Friday, May 29, 2009

Almost finished!

I'm almost done with my smock. All I have left to do is fasteners for the collar and cuffs. Total time so far--about 35 hours. Total number of miniscule blanket stitches--approximately 4300. I ended up making this considerably simpler than I originally planned. I didn't do any additional embroidery and I didn't add neck or wrist ruffles. I decided I really just needed to get this thing DONE, and if I decide at some point to add ruffles--well, they're easy enough to whip stitch on.

Here's a couple of pics. I need to recharge the battery in camera, so I didn't get as many as I would like. I'll add more later.

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Link

I added a fantastic blog to the blogroll--The Embroiderer's Story. Tricia Wilson Nguyen is an expert in heritage needlework and one of the professionals heading up an amazing project at Plimoth Plantation. Needleworkers from across the country and the the world have donated their time, money, and skills to reproducing a 1620s embroidered jacket.

The blog documents the efforts that went into securing the most historically accurate materials and learning the most historically accurate techniques. Thread companies were inspired to reproduce specialty threads unavailable for years. Needleworkers mastered new stitches and gathered to teach and learn from each other.

The project is wrapping up now, after two full years of work. I just found out that Tricia was at Needle in a Haystack in Alameda talking about the project in April and I missed it! Arrgh! Anyway, the photographs on the blog are incredible, and I hope to be able to make a pilgrimage out to Plimoth to see it while it's still on display there. I've ordered their sample kit, the one stitchers used to "audition" to stitch on the jacket, even though they've come to the end. A portion of the price goes to help pay for materials for the projects, and this way I feel like I contributed my little piece to history.

It's a wonderful project, and anyone with an interest in historical craft or costume should check it out.