Wednesday, August 27, 2008

As promised, better pictures of the basketweave pattern pouch

These pictures were made using a scanner and include some of the details of the purse. When I see something I would like to recreate I am always interested in the details of the finishing techniques. As I gain experience this is less important but has been vital for my first projects (this is only my second pouch).

To make the lining, I whipstitched a piece of bronze linen to the back of the embroidery. I then folded the whole piece together, right side out, and tablet wove the sides together. I started the weaving at the bottom corner of one side of the purse (at the fold). I passed the weft thread through the warp a couple times, then started passing the weft through the warp from left to right, stitching the warp through the edges of the side of the purse. The weft thread emerged from the purse edge on the left and I then passed the weft through the warp from left to right. The cards were turned after every time I passed the weft through the warp.

Once I wove up to the top of the purse I kept weaving in a normal manner, passing the weft through the warp from left to right, rotating the cards, passing the weft from right to left and rotating the cards again. This wove the strap of the purse.

When the strap was long enough I once again started weaving the purse edge, this time starting at the top edge of the purse side and working my way down. Before I started I made sure the strap was straight. I wouldn't want to have finished weaving the second side of the purse only to discover the strap was all twisted. I think I would have lost my mind if had done that.

At the end of the purse I stitched into the warp a couple times and tied off the weft. The leftover warp thread on both bottom ends of the purse formed part of the tassels.

So, how did I maintain tension as I was rotating the purse and weaving the second side? Is there a good way to do this? I don't know. I used my hand to hold the purse and strap and maintain tension manually while I used the other hand to pass the weft and rotate the cards. It was very awkward. I had planned to take pictures of the process but it didn't work out. Maybe next time if I ever try this again.

The top edge of the purse, where the linen lining was attached to the embroidery, didn't look finished to me so I did a stem stitch along the edge to cover the seam.

The drawstring resembles fingerloop cord but is actually kumihimo (I used 8 bobbins). Fingerloop would have been more authentic but I am really bad at it.

The holes for the drawstring cord to pass through were made with an awl and not finished in any way. According to descriptions of extant pouches this is how many of them were made. I will just have to see how this holds up to use. My last pouch I did buttonhole stitching on the eyelets so this is a new technique for me. It makes me feel nervous to do this to my embroidery that I put so much work into.

Materials: 2-ply silk thread from dyed using fustic for the yellows, indigo for the blue and fustic/indigo for the green; 24-count linen congress cloth from Needle in a Haystack (; bronze linen from my stash. I put samples of all the threads in a sunny window for several weeks. The fustic did not fade at all, nor did the green. The indigo faded slightly but still looks pretty. As I plan to store this pouch out of the light I think it will be fine.

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