Saturday, March 14, 2020

Charming "New" Tradition!

I was recently commissioned by a Godmother to be, to make an outfit for a baby's Baptism. I was told that a splendid gown, with a bonnet and a hanky were to be required. A hanky? Whilst the Godmother was in the UK the parents and child were in Poland, and the Godmother had been told that this was necessary. After a bit of research, I realised that what the Polish folk did was to place a lovely embroidered hanky over the baby, presumably at the moment of the Baptism where we would (in a Traditional Catholic ceremony in the UK) place a white shawl around the child. So although it's a Polish tradition, it was a new one on me. I had to do a bit of searching around before I could get the necessary Polish lettering onto my embroidery software, but with the help of some experts in embroidery digitizing, it turned out well. The edging lace, of which I had just enough to complete the outfit, was antique, and very dainty, so hard to find these days!

 The choice of fabric was to be an embroidered cotton, and pure white linen. However, the mother of the child expressed some concern about her little one freezing to death in the Polish winter in a cotton frock! So, as I didn't want to make the dress itself too warm, since it may well be used for future siblings in the broiling heat of Summer (if God so wills) I thought it best to make a little quilted jacket to match. I thought the bonnet could be quilted too, and if they need a Summer weight one in the future, I still have bonnet-sized pieces of the fabric left over!

A Priest once bemoaned the fact that it was oft times tricky to reach the infant's chest for anointing, due to the fact that Baptismal gowns usually opened down the back. So I designed openable shoulder seams with some delicate glass buttons, for ease of access to the baby's front. I must ask the Godmother how they worked (or if they were necessary at all?)

Detail of the embroidered motifs which were chosen in consultation with the Godmother. The embroidered panel was of pure linen, and the sleeves were also.

The bonnet and jacket had layers of wadding between the outer cotton and inner linen layers, and were quilted with decorative stitches.

I think Baby must have been nice and cosy in the outfit whilst being welcomed into new life in Christ!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Black Friday Bargain

Remember Man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return...

Made to complete a chasuble set that didn't have the matching burse and chalice veil

I would consider it a real "bargain" if the Priest wore the black set that goes with  these at my funeral.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Mantillas in stock at the moment

I don't usually keep a stock of mantillas, since people tend to specify what they want and I make them to order. But I occasionally make up a few extra, so here is what I have, as of today. If there's not the perfect one for you amongst them, don't hesitate to get in touch, and tell me what you'd like!

Ivory lace £25.00

Delicate black lace with fine cotton lace trim,

White, with cotton lace trim,

Pale blue cotton lace, shawl sized veil, with dove grey cotton lace trim,

Delicate champagne ivory lace with embroidered scalloped edges,

White corded lace with cotton lace trim,

Lovely chocolate brown cottony lace. Edge will be finished in matching guipure lace trim.

Large white cotton motifed veil, with cotton lace trim.
£27 .50

Black lightweight lace, with fine cotton lace trim.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ordination Gifts delivered!

So the ordinations took place last Friday, in the Traditional Rite, with Bishop Egan doing the honours, and I feel very blessed to have attended such a momentous event. The stole, mentioned in the previous post, was gifted to one of the new Priests, Fr. Philomeno who, I am told, said "Mamma Mia!" on receipt of it, and was delighted to receive it. The other embroidery was of St Philomena, appropriately!

 I also made a similar one for one of the other Ordinands, now Father Rosario, who has a rosary incorporated into the Marian monogramme embroidery on one side of the stole,

and Royal St. Joseph on the other, to whom he, and all the Friars have a great devotion.

Again, it is reversible...I hope to get some better pictures of this one being worn, before too long!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Amazing What One can Do with a Few Scraps!

