Saturday, February 13, 2016


Considering how much I've been working on this lately, it's surprising I haven't actually written a post about it!

A while back, I posted about doing an embroidered court suit for my fella, and then, well, it just sort of fell by the wayside. Then, as the Francaise Dinners started getting closer, I decided, "Hey! What a perfect opportunity to make something flashy!"

Of course, I decided this at the proverbial last minute, so for the past month or so I've been furiously embroidering a length of silk, trying to get everything done on time.

Since the dinner was approaching quickly and time was short, I tried to find an embroidery pattern to mimic that wasn't terribly involved or complicated. That was hard. I'm drawn to all the crazy, over the top awesome embroidered options, so trying to focus on easy stuff was anything but. Add to that the fact that I was shooting for 1760s or 70s made it even harder. There are lots and lots of examples of embroidered suits from the 80s and 90s, but they're not quite as abundant if you go earlier. I finally decided screw it and decided on a pattern from an uncut waistcoat, vaugely labeled 18th Century on the Met's website. Judging from the cut of the pattern this waistcoat is probably from the 1790s, but like I said, screw it.

It's worked entirely in neutrals, but my guy likes color, so I decided to use violets and daisies in the pattern, and simplify the pattern a bit more so I'd be sure to have time to finish everything.

My satin stitch was rusty and it took me a while to find my groove, but once I got into a rhythm I was able to finish about a section (one violet cluster and one daisy cluster) every day. This meant dedicating between 7 to 9 hours a day to embroidery after getting home from either work or classes. Yes, I am very tired. Thankfully, I had excellent feline supervision.

At this point, I've started on the second half of the front, and am making good progress. Hopefully I can keep up the pace!

The next thing to work on will be the coat. I had ordered some teal silk from a Chinese seller, and it was absolutely stunning stuff, but with the time crunch becoming tighter and tighter it was becoming clear that I wouldn't be able to do what I wanted before the dinner. As a backup I purchased some burgundy satin and created a simple embroidered border that I plan to work in gold. The original plan was to buy a sari and use that to make the coat, but it's a lot harder than I thought it would be to find something that will actually work for a man's coat. (Though I did find a lot of nifty things that would be great for future dresses for myself!)

If all goes well I'll be starting on the coat next week. Wish me luck!

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