February 25, 2008

Embellishing a veil with chenille

Filed under: millinery techniques and cheats — Cristina de Prada @ 11:14 pm

Chenille used for making veil

Today I’ve been helping my friend Nina in her workroom. I’ve been cutting feathers, sewing a sweatband, but my favorite bit has been adding colorful “dots” to a veil.

I had no idea it was so simple. You just have to cut 1.5 centimeter lengths of wired chenille, insert them in the desired hole and fold over right and left. The result is great! For this veil (that Nina will use in a hat for a theater play) I randomly positioned the dots, and the veil will later be gathered in a bunch at the side of the hat.

Here are some pictures:

1.5 cm lengths of chenille wire Detail of the chenille veil dots General view of dotted veil The veil gathered up

 Nina has given me a bunch of chenille of different colors (no red left unfortunately) so that I can try this at home!!!

Searching for a supplier of wired chenille online I have found this supplier from down under: http://www.torbandreiner.com/hat_making_veiling.htm but I don’t know if they ship overseas. I suspect that the chenille stems and pipe cleaners sold in the US don’t have the finish required for this job, but correct me if I’m wrong (the chenille from Nina’s has a very silky touch).

Are you going to give this a try?

A hat for ship and shore… again!

Filed under: Hat for ship and shore,Millinery projects — Cristina de Prada @ 12:08 am

Hat for ship and shore... version 2.0 

Here I go again… I bought some chic and cheap polyester fabric with a fun print on it and ironed a stiff interfacing on. For the outside I used the “good” side of the fabric, for the inside I used the “wrong” slightly darker side.

I made a dogs breakfast of it and had to rip part of the brim seam because the lining was longer than the outer part which resulted in some ugly wrinkles when I tried to fold the brim up (live and learn). Another low point was when I realized I had cut my finger and left tiny droplets of blood all over the fabric. Fortunately I managed to remove those.

The result is not bad at all and it got some compliments when I wore it yesterday…

Front view of the new ship and shore hat Left side of hat for ship and shore Right side of ship and shore hat

The funny thing is that both this version and the red one get the comment of being a “Robin hood” hat, but never in a demeaning way more as a general comment on what people get reminded of when they see this shape. Again I have used a brooch (not vintage but still nice) for this hat, but if I make another one I think I will use some of the wonderful vintage buttons I have recently received.

I took some pictures of the process, but not as many as I should have because I panicked halfway when I had to undo some of it.

February 18, 2008

My lucky day… lots of vintage buttons for me!!

Filed under: Beautiful things — Cristina de Prada @ 11:20 pm

My wonderful vintage buttons

Today I’ve been to my friend Nina’s workroom and we’ve spent the morning together. She has shown me some wonderful vintage brim blocks that she has gotten and perhaps next Monday we will give them a go.

I have given her one of my pin cushions which I’m sure has found a good home with her (it’s the yellow one with a green button), and some of her vintage buttons have found a good home with me!

Aren’t they just great?! Now I have to think of a deserving project to use them on. You can check more pictures on this link.

February 17, 2008

Hat for ship and shore – wonderful Sunday afternoon project

Filed under: Hat for ship and shore,Millinery projects — Cristina de Prada @ 10:21 pm

Wonderful Angela Landburyesque lady with a ship and shore hat.

Looking through one of my vintage millinery books I saw this fun looking foldable hat and decided to give it a go. It is so ridiculously easy that I was not sure if it would turn out ok or if I would end up looking like an overgrown elf. Good news is that it looks great and it’s soooooo easy. The book is “How to make hats” by Ruby Carnahan.

My very own Hat for Ship and ShoreThe one I made is the simpler version, using just the “section A” pattern for the outside and lining, but there is a posibility to use contrasting colors, and a pattern for making a tri-color hat. I used some leftover wool  fabric I had at home, and I’ve followed the instructions to a certain point, because I’ve sewn everything by machine, finishing it by putting the lining and exterior (good sides together), sewing around the brin and leaving a bit to turn it around.

