A pretty thing

I made a present for someone with a birthday this week (who doesn’t, fortunately, read this blog).  Someone who likes blue.

My Better Half came home from an estate sale a few weeks ago saying, “there was a lot of cool stuff there–you should make me a list of things you want me to look for at tag sales and auctions, in case you aren’t with me.” Art supplies and old kimono fabric, said I.

He looked crestfallen. He had seen both within the previous two days.

It was too late for the kimono fabrics, which apparently went for a song at an auction, but I did get to go back with him to the estate sale selling art supplies, and picked up some wonderful big brushes, some old books that can ethically be cannibalized for projects, and a whole heap of canvases–the whole lot for $5.00. Sometimes these sales make me sad, but at this one the grown son of the artist (his mom) was genuinely happy to have her art supplies being carried off by people who appreciated and were going to use them that I didn’t feel so badly.

But the kimono scraps stuck in my head, so I started surfing for them online, and . . . voila: I bought the first of what I hope will be many. This one started life as a sleeve, probably in the mid-20th century, and over the last day or so I transformed it into what I think is a quite elegant scarf.

The fabric is silk crepe de chine with a pattern of what might be highly stylized clouds, but might also be ripples in a pond. Either way, they’re lovely, the fabric is in great shape, and I was able to find a nice silky crepe in a contrasting color (a sort of storm-cloud blue-gray) that works either way to use as a backing for it.

I took the top picture yesterday when I was starting the (hand) sewing, and the bottom one this morning after I finished it. I took them in different rooms and in different weather, but the top picture gives a better sense of the actual color, which is slightly grayish. Looking at both pictures, though, shows the slight difference in the pattern–one side is sort of a negative of the other. I debated long and hard about which side to have show, and involved everyone in the family in making the choice. In the end, Second Child pointed out that it was a win-win, as the two sides are equally pretty.

And, honey, you picked exactly the right thread color when you went to the fabric store with me, but I still don’t get that you don’t get that a scarf doesn’t have to be wooly and warm to be desirable.

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