Purfylle: 2014

Recent Posts

Nils Sture Doublet Pattern

Earlier this year I started work on patterns for the Sture lads from Patterns of Fashion 1560-1620.

JA's pattern for the leather doublet worn by Nils Sture

Laundry to Lawn Chairs

This is my progress report on the holiday recovery plan and the odd maintenance task.

Today is laundry day, I've got one load done so far.

Laundry is the only thing I have to get done today. But I'll let you in on a little secret....

Holiday Recovery Plan

Today I'm just trying to recover from the craziness of the last few days.

The house is out of control. I feel grumpy and overwhelmed by the mess and all I want to do is sit on the couch and take a break. Instead I'm cleaning and tidying because I know I will feel better when it's done.

Christmas leftover mess

Christmas Cookies!

I Baked Christmas Cookies!

These are my first Christmas cookies ever.

Star and Angel cookies

Our Favourite Things Pinterest Pin Party #5

Our Favorite Things Our Favorite Things Our Favorite Things Our Favorite Things Our Favorite Things Our Favorite Things Our Favorite Things Our Favorite Our Favorite Things Our Favorite Things Image Map

Welcome, Welcome all to the 5th Monthly
"Our Favorite Things Pinterest Party!"

We are so very glad you could join us!

Where to Start With a DSLR Camera

Where to start with a DSLR camera
DSLR camera's are a bit of a learning curve. Nobody wants to give you a straight answer to your questions because it's like asking how long is a piece of string.

Q. Which is the right camera to use?

A. The one you've got on you!

But that doesn't really help you does it?

My newbie tips from one newbie DSLR user to another.

Christmas Candy Cushion

I've been seeing lots of peppermint candy inspired crafts everywhere this year. Nothing says Christmas like red & white peppermint candy canes!

Christmas Candy Cushion

Life Doesn't Always Go To Plan

My entire schedule for this week was thrown out the window when I decided I should fix the loose tile on the bathroom floor.

What I found was not what I expected. The result was that I ripped all of the tiles up and started scraping.

rotted hardwood floor

How To Crochet a Granny Square 2 Ways - with images

Pink Granny Squares

This pattern is for granny squares worked continuously in the same colour by turning the work rather then cutting the yarn and adding a new colour when starting a new row. I have added a mini tutorial at the bottom of this post on how to turn the work.

The Liebster Award

The fabulous Jenn at The Art of Better  has awarded Purfylle with the Liebster Award!

2 Minute Salad Cream Recipe

A good salad dressing is the simplest way to purfylle a salad. Salad cream is so tasty and easy to mix through, which makes it a great salad dressing choice, however a jar never seems to go very far.

salad cream recipe ingredients

Mayonnaise might last longer, but is bland and the thick consistency can make it difficult to mix through salad.

Just toss it already!

decluttering paper bags over a decade and half old
Do you keep stuff long past when you should have? Paper bags are useful, they really truly are.

How To Make A Fabric Scrap Garland In 5 Easy Steps

How to make a fabric scrap Christmas garland in 5 easy steps

Transform Clutter Into Christmas Decorations

Christmas garlands are the perfect fabric scrap busting project when you have more scraps then you know what to do with and can't bear to simply throw them out

Scraping the Scraps

I have bags and bags of fabric scraps, you couldn't even really call them remnants.

I have slowly been decluttering the fabric leftovers. It's hard, and I don't seem to get very far when I do try to whittle them down. I get all indecisive and start thinking of what I might be able to use all these scraps for, but the reality is I don't usually get around to using them. I really, really, reaaaallllly need to conquer this.

Scraps taking up most of a 3 seater couch - time to declutter!
This is a pile of the older fabric scraps that I have. There's bits of silk and cotton, poplin, linen, wool, velvet, velveteen, damask, faux wool and more.

The Unbelievable Bread-Art Machine!

