Tagged ‘collar’

Tailors

October 22nd, 2008 by Tricia

As it happens when researching these things, one ah-ha leads to many questions. I am blogging all this so I don’t forget anything and so please forgive my rambling from one subject to another. So after I went “oh crud”  and joked about a lot of stitching in front of American
football to make those covered seams, I started to think about the order of
things. This was great as I verbalized it to Susan and she went and got a
colleague of hers who is working on the pattern book and had been thinking
about exactly these questions about the Laton jacket.

So the back
seam on the arm would have to be joined and then embroidered upon. Also
the godets or gussets would have to be installed on the fronts and backs
and then embroidered. Also the fronts would need to be joined to the back
along the side seams and then embroidered. Then the rest of the seams could be made along with the cuffs, collar and wings being installed.
Again the vertical integration idea came up.  Well, I asked, then who sewed
the initial seams? A tailor on-site with the embroiderers or the
embroiderers themselves? Or could the tailor embroider plaited braid. Susan and her colleague felt that the well known tailors guild and
embroiderers guild meant that the people were separate and the pieces would
have been turned over. The implication was that the initial seams were done by the embroiderers and then the partially completed jacket was turned over to a tailor’s shop who finished it.

They brought up that
the bespoke (English for Custom-Made) nature of the jackets meant that the
tailor had made a muslin for the person or had modified a general pattern
they had using measurements they had made of the person. They mentioned
that measurements weren’t like we make them, in inches, but more like
positions on a tape. The order would then have been to draw the outline of
the pattern pieces on pieces of linen to then send to the embroiderer’s
workshop for design application and embroidery.  They mentioned evidence
from inventory books that the commissioner may have supplied the linen
themselves to the tailor.  (This brought up the question about suppling
embroidery threads too). Certainly we can see on many jackets that the embroidery was worked to the pattern outline and stopped and that on many jackets the outline is visible and so hasn’t been altered. I had asked if they thought that there could have been an industry supplying partially completed jackets for final construction after purchase. I mentioned this in light of the comment in ‘The French Garden’ about embroidered jackets for sale in the Royal Exchange, implying ‘Ready-Made’. Susan and her colleague really felt that the jackets were commissioned bespoke. And certainly there is plenty of evidence from the garments themselves to support that along with the great cost we now know in making them on risk of having a buyer.

More tomorrow
about the linen and pattern making.

Tricia

Catherine, Laura and Jen

September 19th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Catherine, Laura and Jen joined us for last weekend’s embroidery session. All of them have been here before and so are considered “veterans.” They certainly showed their experience; they all accomplished a great deal.

Catherine was working on the unwieldy back piece, and stitched three complete roses along with a few odds & ends here and there. Laura mostly worked on the collar & cuffs frame, finishing the cuffs to the point that they are ready for goldwork. She also stitched the detached butterfly wing piece, and then sewed it to the collar, which made the collar done-done-done.

Jen was working on an equally unwieldy front, and did some of everything, including fancy worms. Fancy worms are composed of two parallel rows of ceylon stitch, in two different colors, with the head stitched separately in a third color but also in ceylon stitch. These worms also get black back stitched antennae (thus making them not technically worms, I know) but are not wrapped like the plain worms.

Here are all of them with their frames. They were friends from before this project, and traveled here together sort of like a girls’ weekend away. They have such fun together, it makes the atmosphere of the weekend sort of like a party. A few different times we’ve had friends meet here both to enjoy each other’s company and to work together on the project. It puts me in mind of all the different sorts of women’s gatherings to work and talk, like quilting bees or houseraisings (OK, there the men are working I guess but if you don’t think it’s a lot of work to feed timberframers, I’d like to introduce you to a couple of cooks I know…..)

Status Report – Collar

September 14th, 2008 by Jill Hall

As of September 12, 2008, here is the collar piece. You’ll notice it has both gold work and sequins, necessitating the use of shades just to look at it.

I’m pretty sure Tricia is going to blog about this piece, and I don’t want to scoop her so I won’t say any more – but this picture really is worth a thousand words.

