Friday, June 08, 2018

More vintage things

First up: the "dressy" or "business" shorts for Barbie. (Or maybe they were originally for a slim vintage Ken? But they seem kind of wide-legged for that):

"Business Shorts"

It was tricky finding a top that "went" with them (I have few separates), but I kind of like this look on Gabby, especially with the varsity-style jacket. I don't know what kind of fabric they are - it is thinnish and just barely textured, and feels almost a bit like a thin rayon? Or one of those things they used to call artificial silk? The texture is kind of silky, not like a standard cotton gingham.  There is a tiny red stain on the back of the waistband, but it doesn't show.

(One of my low-level goals now, when I get out to antique places, is to look around and see if I can find more old handmade Barbie clothes, they are fun to have)

And Cinnamon can wear the pajamas, they might fit her better than they fit Gabby:

Cinnamon in pjs

My mom also passed these on to me. She had bought them years ago (the plastic bag they are in has "puncture wounds" that doubtless came from one of the late lamented cats - they used to like to chew on plastic bags and we always had to be careful to put things up when they were around, but even then, they still found things sometimes) and never did anything with them:

Dresden plates

There are thirty of them.  These are just four of the thirty.

She said, "I doubt I'll ever have time to stitch them down to a backing" which does seem kind of sad and final, but may also be realistic (and also, now that she has a granddaughter, she does a lot of sewing for her). So she offered them to me.

I'm pretty sure they're authentic 1930s fabrics; some have the feel of being feedsack. (One of them does have some brown staining on a white background of one of the prints; I don't know whether to try OxyClean on it or just live with it, it's not that bad).

She noted that often these were done with a yellow background, or "that green" (if you have ever looked much into 1930s-era quilting, you know what that means: it is not quite a Nile green, but it's an odd bluish-greyish green). I briefly thought of going my own way and doing bubblegum pink, but the more I think of it the more I like that 1930s-style butter yellow as the background.

Here's a closeup of one block:

dreden plate close up

I'm contemplating how to do it. There are thirty blocks so that would suggest a 5 x 6 arrangement as the best arrangement. My mom said it would be a possibility to get a big piece of solid fabric and just applique them all on to the single piece, but the drawbacks to that I can see are:

a. Harder to get everything evenly spaced
b. Harder to manipulate, and impossible to use as a carry-along project*

(*the local quilt store sponsors monthly-or-so get-togethers, and I'm thinking if one happens this summer on an evening I'm free, I may go, and this would be an ideal take-along project)

I did a little measuring - a 14 1/2" square (14" finished size after seaming them together) would be ideal for these, and  that would yield a 70" by 84" top - easily big enough for my bed.

However....that means a LOT of fabric. Just over six yards, because I would need 30 squares, 14 1/2" by 14 1/2 inches, and unless I seamed some of the squares down the middle, I can really only get two "abreast" from a 42" wide fabric. (I might still consider doing the seaming, that would mean I could get 2 1/2 instead of a length to accommodate 15 squares, I would need a length to accommodate, what, 12? Which would be about 5 yards if I cut VERY carefully. (That's not as big of a savings as I thought, and it might be worth getting the six-and-a-bit yards to avoid the effort, and aesthetic interruption, of having seams in some of the blocks....)

I plan to try at Lulu and Hazel's first, if they have the color I want, because they're local and also it's their anniversary month, and they are giving out free gifts with purchase all this

Failing them, I KNOW the quilt shop in Whitesboro carries the 1930s style solids, and I could get it there. My plan, once I have the fabric, is to fold each square into quarters and press it lightly - which will get me an exact center point, which would allow me to center the "plate" on it, and then I can pin it down, and I will handsew. (My mom noted I could even machine applique, seeing as they're already all turned and hemmed, but I tend to feel like....doing it by hand feels more "right" and will look better. I also intend eventually to hand-quilt it, just very simply, maybe shadow each of the "plates" and go around the center circle.)

This will be a good quilt project for  the hot part of the year; when it's really hot out my sewing room is also hot so it's less appealing to spend a lot of time in there, but I can work on this in my living room....or really anywhere, the nice thing about handwork like this is it's so portable.


Judy said...

I flinched when you said you would fold them in quarters and press. A hot iron will set any stains. What if, you just folded and placed a pin? A good soak after you get your top done might take care of any stains or dust that has accumulated over the years.

Lynn said...

My mom made lots of clothes for my Barbie dolls but at one point, going through my old stuff, I thought, "I have boys so I don't have anyone to pass the Barbies on to," so I got rid of all of my Barbie dolls and clothes. I regret it now.

purlewe said...

I am really excited (and a tiny bit jealous) over the very cool plates you got from your mom. I bet the quilt will look amazing. You could even give it to her as a gift when you are done.