Monday, 28 June 2010

I do love a good project

I went on a little shopping trip today, I do love fabric shopping, picking the type, the colour, the trims, bringing home the fresh little newly cut bundles, all ready to be made into something pretty.
Today's shop was for Flatmate-Weathers' corset. She found this corset which she liked, with the panels in different colours and the flower details. I am hand embroidering the flowers onto hers, which was this evenings task. I am going for a vaguely 18th century based pattern. I got this book for my 20th birthday (last Saturday) from Denise and it is wonderful. Well worth reading by anyone interested in embroidery and historical costume, its very detailed and is full of detailed line drawings of sections of real 18th century embroidery.
I flicked through it and scribbled this page down with a combination of the different flower shapes and styles.
I then went though my embroidery threads to pick out some colours for the detail, though I did actually change my mind after I took this picture. I am using grey silk-dupion for the front 4 corset panels and a slightly off white silk-dupion for the rest. I am going to keep the embroidery on the grey only, keeping it towards the centre.
This is the design I came up with, I am going to keep to only a few colours, Flatmate-Weathers didn't want the flowers to be too dominating, so I kept it fairly simple.
I used my trusty light box and a pencil to trace the design onto the silk. I'm sure that is not technically the correct way to do it, but chalk made a line too thick, and carbon paper with a tracing wheel wasn't accurate enough.
I did a little sample of my chosen threads on the silk to check the colours. This was a good idea because it made me decide one of them didn't really work (its hard to show the colours properly in a picture). Thread often looks a slightly different colour stitched into the fabric instead of just being laid on top of it, so I will definitely be doing this again.
Then I began stitching. I'm using stem stitch for the main stem, and back stitch for the thinner offshoots. When I put the corset together I shall mount the silk onto calico. I wasn't sure whether to do the embroidery through the silk and calico together or just the silk. I couldn't come up with any really good reasons for one being any better or worse than the other, so I'm just sewing through silk. Mainly because it means I get to start the embroidery and put off the mounting.
This is how far I got this evening, I was slightly distracted by the amazing Mumford & Sons live set from Glastonbury. I want to get the corset finished before Flatmate-Weathers returns on Sunday...but I will have to see how it goes. I would rather do a good job than rush it.

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