The Corset is finished. I am truly glad I did a prototype first as there are things I will do different for my silk one. It was a great learning experience and I will post a more complete description in the following weeks. but here is the final product.
So many small fixes to do to the pattern but all in all for my first totally hand sewn one i am happy.
It has been a few days.. I have been working on more of the hand sewing, cutting and placing the reeds. Now on to the eyelets..
After working on the needlebooks a friend asked me if I would like to barter for a brickstitch pouch. She has inspired so many that I was determined to embark on a secret project. This is extremely hard, as sharing what project is being worked on and the tips and tricks that are learned during the process, is an important part of what I do.
First I had to find a pattern. There are several great sites to go to. http://www.wymarc.com is a wonderful website that was a great help. Between that and searching images I finally came up with the design I wanted to start with.
To set up the embroidery I needed a slat frame. I purchased basic stretcher bars and put them together. On the top and bottom I attached a stable strip of sturdy cotton. I then stretched base fabric (cotton) and attached to both the upper and lower bars by using a herringbone stitch. The next step is to whip stitch the side onto the frame. To keep this taut I tried to keep the insertions evenly spaced apart. (approx 1′ apart) using a sturdy cotton thread. Once you have secured your base fabric place your working fabric , measured and cut, onto the base fabric. Pin in place then carefully cut out a window leaving about 1″ of base fabric on back. turn in excess base fabric and secure the working fabric ( in this case aida) onto the base with a herringbone stitch. You now are ready to start your embroidery.
Back picture of dress frame with Aida attached
back view close up of side whip stitch and attachment of aida cloth
As I look back it would have been nice to have taken more pictures of dressing the slat frame. Needs to be put on the list of projects to do. The hardest part is removing the base fabric from behind your working fabric. This is the way I chose to do this. Please feel free to comment with other ways to accomplish this.
Then came 4 months of work. With the help of another FB group Historic Hand Embroidery I was able to work through this project with positive support and feed back. Below are progress pictures:
overview of pouch in progress on slat frame
close up of work in progress
Once you have finished the embroidery completely now it is time to remove from the slat frame and finish edges.
Now comes the fun part. 🙂 Putting the pouch together.. First I cut the Red linen to the size i needed and hand stitched it together leaving the top unfinished. To close the sides and get a finished look I chose to use a embroidered braid on the edges. The inspiration for this was Anne Newman and extraordinarily talented woman. You can find her at Raicaire’s Embroidery & Needlework . I will warn you her site is addictive.
back view: Pouch removed and finishing edges started
folded and ready for braid treatment
Once the sides were finished the linen liner was placed inside and a braid was again used to attach the two. Next was adding the tassels and making the eyelets for the top. The tie was made with finger loop braid. and the final touch was adding a squirrel charm.
It was finally finished and passed on to be used by a very special Laurel. I hope this has inspired encouraged everyone to try this stitch..
This project has been a wonderful learning experience. Using waxed linen thread does take some getting used to but once you do you will not use poly/cotton again. The cost was very reasonable and the hand is wonderful. Creating the channels on the back piece pins were used. Due to the movement of the fabric that changed to basting all the layers together. This worked and the end result was an evenly channeled product.
After posting this blog the question about zip ties came up again.. No, it is not wrong to use them, it is just a choice. Is it easier to use zip ties? I have to say no. You have the filing and sanding of the ends, if you go for the cheaper thin zip ties you will have to double them up to get the result you are looking for. Again my fathers words ” Do it right the first time” echo in my mind. Yes it is taking longer to hand sew. Yes I have to hunt and order the linen thread and reeds instead of running to Walmart. But in the long run for me, it is the journey of creating this.
As the project progresses it comes to mind how did they do this with out using a strong light. ( I have an Ott light). How did they find time to cloth their family. They did not have the same sharp precise scissors, rulers and resources we do.. There is truly no right or wrong to how you choose to create your garb. Whether you use zip ties or reeds the journey is what is important not the end result. Don’t judge others encourage them to enjoy the journey.
Jan 2013 our local SCA group had one of their yearly daytrip events. A small group of women were asked to hold a special “Rose Tea” . My friend and I decided to start a group that would focus on organizing luncheons and teas for small groups with in the SCA. We call ourselves “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Teacups” . It was important for me to show how much each and everyone of them meant to me as well as how appreciated they were. I had been playing with blackwork when I stumbled on “German Brickstitch”.
it wasn’t complete if you have a needle book you need somewhere to store them.. And the madness continues…
Off to the cigar store (they carry empty cigar boxes for a nominal charge and that money goes to the firefighters) picked up four boxes and went home.. ( okay so we also paused to see a movie) Finally home , now what do I do with these.. 🙂
and we have boxes.. But wait there is more…. though the smell of cigars makes me think of my grandfather, it really was not something that i wanted to pass on.. so one more addition.
I added a lavendar Sachet to the mix. on the right you see a finished box ready to go to its new home.
In the beginning the pictures are sparse but at least there are a couple.. If an more appear I will add them..