Day work

I know I haven’t been posting a whole lot about Mimi’s tallit, but that does not mean that I haven’t been working on it and more importantly, thinking about it.  The thinking time allows me to think out possible problems before they develop.
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I had stenciled the text for the night portion of Mimi's tallit directly onto the fabric.  That was fairly easy because I was working on a smooth expanse of fabric.  Getting the letting stenciled onto the day portion of the tallit would be a bit more complicated. The pieced silk makes the surface uneven. I realized that I had to stencil the text onto a plain surfaced silk and then applique it to the tallit.

So I did just that. Mimi was very clear that she wanted the day side to look like very early morning light. Luckily I had a piece of shantung in just the right color. I used a mix of blue, iridescent white and two shades of gold to get the right shade of color.
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My next worry was having the texture of the piecing showing through the appliques letters. I solved that problem with the wonders of fusible interfacing.  For you sewing geeks, I used a tricot fusible.
Mimi (3)

Mimi (4)
I then basted the fused lettering block onto the tallit base.

Big basting always reminds me both of how my grandmother, my first sewing teacher,  used to sew,  and also about how shrouds are sewn. I used red so I could easily pick the basting out of the tallit when I was done.
Mimi (5)

Then I stitched around each letter with my sewing machine. I used black thread because it was on the machine.

Then came the terrifying part, cutting away the  interfacing reinforced shantung. There is always the horrible danger of cutting the tallit. Yes, I have done that in the past. It’s usually fixable, but  it is a completely demoralizing repair to have to make. I usually need to spend a good deal of time feeling terrible before I attempt the fix.

The fusible made cutting away the excess fabric much, much easier. I was able to complete the job without any mishaps.
No, I wasn’t done yet.  I had to cover all of the raw edges of the letters with a satin stitch.  Mimi had suggested that she wanted the letters to look silvery.  If I had used a silver stitch around the letters though, it would have been too difficult to read the letters.  so, instead I decided to use the same bronze thread that I had used to outline the “night “ lettering.
Mimi (1)


Here is one completed letter next to it’s un- satin stitched neighbor.  I stopped work for the evening before I began working badly. It usually takes a bit more focus to do tricky sewing than to write a blog post.

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