Lately I have begun the work of designing a tallit/prayer shawl by having my clients try on lengths of raw fabric.
My clients seem to divide themselves into two camps, there are the folks who want silky and those who want texture. Natalee was a silky girl. The base of her tallit is ivory colored silk charmeuse.
I made the wings out of four layers of metallic/silk organza. I sketched an abstracted eagle wing onto tracing paper, flipped it and traced it's partner from the first sketch.
Then, I went over the sketch using my sewing machine threaded with black thread. One normally doesn't think of a sewing machine as a drawing tool, but that's exactly how I used it.
After establishing the design, I cut away different layers of the organza, some from the front and some from the back, getting variations in color.
Then I went back and reinforced the design both visually and structurally with the machine threaded with an ivory embroidery thread set on a satin stitch.
Today I stitched the wings onto the silk. I backed the tallit with the same silk as on the face of the tallit.
all that's left to do is:
make the neckband
sew on the corner pieces
make the eyelets
most of this has been fussy, fussy work. It makes me itchy to just whip up a dress.