Playing with the Sparkle

September 5th, 2008 by Jill Hall

I have been able to spend a good deal of time recently working on the gold thread embroidery and it is really beginning to make the piece come to life. While the polychrome embroidery is always impressive,
once the gold goes on a project, you realize that the piece was previously ‘flat’. There is nothing like that sparkle. I almost finished the gold work on the collar recently and couldn’t help playing with the lace lengths that our friends had finished for the wings. Here you can see it curved around the edge where the lace will finally be applied in the finished waistcoat. Just breathtaking. This object won’t need any light to be shone on it. It will be a beacon of its own. And we haven’t added the small ‘oes’ on the embroidery yet! Another level of sparkle to go!

Tricia

Golden Vines

August 6th, 2008 by Tricia

Tricia writes:

Today we took a deep breath and started the goldwork on the jacket. I am in town all week working and couldn’t wait to start putting the gold to the jacket and making it come alive. I picked the collar as the silk work was all done on it. Here you can see part of a line
worked and on the second photo, you can see the coil done and a few tendrils worked in reverse chain.

The first gold stitches on the jacket!To get going, I had to do a few tests to figure out what spacing we would use between repeats of the plaited braid. On the original jacket, the “v” is deeper than our version. I find when working with this stitch that the stitch width can be modified and the V is either
shallow or exaggerated. While one of the tests was able to get the same elongated V as the original piece, it seemed a bit sparse but worked faster and easier!. We don’t know exactly how thick the original thread was but I suspect it was thicker than what we are working with, which would have covered better even when worked with a larger spacing. I also suspect that it was more ductile and their needle had a larger eye but thinner shank. We had to change parameters on the thread to get it to work well and
Vine and tendrils on the collar. couldn’t use such a thick thread. We will work ours more shallow to get a nice coverage with our (I think) thinner version of the gold thread.

Jill said it was much more bright and sparkly than she had imagined!

Tricia

Cuffs, Collar, Wings

July 5th, 2007 by Jill Hall

AUGUST DATES: There’s been a little confusion about the dates of the August embroidery bee. We’ll be meeting and embroidering for three days, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, AND FRIDAY, AUGUST 10. On the questionnaire that went out with the sample kits there’s a typo which I will not reproduce here lest I cause more confusion. These are the right dates. See you in Plymouth.

Tricia describes the process of adapting the embroidery pattern for the cuffs, collar, and wings, (which are absent from the jacket whose embroidery pattern we’re using):

The jacket pattern that we are working with has a collar, cuffs, and the little wings that come from the shoulders. When it came time to transfer the pattern to these pieces, we had to do a little research. The jacket we are adapting does not have these details, so how do we choose? For the collar, we looked at several examples to see if the collar had a mirrored pattern or was cut out from the repeat. The second question to answer was if the design was right side up or upside down when viewed from the back. [Jill here. The collar is a small semi-circular piece of cloth, on the left in the first picture. It is sewn to the center back neckline. The collar hangs down the back, with the embroidered side up. The side that touches the back of the jacket is unworked.] On the ones we looked at, the collar is cut from the repeat such that the curve of a coil fit in the center rounded part of the collar. This means it is viewed upside down when installed in the jacket. The jackets we viewed also showed that the pattern on the collar matched almost exactly the pattern on the part of the back of the jacket which was covered by the collar. So we followed this guidance.

For the wings (the second picture), the examples showed that the design was just cut in the same orientation as the front of the jacket, and the pattern was right side up when viewed from the front. For the cuffs (the two shapes on the right in the first photo), we had a great picture of a cuff laid out before the MET jacket was mounted years ago. It showed that a modification had been made to the design to put a carnation at the center middle, pointing to the free end of the cuff. Then two coils emanated from the bottom of the carnation, each holding a different motif – but mirrored. We tried to follow this lead the first time we drafted the pattern, but the cuffs for the Laton jacket are not as deep as those on the MET jacket, therefore this scheme didn’t work out. Instead, we put a pink motif in the center and cut the design with the edge of the pattern.

(The third picture is two of the five gussets.)

For the gussets, we followed the V&A jacket and used the area of the design that has thistles on it for each of the five gussets.

Tricia

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