Planning Ahead

Planning ahead on Ecclesiastical Sewing Projects has never been a strong point. While others may plan out every detail down to the last thread, trim, and stitch, that has never worked for me. I admire those who can plan that far ahead knowing exactly what they want and how it will be in the end.

For me, Church Needlework Projects are a work in progress. Usually Ecclesiastical Projects have a general  idea or feeling that is being worked toward for the final project, and things have a way of progressing or flowing from one stage to the next. Occasionally, that flow takes a major shift, but in the end, the Ecclesiastical Projects turn out. I’m never one to get too stuck on an idea, and try to stay open to possibilities, often testing out several options until just the right one clicks.

IHS Goldwork Design Rose Vestments
IHS Goldwork Design Rose Vestments

However, on the IHS Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design, there are a few new techniques being considered which will take some planning and experimenting to see which will be the correct choice.  Planning is a must, because the correct supplies have to be ordered if the project is to be finished by the third Sunday in Advent (or for the alternate date of the  fourth Sunday in Lent). Planning is also a “must” incase there are any glitches with techniques that need to be worked through. So, time to have at it and start planning.

Cutting IHS motifs from Card
Cutting IHS motifs from Card

One option being considered at the moment is to cut the IHS letters in card and have the card padding for a gold wire thread.  The original design was photo copied and traced, and the traced letters were adhered to the heavy card.  Cutting the letters out was a bit of a challenge to maintain accuracy.

Card Padding Cutout Goldwork
Card adding Cutout Goldwork

Although every effort and care was taken when cutting out the card padding for the letter “H,” when it was finally placed on the fabric, the letter did not match perfectly. There was a slight variation  which might work, and I do not want to chance it.  The slight variation was caused in the framing up which resulted in the letters being stretched slightly. There had to be a better option to obtain accuracy.

The actual piece of embroidery was photocopied (being VERY, VERY careful).  This option would not work on a large piece.  It worked this time with no harm, but still, I’m not sure I would recommend it.  But I wanted accuracy with the IHS letters, and photocopying gave an accurate, exact copy to use for the card padding.

Pellon Clear Fuse for Tracing Design
Pellon Clear Fuse for Tracing Design

Next, it was time to trace the IHS letters for the church needlework design again.  What to use and how to transfer the tracing to the card padding for cutting?  Would fusible web work? It has a semi-transparent backing to hold the web, and it is easy to see through for tracing.  With none on hand, it was off to the fabric store for a quick purchase. With 5 minutes to closing, there was time to hurry quickly in and out.  Looking at the interfacing rack, the fusible webbing was no where to be seen. Staff was waiting. Quick; find SOMETHING! The Clear Fuse literally jumped out at me. I took a quick look, not quite knowing what it was, liked the “CLEAR” part, and thought, “Well, why not?” It cannot hurt. Trying to ask the clerk about the product was counterproductive.  She was in a hurry to get out for the evening. Very understandable. Just have to purchase and hope for the best.

Tracing IHS Embroidery Design with Clear Fuse
Tracing IHS Embroidery Design with Clear Fuse

Back in the workroom, it was time for a trial. With Clear Fuse in place, tracing the design was simple and quick. Next step, fuse the tracing to the card padding.

IHS Tracing Fused to Card Padding
IHS Tracing Fused to Card Padding

The Clear Fuse adhered to the card padding perfectly!  A few cautions would be to use a piece of paper over the ink to ensure nothing leaves a mark on the bottom of the iron. Also, make sure the finished piece of card, when cut, will be in  the correct direction.

A Perfect Fit
A Perfect Fit

Tracing the IHS letters with the clear fuse and cutting out carefully resulted a card padding that is a perfect fit!  Next, it is time to try Mary Corbet’s Reccomendation for a Doodle Cloth  and test out the card padding.

The Clear Fuse worked so well, I am anxious to try it next when cutting  felt padding for goldwork embroidery.

Goals this week: finish work on a monk habit, and finalize grading the habit pattern. More on that coming up soon. Once that pattern is finished, it is back to the Rose Vestment Set and Tapestry Fabric.

Solo Dei Gloria

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing  on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest. Sing up for our mailing list  at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.




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