( for best effect continue to read in that over excited 'this is so brilliant you won't believe it' infomercial voice-over tone )

Upcycle Dog Toy

Geri playing tug of war with her rope toy

Tug-of-war is Geri The Wonder Dog's favourite game. When I saw the Dog Rope Toy tutorial  I just had to make it for Geri The Wonder Dog. Tug-of-war is her favourite game. 

4 Steps to Painless Wardrobe Purging

Giving Up Means Letting Go 

Have you ever heard the phrase 'Giving Up Means Letting Go'?

I just though it was a metaphorical saying. Turns out it can also be quite literal.

I gave up smoking this year. The inevitable happened, I put on weight.

What this means is that most of my clothes are too small, and I have to declutter my wardrobe.

decluttering clothes

10 Things You Didn't Know About Me

It's the little things that all add up to make us our unique selves; likes, dislikes, personality traits, things we own, skills we have. Here's some of my quirks.


On Friday I was inspired to clean the walls in the hallway. I prepared the water and got out the rubber gloves and sponges.  I pulled the picture off the wall......hmmm, oh that's right, I'd put it up with double sided tape.

wall paint stuck to double sided tape

Micro Crochet Squares

When you finish a bobbin lace project the chances are high that you will have a lot of bobbins that still have yarn left on them. 

Micro crochet squares and cuff link for scale

How To Clean A Rug Without Vacuuming

Carpets are just not practical with all of our pets so we got rid of them all, the carpets that is, not our furbabies.

We do have one little rug. It's for the cats, they like to sit on it and use it to sharpen their claws.

rug covered in cat fur

Nanna's Button Tin

Button Collection

My Nanna kept her buttons in this tin for as far back as I can remember. 

5 Free e-books From My Digital Library

I really LOVE my books.

Personally I prefer my reference books in print and novels in e-book form because that way I can have way more then I ever could otherwise.

Recently I shared with you:

Today I want to share with you some reference books you can find in my digital library.

I would happily stumble over these books in print some day when my budget and bookshelf space all agreed with my desire to physically have them. However having them in e-book form still allows me to have them and for this I am very grateful.

Isn't it amazing the resources we have now because of the magic interwebs? Some days I feel like I'm living science fiction I read in my childhood. 

These books are all available for free download and I've added all the links for you so you can pop right over and grab them.

from my reference books: Encyclopedia of Needlework

I've already mentioned the Encyclopaedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont: which you can download from here.
(I also have her book in print, okay I've got 2 copies of the anniversary edition in print,, it's such a great book I went and bought another copy and I use both copiously.)

from my reference books: Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period
Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period by Paul Lacroix Jacob: get yours here.

from my reference books: Two Centuries of Costume in America, Vol. 1
Two Centuries of Costume in America, Vol. 1 (1620-1820) by Alice Morse Earle: download it here.

from my reference books: Chats on old lace and needlework
Chats on old lace and needlework by Emily Leigh Lowes: find it here.

The Uffizi Gallery by Paul George Konody, 1872-1933: available here

If you head over to grab these books and find some more amazing books please come back and share the link or title in the comments so I can grab them too!

Our Favourite Things Pinterest Pin Party #4

Welcome, Welcome all to the 4th Monthly
"Our Favorite Things Pinterest Party!"

Pin It Party Poster

We are so very glad you could join us!

Please meet our hosts:

5 Tips To Help You Through The Silly Season

Don't Let Christmas Stress You Out

Five things I need to be reminded of....a lot.

5 tips to purfylle your life

Even more regularly around Christmas time.

10 Reference Books I WISH Were In My Library

Which one do you want for Christmas?

I love love LOVE reconstructions of extant garments. 

The Zip of Christmas Past

Decluttering the sewing room was great! Except now I can't find my zipper.

Christmas Past

Just before Christmas 2012 I decided it was time to get to know my sewing machine's embroidery stitches.

I also thought it would be a good opportunity to try and use up some remnants.

I ended up learning a lot about getting a digital machine to behave itself for embroidery but I'll tallk about that another day.

