Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Corticelli Silk Thread

I became interested in Corticelli silk thread when I acquired a box of it in an old sewing basket. If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a scavenger for everything sewing when I go to garage sales, estate sales and other purveyors of old things.  Despite the vintage nature of the thread, as evidenced by the neat wooden spools, I could not believe the luster and the depth of the colors.

Since that first acquisition, I’ve amassed quite a little collection of these spools.  Once you start collecting something, it seems as though the universe arranges for you to have more of it, or make you more aware of it, or something.  Another of my interests is in advertising ephemera, particularly of the Victorian era.  I started to notice ephemera related to Corticelli threads popping up on Pinterest, on boards related to sewing, crafting, and advertising history.

The company began in the 1830s in Florence, Massachusetts.  Today, we certainly never think of Massachusetts, or any other state in the Union, as being producers of silk.  At one time, this area was very much the center of sericulture in the US.  At the time it was the Nonotuck Company.  Some time later the name Corticelli was adopted.  Corticelli was not the name of any of the principals in the company but is thought to have been adopted to create an association in the mind of the consumer with Italy, then a powerhouse in the silk industry, renowned for quality.

A lot of the advertising for the company centered around adorable kittens.  They had me at silk, but now kittens?  What could be better than silk thread and kittens?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tunic from Upcycled Tablecloth

I would love to spend more time sewing.  I have so many plans rattling around in my head for projects, and have collected so many patterns I want to use.  I had a few spare hours the other day, so I put them to good use in the sewing studio.
Another of my loves beyond straight sewing is the upcycling of the vintage linens I collect during my thrift shopping adventures.  I came across this beautiful jacquard tablecloth, with an intricately woven floral pattern, some time back.  I loved the ivory color and the drape of the fabric.  My plan had been to turn it into a tunic top. 

I used a pin from my Pinterest board, Sew Inspired, as my inspiration.  It’s a picture of a cutting layout for a tunic top.  The only measurement I used was my bust measurement, to which I added 2 inches for ease.  I used a bateau neckline and self drafted a facing from a linen table scarf (or altar cloth?).  I elected not to embellish the resulting top because I felt that the pattern woven into the fabric was such a beautiful and subtle statement that I did not want to overwhelm it with trim.
Here is the resulting top.  I am really looking forward to wearing it soon.  I think it could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and the accessories.

Thanks for looking!