Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eighty hours later

It's finished. I don't really know what else to say about it after I spent what I estimate to be eighty hours making it, all by hand. (I even did my hair for photos - that's the level of respect it gets!) I was right about the binding - it just brings everything to where I want it to sit.

It might sit better across my back if I wasn't trying to quickly get into position before the timer went off on the camera!

The binding is sewn on with rosebud stitch. I spent a very frustrating time with google trying to find an explanation of rosebud stitch after seeing many examples on the Alabama Chanin Flikr group. So many people referred to it that I figured it had to come from one of the books and was probably also known as something else. An hour or so of fruitless searching later I gave up and sat down with a needle and thread in front of a photo on the computer and had figured it out in approximately 30 seconds.
I didn't want to bind the hem, but I worried that the areas of unstitched red would curl up too much once washed, so I did the same stitch around the hem to finish it off.
My fear now is that the knots will come undone in the wash. I was a bit nervous anyway because my thread (Molnlycke Goliath) is 100% polyester, not the cotton cored, polyester wrapped thread used by Natalie Chanin. (If I ever find that I'm buying in bulk!) A discussion thread on the flikr group covered this topic - someone using the same type of thread had had half her knots untie in the wash. As I told Keely, there are not enough swear words in the world to express how I'd feel if that happened, so I quickly did a few lines of stitching onto the sample I'd made of the rosebud stitched binding so I had several knots and tossed it in the washing machine. To my intense relief none of them came undone, so I'm hoping for the best.


  1. Amazing! That is a work of art.

  2. That is just beautiful. I like the rosebud stitch around the hem to hold the layers. You know there'd be no way I'd ever show my handstitching in a close photo like that.

  3. This is truly beautiful. Well done! I really admire those of you who hand sew so beautifully.


  4. It's stunning. Wow! Gorgeous. Look at that detail. Indeed it would be tragic for all of that to undo in the wash, so good thing you had a sample. Do you have a mesh lingerie bag too? I put my hand washables in one and machine wash.

  5. That is a couture piece, in every sense of the word. The colour is gorgeous on you and all that hand work has created a timeless piece. You look amazing, I hope you get to wear and enjoy it a lot, and the knots stay put!

  6. The embroidered binding is a beautiful finish.

    I haven't seen poly/cotton thread sold here in years.

    Although I don't handwash many things, I think this would qualify!

  7. This is so gorgeous. I am envious of your talent!