What I ended up with was some really pretty embroidered bits of fabric most of which became Christmas gifts for my family.

embroidery sampler pencil case

UFO - Renaissance Corset / Stays

An experiment in boning materials

I need to get back to sorting out those UFO's. This corset was an experiment I started on last year. I wanted a design to work with Eleanora's gown, the 'Pisa' gown and other 16thC garments.

I constructed the pattern for these stays from either the Pisa gown or Eleanora's, I can't remember which, it will be in my notes somewhere. This is the second attempt after I realised it would need tabs for comfort and fit which makes the stays more of a 17thC style. The Pfalzgrafin Dorothea Sabine von Neuberg pair of bodies, c1598 have shoulder straps and features that do not work with the Florentine gowns.

fully boned stays

I was going through a phase of trying out various things that could be used as stiffening and boning materials. I also had a new pattern to try out.

Vintage Cuff Links

A Gentleman's Brass Cuff Links

Vintage Cuff Links in a row

These understated cuff links were found at a thrift store a few years ago by yours truly.

FREE Doggy Dinner Printable

Today I'm Guest Posting over at The Crafty Side of Sarcasm where I'm sharing my Home Made Doggy Dinner recipe which my dogs go crazy for.

Easy home made dog food recipe

Leslie loves petting cupcakes and eating puppies
- oh hang on that might be the other way around - loves petting puppies and eating cupcakes, yeah that's it! Leslie's writing style is witty, charming and full of surprising stuff.

You can get the recipe and read my post at The Crafty Side of Sarcasm here.

For the free printable recipe

Smell the Roses

Fallen Soldiers Names on the Memorial

Throughout history the 11th November has been a day with some pretty memorable events:

5 Reference Books From My Bookshelf

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some of my favourite books

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite historical costume reference books that aren't by Ms Arnold. These 5 books I have read and re-read and will read again.

Caul v.2.2

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I'm really happy with how this bobbin lace caul project turned out. The shape is earlier then Eleanora's caul but I have found in the past that sometimes it can be really insightful to start with an earlier design to understand how it progressed to the later design.

Bobbin Lace Caul

2 Ways to Store Paper Patterns

I make a lot of my own paper patterns. I prefer not to fold patterns if I can.

Getting Stuff Done

I woke up feeling really motivated this morning. When I feel motivated I get loads of stuff done.

By midday I had:

1585 Geometric Bobbin Lace Design

Portrait of A Lady, ca. 1585 (Unknown Artist) Bowdoin College Museum of Art
A Lady, ca. 1585 (Unknown Artist) Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Gold on white is so striking. This 1585 portrait is covered in gold purfylling and the result is very effective.

Why Blogger Randomly Publishes An Edited Post To Today's Date

Geri the wonder dog's response to unexpected blog date changes

Why Blogger? Why?

A few times I've gone back to improve photos or fix a typo on old posts. Sometimes they update just fine. But sometimes Blogger decides to re-date the post to today's date and leave my archives in a mess. WHY?

How to make a bobbin lace bolster pillow

I dismantled my makeshift bolster pillow for parts.

dismantled bolster bobbin lace pillow

Here's a photo of it all unrolled with the blue cover fabric on the bottom, then thin green blanket, the bath sheet and the milo tin.

That's my phone and a bobbin for size referencing because I didn't have a banana on hand.

The pillow core

To make my permanent bolster pillow I used a bit of storm drain pipe we bought as an off cut from some crazy boy shop that sold lots of tubes and stuff used in building houses and gardens and whatever. The pipe is the core of the bolster.

A cleaning schedule?

cleaning kit - vinegar and cloth

I'm not a minimalist

Ever since we moved into this old house I've struggled to keep it presentable under control and it just got worse over time.

I started with this shelf full of stuff......

shelf full of stuff everywhere
I actually faced the sewing room today and made a leeetle teeny bit of progress.

I started with this shelf full of stuff that had been dumped there instead of being put away. Who would have done that!?

Meet the family

I tried really hard to get some decent photos of our fur, feather and fin family today so I could introduce them all to you. 

Instead your getting these shots.