown in the photo.The gusset is shown lining side outwards - it is pinned to an identical panel covered in the same blue toned floral fabric shown on the bag back panel. The lining panel for the front of the bag is shown. The bag front panel has been cut from a vintage cotton napkin chosen to match the colour of the tea cosy. Carefully choosing threads to match the colours of the cosy design as closely as possible, an embroidered design has been stitched around the base of the panel in the same style as that of the cosy.

The bag will now be assembled by hand. Each backed panel will be blanket stitched to the corresponding, backed, lining panel. The seams of the bag will then be formed by over-sewing through the blanket stitching.

It would be perfectly possible to draw a standard pattern and make a variety of these bags from new materials embroidered as I pleased. These bags are cut from patterns individually designed to make best use of each vintage embroidery. However, the inspiration derived from the varied vintage stitching is invaluable and I derive great pleasure from giving a new lease of life to someone's needlework. Fortunately, I have a very large stash of threads and fabrics and finding good matches is usually possible.

Hopefully, I should be able to show you the completed bag in a day or so!