Saturday, 21 September 2013

Embellished Scarves

Re-Usable Choices
The purpose - where I start - is the idea of use. It's not recycling, it's re-use.
- Issey Miyake
Closet Content Analysis:
Embellished Scarves

NICE          NOTE-WORTHY            NEED

NICE: With the cool fall evenings encroaching, it's NICE to have a great shawl or oversize scarf to throw over your shoulders. I have my favourite (Holt Renfrew cashmere winter beige shawl); it's become like a child's blanket for me. 

NOTE-WORTHY: However, I was quite taken by the embellished scarves designed by Caterina Quartana, who studied textiles and design in Florence and now works out of Sardinia, Italy. She weaves her own textiles and hand-finishes each, whether with vintage lace or hand-painted details. I found her work on Boticca.

I had one of those, "I can do that!" moments. Not the weaving of the fabric from scratch part, but the embellishing process. Since I already make jewellery, or rather compile component parts into jewellery, I am up for another challenge. Embellished scarves just might be the that challenge.

If you are a sewer and handy with a needle and thread, there are many how-to videos and sites to lead you. suggests upgrading an old scarf by adding favourite trimmings. Try it for the most basic of scarf embellishments. But what takes it to a new level are the trimmings and their positioning.

My Shirley Lamp. Photo by JoyD, France, September, 2013.
More inspiration came from my friend ShirleyB, while she visited Port Ste. Foy at the beginning of September, 2013. She found a piece of heavily embroidered "lace" and bought it for €1 at a vide grenier (empty attic sale). At the time, it caught her eye and appealed to her but she had no preconceived notion of what would become of it. Back at my place, we investigated the attic and the shed and found an abandoned lampshade. She had an idea. If I lost you with the lampshade, stay with me and you'll soon see the associations. She cut, attached, extended and embellished the "lace" with her own embroidery and used existing features of the lampshade until it suited her. Again she had no preconceived notion of the design, she just cut where it seemed right to cut, sewed and embroidered to accommodate the empty spaces. (I wish I had taken photographs of the process.) Now substitute scarf for lampshade. Here's the point, there are so many beautiful laces and trims, both old and new, out there that one has to look "outside the box" in order to make something unique by simulating a loveliness from times past.

Back to my embellished scarves . . . I have purchased several ancient linens at the brocantes and vides greniers while in France. Some of those old linens are worn beyond use in some places but soft and supple in others, a touch that only age can bring. The linen might be patterned, like jacquard, and there are often monograms and other embroidery that can be incorporated into a new piece.

NEED:  Now what I NEED more of are laces and trims. Here we go . . . I have a new search goal which legitimizes more visits to the brocantes and vides greniers in the district.

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