The hat is simple because it’s made out of a single piece of fabric (well, two, one for the outside and one for the lining), sewn into a cone which then has its tip folded down to give it its peculiar look. The brim allows for a lot of play to get different looks. I’ve used one of my vintage brooches to keep the tip down

I’m not much of a sailor, so it’s going to be just a hat for shore for me, but I would be tempted to board a cruise ship in style with my new hat.

You can try it yourself, I have scanned the instructions and pattern (seam allowance not included!). Click here to see all pictures and pattern.

I intend to make more of these, so I will take pictures of the process next time. If you give it a try let me know, I would love to see how it looks!

February 16, 2008

Knitting bag I’ve designed and made for my Mom – Bolso para el punto que he hecho para mi madre

Filed under: Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 4:07 pm

He añadido el texto en Español, está después de las fotos!!

By popular demand I have added a Spanish translation to this post, which you will find under the pictures.  

Knitting bag I've made for my mom

This bag has been my gift for my mom on her birthday.

She had all her knitting stuff in a big plastic shopper bag. Not nice at all. And when she saw the tote bag I made she kind of hinted that it would be nice to have a fabric knitting bag, and so I made one.

I’m happy (very) with the results. I made my own pattern (big headaches, a lot of number crunching and mistake making/fixing), and since I don’t knit I had to guess what would be good to have.

I’ve used this gorgeous Amy Butler fabric from the Lotus series that I found (much to my surprise) at a patchwork shop that I have at walking distance from home . As always with anything that comes from abroad, I had to pay premium prices (15.83 euros a meter, yikes!), but I was in a hurry and there was no time to order fabric from the US.

Button detail, bag can open up for better accessibility to inside.My mom made it clear that she didn’t want one of those narrow sausage shaped bags. She wanted a big tall one, so in order to make the whole thing accessible I decided to put buttons on the sides (three on each side) so the whole thing can open up to almost half its height. This was a pretty daunting prospect because as you know I just got my sewing machine this Christmas and my experience sewing is almost zero, but the one-step button hole system worked beautifully, and the flaps for the buttons worked out the way I imagined they would.

The inside goodies are pretty neat. You can see my comments on all the details if you click here. There’s a place for all the needles (with a neat flap that protects the ends), big pockets, place for the stitch holders, and a neat invention to hold in place the project one is currently working on.

My mom is really happy with the bag, and even took it along with her when she went to the supermarket, just to show it off!! 🙂

When looking around in Flickr for pictures of other stuff made with Amy Butler fabric I saw that there’s an ongoing contest for Amy Butler inspired bags, so I’ve submitted mine… who knows!

Here are some more pictures, but you can see all the pictures of the bag by clicking on this link:

Charm that doubles as pushpin Lateral view of the bag Peak inside the bag -not a very good picture though!- Protective flap for the needles

Follows text in Spanish – Sigue el texto en español: 

Este bolso ha sido el regalo para mi madre en el día de su cumpleaños.

Tenía todas sus cosas de punto en una bolsa grande del Corte Inglés. Un asco. Así que cuando vió el bolso que me hice me soltó la indirectá de que estaría bien tener una bolsa de tela para el punto, así que le he hecho una.

Estoy contenta (mucho) con el resultado. He hecho yo misma el patrón (con muchos dolores de cabeza, calculadora en mano y haciendo/arreglando errores), y como no hago punto he tenido que adivinar lo que estaría bien que incluyera.

He usado esta maravillosa tela de  Amy Butler de la serie Lotus que he encontrado (menuda sorpresa) en la  tienda de patchwork que tengo muy cerquita de casa. Como siempre pasa con lo que viene de fuera, me ha tocado pagarla carísima (a 15,83 euros el metro, hay!), lo que yo llamo “plus por Hispanidad” pero la necesitaba con urgencia y no había tiempo para pedirla por internet en Estados Unidos.

Mi madre dejó claro que no quería una de esas bolsas estrechas en forma de salchicha. Quería una bolsa grande y alta, así que para que se pudiera acceder fácil al interior decidí poner botones a los lados (tres a casa lado) para que el bolso se pudiera abrir hasta casi la mitad. La idea me ponía los pelos de punta porque como sabéis Peter me regaló mi maquina de coser por Navidades y mi experiencia cosiendo es casi cero, pero el sistema de hacer ojales con un solo paso ha funcionado de maravilla y las “pestañas” que he hecho a los lados para acomodar botones y ojales han salido como yo me imaginaba.

