Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Piece de resistance

Once again I made a present which I was very proud off and was more than a little reluctant to give away........
I was so pleased with it I decided to give it a post all of its own.

Well, dear reader, let me take you back to a WIPFriday last February (it only seems like yesterday) when I was last seen doing something with velvet samples. The rather splendid devore ones. Also, I can take you a little further back to January of 2007 when I went and looked at Holbein potraits in the Tate. I couldn't get a few of those portraits out of my head and I found myself in March of 2008 rather taken by the idea of velvet sleeves. So, combined with a new love of screenprinting, devore, velvet sleeves and the need to produce my metre piece for my City and Guilds course pretty darn sharpish, I came up with the following piece during a weekend in Wales over the Easter Bank Holiday. Here it is from my summer exhibition:


Whilst this was very grand with its devore details, beaded fringing, machine embroidered organza cuffs, embroidered buttons and rouleaux loops. I couldn't help feeling that it could have been improved on in a kind of less-is-more kind of way. Like, if I, um, didn't do any embroidery or surface embellishment or other pootling about. My mother, when visiting my exhibition, pretty much read my mind when she surreptiously tried the wrap on and hinted such a garment without the lacey finishings would be quite the thing for the various social occasions she attends (she has become quite the butterfly).

So one bit of velvet and satin stitching later and she found this left under the Christmas tree for her:
Velvet Wrap for my mother

Almost no phaffing about this time. However, I did forget what a slippery old customer velvet is, despite the use of a walking foot and cough, cough, double sided sticky tape in the seam allowances. I also thought I would save time (HAH!) by forgoing the rouleaux loops and covered buttons and do something with some of the funky new asian knot templates I had recently acquired. After 10+ metres of cord, hand sewing and 30 knots (to make 10 pairs of ball buttons and frogging combos) my fingers and eyes would have disagreed with my earlier assessment.

Detail of asian knot fastenings

But you would have to admit, the result was really worth it. And my Mum was pretty chuffed too ;-)

Now, how would this look in a nice crisp dupion.......and some good ol' fashioned one step buttonholes?


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