Fabric and embroidery sample purchases

I’m still catching up on posting what I’ve been up to lately. I’m going a little out of order, but trying to keep my thoughts organized with the subjects.

I mentioned that I’m making a chemise a la reine (CalR), because I found some cotton voile on sale. I couldn’t pass it up, even though I was originally looking for something else first.

My original plan was to get some fabric to make a talma wrap in time for the February Antique Elegance Show, but the weather has been so warm. Even though the event I want to wear the CalR to is in November, I decided to not worry about 19th century cold-weather garments and go ahead and buy the cotton voile.

The other reason I bought the fabric is it seemed light and gauzy enough to try some pulled thread whitework embroidery (where you make stitches that warp the actual fabric weave, creating patterns and holes that resemble lace).

I’ve been practicing pulled thread stitches, but ended up struggling here and there. The fabric seemed different compared to the books I was using, and it was difficult to count threads properly to achieve the right look. Just when I felt I was getting it correct with a few stitches, I ended up hating it again.

I’ve been spoiled with my regular embroidery website for learning, and haven’t yet been able to find something as good for pulled thread techniques. I do have a few books, but sometimes it’s just not the same as well made videos — I get the feeling sometimes that written instructions miss steps and don’t give enough tips.

I attended the aforementioned Antique Elegance Show with a friend (I didn’t even bother dressing up), and within minutes of entering I found something to buy!

Tucked away in a basket, was an embroidered handkerchief. It had a lot of embroidery on it, some of it was pulled thread stitches, and best of all the monogram was the same as my last name! I just had to have it. I talked the seller down a little, and picked it up on my way out of the show.

whitework handkerchief

The purchased handkerchief. I didn't bother to press the creases out -- it went right into a bag for storage so I can study it when I'm ready.

whitework handerchief

whitework handkerchief

whitework handkerchief

The other three corners have this design.

whitework handkerchief

A closeup detail of the monogram section.

I have it handy to study, even though it doesn’t have all of the stitches I hoped to try, but already it helped me realize that the photos in the books are very, very close up shots. I’m trying to keep my work very small, but it’s been helpful.

Originally, I was thinking about embroidering ruffles for the CalR, but I’m leaning more towards plain self-fabric ruffles. I may make ruffled cuffs and accessories for another outfit, especially if I find another lighter, gauzy fabric I love even more.

I’m just happy I lucked out with a couple purchases this year. Sometimes I feel unlucky, never finding anything I need or want to buy (and if I come close, I usually talk myself out of it). I also think having a little more confidence with my sewing skills makes me feel like I deserve nicer fabrics!

I never thought I would purchase things mainly to study. I thought photos online, or looking closely at displays would be enough. Sometimes it is, and up until now I was happy just viewing what others shared publicly. This time, however, I must admit it was nice to purchase a handy study guide. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out for more items that cover even more stitches. I’ll be especially lucky if little details like a monogram just happen to match up like this one though! 😉

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
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2 Responses to Fabric and embroidery sample purchases

  1. Mary says:

    There’s something about that talma wrap that I really love. As for the hankie, it’s lovely! Will you point out the pulled thread stitches for me so I know what they look like?

  2. Their embroidered handkerchiefs were so beautiful! And yours is no exception. Best of luck on your reproduction project!

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