Saving Vintage Embroideries

Over the years, I have been gifted or have purchased small amounts of vintage fabrics. I have used them to make small projects here and there. I try to combine them with other vintage things likes handkerchiefs, linens, aprons, sheets, etc.

When @thanate offered these in the Use it or lose It! thread, I just had to ask for them.

I washed them and soaked them in hydrogen peroxide…I really don’t mind the yellowing of vintage stuff, but I also wanted to modernize them a bit. I used Sharpies to go over some of the duller colors of the stitching and crayons to fill in a few of the images.

I had to patch together whatever fabric scraps I had and used the large pieces for the bottom and lining of my project. It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle!

Aren’t these cute little bears?

Patching in the fabrics and close-up of the colorized pieces…


Ta-da…a sweet basket to hold more vintage projects!


I used 4 of the “girl” bears and have plans to use up some vintage plaids and checks for the “boy” bears. The second set is not completely embroidered so I am not usre what I will do with them…finish them, redo them, leave them???

Thanks for looking! I really got immersed in this project! Thanks, @thanate!

23 Likes

It’s the cutest! Ack, I love it!
I think another basket with the boy bears would be so nice, they’d look completely adorable together.

2 Likes

Now I’m the one with the “grabby hands” lol! Love these!

1 Like

What an adorable way to use these old embroideries and let them be out in the world!

1 Like

Oh my gosh, that’s the cutest! Thanks for sharing how you refreshed and rejuvenated the stitching before piecing it all together.

This is really adorable @AIMR :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: A basket was a great idea!

I love the mix of fabrics you chose to coordinate with the embroideries. My favourite part of the embroidery is the sweet birdie with the bear in a bonnet.

1 Like

I wish I knew more about the story behind these…there were two sets…was it for two different people? Did two different people work on them and one not finish? The colors seem very bland by today’s standard…conservative? Maybe @thanate can tell us more…

When I find these old embroideries in thrift stores, I imagine that these were women like us who just loved to make things…

3 Likes

This came out so cute! Way to save those old embroideries and give them new life! The fabrics go perfectly.

2 Likes

I like the coloured versions! They do look more fresh now, but they still look vintage.

Compared to the originals, the originals do indeed look a bit bland and boring. I suppose back in the days they didn’t have all the supplies that we have, and maybe it’s also simply a matter of taste?

1 Like

It is always fun to imagine and to see the changes due to advancements in color preservation, etc.

I remember when fabrics would shrink up so much and had to be ironed so hot! Now, most are pre-shrunk and the colors are vibrant and preserved…DMC claims that their threads are meant to stay vibrant and colorfast for generations!

I really love the mix of modern and vintage…the gingham cherry fabric is actual “new” from about the 2000’s…I almost didn’t use the red gingham because it is very, very thin…but, I used a vintage sheet to back it when I quilted the piece with fleece as the batting.

1 Like

Adorable!! You come up with such cute ideas!!

Thanks! I like the challenge and distraction of making something with what I have…I am so grateful for this community because everyone encourages each other to come up with fun things to do with our “stuff”…lol…a neverending source of inspiration!

3 Likes

how cool- love how you used these

1 Like

I ADORE these! I love it when people modernize vintage linens. Otherwise, they usually get packed away and few people enjoy their beauty. Well done.

2 Likes

I’ve come back to look a dozen times at least.

Which pattern did you use? Or did you just make it up?

1 Like

No pattern…it was dictated but what fabrics I had left…I wanted to be sure the embroideries would show nicely, so basically, framed them with two inch sashing. Used the biggest piece for lining. I realized I didn’t have enough for handles so had to add the “newer” blue gingham cherry fabric into the mix…I do have a few little scraps that might be enough for a needlebook!

2 Likes

I figured as much.
I do not need fabric storage baskets but I can clearly see them in my future, lol.

3 Likes

I use them mostly as project bags. I have metal shelving with hooks that I can hang them from…keeps my projects and planned projects together and easy to access…grab a tote and I have everything I need. Some hold supplies…

I came across a few pictures in my computer where I made various totes and pouches…I seriously have no recent memory of making them, so I am guessing I gave them away! lol

1 Like

This really is the sweetest! I love how you have brought it all together with modern ‘vintage’ fabrics and recolouring to complement the vintage things you collected.

1 Like

They were from my mother’s youngest sister’s embroidery stuff; it is possible that both sets were originally hers, or that one belonged to their middle sister (who gave up all her childhood stuff when she went into a monastery for a while) but I’m not sure. My mother says she vaguely remembers she also had a set which is long gone somewhere. I suspect the colors were kit standard, but this would have been late 50s or early 60s so either the colors were paler to begin with or they have faded some. (not from sun; they were in a bin in a dark closet, but it has been a while.)

2 Likes