Thursday, August 30, 2018

Joy and Sorrow, with Hope.

I have been asked to make a few items recently which seem to fit into the cycle of life.

A gift set to send to Australia, for a new, much longed for baby, not quite yet delivered!

The gift-giver was quite specific in what he wanted, something "Traditional" in white, but not to look as though it were for a Baptism... hence the touches of green, with elephants marching across the bib. The set is made from a very fine cotton lawn with satin weave and embroidery details, and touches of antique insertion lace, all lined in cotton lawn (apparently, it will be hot in Australia when the baby gets to be old enough to wear it!)

The next project completed was for a Polish wedding, soon to take place, but as it hasn't yet, I can't really reveal "The Dress". It's for a lovely Welsh Lassie, who's marrying a dashing Polish Gentleman! Suffice to say, it involved a lot of piecing of extremely pretty lace, and swathes of silk satin, lots of buttons and a bow!
Sneak preview! Two different laces have been invisibly joined prior to piecing the back part of the bodice. 

The back after completion!

The last item is of a more sorrowful nature. It made me reflect on how fleeting life is, and how we should all prepare for death. A widow-to-be is expecting her terminally ill husband to die soon, and wanted a special mantilla to wear at his funeral. She had a specific idea of what she wanted. As I looked at the image she had in mind, I realised I would have to cut, shape and piece together lace. It was a time-consuming project, involving a lot of hand-stitching, all around the edges of the inset pieces of lace. But I found it a very moving task to sit quietly sewing the pieces together, and pray for her and her husband and family, and contemplate my own mortality too.

The first stage of shaping the lace edging around the dotted net. It was coming out bigger than the recipient wanted, so I had to bring the edging in more.

After completion.

When I started Zelie's Roses, I had little patience for hand sewing, wanting to get things finished speedily. The more I force myself to spend time creating things by hand stitching, the more I appreciate what Zelie Martin used to do in her lace-making! I hope I'm now of a level for her to have employed me as someone who pieces the lace together, since I still don't have the patience, or skills, to actually make lace!!

I like to add all the people I sew for to my prayers; a safe delivery for the baby and mother, a joyous and Christ-filled marriage for the happy couple, and the consolations of St. Joseph and Mary to be with the dying man and his family.

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