Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ACC: Sleeves

The wheels of progress move slowly, but they do move.  This, as you may recall, is what I was going for:
Margot de Valois, 1560 (from Wikipedia)
I decided on DMC memory thread for the decorative elements on the sleeves and front.  It's a fine cotton/viscose thread wrapped around a cotton and copper wire core.  It's also fairly cheap, readily available, and, conceptually speaking, fairly period to at least the 17th century (Tricia of Thistle Threads offers a silk thread-wrapped pearl purl as part of her 17th century kits that was way out of my price range, but it gave me the initial idea).  I looked into metallic threads but the cost was pretty severe in the amounts I was looking for; plus, I never really decided whether to commit to gold or silver jewelry, so I could still do either further down the process.

DMC Memory Thread.  The little plastic doohickies are useless

I worked on the sleeves for the last month or so; two weeks of actually embroidering, and several more of being completely unmotivated.  I finished the last knot today:

Couched Sleeves, DMC Memory Thread (white) on silk with silk thread
I love the effect, though it was hard to work with such a large piece of fabric without everything kinking up.

A quick note on the sleeves:  I usually do sleeves with the seam running down the back of the arm instead of the more modern technique of running it from the armpit because it's a more accurate cut for the 16th century.  But trying to figure placement for the vertical lines was making my brain explode, so I went with the symmetrical sleeve pattern for easy ruling.

I'm thinking at this point that I will actually make the bodice of the dress first before trying the more complicated filigree embroidery on it, just to ensure that everything will work out with the fit and construction.  Fortunately for me, I have a nice long weekend to make that happen.

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