Tuesday, February 4, 2014

HSF #3 The Pink Challenge part 1

The goal was simple.  A handkerchief, embroidered in pink.  It complied with the challenge, was something I might actually use, wasn't so pink that it made me twitch and should be simple since this was due the weekend of AnachroCon.  I should have known those were famous last words...

I couldn't find any sort of original source that the Dover Whitework book was from, so I needed to find another source for an embroidery design.  Serendipitiously, one of my fellow classmates in the Victorian Undergarments class posted a link to a pdf of an 1884 catalog of embroidery patterns so finding an agreeable alternate wasn't difficult.  

Pattern with my color scheme penciled in

This pattern was more tightly drawn than my original plan, and pricking and pouncing the design onto the linen didn't seem like it would work well.  But the linen was thin enough I was pretty sure I could trace the design on with my new favorite notion, a Dritz Tailors Marking Pencil.  It's essentially a 9mm mechanical pencil that comes with 3 different colours of chalk sticks to load it with and makes it easy to make small precise marks on fabric.  So it was down to the cutting table, with Ziyi to supervise.

 Ready for tracing

 Ziyi says:  "Hmmm...  are you sure you're tracing on the lines?  Here let me help!"

Despite With Ziyi's help, I had the pattern traced onto the linen in about an hour.

It's white linen..  of COURSE it needs black cat hair on it.

Pattern on fabric

Then it was getting the linen onto the embroidery frame, which I ended up doing by hand because darned if I could figure out how I used to machine baste linen onto the stretcher rods.

Finally ready to start embroidering

That was pretty much my available sewing time for the day...  and it was several days before I had time to pick up the project again.  At that point, the tailors chalk had faded just enough for me to realize that I might have been able to embroider that pale green pattern on white linen without going blind when I was 20, but I did *not* have the eyesight to do that now.

So it was back to the cutting table (while Ziyi was napping) to pencil the design on with graphite this time. I was pretty sure it would all be covered by embroidery anyway and not going blind seemed like a win.

 A pattern I can actually see

Originally, I thought about adding the pattern on all four corners...  it was just a simple chain stitch, it wouldn't take long at all to do...right?  I'm rather glad I talked myself out of that, because I severely under calculated the time it takes me to embroider these days...since I haven't done anything similar in at least ten years.
Three hours solid work got me this far

I will get this done in time  if it kills me, but someone, please, the next time I come up with an "easy" idea like this for a challenge...  talk some sense into me! :)

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