Sunday, May 29, 2011

Us and our men in HOME Eindhoven


These are us and our men during a quiet moment in the afternoon in the Historical Open Air Museum Eindhoven (HOME). Isis is wearing a gray dress and her man is sitting next to her. I (Machteld) am wearing a brown dress, my Birgitta cap and a belt made by my husband. He's sitting next to me with our daughter on his lap.

Laurens, thanks for taking this picture!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Embroidered border for my Birgitta Cap


Yes, I wanted a Birgitta cap too :-) I just finished the embroidered band that ties the cap together, and I hope I will finish it before the HOME Textile Fair in Eindhoven this weekend... Isis wrote a post about this cap and a paper:

Dahl, C.L. & I. Sturtewagen
, 2008, The Cap of St. Birgitta, Medieval Clothing and Textiles vol. IV, pp. 99-129

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A 14th century fragment with embroidered unicorns

My husband found me a copy of Kroos, R. (1970), Niedersachsische Bildstickereien des Mittelaters, Berlin: Deutscher Verlag fur Kunstwissenschaft . Lucky me :-) I wrote a review about this wonderful book here. If you're interested in German whitework embroidery, it's a mustread. It can be quite expensive, (he paid 140 euros, on the German E-bay site), but it's a heavy book, packed with information (2,5 kilo,a catalogue of 218 pages and an additional 427 pages of black and white images, in one volume).

When I browsed through its pages, I was reminded of this embroidery. According to Kroos (1970), it's not known what it was used for. I think it would make a lovely design for a tablecloth :-)

The images below are from Bildindex, the links are below the images (I couldn't link directly). The first is also in Kroos, the others are not.


catalogue mi07917f02a

catalogue mi07917f05a

catalogue mi07917f04

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Turmhügelburg Lütjenburg

Photo by Julia Kerk

Last weekend I attended a lovely small scale event at the Turmhügelburg in Lütjenburg. Together with Bertus and Lea from Deventer Burgerscap. It was so nice meeting all our friends from Sweden and Germany again, and getting to know new people. The food was great (thanks Chris and Peter!), the setting was beautiful and after all the weather wasn't too bad.

The sad news is however, that I came home with a terrible cold. I am supposed to teach a two hour class on medieval dress to 30 18-year olds tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. I hope I will have some voice left afterwards!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A smocked apron, continued


No, I didn't miscalculate the length of fabric this time :-) I wanted to make a smock sampler to get some more practice and then I thought “Why not turn it into an apron for my daughther”? (She's almost 2 now).

Here are some of the things I've learned along the way:

  • I used 60 cm of fabric with 0,5 mm pleats and I ended up with a piece of embroidery of 20 cm wide. This means that for my own apron, I need around 2 meters of fabric
  • I can't make these stitches in a straight line without help. The first row of honeycomb stitches looks really wobbly... That's when I decided to use a ruler and a soft grey pencil to draw lines on top of the pleats. This helped me to keep the lines of stitches straight
  • I put the apron in the washing machine at 40C. It came out well and clean :-)
  • I used both a fine and a thicker linen sewing thread. I like the fine thread, from Bockens, for the honeycomb stitches and the ticker one, from The Mulberry Dyer, for the stem stitches (horizontal lines and diamond panes)

And this is what I've learned from Trude (thanks!!!):

  • In my first attempt (which was so horrible that I threw it away) I pulled the embroidery stitches way too tight over the pleats. She didn't say this, but I realized this when I saw her apron
  • If you want to embroider the diamond panes, it works best to embroider the horizontal lines first. These “set” the pleats, so it's easier to embroider the diamond panes next
Isis showed me this link to the pleatwork embroidery website, which focuses on the 14th – 16th century. Really worth a visit!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Image of knitting Madonna


I accidentily came across this image of a knitting Madonna. This is a painting of the Holy Family, attributed to Ambrogio Lorenzetti (ca. 1345) of Siena. Size 54.5 x 25.5 cm. I think I have seen it in person years ago in the Meermanno Museum in The Hague, but didn't notice the knitting back then. I do remember drooling over the thread reel standard.

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