Or …..And this was Sunday… or A story of a miniature Georgian dress.
Want to work from this ,
An account of John Lombe’s silk-mill at Derby, 1791, from Wm Hutton’s History of Derby.
“….The raw silk is brought in hanks, or skaines, called slips, and would take five or sixdays in winding off, though kept moving ten hours a day…... The workman’s care is chiefly to unite,by a knot, a thread that breaks; to take out the burs and uneven parts, ……. The threads are continually breaking; and to tye them ‘is principally the business of children whose fingers are nimble. The machine continually turns a round bobbin, or small block of wood, whichdraws the thread from the slip, while expanded upon a swift suspended upon a centre. The moment the thread breaks, the swift stops. One person commands from twenty to sixty threads. If many cease, at the same time, to turn, it amounts to a fault, and is succeeded by punishment. From the fineness of the materials, the ravelled state of the slips and bobbins, and the imprudence of children, much waste is made, which is another motive of correction; and when correction is often inflicted, it steels the breast of the inflictor.”
Wanted to base it on an extant silk garment from the era, or a contemporary portrait. Settled on this – drawn up by Janet Arnold, so I had shapes to work from, the dress is in the Manchester collection.
That was 9am, it is now late afternoon. It is not quite finished, but my hands hurt so a rest is required. Did the text on the new machine (yet to be named)- a bit ambitious but well…. but all the rest is hand sewn. Haven’t managed to include all the text, but the gist is there, in various degrees of control and legibility. The shoulder band will define the dress more clearly but I think the collar will change to something more like the LACMA redingote below ( really wanted to do this one all along, bigger scale required though, it is all in the buttons).This one might be love. “Midsomer Murders” has just come on, time to vegetate until I get over it!
Update – went back to sewing to get over Midsomer. Put in the shoulders and finished the bodice front off. Just the collar and then all the usual dithering about getting the feel right – ephemeral, used,, ghosting – a bit like an incomplete memory or an echo. Certainly not squeaky new and toothpaste white!
Don’t forget York Open Studios is on next month. The next Stitchy Day is April 5th – if you fancy having a go at the freehand thing- check the frantextiles facebook page for details or email.