Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kalosca Embroidery

Today I wanted to take the time to talk about the beautiful embroidery from the kalosca region of Hungary.
Its quite utterly beautiful, and fascinating. Much of my embroidery fascination lately has come from finding it.
I love all the bright colors!

These kaloscai garments are not as old as people think. It started as blue and black embroidery. But by the 1930's colors were added. The designs became more complex and basically revolved around ornate flower motifs. Then they implemented the aprons which allowed for more embroidery goodness!
This is one of my favorite pictures! I love the over skirts. It is traditional for them to be very pleated, and be over a fluffy petticoat. I wish I would've been dancing there when I was little. My mom just kind of threw overalls at me.
Little girls would wear those lacy ribbon head dresses. They are a bit funny, but still adorable. Notice the similar designs on the wall.
Married women where embroidered bonnets instead of the headband. I'm totally digging the long bows.
Think of all the hours, upon hours it took to do all that!
Here is my most favorite dress, the one with the burgandy underskirt. I think it is a little more balanced than some of the others. Also notice the neat knubby socks, I reallly want some of those. Hopefully some eccentric designer will like them to and make them available to the masses haha.
I'm not sure if these are technical kaloscai gaments, but they are so beautiful I felt they were worth mentioning.
Also check it out! More of those awesome textured socks. I love texture, maybe thats why I love embroidery so much.
Close up of the awesome socks. I may be getting a little obsessed aren't I?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Domestic Diva Apron Review

When ever I'm at Joanns I always look at the domestic diva aprons because I think they are pretty. But they were rather expensive, $14.99. But I finally broke down and got one("The Jessie").
A big thing that had been keeping me back from buying them, was that I thought they were really cool because of all the little details and "notions". But I wasn't sure if they were real. (yes I know I'm stupid and couldn't figure this out before hand)I tried checking it in the store, but it would have felt weird for me to open it up there.
On the cover, at least to me, the lace looked pretty real. Well its not unfortunately.
It is very easy to put together. All the pieces are printed onto one piece of fabric and you cut them out. To me the directions were very vague and could be confusing to a beginner. Even with that being said I still think this would be a great first project for someone learning to sew, or to use to teach someone to sew. Because it will more than likely, look good and be functional.

 In the end it looked like this. I added a real button over the fake button because I felt the fake button looked tacky. Personally I think the notions should have been real and not printed, especially for the price. I, mean the bias tape could have been at  least real you know? More seasoned sewers would be inclined to buy it I think if this was the case also. All and all though, everyone loves this apron and wants me to make them one!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My First Embroidery/Scandinavian Needlecraft Book Review

I just got a new book called Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs, because recently it is a new hobby that I would like to pursue. The book has tons of projects I especially like it because I am new to embroidery and it has step by step instructions on how to do the stitches in the back. Embroidery from Scandinavian regions of Europe really intrigues me, so this book was perfect. The projects range from baby hats to egg cozies. There are also a lot of seasonal projects like these.
You will need a sewing machine for many of the projects, its not just embroidery patterns. For a couple of the projects you don't even have to know how to embroider by hand because they use a machine zigzag stitch.]
Like this one

There are so many cute gift ideas in here too! There are a pair of slippers in here that I really want to make, but I decided to do a little test on a scrap pieces of linen first because I have never done embroidery before. I wouldn't want the slippers to be messed up you know?
If you click on it it will come up big and you can gloat on all my mistakes! The bouillon knots were the most difficult, and some of mine are awful.
This is a picture from the book that shows what they look like finished:
When I look it the finished pair, I don't think I did to bad. In fact I think I did pretty good for my first try! The step by step diagrams are easy to follow. I wonder if there stitch lines are purposefully a little wobbly, to encourage beginners....
 The only thing I don't like about this book is that it doesn't have enough bright projects like these.

The book itself is not huge, and is a paper back of good quality. I would say that this book is a must have for those that love the beauty simplicity. On top of that it seems that the whole "alpine, Scandinavian look" is going to be quite popular this season.I bought it off Amazon , it is much cheaper there than at the bookstore. (but of course you don't get the instant gratification, or previewing that you would get at a bookstore). I will be sure to post the slippers when I finish them!
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