Tag Archives: Embroidery

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.

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Filed under Blackwork, redwork smock

The Dreaded Plaited Braid Stitch

2015 has started!!!! With this thought I post the project that is on my desk at the beginning of this new year.. The Plaited Braid Stitch.. ( PBS)  This stitch has always been intimidating and for that reason,it has been kept on the back burner.  Not anymore, with Elizabethan Stitches by Jacqui Carey at my side, needle threaded, i conquered the stitch..

With the lower part of the sleeves redwork completed, it was time for the PBS.  With a deep breath I proceeded.  Following the instructions in Elizabethan Stiches, the PBS was started using DMC  Art 284, metallic thread.  The following pictures are of the completed piece so far.

front view

front view

Close up of back PBS

Close up of back PBS

Plaited Braid Stitch

Plaited Braid Stitch

Sleeve off scroll frame.

Sleeve off scroll frame.

As this new year starts with a rush, remember to create and inspire!!! Thank you all for the support and comments as this blog moves forward.. May we have a wonderful year creating, sharing and learning together..

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January 1, 2015 · 9:51 am

A World in Transformation

The Past 7 months have been a whirlwind of change.   As the saying goes :

“When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”  ― Alexander Graham Bell
 
For a couple of months I looked at the doors closing as an ending, my life frozen in place.  As the days and weeks passed i began to see all the open doors.  Stepping through takes courage, or the ability to just run and jump, but once you step over the threshold the world brightens.  
 
I am now in my very own home!!  Yes, I said mine not rented!!!  And, it has acorns and oak leaves in the wrought iron used on the front  patio and by windows. This house has an added addition of a “craft/sewing room”  that will stay that way.  Great windows with lots of natural light.  Plenty of space for all the toys and a very large closet.. 
 
My helper cats are loving actually having carpeting in the bedrooms instead of concrete.  I have a full kitchen ( all the drawers are there, there is a fridge and dishwasher, and most  no more bugs!!)  There is something great about owning..         
 
As the process to purchase moved forward I continued to embroider and sew.   Now that the boxes are mostly unpacked and the settling is finished I have time to refocus on my creative side.  In the next couple of weeks I will be posting those adventures.   
 
As time continues to move forward and more doors open it is my hope to inspire others to create.. Remember as doors close, turn around, there are others that have opened!
 

Now for a couple sneak peaks of  the coming postings:

 

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Sneak Peeks of Surprise Gifts..

Yes, I have been busy unfortunately my projects have been gifts.. This becomes a problem when trying to keep a blog updated.  Can’t let the surprise out.. but want to share what I am doing..  So here are a couple sneak peaks with the help of my assistants.
 
tired kitties after an evening of embroidery

tired kitties after an evening of embroidery

So as I sit and embroider I always have a helper or two.  🙂  here are the two sneak peeks..

sneak peak 1

sneak peek 1

and sneak peek 2

 

sneak peak 2

sneak peek 2

These are my most recent projects and are completed .  They will be posted after they have been  presented.  🙂

Hope everyone has had a productive month.  Many of my friends just attended GW ( an SCA war held in Mississippi)  I wish them all a safe journey home with tales of their adventures.  Time to plan for next year..

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Filed under Embroidery, German Brickstitch

Cup Cover Finished

It was done a few days ago however, with the holidays have not had time to sit down to up load the pictures.  It is a 10 inch square which is perfect for my chalice but a tad big for my mug.. 
finished cup cover

finished cup cover

 
 
 
middle of cup cover

Middle of cup cover

 
As this cup cover evolved, so did the design.  At first, there was only going to be blackwork on the top.  This changed as the hem was put in.  It needed the corners… Also the acorns that I had on hand did not have the weight that I needed.  Pulling out my jewelry making supplies and foraging resulted in the finished corners.
Supplies needed for corner weights

Supplies needed for corner weights

Finished corner pieces

Finished corner pieces

The acorns were attached securely and reinforced.

close up of corner

close up of corner

This is now in my basket ready for the next event..

