For quite a while now I have wanted some ruffly engageantes to spice up my gowns. I was going to just whip up some plain ones and knock them off my sewing to-do list but then the embroidery fairy got the best of me. I was inspired :)
Scroll down a bit and you will see some great extant examples of ruffles from the LACMA. I took a bit of inspiration from all of these and sketched out a design. I traced the outline onto my cotton background and loosely hemmed the edges to keep the fabric nice and neat for my frame. I mark the embroidery pattern as I go, not before. It just seems to disappear!
The frame I rigged up a bit. It was a cheapie one that had velcro your fabric was supposed to stick to. Not a chance. So I took some wide twill, finished the edges and hammered it to the wood dowel with thumb tacks. I used tacks instead of nails because the heads are smooth and wont catch on the delicate fabric. You baste your fabric to the twill and then turn the dowels to advance the fabric.
|Hemming the edges before framing up the fabric with help |
it from unraveling and keep it neat.
|Thumb tacks, hammered into the dowel, keep the |
twill secure and won't snag.
|Baste the fabric to the twill to keep it taught as you |
turn the dowels.
I took cues from the extant examples and used a cotton ground (I think it was a voile I had on hand) and fine linen thread (90/2 white from William Booth Draper). The thread I cut in shorter lengths (about 20 in) and waxed it well. I used refined white beeswax for this. Some waxes I have tried turned yellow after a while so I bought cosmetic grade refined beeswax and made my own molds. It works awesome for whitework. I will put some up for sale soon to share.
|I love my cute little beeswaxies!|
|On it's way! Linen thread (90/2) on cotton.|
The embroidery style I am going for is reminiscent of Schwalm, which is similar to Dresden, but not quite as fine. It is a lot of chain stitch, with some shapes outlined in coral stitch, too, and with pulled thread work. I've never done embroidery this fine, but as long as the light is good, I have noticed it goes pretty fast, and the more I do, the more even the stitches get. Yay pretty!
I'm so excited for them!
Linen embroidery (chainstitch) and pulled threadwork
on muslin with linen bobbin lace edging,
2 1/4 x 7 1/2 x 35 in.
Linen embroidery (satin and darning stitches)
on cotton ground, 13 3/4 x 7 3/8 in
|LACMA, c.1760 (M.82.26.2a-b)|
Linen embroidery (darning stitch and pulled fabric work)
on cotton, 3 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 38 in.
Silk embroidery (running, darning stitches) and
pulled threadwork on cotton, 5 x 9 1/2 x 44 in.