Wednesday, June 3

Miss Havisham's Duvet Cover

I have a mildly eccentric bachelor uncle who grew up in a Victorian house in the Texas Panhandle. The closets were a trove of top hats, humongous raccoon coats (say 'Stutz Bearcat'), National Geographic magazines, old Chessie Cat railroad calendars and the detritus of long deceased relatives. It was like "Days of Heaven" hooked up with "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" in my childhood memories.

I saw this uncle a couple of years ago and he asked if I would repair a couple of things for him. I said sure and he disappeared for a few minutes. He returned with an array of items that became more bizarre and ancient as he presented them to me. There was a moth-eaten crocheted chevron afghan in Depression era colors that clearly pre-dated acrylic, a couple of shetland sweaters from the 80s with minor moth damage, two tattered silk pillows with the unspeakably distinct fust of library cards and sawdust and this: An old silk comforter riddled with buggy pinholes; I think was my Grandmother's. Let's get a close-up for that extra gross out factor:
Here are a couple of labels that may give a clue to its origins:

I couldn't handle all those random holes, so I settled on making a duvet cover. A local fabric shop was going out of business (One of three in the past 6 months!) and I guiltily snapped up some silk organza, dupioni and lace. I then overdyed the batch an ecru color to make it a bit more vintage. I cut everything into strips and serged them all together hoping for some kind of modern Victorian vibe. I really wasn't in the mood to get too fussy, so I ended up with this:
I'm usually more inventive than this.
Okay, that looks stupid. Here's a detail of the lace. Pretty, no?
easier to sew with than I thought
I sewed some strips of cotton twill tape to the ends and DONE! So, Miss Literary Reference, where does Miss Havisham figure in all this? Wellll, this same bachelor uncle met the woman of his dreams and got married at the ripe old age of 70. I'm thinking this repaired orphan may be slotted for the guest room or... banished to a closet in the old house next to a moldy wedding cake and a taxidermied javalina.

Captain's Quarters
This is where I bore you about my double life as a sailor/canvas seamstress in training. I just got a Necchi HD22 and I'm getting ready to bust a Sunbrella groove!
The Captain is prepping the boat for my July arrival in Anacortes, but I have not been idle. How cute is this Kaffe Fassett print for the throw pillows?
Fair winds, my friends, fair winds...

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