Friday, January 28, 2011

Afternoon delight

Usually we only get the morning sun in the salon, but during the summer months the multistory office buildings up Flinders Lane reflect the late afternoon sun back through our windows. It is such a lovely time of day, the light mostly reflects on the upper walls and moves in drifts, with rainbows here and there from the bevelled crystal windows in the old doors. The sunlight falls in fragments through the stained glass panels, illuminating one object and leaving another in shade.
We have so many new things arriving this week, I thought I should photograph them in this lovely dappled light, a little afternoon delight.
Lovely boxes of antique French thread in their original boxes, they even have their delicate printed glassine paper intact.

We also received a lovely new stack of mangle cloths, in a great range of linen colours.

A very exciting delivery, unused antique French sack cloth, very rustic with lovely burgundy and wedgewood blue stripes.

Gorgeous new Moda 1930s reproduction prints.

Too cute! the new French General range Petit Ecole, again from Moda.

Pretty flowers on the counter.

Our new Liberty and linen hearts, they are made with Liberty fabrics and antique french linen and filled with lavender or spicy orange.

The most divine bed linen ever! Made in Portugal in the softest linen and available in a beautiful range of colours.

More great treats from Sajou, just the thing for a little fancy work.

Sajou is the reinvention of an old French company and they supply a sensational range of needlework accessories including these gorgeous cards of needles. The little balls of vintage linen thread on the right are original, by the same company featured on the reproduction cards.

The top row are little thread winder cards, great for keeping stranded cotton stored on so it doesn't get all tangled up. The cards on the bottom are cards of linen thread from the 1940s.

Finally a big thank you to our lovely friends who leave comments, we so appreciate you taking the time and hope you don't mind that we don't always have time to answer them all individually. In answer to Kapinny's question about the paper dispenser at Harveys, yes I found out today we will soon be the proud custodians of it also. Mr Harvey is planning to trade for a short time from the room opposite their current shop to sell more of his remaining stock, he will open three days a week, I'll check the details and post them next week. Have a great weekend x

Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm a bit behind in my blog posts because I'm smitten.... with our new fabulous counter. It is around a hundred years old and came from Harveys, a Melbourne institution for all things haberdashery that recently closed. Harveys opened for business around 1895 in Bourke street and traded there until about thirty years ago, then they moved into the Nicholas building, on the floor directly above l'uccello. We wish Mr and Mrs Harvey a lovely retirement and hope they have time for all the things you don't have time for when you have a business. So many of us that sew will miss them, where will we go for so many supplies? Stay tuned for the new drop off for scissor sharpening, rumour has it, it may be another business in the Nicholas building, how convenient! A quick tour around the new lay out at l'uccello.

This wonderful old counter comes with so much history, there are grooves worn in the wood from the  measuring of various lengths along the old yard ruler. There is this little hole and groove for the string, and a little wooden box underneath the counter for the ball of string. I can't help but think of all the supplies sold over the years and the wonderful garments they were used to produce. Mr Harvey has been kind enough to share some of his memories of the industry over the years, of delivering supplies as a young man to Melbourne's couture houses and of the tables of ladies doing all the hand finishing, how much things have changed in such a short time. So thank you Mr. Harvey, we will take very good care of your counter and hopefully add a little history of our own.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fly girl fly

This is the cover of a fabulous new book I bought myself for my birthday, it's title is Circus and it is published by Taschen. I have always wanted to be the girl who rode the white pony, spangly leotard and feathers on my head, standing on the pony's back as it galloped around the circus ring. I also loved the flying trapeze, it is such a leap of faith to let go and fly. This has been our inspiration this week, we have had to make a few big decisions about the l'uccello's direction this year so we have decided to swing high and fly, all we need now is some fabulous outfits.

Something like this, what do you think?

It really is a fabulous book.

We have had some gorgeous new stock arrive this week, luxurious ribbons, hat pins, lace and lovely French linen threads.

Moody blues, heavy delustred satin ribbon in navy blue, it's almost like a duchess satin. Lustrous jacquard and the the most beautiful shade of dark blue moire taffeta ribbon. More of these fab French hat pins, and in the background is a grey and white stripped extra wide milliner's grosgrain and black silk velvet, both suitable for blocking.

Prettiest French blue and champagne colours.

More of the delustred satin, this time in this stunning shade of green, and this beautiful stripped ribbon, both are over 10cm wide, too delicious!

Cotton seam binding tape in sunniest yellow, this makes the loveliest soft bows.

Beautiful antique Calais, Bedfordshire and Irish lace in a lovely range of colours.

We especially love the new straw hat pins and the sea shells are perfect for the season.

These lovely old French cards of linen thread are surplus from the 1940s, they would have originally been for soldier's uniform repairs. We also received some hanks of DMC lace making thread in ecru and some great Bakelite buttons also probably from the forties, made in England.

I have cousins in Queensland cut off by the floods, one of them has a new baby and the other a number of beloved horses, thankfully their properties have been spared so far, it is such a nervous time. If you have loved ones affected by this disaster our thoughts and best wishes are with you.
 Cottage Industry has a great offer of support, if you buy one of their fab tea towel cushions featuring Queensland Miss Pen Pen will donate all of the money to a worthy cause, check out the link to her blog for details.

Have a great week and remember the motto this week is Fly Girl Fly!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bright and shiney and new...

Well Happy New Year lovely people, it's the first week of 2011 and it is amazing how the beginning of the year feels so bright and shiny and new. Although I have to say my resolutions are already out the window, that would be: not being late, not staying at work too late, not staying up too late there is definitely a theme here.
We have been busy little birds cleaning and painting and rearranging l'uccello, everything is starting to look refreshed and order is being restored.

The little desk that houses our vintage stamen collection has had a quick make over in palest antique pink, it's called China Doll, the stamens look so much more vibrant.

I still have the other half to finish tomorrow, but this side of the studio area is looking a treat, it makes me want to get started on our new projects, amazing what tiding up your workspace can do. I am so loving the cosmos, such brief but exuberant prettiness.

The centre table is loaded up with baskets full of lovely new fat quarters, fabric cigars (16ths) and charm squares. How divine are the delphiniums! I have mixed them with snap dragons, carnations and this gorgeous vibrant lime green foliage, they look so English summer garden.

These are some of the new fabrics, lots of Judy Rothermel civil war reproductions, new French General and Moda's new range based on William Morris designs.

This sweet little lady is an early 20th century french pin cushion doll, originally she would have been attached to a pin cushion that would have been concealed by a skirt.

Possibly the most divine antique sewing collectible that we have ever had, this delicate little silk covered shoe is circa 1820 and is most likely French or English, the silver thimble it contains is hallmarked.

  The antique French quilt remnant I have used under the shoe is also too beautiful, circa 1880.