Friday, November 29, 2013

A New Jacket Project - A Waistcoate for Pocahontas!

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the wedding of Pocahontas to John Rolfe, Preservation Virginia’s Historic Jamestowne will create a woman’s embroidered sleeved waistcoat worked in black silk inspired by a surviving garment in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London). This waistcoat will be worn as part of Pocahontas’s wedding attire during the commemoration on Saturday, April 5, 2014.

The original object is an early 17th century woman’s jacket embroidered with depictions of mythical and realistic creatures, flora, and scenes from Geffrey Whitney’s Choice of Emblems and Other Devices (1586).(click on red EBOOK-FREE button) The Jamestown jacket will replace these motifs with fruit, flowers, insects, fish, fowl and beasts specific to Virginia. A matching embroidered coif and forehead cloth will complete the suit.

The jacket in the London museum is embroidered with black silk on a plain weave white linen ground in four basic stitches: stem and outline stitch, long and short, and speckling or seeding stitch. Our adaptation will use those types as well.

Historic Jamestowne is seeking volunteers to assist with the creation of this garment. Skilled and novice embroiderers are invited to contact:
Julie Zellers-Frederick
Volunteer Coordinator

You will be sent a small sample to complete, demonstrating the stitch types present in the original garment. All skill levels are welcome. This special project is done in collaboration with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and their Costume Design Center.

Here is the sample kit I received:
If you've ever thought of visiting Colonial Williamsburg for a few day, or if you want to visit again, this is a good time to do it.  I know I had great fun going to work on the Plimoth Jacket and I can't wait to work on this one.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Catching up with 2013

It has been an exciting and busy year. I didn't realize I hadn't written anything her in so long, I guess because I have been posting on the Gentle Pursuits blog and my library blog. 

The big news is, the coif is done!  It has been over 2 years but it is finally finished.  I put the lining in and sewed it up over the summer. Pictures don't do it justice because the weight of the fabric with all the silk and gold stitched over it and the change in the feel from plain linen to stitched fabric makes it seem almost alive.  And truly, I had no idea how the colours would combine when I first ordered the thread.  Despite testing everything, you never know how it will combine when it all gets thrown together.  In a couple of cases, the borage and the carnation, I had to change things when we started stitching because it was obvious the original idea wasn't going to work.

So here it is.

I've had time to work on a few other things as well.  This sachet was done as our chapter president's challenge.  We had to use one or two ready made coasters to create something embroidered. Of course I have Cabinet of Curiosities designs on my mind.

Speaking of which, I finished the butterfly pinkeep and I must admit I love this technique.  I said the same after doing my small phone purse but I still feel the same after doing this.  I think part of the appeal is the texture of the embroidered piece.  I must admit that I did the flat rather than ruffled sides because I was lazy.  But I like the look of the flat sides too, so I'm happy with the finish.

This finish was inspired by another chapter member who brought her finished pocket book in.  I remembered I had the kit and pulled it out and finished it.  The wool and canvas for this piece were not so fine that I couldn't do it in the living room with less than idea light.  I'm contemplating one of those Ott lights that run on batteries for next to my living room chair - although right now I'm doing knitting as I watch TV so I'll save my money a bit longer.

This is another Cabinet of Curiosities piece.  A pincushion that used waste linen over silk so the design could be counted.  The linen threads were then pulled out leaving a slightly raised design.  I thought for sure I would have all sorts of problems pulling the waste threads but it all came out easily except for one place.  But I'm not sure I like the technique as much as the butterfly pinkeep.  But I'm happy with the way it turned out.

This pillow was from a Just CrossStitch magazine that I picked up at our silent auction.  Somebody had purchased the pillow form with the linen center and started the stitching.  At first I thought it would be an easy finish but then I realized why the person had given up on it - too many similar colours with small spots of each colour.  But I eventually finished it and it looks fine.  I'll be giving this one away since I bought it because I had a gardener to make it for.

This is my current project(s).  Again it is Cabinet of Curiosities. I've started on the small wooden box.  This piece of fabric has a box top and front for one box and a box top for a second box.   

I've started the first box top.  The design is similar to the one in the lessons but instead of a rabbit in the center, I'm going to use the silk wrapped purl to hold in an enamel box lid.  My husband found the enamel top only of a box depicting the Royal Crescent in Bath with a couple of figures - it was a Jane Austen box.  I've been trying to figure out how to mount the enamel for years and when I realized that the silk wrapped purl would gently hold it in place, it seemed like a perfect idea. 

I've added some strawberries and butterflies to the original design. It works up quite quickly but I'll have to stitch the other pieces before putting the purl on or it will catch all the other threads. The middle design on the frame is a drawing of Jane Austen's house.  Maybe not as fancy as the castles on the stumpwork boxes you see in museums, but not unlike the houses on many samplers, so I think it will work.

The bottom drawing is a woman on a horse.  The horse will be white and the woman will have light brown hair - my daughter and her horse. I will give the box to her.  The third box I have will need to be magical creatures for my other daughter.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 2013 finishes

So I have been trying to do some finishing as I wait for the coif to come back to be lined and made up.  I don't want to start my Cabinet of Curiosities projects until the coif is finished.  But this sweetbag is sort of a CofC project.  I started it before the class began, but the tent stitch motif lesson inspired me to finish it - as I mentioned in my last post.  I thought to do the background in faux silver but when I did a small test, I realized it would catch on everything and not wear well, so I did it is a light grey silk instead. I was especially happy with the cord and tassels I found to finish it with. 

I picked up this pillow kit at our chapter silent auction.  I made it for my SIL who loves to garden.  It was really easy to stitch so I could watch TV and stitch with no problem.
These are ornaments with a snowflake like motif I designed.  Both are on changable silk dupioni.  I love the silk and all the fun gold threads.  The purple has been made up as well, but I didn't take a photo.  I haven't decided which background colour I like best but I have more of both so I'm going to make some more. The secret n0n-gold thread is Opal Kreinik braid.