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December 17, 2013 · 1:24 pm

Carry Along Project

Looking at the pile of project ideas there was an empty bag  to filll with a project.  This bag is always filled with small projects to  work on in the odd free moments of my day.  The next step in my smock is working on the sleeves that are larger pieces so it will not work as a Carry Along Project.   Cup covers have always been something lacking in my basket.. Hmmm   guess this would be a good start.. Finding a pattern was easy..

pattern for cup cover 12.2013

As you can see ACORNS…  Then, while digging in the stash that has accumulated, several linen napkins tumbled out of the the pile.  Perfect!!!!   Silk, what colors are hanging out in the basket… purple and green.. the evening gets better and better.. off to start.. cleaning can wait til tomorrow.. 
 
Here is a sneak peak of the colors!!!
purple and green progress here is the project:  Linen napkin, purple and green silk over 2 threads.. 
 
 
 

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Looking back

A couple of years ago I started to do a sideless surcoat.  I used fabric that was in my stash and started beading.. The fabric was white with a diamond pattern that was perfect to embellish.  Being from the Kingdom of Trimaris  blue and silver beads would be perfect.  It never occurred to me that this would turn into a year long project.  The pieces traveled with me everywhere, even at the airport where an audience gathered and asked questions.  It was amazing that one of the question/statements from an older lady was “Women in America still hand sew?”.
full view sideless surcoat front

Full view sideless surcoat Front. ( fur pinned on)

 

This is a full front view.  The beads are from neck to floor and the fur is a 2″ width pinned on.   The over dress is lined in cotton and the bottom band is of linen (blue to carry on the Theme of Trimaris colors).

 

 

 

 

 

                Here you see a picture of the lower back of the gown.  The beading is done with the outline of  a V to avoid sitting on any beads.  The upper back is also lacking beads for the same reason.  This would not have occurred if I had not sat on one of the beaded pieces and decided this was not a good feeling.  It also would put more wear and tear on those beads.. And after the time it took to do this it would be unlikely that it would be repaired quickly.. 🙂

sideless surcoat back

 

 Now to give you some close ups of the beading itself… 

 

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beading close-up  blue seed bead with 4 silver beads clustered around

beading close-up blue seed bead with 4 silver beads clustered around

lower back of dress showing V

lower back of dress showing V 

This post has been inspired because this dress was recently pulled out of the closet and worn with the blue cotehardie under-dress..  “wow”  I really need to finish this off correctly.  As I took out the rings lacing on the cotehardie (pics to follow) i was amazed how much I have learned and how many mistakes I made.  As the tedious job of taking apart all the hand stitches thoughts of how could I have entered this in GW open competition as a work in progress….   Though the comments were encouraging and getting both yellow and white bead made me happy now that I have moved forward it is obvious how much growing has occurred in two years.  
Now comes the “refurbishment”  of this ensemble..   The Triskels need to be added to the blue band, eyelets need to be handsewn down the back of the cotehardie, and the fur needs to be applied differently.  So with fur flying and seam ripper in action lets see what happens….  

 

 

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Prototype dress and hat done

Finally finished my dress and got the basic underpinnings all gathered and it rained.  Here are pictures minus the feathers for the hat and the sleeves due to the rain.  Have the basics figured out and now for the real dress.  Need to pull out stash and see what I have to do the next one. 🙂

 

at MMM 2013 bee hat font picture. sir trud and I at MMM 2013

 

Plans for next few months: continue working on the embroidery for the new smock, cut and start shell for a doublet, learn about pad stitching and practice,  finish patterning and cutting a farthingale and finally do a second body using silk as cover.  🙂

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Filed under SCA, the Journey

finished corset

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.Finished corset on dress form back view finished corset side view finished corset on dress form

 

So many small fixes to do to the pattern but all in all for my first totally hand sewn one i am happy.

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Filed under Corset, SCA

Brickstitch Pouch

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.  
 
Materials:

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 picture of dress frame with Aida attached

back view close up of side whip stitch and attachment of aida cloth

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

overview of pouch in progress on slat frame

close up of work in progress

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.

back view:  Pouch removed and finishing edges started

back view: Pouch removed and finishing edges started

back view finished edges

back view finished edges

Close up of corner finished
Close up of corner finished

Slat frame after pouch was removed
Slat frame after pouch was removed

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.  
 
folded and ready for braid treatment

folded and ready for braid treatment

braid along seam

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.
 
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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..

 

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Filed under Embroidery, German Brickstitch