Redwork Smock – things learned and changes made

I finally finished the first redwork sleeve for my smock.  After I posted it on FB, there were many questions that led to this more detailed post.  First things first, here is the first sleeve off the frame.

redwork and plaited gold braid sleeve number one

redwork and plaited gold braid sleeve number one

In the beginning this sleeve was not going to be embellished so was cut out.

  • Lesson learned:  don’t cut your piece out til you have embroidered it.  The first sleeve I had done a very small hem around 3 sides, this did not hold up so well when i was dressing the frame.
  • Lesson learned:  when drawing lines verify that your lines stay dark enough to see so you are able to follow the spacing.  As you can see the spacing is off due to lines “disappearing” during my embroidery.
  • Lesson learned: slow but steady wins the race… I learned to step away when I go frustrated with tangles or knots.  Pushing through usually meant taking out hours of work..
  • Lesson learned:  Be present.  This is a very difficult one as I am a squirrel and always want to do several things at once.  The more I immersed myself into this project the more I enjoyed the progress.

As I start the second sleeve I will try and walk through the process in more detail than was done with the first sleeve.

Remembering the difficulties I had lacing the frame with the small hem, I chose to increase the width of the hem and use two rows of running stitches with a back stitch about every 5 stitches.  This will hopefully create a more stable edge.  ( yes I forgot to take a picture)

Step number two is dressing the frame.  I am using a scroll frame as that is what I had available. The herringbone stitch is used to attach the upper and lower sleeve to the scroll frame.

Herringbone stitch

Herringbone stitch, this is the cuff end of the sleeve.

Once both upper and lower ends were secured, I was ready to start lacing the sides.  Button hole thread was the strong and easy to work with. Double strands were used where the space was larger and then decreased to a single strand as the lacing progressed up the sleeve.  I have tried various methods that do not take as much time to set up but this method seems to work the best for me.

full frame laced.

full frame laced.

And a close up of one side:

left side lacing

left side lacing

Ideally this would have been an uncut piece.  The lacing was a challenge that had to be approached carefully and slowly to create an even tension on the small hem..

Finally to start the redwork..

and the second sleeve begins

and the second sleeve begins

Part 2:  Duplicating the first sleeve pattern.  The first sleeve pattern was very much “messed up”  with the guidelines vanishing as the piece was worked on.  Working out a feasible way to create the same look with just measuring and counting threads will be an practice in patience.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blackwork, redwork smock

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s