What a weekend!
Friday – I got home from work to this yumminess:
(They’re a bit creased as I’ve hand-washed them, but haven’t ironed yet.)
The photos really don’t do these fabrics justice. I’ll confess, I’ve been too busy to do a burn test, but from the feel of the fraying threads on the cut ends and the way they hold colour (so luminous), I am sure they’re silk. If not, they’re bloody good synthetics. To call the darker one navy is to do it a great disservice: it’s far richer in colour than navy normally is – it’s more of an indigo.
And I was right about the lighter blue – it’s not electric blue, instead it’s an absolutely amazing cerulean blue shot with a lighter violet, which makes it seem almost ultra-violet when it shimmers and catches the light. Even better, the two sides of the fabric are quite different – one seems a mid almost-turquoise shot with purple and the other is a light greyish-blue with the violet sheen. I seem to recall that the edges of the polonaise-style jacket (up to the trim line) are a green facing, which is making me think of using the opposite side of the fabric for the edges and using a purple trim (perhaps purple velvet ribbon). I suspect I’ve not explained that very well – I’ll put together a diagram at some point!
Polonaise style jacket from the Cut of Women's Clothes
Which leaves the question – mostly light with the darker side on the edges, or mostly dark with the lighter? Decisions, decisions!
Saturday – went to the library, got the Beginners Crewel Embroidery book, another introductory embroidery book and this little haul:
I’m thinking calico pockets embroidered with green leaves and twisty stems and blue and purple flowers with yellow stamens. Unfortunately they didn’t have crewel thread, so I had to get regular stranded cotton, but I figure this will be good to practice with and when I have a bit more money I can order some (probably from Sewandso.co.uk as recommended by Rosel). Oh, and the ribbons are for cockades (as per the good Duchess’s tutorial plus a couple of other (less good) tutorials I’ve found in old books) – I’ve got some blue and white buttons as well as some brassy anchor ones, so I thought I’d go for a nautical theme.
I also had an eye test on Saturday and for the first time ever, I was prescribed glasses. I got a great deal (two pairs, including scratch-resistant coated lenses for £99 – one pair of those lenses is usually around £70) and picked up one pair yesterday (the other is on order). I always wanted glasses as a kid and now I’ve got them, it’s really weird – I think I’m glad they’re only for me to use when I feel I need them (when my eyes feel tired or I feel a headache coming on and I’m using a computer).
Saturday evening (I said it was a packed weekend, didn’t I?) I worked on the stays and I’ve finished sewing the boning channels on the front panel:
They’re not perfect, but not bad considering my newness to sewing and still-developing machine skills. In the end I decided to sew straight through the ridgeline that forms the two horizontal bones as it would have been a massive headache to sew around them by machine (if I were hand-sewing I would have done that, though – I do like the look of the horizontal stitches) plus the ridgeline is a different width to the cable-ties, so it might have looked odd.
And as for the rest of Sunday – well, I read those embroidery books and did a little bit of stitch practice with some spare embroidery thread I had in my stash. Unfortunately it’s off-white and pretty much matches the calico perfectly, so it wouldn’t show up very well in a photo, but this week I’ll get started on the pockets and will post pictures then.
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