Saturday, December 11, 2010

Binding a 17th Century Pair of Dollye Bodies

Here are some progress pictures of Marguarite's pair of bodies. I used 1" hand dyed bias cut silk ribbon for the binding, doubled over as shown both for strength and a more opaque coverage, since its such a light color, and such a thin tissue silk ribbon.
I waited until I was at the strap to trim it to shape (really cuts down on the edges raveling cause the straps are always flopping around while I'm sewing). In the picture above, I have the binding on, and you can see the edges of the linen lining sticking out around it....the next step is to trim all this off~ very important for a nice uniform and equal binding!

After the excess lining is cut away, the ribbon is brought around to the back with my thumb there, stretched as far as it will go and whipped down. To answer your question why am I wearing gloves.....for two , well three reasons actually. The first, the linen I used for the lining is antique and really thick and densely woven, really hard to get the needle thru~ the gloves are excellent at helping me grip the needle and pull it thru nearly effortlessly...2, on my left hand, the rubber helped to grip the slippery silk and pull it taught, and 3, they also keep any oils I have on my hands and fingers off my work. I love sewing in rubber gloves..........

Here is the binding as seen on the front, and the whipped edge to the inside. I really love these two colors together, and in the 17th century...everything was colorful!

Next step was to finish the brass eyelet holes that were up next to the binding at the back opening, and on the front and straps. Top is finished!!! And, I must admit, it looks awesome :)

Starting on the bottom edge now, saved the hardest for last I guess. First, I pin'd the 3 tabs to the bottom edge in their rightful places~ largest next to the back opening, inbetween in the middle, and smallest to the front most area next to the center boning.

I then carefully stitch the binding silk over all the layers. This is very slow going on the bottom edge, as the bodies are extremely stiff, and I cant bend them to make my normal running back stitch, so I am left to stab each stitch one at a time, straight up and down thru all layers, including thru the bamboo, which I am using my pliers to help with. If anyone ever x-rays this in the future, they will find the tip end of my last needle buried in the bamboo 7th from the left...too many broken needles today, and I cant get this one out, so in it will stay!


Anita said...

This is absolutely fascinating...I have so much more respect for the time and effort that goes into creating one of your beautiful dolls since I found your blog. Wow. I wish I had the patience to do something so intricate. Almost a lost art...Thank-you for sharing the process... I can't wait to see the finished doll.

prairiegirl said...

This work is incredible!!! I just finished a flower garden quilt with binding similar to your tabs, so I absolutely appreciate every stitch.

Rachael Kinnison said...

Thankyou very much ladies! :) I do enjoy my handwork. I had a wonderful day of sewing today, and finished! I need to get my pics off the camera, and take some of it on a is absolutely breath-taking. Cant see it on Marguarite until her whole wardrobe is finished....well....perhaps after I get her smock finished (what she will wear underneath of it)~ she is quite the Ladye, and in no absolute way would she ever let me take a photo of her in nothing but her corset, never!
xoxxoo rachael