Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Embroidered Early Period Tunic

A bit frustrated with my orange linen kirtle progress, I decided to divert my productivity to other projects. One of those was yet another tunic for my husband.


This time, it's a yellow linen riding tunic with a brown linen appliquéd collar. It is also decorated with the hand-dyed wool yarn that I've had sitting in a drawer for far too long! The walnut and hedge apple skeins were perfect matches to the linen, quite coincidentally.


I broke some personal speed records with this tunic. First, I both cut it out and completely hand-sewed it together in about 5 hours. That was pretty fun. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much was on my plate at the time, so I was eager to get the tunic completed, which is probably why I was working so quickly that night. I used a running stitch with my white linen thread, so the sewing itself went very swiftly.
Over the next three days, I finished the seams with flat-felling. By the time last Monday morning rolled around, the tunic itself was done, and the collar was cut out and pinned on. Tuesday morning I affixed the collar and finished the neck hem using black linen thread.



The wool embroidery took a while to get back to, but it also went pretty quickly once I could give it some attention and time. I went with bands of chain stitch, which is easy to work and forgiving of stitch-length discrepancies. I used the walnut-dyed yarn around the hem and cuffs, as well as the collar on the yellow. Then I used the yellow around the base of the collar.


I'm really happy with this tunic for a variety of reasons. The speed at which I completed it, even with no machine sewing, was very fast for me, and I don't feel that I compromised on quality to accomplish that. Also, this is the most authentic garment I've made in terms of materials (except that the linens aren't naturally- dyed). When I decided to use the hand-dyed wools, I knew I was setting out to establish that bar for myself, and I'm happy to have a new authenticity standard for myself that I know is obtainable.


It was fun to do the embroidery. I have not had much practice doing embroidery on garments, so I'm certainly still a beginner there. I have plans for silk embroidery on another of my husband's tunics, so having this bit turn out so well (and well-suited to the look of the whole tunic), makes me feel a bit more confident about that.


One change that I'll need to make on the next riding tunic is to make the slit longer. This one goes just to the crotch, but it should really go closer to the belt.


It moves very nicely on him as we walks. I think the wool gives the hem just that extra bit of weight to swing a bit more an just the linen alone would.

As always, check out Flickr or Facebook for the rest of the photos!

1 comment:

  1. The embroidery is a nice touch, especially with the colors pairing so well. I am in awe of your getting all of those long seams together in five hours!

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