Spotlight on Home Arts: Clothing (Videos)
We are less than a week from entries at the Fair! I hope many who read this Blog are preparing their projects, and we look forward to seeing you there!
The promised virtual visit to the Home Arts Clothing Department continues, and is the final post before the Fair opens. I hope to post once the Home Arts is open, when I can show you current entries.
I located an interesting fabric the other year: a white polyester with roses twirled and stitched to the fabric. It practically screamed to me, “This could be fun!” So I made a simple washable jacket and added crystals to add to the festive feeling. It has been fun!
Moving on in Clothing to more demanding projects, we will start with tailoring. Three years ago K made this lovely Chanel jacket of burgundy wool, lined in silk charmeuse. She visited us and made it at our home; we had a fine time watching it emerge with her eager hands. She checked out the pattern fit by making muslin with one inch check cotton gingham. Then she proceeded with the real fabric, and did a bang-up job!
While we are addressing jackets and suits, this is one of wool from Florence, lined in silk brocade. It has embroidered roses on the jacket front, back yoke, and flared skirt, front and back. The seams are Hong Kong finished – bound with narrow bias, with no stitching apparent. (The stitching is done in the well of the seam.) The embroidery is in a rayon thread with color very close to the wool.
To give an idea of what the interior of a suit like this entails, this photo shows the wool/goat hair canvas interfacing extending across the upper bodice and under the arm. The puffy white strip is a strip of woven lamb’s wool which helps shape the top curve of the set in sleeve. The set in sleeve has been stitched to the bodice and a zig zag stitch protects the trimmed seam from fraying. In tailoring, we ‘build’, layer by layer, to achieve the durable, smart look and fit that make tailoring so desired.
The embroidery motif is printed from the PC to a sticky back stabilizer and placed where the design will be stitched. This guarantees placement in the hoop for stitching. Once, certain of the placement in the hoop, the top stabilizer can be removed. There remains a stabilizer on the back. Selecting the correct stabilizer is important, as the finished motif should sit beautifully on the surface and not pull the fabric or make it stiff. Completing a sample prior to stitching the project is important.
A long sleeved blouse for the suit is in silk charmeuse print and made from a designer Vogue pattern. The gathered mandarin collar closes with hand stitch loops and pearls. The interfacing is silk organza.
Laces have always interested me, and one in particular: Carrickmacross Lace. The Irish women of County Monaghan worked this lace during the famine in order to earn money for their food. The local rector’s wife brought samples of Italian lace back from a trip to the continent, and presented the idea to the women of the county. The women appreciated the idea, and these Irish women modified the materials and designs. Carrickmacross lace is worked on a net base and features appliqued perimeter of cambric (similar to organdy) emphasized with picot stitches and embroidered surface motifs. That work was done completely by hand, often with the stitcher huddled by a candle that reflected light through a water-filled globe known as a lace lamp. They washed their hands every ten minutes. The lace became very popular when it was included in royal weddings, including Kate’s wedding to Prince William.
I planned a simple blouse with this lace in mind and had a wonderful time stitching the motifs and setting up the perimeter of appliqued organdy with picots. Everything was worked on the sewing machine. Below you will see how I hold the picots in place for top stitching with a zig zag stitch. I programmed the machine to stop every 6 stitches at which point I held the picots to the side with a wooden stitch. It was time consuming, but the results were rewarding. It truly resembled Carrickmacross!
Completed blouse worn with a silk charmeuse shell. My granddaughter also wore it over a bright solid colored long sleeved top, and it looked just fine.
K fell in love with a plaid silk fabric that went on sale online, and we went for it! She constructed a 1940’s style dress and carefully matched the plaids on the skirt. The bodice took a great deal of work in fitting, but she accomplished it. Seams are overcast to avoid fraying.
A long sleeved Pendleton wool man’s shirt required a lot of matching plaids, but was fun. Note the collar, collar points, yoke meeting front, etc. It was wonderful fabric to work with.
Here is a peek at the machine work on a prairie style night gown in fine Egyptian cotton. The purchased motif sets the basic color. Pin tucks are in soft blue. The faux smocking is achieved by stitching over cording and pulling the cording. Self-piping sets off the skirt where it joins the bodice. The hand tatting in variegated blues adds another handmade touch, in the selected color hue.
And that tells me it is time to retire for the night. I have enjoyed sharing the Home Arts department with you. I now look forward to completing my entries for this year. Then, I shall have a Blog post when the Home Arts Department of the Montgomery County Fair opens!