Lest you worry that I have been permanently distracted from the Maja gown, don’t! I have been spangle-ing like a madwoman, and am in fact starting to put the jacket together.
I did all the spangle embroidery I could do while the jacket was still in pieces. So that includes 3 facings (1 waistcoat, 2 jacket), one side of the waistcoat, and parts of the jacket fronts & back. I’ve been using Peri’s tambour frame (thank you Peri!!) and it’s been working fabulously. I love having a base to the frame and the ability to flip it around when I need to. Even tho I’ve been primarily doing this on my lap, not on a table, it’s great to be able to use your hands for the embroidery and not for having to hold the frame.
I’ve been hemming and hawing about whether to make the waistcoat separate or integral. Separate would be nice because this could end up being a hot (temperature wise) outfit, so the ability to take the jacket off would be nice… but then, I’m never going to do that, because then it won’t look fabulous! So I decided in favor of an integral waistcoat, saving myself one layer of fabric in back.
I had some debate about the jacket facings & lining. If you look at the original painting, you can see a black turnback/revers at the top of the jacket on her left (our right) side… but if you look at her right/our left, there’s some black that folds over about 1″. Obviously the revers flips OUT, so why is that black edge flipping IN? I did some more hemming and hawing, and looked back through the research I’ve done on the dress style, and everything I’ve seen has been symmetrical in terms of jacket revers. So I decided that maybe that was the edge of the facing folding around the front, or an artist screw up, or just something that doesn’t work in real life. I don’t know! But I’m happy with symmetrical revers. I did end up deciding to line the jacket fronts, given that you can’t see any stitching from the spangles on the inside of the jacket; I used more of the off-white silk taffeta, because I have seen some things lined with silk where it will show, and this will definitely show, and be much prettier than linen.
Now I’ve got the fronts sewn to the back, so it’s on to spangle embroidery on the seams. I had foolishly marked that pattern, only to have to futz with various things and then have the pattern no longer be placed correctly. Yay for water soluble ink! So I’ve wiped that off and am waiting for it to dry before redrawing those lines.