It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Urban Burp and the Vintage Chenille

Urban Burp.   How can you not be totally intrigued by a store called Urban Burp???  Yes, it's real, and yes, it is indeed intriguing!   Especially if you love vintage fabrics (the real stuff, or the wannabe home deco stuff).    
Electra Skilandat, the owner, says this about the name:  The fabric will produce "an 'emotional burp' of recognition because, inevitably, it was used in a curtain or couch in a family home and carries a wealth of memory.  All that emotion has been shoved down into the lower chakras and all of a sudden it takes one piece of fabric to bring you back to that place."  How charming is that?   And of course, any store owner who references chakras has my attention already  ;-)

Urban Burp used to have a store front in San Francisco, near the legendary City Lights bookstore.   Rising rents forced them out, and they moved in to a warehouse in Point Richmond, not that far from my house (how thoughtful of them!)   I didn't really frequent them a lot, because most of the fabrics are home dec, not to mention pricey for the real stuff!   But they had a moving sale a few months ago, which I HAD to go check out, of course.  I'm pretty sure I went a tad bit over budget, which was really zero, but know how it is with fabric..., and of course there were a few pieces I just couldn't resist...

I think this one is a newer fabric, but I love the retro look and colors.
I may use it as cushion covers and machine covers in my sewing room.

This is a linen gauze from the 60's.  
No CLUE what I'm going to do with it, but something made me adopt it anyway...

A few smaller mid-century sample cuts that I just couldn't resist-
Memories of Melmac (remember Melmac???):

SO Hawaiian:

And my favorite fave - oh how I wish they'd had a bigger cut of this!

Oh yes, and the referenced Chenille Bedspread! (twin size):

I knew immediately that this spread wanted to be on my body as a robe!   It has served its time as a bedspread, proven by the worn - almost threadbare in spots - body of the fabric.  The chenille was still in excellent shape though.    The color wasn't going to work for me - sort of a sickly, faded pale yellow, so off to Dharma Trading I went, and came home with a Wedgewood Blue Dharma Trading Fiber Reactive Dye.  It  was perfect.  :)

Being a vintage bedspread, of course it needed a vintage pattern, and I had just the thing in stash, I think from a pile of patterns that was given to me by a friend who helped clear out the estate of a sweet lil ole lady sewing (don't you just love those sorts of estates?)

I laid the bedspread out on the kitchen floor & played with one of my favorite challenges - trying to fit pattern pieces on a patterned fabric in an attempt to match up all of the bits.   I did it, but just barely!

The finished robe, just right for transitional fall/spring coolness:

Because of the thin, worn areas, it really needed a lining, 
and I found just the thing at Stonemountain and Daughter :)
It's a nice soft cotton, yummy against the skin - can't say the same for the chenille, which 
had that vintage cotton rough feel to it (I do like my fabric to feel really nice against the skin)

I tried and tried to like some of vintage stash buttons with this,
but I just didn't have anything that worked.
I got these cheapies at JoAnn's, but I'll be keeping an eye open for something I like better.
Because, well, Buttons!

Cuddling up in just-right-warmth :)
Do not look at the little stain in front.
Don't look, I said!
(It's egg yolk - it will wash out!)

Do you love vintage fabrics, even though, like me, you don't really make vintage clothes?   Although I do totally love some of the features of vintage clothing, collars especially.  By vintage I mean 30's and 40's, NOT 60's and 70's!   I mean really, hello?   Vintage is BEFORE I was born, not AFTER!   Right?  Although I do swoon over some (some) of the mid-century designs in fabric and furnishings, but clothing?   Not so much...

While we're on the subject, I see that Urban Burp will have a booth at the Alameda Antiques by the Bay this Sunday, August 3.   I could be maybe possibly talked in to a little visit there, if anyone is interested.... just tossing it out there...


glorm said...

Wow--you did a great job with the placement of the designs. Vintage is before you were born--love it!

Mary said...

Those fabrics are incredible! I'll be looking forward to seeing what they become. And the robe is so fun-I loved reading about how it came to be. It is still hot, hot, hot in AZ and so my robe is only a linen shirt which I throw on over my tank top and pj pants. Tucson gets cold in the winter so a robe will be necessary then.

beckster said...

I am swooning, actually swooning, over that robe! I have looked for a robe like that or an old bedspread to make one, but the only ones I have found were far too expensive for my tastes. This is fantastic, Jilly!

Valerie said...

I love the unusual print on the green/cream piece. And the others. No wonder they followed you home.

Bunny said...

Your robe is so cozy and comfy looking. Fabulous repurpose!

Rose said...

I love the blue color. Great job!

Judi Pinkham said...

Beautiful chenille robe!!!

Dixie said...

This robe has such a retro-funky vibe; I love it! Smart use of an old fabric. And the stains and thin areas just give it more character!

Glenda said...

Very nice, just like everything you do! I know someone who used to have a business making garments out of these old bedspreads. This robe would have sold for a LOT of money!

Jean said...

Thanks for the info re: Urban Burp! I was thinking about home dec fabrics recently (even though I dislike sewing home dec projects) because I really need new pillow covers and runners. Comfy-looking robe!

Carolyn said...

Wow, you got some gorgeous fabrics, and that is such a good use for a charming old bedspread. I love chenille :)

Jen S. said...

I love your robe!! You did a marvelous job with the dyeing process. Now that you are dyeing fabric, where are you doing this? Are you doing this in your washing machine?? I used to dye fabrics in my University days, with procion dyes. I would love to know more about how you went about this.

Jilly Be said...

Thank you Jen! I have a front loader, and have never attempted dying in it (and don't think I will!) I do all of my dying in a large utility sink in the basement. It's totally a "utility" area, with washer & dryer nearby, concrete floors, so I don't need to fret over any of the nearby surfaces.

I would have to look at my dye instructions for any more details, but for the most part I just followed the instructions. I think the hardest part was keeping the fabric moving & trying to get everything covered - the chenille was not the easiest fabric to get into all of the little tufts & valleys, and there are a few little blotches, but I don't know if that was my doing or they were bleached out spots from age - it just has character! ;-)

Dying fabric is so much fun! Go for it again, I say! It's soooo much easier that some people think it might be :)

shams said...

I've seen the robe in person and it's adorable! Great job, Jilly!