1770s Frock Coat (#2) and women’s 1740s embroidered skirt and jacket

Last week I left off still attempting to perfect an 18th century flower in embroidery.

After spending approximately 28 hours on this design, I have come to the conclusion that: Conversion is fun, but incredibly time consuming. And unlike hand sewing, mentally exhausting.

It’s fun, but I’m glad that there are artists like Cari and Denise who do this professionally. I think I will personally do this maybe once or twice a year.

So what I do is I use my drawing pad to trace/draw out each color, determine stitch type, stitch density, the direction of the stitches, and move on to the next section. It’s incredibly time consuming, emotionally stressful, but also somewhat chatartic.

After printing this about another 3 times and messing with stitch types, I came up with this:

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I designed the layout so that at the last two colors, I could pin a piece of mesh in there so I could get that lovely netting into the design. It turned out lovely.

So then the question was, what to do with this? Obviously, the hubby would be getting a frock coat with this fabric. For me, personally, I wanted to try a stomacher first. Moving about the design to a stomacher was easy, and I have to say, I loved how it came out.

That being said, I need to figure out the interfacing situation more as this current interfacing has a penchant for wrinkling up considerably! (this interfacing is currently cotton woven interfacing with a layer of iron on adhesive in between).

I chose to make my next frock coat in a historically accurate ground. Surprisingly, some of the prettiest frock coats actually are not on solid colors but are on a ground of thin stripes or dots or flowers! I was pleasantly surprised to see this both on pinterest and when I went to the LACMA exhibit “Reigning Men” at the St Louis Art Museum.

As thin stripes on silk or HA dots and flowers are hard to find, there was really only one real viable source – Duran Textiles. If you don’t know them, I’d definitely check them out. They probably have some of the most beautiful fabrics in the world in their collection and I very frequently see their fabrics in one movie or another. After some emails, Laila of Duran sent me a handful of beautiful samples. I pressed one after the other on Matt’s skin and I still couldn’t decide. “This one brings out your eyes”, “But this one might be too busy”… etc. After two hours of discussion, we still had no clue.

I ended up gluing the samples onto a piece of wool and putting the design on the fabric. That answered the question right away!

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I ended up going with the blue on the bottom left. I actually bought an extra six yards so I could make myself a coordinating jacket and skirt. (:

More when the fabric arrives!

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