Saturday, 28 November 2009

Embroidered Reticule 18th Century design

I finally finished the reticule I was making from the 18th Century silk shading and goldwork design, and I am very pleased with how it turned out!

The original design was taken from Gail Marsh's 18th Century Embroidery Techniques.

I used 2% gold and gilt threads from Mace and Nairn, and LOTS of Paillettes (18th Century for tiny gold plated sequins). I love Paillettes. They are so much classier than sequins!

I also used my lovely Handweavers Studio silks. The fabric was some silk twill I got from Ebay for a quid a metre. I have 36 metres of the stuff, and I use it for all sorts of things. I backed it with white linen to embroider it whech gives it some substance. When making up the bag I flatlined it with cotton drill to help it keep its onion shape. The bag lining is the same gold dupion as the piping.

To make up the bag I followed these excellent instructions.

I looked all over the web for the purse frame, I love the peacocks! I think it came from U handbag too,
but they don't have it any more.

And because it was for Queenortart, there HAD to be piping. I don't quite have her touch with piping, but she liked it anyway.

She chose the onion shape, and I believe it works well with the design.

There was much squee when I presented it to her at consequences.

And it was so simple to make that I beleive more purses and bags may be in my future. In fact I'm considering using the little bird design I posted last to make a spectacle case for the mother in law for xmas.

Belle Epoque Ball Gown

Okay, I have finished the Frock of Doom. I started wanting to do something loosely based on a dress which Florence Farr, my character for the 1897 game wore in an extant picture.

I used the Truly Victorian Belle Epoque Evening Bodice and Grand Parlour skirt patterns, and made them up preety much exactly as per instructions, just adding a black chifforn overlayer to the sleeves.

However, I did not get it finished for that game, so I wore one of my Artistic Reform Teagowns to the Ball, which actually worked much better for the character.

So there it sat, needing hemming, pressing, buttons, buttonholes and final Jhooshing for nearly two years.

At this year's Consequences (freeform gaming convention) there was a big Victorian game on the Satruday night so I sent my casting form in with the picture of Florence and a request to "just cast the frock!"

And I got Princess Alexandra. I had to buy myself a Tiara!

The hem took ages, it's about 8 yards around! And I hate the buttonholer on my machine, so I did all the buttonholes by hand. I like the way they look.

And I LOVE the little Swarowski Crystal buttons up the back.

I changed my idea for the lace. I was going to use a deep vintage chantilly, but when I compared the laces I had, it looked a bit too lingerie (perfect for an actress, not regal enough for Princess Alex, and the narrower modern machine embroidered lace with cream on black was just perfection.

Anyway, here be pics!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Small, but Shiny!

This year I am trying to embroider things for Xmas starting with the Perfumedwaters Xmas ornament swap.

I was a bit stuck for inspiration for this one, as designs need to be small, quick, stylish, and most importantly be adaptable for lots of bling!

Until I found these charming lighthearted little free designs by Andrea Zuill

I have some tiny bits of lots of goldwork materials sent to me as samples by Benton and Johnson, and some Paillettes and smooth passing left over from other projects.

And I had an Anemone mini-topic from Mulberry Silks and some fabulous silk Duchesse Satin left over from a frocking project, and the colours worked together.

So the lucky recipient will be getting a very luxe ornament indeed. The gold threads are made from real gold, plated over silver, and then hammered out very thin. So are the little god spangles. (They cost 10 p each but they add such shine!)

It is worked in a combination of stem stitch, satin stitch couching, straight stich, (for the feet) Feather stitch (guess) and fly stitch for the little breast feathers.

Finally for extra sparkle I added some beads which I didn't use for the TYger Tyger bag.

I like it. Andrea's folky style is interpreted through my love of bling and luxe materials.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

From the sublime to the ridiculous

First off, the big silk shading embroidery arrived at it's destination and was well recieved.

So I was between projects. (Not quite true, there is a belt with a repeating design I am working on as a surprise for a friend, but she's not expecting it, and I kind of can't face embroidering the same flowers in the same two colourways sequentially).

Perfumedwaters (LJ community mostly dedicated to perfume) swappage to the rescue. My swappee loves tigers, apparently so I decided to whip up a quick little beaded tiger design to go on the pocket of a large shopper bag.

Google image search to the rescue, I found a colouring-in page of a stylised Tiger, courtesy of which has the cutest animal pictures, which I stylised even more to adapt to embroidery rather than colouring in. I love his little face.

A few beads and some braid from the Big Trim Shop (formerly the Tiny Trim Shop, and it still doesn't have an official name though they are obviously doing well enough to expand) down Walthamstow Market where they have a wall of beads and sequins and another of every trim imaginable (by someone who has really lived and taken substances), and a raid of stash (for the natural cotton drill, and embroidery threads) and I was happily stitching.

I got quite creative with the braid, deconstructing it to add to the variety of beads and trims I had to play with, and layering the flower elements with sequins and beads

I'm rather pleased with him. He took a couple of evenings, and he was fun to do!

I'm less pleased with the workmanship on the bag. My Serger was playing up, and the seams are all bubbly. The top seam was so bad I had to quickly bind it with ribbon (the thing has to go off tomorrow). Apologies for creases, I did iron him, but then I realised I had forgotten to take pics and had to unpack him, snap him and rewrap him.