Saturday, 3 February 2018

Working on my 16th cenury shift, and a magic pen

I have started working on the 16th century shift, and despite all my talk about doing something suitable for the local people, I couldn't help myself. I have started a shift with so much fabric that it's clearly an upperclass/nobility shift. I guess that only means that I need to make another more suitable shift, but I actually enjoy making them.

For the general pattern and instructions I have followed the tutorial from Katafalk. It gives a total circumference, and neck to be smocked, of 4,5 m. That's a lot of fabric.

This is where I have marked the dots for the smocking and sewn my gathering threads. For such a long length I have divided it into several parts, and I use different coloured threads to sort them out. It gets a bit complicated when it's time to gather them, but I rather to it this way than work with a single length of thread and all the potential for tangling and breaking.

Working with marking all the dots got a lot easier when I found a magic pen. I read the Dreamstress post about Pilot Frixion pens some time ago, and decided to try them. Frixion pens are erasable pens, the secret though is that they are erasable with heat. When you use a pen on paper you use an eraser to create heat with friction, but in the sewing studio there is another source of heat - an iron.

This is a video I made when I tested the Pilot Frixion pen, I didn't dare put bright red dots all over my white linen until I had tried it.

The Dreamstress has made a lot more tests with the pens than I have, so I really recommend reading up on them. For now though I think I will never use chalks or tracing paper again.

All that fabric was eventually gathered into a collar.

To keep the gathers in place I have fastened them at the top and bottom with a stem stitch in white silk. I keep the gathering threads in place, I will just remove them when all is finished and secured.

As of now I need to decide how I want to smock the collar, and with what thread. Until I have decided that I will smock the end of the sleeves.

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