El interior es muy chulo. Puedes ver los comentarios que he hecho sobre los detalles (en inglés) si aprietas aqui. Hay sitio para poner las agujas (con una solapa para protegerlas), bolsillos grandes, una anilla para fijar las agujas “coge puntos” y un invento divertido para fijar el trabajo en curso (un minibolsillo abajo y una cinta arriba para fijar las agujas).

 Mi madre está feliz con el bolso e incluso se lo llevó al supermercado para poder lucirlo delante de todo el mundo!! 🙂

Mientras buscaba por Flickr fotos de otros proyectos hechos con tela de Amy Butler me di cuenta de que hay ahora un concurso de bolsos inspirados por Amy Butler, así que me he apuntado… quien sabe!

Si apretais en este link podréis ver todas las fotos del proyecto.

February 15, 2008


Filed under: daily life — Cristina de Prada @ 11:30 am

This post is both in Spanish and English… scroll down for the English version (if you so wish)!

My mom and I looking wonderful together in our hats!

El miércoles 13 de febrero fue el cumpleaños de mi madre y como todavía no he podido verla quiero aprovechar el blog para felicitarla (¡¡FELICIDADES!!) y decirle que la quiero mucho. Tenemos la gran suerte de que a las dos nos gustan las mismas cosas y nos encanta salir juntas. 

Estoy muy orgullosa de mi madre entre otras cosas porque ha escrito un libro precioso en el que habla de una época difícil pero llena de ilusiones. Habla de la época en que conoció a mi padre, empezando en el día en que lo conoció y terminando en el día en que se casaron (de 1956 a 1959). Yo la ayudé (transcribiendo al ordenador) durante el proceso de escribir el libro y no deja de maravillarme el gran talento que tiene para escribir. El libro también habla del mundo del cine (en el que estaba involucrado mi padre) y está lleno de fotografías maravillosas y trozos de cartas de la época.

Hoy en día, en que el mundo sufre una plaga de separaciones y divorcios, resulta reconfortante leer acerca de un amor verdadero y sin fronteras. Un amor que todavía perdura. Aquí podeis ver la portada del libro (ISBN 9788481962505) y si le dais a este link podreis ver fotos del interior del libro:

Cover of my mom's book

Un cancer traicionero se llevó a mi padre en 1991. Si mi padre todavía viviera el libro no existiría porque no habría habido necesidad de escribirlo, porque todavía se tendrían el uno al otro y mi madre no habría necesitado revisitar el pasado y revivirlo a través de los cientos de cartas que intercambiaron durante aquella época. Pero no pudo ser así, y yo quiero dar las gracias a mi madre por escribir este libro, por hacerme conocer a Loli y a Joaquín, porque yo, hasta ahora, solo conocía a mi madre y a mi padre en ese papel, el de padres, pero no en el de inidividuos, gente joven empezando, llena de ilusiones.

My mon during the signing of her book - Sant Jordi 2007

Lo que se escribe, lo que se cuenta, perdura. Tenemos una obligación, todos, a contar lo vivido, a compartir con los demás aquellas experiencias extraordinarias (o ordinarias) que hemos vivido. Porque, si no lo hacemos, esas memorias morirán con nosotros el día que nos vayamos de este mundo. Todo lo que hemos visto, la gente que hemos conocido (que a lo mejor ya solo viven en nuestra memoria), todo eso se evaporará, dejará de existir, no dejará rastro. Tenemos una obligación de compartirlo con los demás, o así lo veo yo.

Pero me estoy yendo por las ramas cuando todo lo que quería decir era FELICIDADES. TE QUIERO MAMÁ.

 English text follows…

On Wednesday 13th was my Mom’s birthday and since I haven’t had the chance yet to see her and tell her in person I want to take advantage of this blog to congratulate her (CONGRATULATIONS!!) and to tell her that I love her very much. We have the great fortune of enjoying the same things and we love to go out together.

