Sunday, February 9, 2014

HSF #3 The Pink Challenge Part 2

When last we left our heroine, she was realizing she had drastically underestimated the time it takes for hand embroidery.

Nature, however, was kind enough to curse me with a horrific sinus infection last week and I was off work for two days.  I slept a good part of those two days, but the hours I was awake, I wasn't up for much besides watching TV so I finished the embroidery while watching season 4 of Torchwood.

 I was rather pleased with how the embroidery came out.  (I'd insert a picture here, but I forgot to take one at this juncture.) There are a few minor inconsistencies in the spacing of the pattern and the stitching, but I don't think they're terribly noticeable.

The next step was also an exercise in under-estimation.  How long is hemming a handkerchief and putting some lace on it going to take?  An hour? foolish me thought.  When I got to pressing up the first corner, I realized that I was going to have to either mitre the corners (a technique I'd read about but never actually done) or  *gulp*  hand roll the hem.

This put me into a bit of analysis paralysis.  Cutting the corners wrong to mitre them could ruin the whole thing, wasting all the embroidery time. But I'd also never done anything but make a hash of handrolling hems, either.  (and had no better luck with a roller foot on the machine.)

So after sleeping on it, I did a test attempt at hand rolling a hem on a piece of scrap linen.  It went about as well as I expected it would..  which is to say dreadfully.  So I gathered my courage and snipped the corners to mitre them.  Pressing in the hem with the mitred corners worked  better than I expected, but I couldn't see how I'd have the necessary finesse with a machine hem, so a hand hem it was.

I am not a "sew a garment completely by hand" sort of seamstress.  My handsewing is decent, but not especially impressive.  My biggest fault when it comes to hand sewing is impatience, so my stitches can get a little long.  But, settling down with a few episodes of Doctor Who, I got the hem stitched in.   And darned if it didn't look pretty good, even the mitred corners!

The back side with mitred corner

 But it still needed something so I rummaged around in my antique lace collection until I found just the right lace to edge it with.

Another episode or two of Doctor Who and I had a finished handkerchief.

 The right side

 Detail of the right side

 The Wrong side

Detail of the Wrong side

While it's not the ideal of the backside looking identical to the right side, it's tidy and consistent looking, so I'm pleased with the result.  In fact, I'm going to go so far as to say I am pretty darned PROUD of the finished handkerchief.  I would call this project a total success!

The Challenge:  #3 Pink

Fabric: Handkerchief linen, cotton lace

Pattern: For the embroidery, a design from Briggs Patent Catalog of Transferring Papers (from

Year: 1884

Notions:  Thread, silk embroidery floss

How Historically Accurate is it? 90%?   The pattern was from a Victorian source, it was all hand sewn. I have no idea the age of the lace used, other than "antique"  The thread for hand sewing was not 100% cotton, so marks off for that.

Hours to complete: 16ish

First worn:  Probably tucked into my purse this coming weekend at AnachroCon

Total Cost: $40ish This was not the most cost effective project I've ever done.  I had to  buy a yard of handkerchief linen and I bought a number of shades of pink silk floss that I decided not to use.  Still, anything unused goes into the stash, so it's not a waste.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I am covetting that handkerchief. I'm such a sucker for embroidery. Very nicely done.