July 12, 2007

New dinner service!!!!!!

Filed under: daily life — Cristina de Prada @ 9:23 pm


Picture of the new dinner service

Today our new dinner service arrived. This is going to be for everyday use (a bit over the top I agree, but life is too short to eat from a cheap service if it can be avoided), and so I’ve disposed of my 10 year old service (a cheapo one, half of the plates had broken anyway) and I’ve welcomed home the new one. A lot of washing up to do and arranging in the cupboard but it was well worth it.

Serving bowlI’ve wanted a new service for ages but it was impossible to find one on which Peter and I would agree. Although it’s true that this one (Wedgwood Nature) has been around for ages (actually since 2000), it was during our visit to London’s Wedgwood store that it caught Peter’s eye (it had caught mine a long time ago). 

Funny enough Peter remarked that the serving bowl actually looks like a hat upside down, and it does! We all think in “hat” terms these days!

The beautiful placemat is from Le Jacquard Français. I bought it at the factory store in the french town of Gérardmer (in the Vosges region) where we spent a few days of holiday last year.

July 11, 2007

Summer project: make straw braid hats with my sewing machine

Filed under: Millinery projects,millinery techniques and cheats — Cristina de Prada @ 9:40 pm

Straw braid hatstraw braid hat side view

I have a sewing machine for straw braid that I bought a few years ago (one of those ‘I must have it’ moments)… but I’ve only made one hat with it (above). It’s not easy (unless you do that everyday, in which case I guess it ends up being easy).

It’s time now to dust my sewing machine and put it back into use. There are no books or videos about machine sewing straw braid, so what I know I’ve learned from my friend Nina who in turn learned by trial an error.

machine sewn hat underside viewBasically what you do is start with a hand sewn little circle and from then you go on, the machine allows you to regulate the distance at which you sew on edge to the other. As you sew, if you pull, the edge tends to curl, if you feed the straw braid loosely then it goes flat and if you overfeed it can even go wavy. You still need a block to periodically test the hat in progress in order to get the right shape and size. I don’t know if I’m making any sense… I hope… and promise to take plenty of pictures once I start working.


July 10, 2007

Liberty fabric remnants from the summer sale

Filed under: daily life — Cristina de Prada @ 9:32 pm

Liberty fabric remnants

Here they are for you too see… I could not believe that on the 28th of July when I stepped into Liberty (London) it turned out to be the first day of the summer sale, just my lucky day. The first thing I thought about was looking for remnants and so I did. The prices were steep as you can see, but if you buy these by the meter the price is much much higher. The shop attendant said that in a couple of days it all would be gone and I believed him. I don’t regret buying it although I don’t know what I’ll use it for! As you can see three of the patterns are very Liberty. I had to buy the red berries one because I remembered the pattern from something my mother had. The one with the trees and birds was so cute I could not resist, and the one with the circles has such lovely bold colors that I decided to bring it home with me. You can imagine my relief when my suitcase (lost for 3 days) showed up at home with my precious Liberty fabric in it!

July 9, 2007

Hat in a shop window, London

Filed under: daily life,Other Millinery people — Cristina de Prada @ 11:16 pm

Hat at Jaegers shop window I was in London the week before last. It’s funny because I had not been in london for years (possibly a decade) and in the last three months I’ve been there twice!… not that I’m complaining.

I saw this hat in the window of Jaeger’s and took a picture with my cell phone. It’s made of horsehair braid all draped around the crown and it looks really cool. The idea was to go back and try it on, but after that I was not able to find the shop again… duh!

I also saw a beautiful Stephen Jones hat in the Liberty’s sale. It was a little top hat made out of black leather embossed with a liberty design. It had a little black veil… really cool! But still too expensive for my pocket.

But I did buy some pieces of Liberty fabric that were on sale (in pieces of 1, 2 or 3 meters, but mostly only 2 and 3 meters were left and I was there -by pure chance- on the first day of the sale!).

July 8, 2007

New look

Filed under: daily life — Cristina de Prada @ 3:31 pm

I hope you all like the new header of the blog.

The blog is a work in progress. I had been thinking about a change for a while and this is the first step. I didn’t want to use somebody elses artwork, so I gathered courage, took out the watercolors and this is the result. I`m happy because it’s something I’ve done myself.

I would love to learn to paint watercolor properly, it goes on my list of things to do/learn!

Thank you to my dear Peter for making the changes on the blog and for saying such nice things to me about the drawing!

July 7, 2007

Other hats made with the same cloche block

Filed under: Cloche from italian block,Millinery projects — Cristina de Prada @ 9:19 am

Jill asked if I had made other hats with this block. Well yes I have!!

Cloche printed felt front viewCloche printed felt, side view

Cloche rust felt with bow side viewCloche rust felt with bow, front view

Cloche black melousine felt front viesCloche black melousine felt, side view


July 6, 2007

The finished product!

Filed under: Cloche from italian block,Millinery projects — Cristina de Prada @ 1:30 pm
Front view of cloche
back view
side view

Stitching the edge and finishing off the cloche hat

Filed under: Cloche from italian block,Millinery projects — Cristina de Prada @ 1:25 pm

The hat has been finished for a while sorry it took so long to post it!

I have not used a headsize ribbon on this one, I’ve just stitched the edge under using a double back stitch to make sure it stayed in place.


double back stitch


double back stitck top viewstitching felt bottom view












Do not make the stitches too short or the felt will rip, and do not be concerned about the stitches showing through. Once you’re done stitching you just need to brush the felt over the stitches (I’m using here a -new- BBQ cleaning brush to do it), and as you can see the stitches are no longer be visible!


Brushing over the stitches to make them disappearThe stitches cannot be seen!


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