Monday, May 13, 2013

Embroidered Sleeveless Spencer: Almost Done!

Just a little sneak peek --

Excepting the front closure and the neckline ruche, it's all put together. For extra color, I am adding tiny gold spangles; think they're 4mm in size; one front side is done, so I have the other side and the back to go. The metal spangles are plated with real gold so they have that extra richness.

A closeup of the spangling. I learned a valuable lesson about the embroidery. The flower petals are in silk filament and the leaves in silk chenille. The embroidery is quite fragile, especially the chenille. I'd read this was so in the 18th century embroidery manual by de Saint Aubin, but now really believe it :} I found that the ends of some pieces of chenille had come loose from their couching. I'll have to reattach them.

Here's a back view. The spencer is constructed like most 1790s bodices: the silk is lined with linen, the seams are lapped and backstitched. The edges are all sewn with le point a rabattre sous la main, but for fun, all in yellow spun silk thread; you see this on some Regency-era garments and it adds a really nice effect.

One little construction picture: here is the shoulder strap lining being sewn to the back's lining with linen thread. Nothing really exciting :}

Until next time, ciao!


Isis said...


Sarah Jane said...

WOW. I have really enjoyed reading about the whole process of making this spencer. As always, your posts are incredibly detailed and I always have that happy feeling that I have learned a lot of fascinating things whenever I read a post. The spangling is beautiful! And the embroidery is likewise. I can't wait to see photos of this on you! When will be your first occasion to wear it? It's perfectly wonderful!

Natalie Ferguson said...

Thanks to you both!

Sarah Jane, hard to believe it took so long to make, but, well, oh well. I am slow. Glad you stuck with me through the whole long ordeal.

It will be worn to the Jane Austen Festival, Lord willing and the creek don't rise that I can actually make it there this year. Before that I may do a photo shoot, and work out the hair and all that. Will you be at the festival, perchance?



The Smith Family said...

Wow! It's looking beautiful! I'm really looking forward to seeing it in person at the festival! :)
Well done!


Natalie Ferguson said...

Thanks, Deedee! It will be so fun to see you: it's been a couple of years, and therefore is way past time.

Very best,


Polly said...

I love this. Remember when you started working on it.

Natalie Ferguson said...

Thanks, Polly! Good grief, it's been a year and a half since the project began. Yipes...

Very best,