Friday, 14 June 2019

The Slashed Doublet

  I have always been drawn to Tudor costume and the slashed patterns in the fabric. Some years ago I went to an exhibition of costume at the Queens' Gallery and there was a beautiful little jacket with bound edged slashes all edged with french knots.The level of detail was extraordinary and I squirreled it away in my mind for another time! Five years later the opportunity arose to have a go and so I tried to put as much detail into my little panel as in that doublet. The panel is part of a piece of work made for my medical residency where I have created objects to draw parallels between the worlds of textiles and surgery.

 For this panel I layered organza over taffeta to create a shot effect. There were three smaller panels which formed the final square and each piece was hand bound, gathered, slashed and embroidered. The panels were then laced together with silk ribbon tipped with silver aiguillettes.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Lots to tell

  It is very rare that I talk about the medical work on this blog for fear or frightening people away ! but I can share some details of my new piece with you now as it's all about embroidery and colour. I have created a folding cube toy which has nine embroidered or raised surfaces inspired by costume detail. It illustrates how surgeons understand some of the body by using conceptual space, if you need to know more then click here for my medical blog. I will devote a few posts to this beginning here with some 18thC trimming techniques.
 Above we have a tiny length of passementerie known as fly fringe. I was looking at this on a dress at the V&A museum and have discovered that they were made by people who lived and worked near the silk weavers. They often worked together to provide matching trimmings for a customer as each length of silk was made in very small quantities. The button makers would be nearby too and I love to think of these creative and skilled communities working together, albeit probably unappreciated by the client!

  There is a pocket flap on this panel so it required a button. I made a covered bead as I often do for my stumpwork pieces and looked for some buttonhole inspiration. I settled on a couched buttonhole with metal thread set back slightly from a bound edged.
  The book I used for most of this piece was the V&A's 'Historical Fashion in Detail, the 17th and 18th Century', now in another format.


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