Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Chasing the past

Well here I am, still alive and well - just!

I survived the trauma of creating something Victorian for our eldest son's recent wedding, I even did the bustle underskirt and I didn't disgrace myself. Didn't quite match up to wonderful daughter-in-law's creations and my other son's girlfriend's dress but respectable enough.

Yes, she made the lot!

What a handsome group
I am now getting everything ready for an RSN intensive in Durham - stumpwork.

Like many people, I love those 17th century stumpwork pictures that you see in National Trust houses, all out of proportion but telling a story. So, why not? I found a picture of some unworked panels for a stumpwork box in the book 'English Embroidery in the Metropolitan Museum' and as I am at home I thought I could get everything ready before the course.

17th century raised work design
I'm not sure what she will have in her hands yet but I very much doubt the parrot will be there!

I started by making a tracing of the bare details and where they will be sited on the silk and then traced it on. You will see that the petals are not there just the stems and a mark for the leaves. I've padded up the clouds with felt and sheep's wool and a bit of felt under the sun and padded and satin stitched the ladybird's body ready for his wings

Traced outline ready to go
I'm not sure that the way I've done the sun will work because of all the rays that have to be cut around and then attached, but we'll see.

Canvas worked sun ready to attach
Then I started on the needlelace. Thought I was going great guns until then. I have to do an underskirt, dress skirt and sleeves and bodice. And it's going on and on and on..............................

Corded buttonhole needlace
I've already sent for two more orders from Patricia at Mulberry Silks where I got my fine silk twist from and I now hate blue!

Needlelace detail
Each piece of the skirt measures 10 cm. I've now done both panels and the pink underskirt so in a week I've done 30 cm of corded buttonhole. Is that good? I haven't a clue. All I know is I've the bodice and sleeves to do, the lace cuffs aargh!

Tomorrow though I'll have a change and do a petal or two, maybe the ladybird wings, who knows. All I can say is I am in awe of those young girls who produced those panels to show their skill at embroidery. It certainly teaches you patience and dedication!

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