Vintage Handwork

Posted December 1, 2016 By suzanne

As I sat in my studio today working on new designs, I stopped for a bit to look at all the projects I have going currently.

As I have mentioned before, there is an almost unending supply of antique and vintage textiles filling all the crevices in my studio.

What I saw today is several examples of handwork.

Since I love so many types of textiles and handwork , I have a lovely collection to choose from.

I have been working with hand embroidered pieces with sweet little chickens and a really wonderful example of “chicken scratch “.

Most people know what embroidery is, but the art of hand embroidery is unfortunately being overwhelmed by machine embroidery.

“Chicken Scratch” is a simple country, almost primitive art form.

I remember my mother showing me how to embroider the “chicken scratch ” stitch onto a piece of gingham.

I much prefer beautiful Hand embroidery to machine embroidery.

Vintage crewel is another favorite.  While hand crewel textiles can be very expensive , there are several vintage designers that created a machine crewel for drapery and upholstery

Lee Jofa is one such designer and Jacobean is a very popular design.

 Here are some examples of the vintage hand needle and machine needle work I am working with.


Meeting Cool New People

Posted November 21, 2016 By suzanne

I would describe myself as self contained— but most certainly NOT

shy.   I generally say hello first and I don’t have a problem introducing myself to strangers if they look interesting or I am curious about them.

I have met some really Great people this way!

I was able to add to my coin collection and gain an open invite to Russia by introducing myself to the table next to mine and my companions at  Mansur’s in Baton Rouge many yeas ago.

They were here on business, learning about the Aluminum Industry—Very Interesting!

One of many interesting self promoted introductions.

Which brings me to my story today.

There is a cute little old lady at my church….let me give her some better adjectives…….sassy , spunky, passionate.

I can add that last one because I have now had a conversation with this tiny Dynamo .  I have watched her for a while now,  come and go in her hip clothes and “with it” shoe collection.

And she is a force unto herself…I would guess that ,even now in his late 70’s early 80’s her husband (who is quiet and stands back and lets her shine) still counts himself a Very Lucky Duck indeed.

My conversation started with a hand shake and a smiling “Hello, my name is Suzanne, I just wanted to compliment you on your ensemble and tell you how fashion forward and spunky I think you are”

She was wearing a Kaffe Fassett sweater tunic/vest with red cropped boots. (Remember this is a sassy little old lady)

So the conversation was phenomenal .  She actually had a career in the knitting/garment industry, and has met Kaffe Fassett.  She gave me a quick  synopsis of his life and career.

For those who don’t know who he is check out 

He is a very talented artist who wasn’t successful early on , but discovered a way to express his art through yarn and thread .

I made a new friend who loves to knit and loves fashion as much as I do.  I just hope I am as tenacious and sassy as her when I hit my 70’s

Below is the Kaffe Fassett she was wearing.

She likes to purchase things from her friend’s shop


Grain Sacks and Buttons

Posted November 20, 2016 By suzanne

Being a Couturier has brought me in contact with some pretty out-standing textiles.

I mean, I actually remember breaking out in a cold sweat and pacing back and forth

in my studio before cutting on a piece of 400.00 a yard silk.  No going back on that one.

But…the pattern draft was great and the mock up was great… I held my breath and

went for it.    The dress was beautiful!!

I have a different feeling when I am working with my antique and vintage textiles.

The nerves are still in play , but for and entirely different reason.

I am forever reminding myself of the history behind the weave.

Especially the narrow hand woven pieces.  These were generally made on table top looms at the end of the day  (evening entertainment )


Grain sacks–and quite a few I have purchased actually have had bits of grain still in them,  are more than just pretty striped bags with monograms.

They were the original reusable bag.  Each family had a weave pattern they liked and a stripe pattern/color specific  to them.  Monograms– well that is self explanatory .

I take the grain sacks and turn them into pillows, storage baskets, and various other useable and decorative lovelies and very often I add from my extensive collection of vintage mother of pearl buttons.  The contrast between the refined beauty of the buttons and the un-refined natural texture of the handwoven textiles is indeed captivating .

Below are some of my works in progress and some in my shop.


Studio Activity

Posted November 16, 2016 By suzanne


For those who know I am a Couturier, being in my studio sewing will be of no surprise.  To those who really  know me, know  when I am in my studio sewing, I am surrounded by shelves and boxes of antique and vintage textiles that I have been collecting for “ages”.

I absolutely adore making something beautiful and/or useful from these textiles and giving them a new life and I spend a good bit of time doing just that.

Above are some Christmas napkins made from organic cotton and the tree appliquéd on the front is made from one of my vintage textiles.

The napkins can be found in my Etsy shop along with many other items I have had fun making here in my studio.

Year Supply of Basics
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