No matching pouches….





After I finished my Metropolitan-Project,  I found I had enough evening gowns for Christmas  and New Year´s Day, but no matching evening pouches…..

So running to the computer, get into the collection online, search for something suitable and stumble over some simple, but beautiful evening lace-bags.

Between 1905 and the early twenties, spanish-american socialite and lace-collector Rita de Alba y de Acosta (Rita Lydig) gave some items of her collection to the Callot Soeurs, in order to make coats, blouses gowns and some bags from. In 1953 her clothing and accessoires have been donated to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and can now be seen on the web.

And Rita´s beautiful bags hooked me!

What most of them have in common, is a very simple pattern and shape, combined with precious lace, that was already antique, when the Callot Soeurs worked with. Some ot the pieces go back to the 17th or 18th century.

Of course I don´t possess such rare items….But that´s not important. I have enough vintage bits and pieces, to small for clothing, but perfect for a bag. And I don´t care, if there are holes or spots.

First I made a little off-white bag from silk scraps, vintage linen-coasters (or are they in fact small tea-napkins? I don´t know….), a piece of venetian lace and machine-made bobbin lace. The bag has no front or back, it can be used from both sides. This bag is very much in the same style, Rita Lydigs bags were made.

But I also wanted something more “spacious”, so I sewed another bag from rags, different lace, gold-brocade borders and some pieces of 1950s lingerie-fabric.

Now the feasts can come….I´m prepared with my gowns, lace-poncho and matching evening-pouches.



WP_20151016_17_09_41_ProWP_20151016_17_10_56_ProSome years ago I bought a lot of hardanger needlework from the 1940s in the net. When I oppened the bundle to clean it, I found a surprise. It was a little paper card with a womans handwriting on it, that says “In Gefangenschaft aus alten Lumpen gefertigt”, witch means ” Made of old rags during captivity”.

I tried backtracking, where it came from, but didn´t get far.  The seller had it from a friend, whose late wife was a collector of such things. All she could tell me was, that the lot was stored for years in a cellar.

So I will never know, who the unknown woman was, that made this beautiful needlework and what the card is really to tell about her destiny. Was she a prisoner in a warcamp? A prison inmate?  Was she detained of political reasons or was she a victim of the Nazi regime and locked in a conzentration camp?

There is no answer. But the refinement and care she took to make little works of art from grey rags, talk for themselves. Obviously she was a experienced needleworker, who never gave up hope.  Some pieces from the bundle, made with colored thread and apparently originated later, make it clear, she not only survived the war time but got on to her joyful needlework after all.

To honor this unknown woman and to remember her, I took as much of the little needlework pieces and  some of the colored ones, added antique linen on and made a Messenger bag .

For the centerpiece I copied her handwriting from the papercard as good as possible and embroidered it.

Beware the moth

Some rag-bags I made from new and vintage fabric scraps to protect my woolen winter cloth from this nasty flying  plaque called MOTH!