Framing the problem

Whew.  This weekend I’ve been working like a Trojan on the waistcoat.

If you remember from the last waistcoat post, I levelled off the fabric by running a tacking thread along the grainline:

Using a running thread to show the grain

Then I folded the fabric down the middle and pinned the line of tacking so that it matched on either side of the fold, and when I’d done that I pinned the selvedges together:

The perfectly matched fabric

Once I’d done that, I first of all cut out the front facing pieces using the same clear plastic pattern piece I used for the mock-up.

The front facing piece ready to be cut out

Yesterday, I got a friend to help me prepare the frames.  The pieces are too big to fit on one of my artists’ canvases (remember those?), so I had to join two together for each piece.  First of all I glued the canvases together at the edge, then my friend cut a piece of hardboard that fitted over the edges of the frames and nailed it in place with short tacks.  Note the piece of parcel tape – that’s where I repaired the rip in one of the canvases.

Showing how the frames are joined together

Once I had a usable frame, I laid a long ruler along one of the edges and pinned one side of the fabric to the canvas along the ruler, stretching it along the length as far as I could while I was doing this.

Lining up the fabric on the frame

Once all the pins were in place, I then stitched it to the canvas with small spaced back stitches.

Stitching in place

Then I stretched the fabric widthways across the frame and pinned the opposite side into place.

Pinning the opposite side

At this point I thought it might be a good idea to make a more substantial repair on that tear, so it didn’t get any worse when I removed the canvas under the linen fabric.

Stitching the tear to prevent further damage

I then did the same for the short sides, and here’s the finished result:

Fabric stretched on frame

The next job was to remove the canvas underneath the fabric to allow it to be stitched.

Removing the canvas


To match the pattern piece to the grain, I started by putting a pin at one end of the grainline on the pattern and wiggling it slightly to make a small but visible hole in the fabric.

Using a pin to match the grain

I removed the pattern piece, put the pin back into the hole, and laid a ruler along one of the warp threads.

Marking the grain with a ruler

Then I laid the pattern piece back on top of the ruler, pinned the ends of the grainline along it, and checked it was still right by folding the pattern tissue back to look.  I anchored the grain marker in place with two pins.

The grain marker is anchored along a warp thread

Then I pinned the rest of the piece in place.

The pattern piece in position, ready for pouncing

Now for the pounce powder!  I had never tried this before in my life, so I must admit I was a little nervous about how it would work.  However…

The design pounced onto the fabric

…as you see, I really needn’t have worried.  The results were superb.  Here’s a closer view:

Closer view of pounced design

I permanently marked the cutting line with white acrylic paint.

Marking the cutting line

Then it was time to start painting in the design, using the same purple and gold acrylic paints I used for the pattern and a very fine brush.

The design with some of the purple lines marked in

The purple lines had to be done first because the gold lines will cross over them.  Here I have added in some gold lines.

The upper part of the design completed

And here’s what it looked like when it was all finished:

The finished pattern piece, ready to embroider

Of course I’ve now got it all to do again for the other front piece; the frame is ready and the piece of fabric has had the edges turned over and tacked to stop them fraying, and that’s as far as I’ve got with it.  Nonetheless, I’m delighted.  That is an excellent day’s work.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Holy moly woman. That is beautiful AND labour intensive. I am very happy that this is a labour of love for you. 😀


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