Sunday, May 11, 2014

Finishing the Wedding Jacket for Pocahontas

I just realized that I haven't posted about the finish of the blackwork jacket that was made for the wedding of Pocahontas in Jamestown. The stitchers were invited to the Costume Design Center in Colonial Williamsburg for the final fitting, but we couldn't post any photos until after the 'wedding'.
Here is Brenda Rosseau, supervisor of Research and Design at Colonial Williamsburg's costume center, is fitting the arms on the body of the jacket, which is being worn by Wendy Taylor, the Pamunkey woman who played the part of Pocahontas.  
Isn't it amazing to see it all together?!
Here is just a small group of the women who stitched on the jacket.  Many are local and came often during the week. A few are from further away and came just for weekends or a week's vacation.  All in all, it is quite amazing that so many dedicated stitchers managed to get the jacket ready in time for the wedding. (the baby is Wendy's little girl)
My DH, DD the elder, and I attended the first wedding - there were two more later in the day, and all were packed.
It was a gorgeous morning and afterwards the whole wedding party posed for photos on the stage.  The crowds were dense by my DH managed to get a good photo.
It was truly gratifying to hear so many people exclaim about the jacket as Pocahontas walked down the aisle. I really enjoyed being able to see people's reaction to the jacket.  I have not had that experience with the Plimoth jacket or the Agecroft coif, so I was happy that my DH made sure we made it to the ceremony.

Historic Jamestowne had quite few souvenirs available decorated with some of the original drawings of the jacket motifs by Tom Hammond.  I couldn't help buy everything but the shotglass.  Missing from this photo is the two other colours of tall mug, the key chain, the tote bag, the long sleeved t-shirt, and the microfiber cloth for glass cleaning.

I am very excited to be working on an article for NeedleArts (the EGA national magazine) so I thought I'd share the most interesting articles and videos about the jacket I've found online.
Making a Wedding Jacket for Pocahontas - video title: A Jacket for Lady Rebecca (Feb. 20, 2014)

Pocahontas and John Rolfe on their wedding day, 400 years since the first one by Dan Zak
(Washington Post April 7, 2014 )

Colonial Williamsburg write up from April 5, 2015 

 Celebrate Pocahontas' 400th wedding anniversary. By Diane Tennant The Virginian-Pilot


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Boxes and jackets

I have been making good progress on my first box.  I have the top done, except for some green purl that will hold down the Jane Austen in Bath enamel - the top of a broken box.

The front of the box is the Hampton cottage where Jane Austen lived. (do you see the theme here?)

I'm working on the sides which will include motifs from a sample Jane Austen stitched. Not sure about the back.

I'm also working on the top for a second box.  It will be a female rider on a horse.  It is for my daughter so the horse is white.  I had some gown issues so I'm redoing the needlelace.  And I will probably need to figure out how to make the white horse stand out from the white linen, but I'll get to that later.  Since the horse top fit on the same frame as the Jane Austen top and front, it may be a while before I get to make up the box.  But that's okay, I'm enjoying the stitching.

I have had reduced personal stitching time lately anyway since I have been popping down to Williamsburg on the weekend for the last month. It has been a so much fun to meet with all the local women and the women who have travelled from afar to embroider on the wedding jacket for Pocahontas. And I have enjoyed my chats with Brenda Rosseau, the Manager of the Costume Design Center of Colonial Williamsburg who has been running this project. She was sure the jacket could get done in time and it looks like she was right. The fronts and upper and lower arms are done, the back and coif are started and moving right along, and the small pieces, gussets and caps, are stitching up quickly.

Here is one of the caps that I stitched on yesterday.

Last weekend I did several motifs as well as vine shading and small flower motifs.  My favourite was this boar.

Really, I can't say enough about the amazing job Tom Hammond has done on the designs of the jacket.  Every creature or plant is wonderful and the overall effect is perfect.

Of course, there is still a forehead cloth to start on...

Can't wait to see the finished jacket at the wedding celebration.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Working on the Pocahontas wedding jacket

I've been to Williamsburg the last few weekends to work on the jacket mentioned a couple of posts ago.  It has been a wonderful experience.  So far it has been estimated that well over 300 hours of stitching and over 30 women have worked on the jacket. The design is fantastic!  I love all the motifs and while it is hard to get the stitching as detailed as the paper pattern, the shading really brings the pattern to life.  And it is an added bonus to be able to work in the design room in the Costume Building at Colonial Williamsburg.

These photos are from my first weekend there, when I stitched both Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8 and 9. I stitched on the upper arm piece.

I finished the oak leaves and stitched a beaver the next Sunday. You can see some of the stitching done by others on this upper arm piece. 

This weekend I stitched on the right front.  Here are the motifs I did today plus some photos of the whole right front so you can see how work is progressing.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Presentation of the Agecroft Coif

On Saturday, February 15 Gentle Pursuits finally presented the finished polychrome coif to Agecroft Hall. It has been fun working on it over the last 3 years, and it is a bit bittersweet after living with the coif for so long, but now it is ready to be part of the interpretive program at Agecroft.  First it will be on exhibit with the other coifs held in the Agecroft collection.  Be sure to go and see the coif and of course Agecroft Hall.

A professional took some photos and it is really wonderful what a black background and good lighting can do to make things look fantastic.

We all enjoyed going to Agecroft Hall again to make the presentation.