I have been working on a special ordination gift that some friends of a chap who is about to be ordained wanted made. They are not wealthy folk, and I offered to make something in a "budget" range, but when I looked through my scraps of liturgical leftovers, considering what a special occasion it's for, my artistic soul, which really only wants to use the best, plumped for some special scraps. It is to be a Preaching Stole, and I've used cloth of gold for the front, and a beautiful purple and gold silk for the back, in order to make it reversible.
I then had to decide on some appropriate embroideries, as the cloth of gold is a bit unexciting on its own, so I chose a Saint who is close to the ordinand's heart, and Our Lady of Guadalupe as he is also very actively Pro Life.
As the Ordination is not until next week, I shan't reveal all, until he receives his gift, but here's a sneak preview...

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Two types of Frontal

Why am I always completing tasks in a rush?

Two weeks ago I was asked, if it were at all possible, and if I didn't have too much on, if I could make some Baptismal Bibs for a set of quads who were to be Baptised today, Low Sunday. I had lots of other things to do, not to mention trying to prepare spiritually for Easter, but being a sucker for babies I couldn't help but push them to the top of the queue. I kept them simple with a Baptismal Shell and 3 drops of water plus the name of each child. Made from fine cotton lawn with a woven sateen stripe through it, interlined with towelling, and backed with soft cotton Tee shirting, they should hopefully provide the Godparents with plenty of stuff to mop up any tears/dribbles of joy on the big day!

Those were one type of frontal...
Having moved most of our house just before the Easter break, I am now stuck between two residences, one in Shropshire, the other in Oxfordshire, where my husband's job is. My main sewing equipment is in Shropshire, but we were going to be attending the Triduum at our parish in Reading, so when our Parish Priest came up to me with a hopeful look in his eye, at the beginning of Holy Week and said "The fabrics we ordered for the altar frontals have arrived" and plonked them in my arms .... since I knew that it wasn't his fault that the supplier had taken soooo long to send the silks from Spain, (he had hoped for a Lenten set) …. how could I refuse to at least attempt to make a new Tabernacle veil and Frontal by Easter? One main problem was that all my liturgical trims and backing linens were now in Shropshire. My poor long-suffering husband offered to drive me back up there so I could get the things made. (I was trying to get another Priest's lacey alb restored too, so I thought if I sat in the back of the car I'd be able to spend the journey time hand-stitching it...a most headache-inducing experience..)To my horror, once we had arrived, and I'd sorted out the trims, and backing cloth, I couldn't find the frontal fabric anywhere.  That was because it was sitting in the boot of my car on the drive in Oxfordshire. So, with no time to relax, and having reminded my dear husband that his suffering was no-where near what Our Lord had to suffer for us (even though my dearest was probably thinking, at least Jesus didn't have to put up with a dumbo wife...) we made sure I had everything I needed to complete the sewing, and set back down South. At least the Oxfordshire house is now almost empty, so plenty of floor-space to lay out altar frontals, although trying to sew large items at a very small kitchen table was a bit of a challenge.
It was worth it when I managed to get them to the Church on Holy Saturday afternoon to try them on, seeing the chuffed look on the PP's face when he noticed it after coming out of the Confessional!

I'll have to tweak the bottom right corner before I take some better photos, where the tabernacle veil can be seen too, but it certainly added to the beauty of the Liturgy at this most Holy time of the Year!

Resurrexit, Sicut Dixit! Alleluia!

Now the Purple one can wait for a bit, but I've got no excuse to not get the red set ready by Pentecost...apart from that Wedding dress I should be getting on with....

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Chalice Pall in need of Repair

This poor little Pall recently arrived looking in a bit of a sorry state, but so charming that it was well worth restoring. The lovely gold lace edging was falling off, and the silk was discoloured, and rather clumsily sewn down to the very grubby linen backing.

After taking it all apart, and removing the old linen and its tatty inner card, I managed to give the silk a gentle clean and re-mount it onto some white cotton. The gold trim was re stitched, using metallic thread, back onto the cotton to minimise the stress on the edges of the silk. I made a new linen pouch to hold some acid-free card. This was lightly stitched to the back of the cotton lining at the four corners, for ease of removal if it needs cleaning in the future.

It's now all ready for when it will next be used at Easter...just got to get through Lent first!