I was challenged by Mistress Magge at Laurel’s Prize to make something wonderful, practical, and beautifully worked for myself, as most of the stuff I do is for others. It’s extra sad when it comes time to show off a body of work because none of your best efforts are in your hands. Also, I tend to forget to take care of myself, and it’s good to remember that I’m important in my life and deserve the same love and generosity I show others. Enter the great Greenland Gown Project!
Mistress Magge was kind enough to walk me through constructing an 8-gore dress from one of the Greenland finds. I desperately need to make new clothes for myself, so it was a timely challenge. I had the right amount of deep purple linen at home, so I set to work. It was simple to pattern and efficient on yardage, so I imagine I’ll make more of these.
I’ve decided to hand sew the whole thing because it’s not as fussy as my late period stuff is. And because I wanted to feel smug about it. I don’t think I’ll do all hand sewing next time, though. It’s been a very satisfying thing that’s going faster than I thought it would.
Considering that there are a lot of these seams to double herringbone, I feel like my progress is about to slow considerably…
I’ve been working away on the gauntlet patches every night before bed. They’re coming along nicely! I’m using Soie de Algers and am very pleased with it. It’s so lovely and soft and shiny – really, it’s hard to believe that a year ago I didn’t believe a fellow artisan when she told me that it was so nice to work with I’d never want to go back to good old DMC floss. Truth be told, I want to embroider things just so I can work with the lovely silk. I feel very lucky to have a fancy needlework store in town that carries an abundance of silk and wool supplies.
Originally, I had bought silk plied through with a single strand of gold lamè to do the gold bits. A couple dozen hours into the first one of these patches, and I decided that I couldn’t do all this work with teensy strands of posh silks and top it with something so glaringly not medieval. So I went back to the fancy needlework store to ask about goldwork supplies. My research on or nuè made it seem like an easy solution for dealing with the gold bits, plus they’d be visually arresting.
“How hard can it be?” I said to myself. Yeah… no. Japan gold doesn’t turn a corner well. It kinks and bucks the turn. I think it took me two hours to untangle it after I thought it might work like a normal skein of embroidery floss. This little crown is actually made of evil and took another couple of frustrating hours to fill even though it’s only about the size of an Altoid. If I ever think of trying goldwork again, please remind me of how horrid this little bit of it was.
Unfortunately, Abraham put his wet muppet mustache on the fabric before I started, so I had to redraw the lines. Turns out Micron pens are not interchangeable with any old fine felt-tip pen.
Still, I think everything is coming along well for my first fine embroidery project – and the gold looks amazing, even if it is a total pain to work with.