I’m very proud of my mother, among other things because she has written a wonderful book in which she talks about a period of her life that was difficult yet filled with dreams and hopes. The book talks about the period in which she met my dad, beginning with the day they met and ending with the day they married (from 1956 to 1959). I helped her a lot during the process of writing the book (typing her writings on the computer) and it doesn’t cease to amaze me the great talent she has for writing. The book also talks about the world of cinema (in which my father was involved) and is filled with wonderful pictures and excerpts from period letters. You can see pictures of the book if you click on this link.

In this day and age in which we suffer a plague of separations and divorces it is comforting to read about true love that knows no barriers. A love that still lasts.

A treacherous cancer took away my father in 1991. If my dad were still alive this book would not exist because there would have been no need to write it, because they would still have one another and my mother would have had no need to revisit the past and relieve it through the hundreds of letters that they exchanged during that period. It could not be that way and I want to thank my mother for writing this book and for letting me meet Loli and Joaquín, because I, until then, only knew them as my mother and father, in their parenting role, but not as individuals, young people starting, full of hopes.

What gets written, what gets told, lives on. We have an obligation, all of us, to tell about what we’ve lived, to share with others those extraordinary (or not) experiences that we have lived. Because, it we don’t, they will die with us the day that we leave this earth. All we have seen, the people we have known (and that perhaps now only lives in our memory), all that will vanish, cease to exists leaving no trace. We have an obligation to share it with the world, or so I believe.

But I’m digressing when all I wanted to say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I LOVE YOU MOM.

February 5, 2008

Tote bag – getting aquainted with my sewing machine and straying from the hatty path

Filed under: Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 7:51 pm

Tote bag I've made... cute aint it?I found this colorful thick cotton on sale at Ribes y Casals (an old fashioned big fabric shop in Barcelona), I love the wild colors and although the pattern is too big to work on a hat (I think), I thought it would look great as a tote bag and it would help me to get some practice on my sewing machine.

I did some research on how to make a tote bag, and I must say it’s surprisingly simple. There are tons of tutorials out there, the one on this link, for example.

I love the way the whole thing comes together when you pull the ouside of the bag through the hole on the lining… you will have to read one of the tutorials to understand what I’m talking about.

 This other tutorial seems like a project to do in the future, perhaps this time with a matching fabric hat.

For my bag I made my own pattern which explains why the whole thing is too long and narrow, although it seems to work after all.

I’ve added a few extras on the interior, a semi circular pocket, a strip of fabric with a swivel ring to keep the keys under control (I’m always losing my keys within my handbag, rummaging and moving everything about to find them -feels as if I’m trying to choose a winning ticket for a raffle-).

The magnetic snap closure is easy to set and adds a nice touch. The pocket took some time to make but looks cool 🙂

I’ve used a non-woven quite rigid interfacing on the handles, “mouth” and base of the bag, otherwise it’s just the cotton fabric outside and inside (the one inside is quite heavy).

Inside of the bag No more lost keys Making the pocket 

In the process of buying the stuff for the bag I revisited a wonderful shop in the old quarters of Barcelona. The good thing about living in and old city is that you can look for wonderful stuff not only in the new shops but mainly in the old ones, the ones that have been there forever and that hold treasures within their doors.

If you visit Barcelona there are a few shopping streets that are worth visiting (well, more than a few, you can ask Kate about it) if you want to buy hardware for jewelry or bags, two of them are Call street (carrer del Call) and Hospital street (carrer Hospital). On this last street is where you will find CURTIDOS GARCIA a wonderful old shop where they sell all sorts of hardware aswell as leathers and fur, they’re very friendly and have unbelievable stuff, and there is where I got my magnetic snap and the swivel ring (sorry Kate I didn’t take you there!).

Hope you like it! My next project will be a sewn fabric hat from the japanese book. Stay tuned!

February 3, 2008

Pin cushion madness!

Filed under: Beautiful things,Other things I love,Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 12:14 am

After the success of my first two pin cushions and due to public demand I’ve made a whole new bunch, here pictured (click on the image to see more pictures), some of which have already found a loving new home. Before I give up on pincushions I will try a cute square one following this detailed tutorial from the blog Stephanie sews.

My pin cushions - click to link to all pictures of my pin cushions!

18-february-2008: I’ve included this post under the “sewing projects” category.

Powered by WordPress