Sunday, 23 January 2011

Crafty Saturday (part two: The Church)

 The Craft Session in church was only decided on Wednesday, so I knew that this month I would be on my own.  I started on the restoring of some old stoles, and did a little bit of hand sewing.  The vicar mentioned it in church today, and I think there will be a number of us next month (19th Feb if you are around!)

(St Michael's Church, Horton, between Heathrow airport and Windsor castle)

 The first stole, pale green) has a perished lining.  The original was probably silk (it feels like lining material, burns rather than melts, and tears very easily along the weft or warp) and has now been removed
 The second stole is cream and again the (probably) silk lining has perished so I have removed it.
  • I need to re-line these two, but don't have the knowledge or skills to know whether I should use silk again, or lining material, or cotton or linen, or something else.  
  • Also should I cut it straight or on the bias?  
  • I presume I do a sort of needle turn applique (but I'll be turning a good inch or so under so I have some expectation that it will stay until it's stitched down.)
 This third, claret, stole is in great condition, but someone had added this rather naff piece of lace at the neck ... so I removed it
 (that makes one restored stole right?)
 This purple stole (below) is the biggest worry.  I have removed the lining although it wasn't too bad, but the purple fabric has worn in places;  
If I put the stole on me, the worn areas are at the same height, about lower chest height.  I am guessing a previous vicar habitually grasped the stole while he was preaching?  I guess I could make that part of the front narrower, but the embroidered section isn't that far away from the worn section, and is quite wide.  I could border it with bias binding, but I think that will look naff, and could result in someone taking it off in 50 years wondering what idiot added it in the first place (see the claret stole, above LOL)
I am very open to suggestions, as I know I am working well above my ability here!

 Other naff  'improvements' I thought I'd share with you ... there are a number of square things (sorry don't know the right word) which hang on the front of the pulpit, and each one matches the alter cloth, and generally matches the stole that the vicar is wearing for that particular season.  These square thingies have Velcro on the back and get attached to a grubby piece of linen on the pulpit's lectern and hang down.

...WHO thought red Velcro was a good idea, and then made the middle section too short so the Velcro didn't even reach the square thingy???
Don't worry - I'm working on it.  Brian and I have a cunning plan!


  1. Hmm, you have a job on your hands there! First ones, I'd replace like for like as much as possible. Match the silk and keep the grain going the same way, bias them and it might stretch the wrong way and they do have to sit around the neck. Use the old pieces as a pattern if possible.
    Great you removed the lace, yes was a bit naff
    The purple one. Hmmmm. Could you find a very similar fabric, silk again?, in the best colour match possible and make a whole new stole then take a deep breath and cut around the embroidery and appliqué it on the new body? You don't have to make things 110% invisible, you are adding to the history of the vestments after all. I'm sure the woman in charge of them in 50 years time will appreciate the efforts you have shown!

  2. You have been busy! I agree with Amo's comments, and if you have them at home I'll see what we can come up with when I come up. Love xx

  3. Hi Benta! That is challenging work! But I'm sure you can do it well!
    xxx Teje

  4. Wow! Important to get as right as you can, but I have no useful advice to give - sorry! Hope it all goes well, though.....

  5. the square things are called "paraements", at least in our U.S Protestant tradition.
    Suggestion to make a new linen thing and use white velcro; have several pieces so the whole top is supported?
    Also, my brave husband has tackled reupholstering a wingback chair after our cats destroyed the fabric with using it as a scratching post. In taking it apart, the sharp edges of folds are supported by thin cardboard (just a little thicker than poster board) strips, so you might be able to stiffen the parament with a thin strip of cardboard or thin plastic before you put the velcro on.


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