Early Tudor Project — Katherine of Aragon’s Portrait dated 1502 — Part VI

Earlier in Part III, we theorized about embroidery.  Today I want to show you the results of the embroidery I did based upon those ideas: 

smock.jpg

This is four strands of black Splendor silk floss over eight threads with eight threads in between. I did a simple picot and then Greek crosses over eight threads eight threads below that. The yellow picots and crosses alternate with the black.

 

Here’s a very blurry photo with my sucky old camera that shows how I cut the neckline:

I cut the fabric approximately one inch away from the picots which would become the folded edges of the neckline hem.  The cut edges would be folded to meet the picot edge and then folded under again to make the hem.  This edge doesn’t need to be hemmed because the addition of the Greek crossed hold the folded edge in place. 

This is the same technique I use to miter the corners on napkins and handkerchiefs.  But silly me, I didn’t realise the consequences of doing it “backwards”.  You see, when you miter a corner to the outside, you have extra fabric at the corners that you have to cut away.  But when you miter to the inside, you have “negative” fabric at the corners.  This has lead to a fraying that upset me so much last year that I almost stopped work on the project entirely.  Now that I look at it, it’s really not so bad…

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See that little broken thread at the corner?  That’s my beef.  It’s only going to get worse because there is no fabric behind that part and the picots are really what’s keeping it from fraying more.  What I should have done was make a facing.  And if I’d paid attention to the smock in the Manchester Gallery of Art, I’d have made a facing.  But I didn’t.  And this is what I got.

I know.  I’m obsessive.  I was going to remake the smock entirely before I continued the project, but I realised it’s not really all that bad.  And it’s not as if the embroidery were excessively complicated or I used really good linen or anything.  If I really want to make it over, I can doit when I don’t have a deadline.

Tomorrow:  The Outfit Thusfar…


© 2008 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.