Wedding gift complete!!!!

When I work on a piece I know more or less where I am going to end up, but I don’t always know exactly how I’m going to get there.  Working on this atara/tallit neckband  for my nephew-to -be was one of those cases.


I knew I had to edge the atara. I don’t have my nephew- to -be’s tallit here for  reference in terms of color. I  didn’t want the soft colors of the atara to appear to weak and washed out next to the light blue of the tallit.  I was also worried that if the blue on the tallit had a greenish cast then the combination would look weak and sickly.


I  decided to make bias strips of a nice smoky blue cotton velveteen that’s been in my stash for a long time. I sewed the bias binding binding onto the  atara using the diamond stich on my machine and gold metallic thread. The result was both physically strong as well as being visually strong.

The stronger blue pulled the colors and composition  a bit out of balance.

fredman atara (1) - Copy

The center piece of the atara, the priestly breastplate, looked a little weak. I then decided to make a frame for the choshen/priestly breastplate out of  more of the blue velvet.

I cut rectangle of the velvet, sewed  a cotton chambray to the face, cut a hole in the chambray clipped the corners and turned the whole thing. This way I had nice finished edges and didn’t have to worry about turning velvet edges and cursing.

After I had turned the velvet pad I decided that a bit of gold embroidery would be a good thing.fredman atara (4) - Copy

I took photos of the atara both with and without the velvet pad so you can see what a difference it really did make.

fredman atara (1) - Copyfredman atara (2) - Copy

The dark blue frame just makes it all better.

Then I had to get everything attached. This is where experience comes in handy. sewing the blue pad down to the atara was best done by machine.  Sewing the mirrored choshen to the atara was a job best done by hand.  Ten years ago, I would have spent lots of time and cursed a whole lot trying to do the entire job by machine. I used very fine thread and a beading needle, but it not all that long, it was completed.

fredman atara (5) - Copy

My niece is mailing me the tallit and then I will sew the atara onto the tallit.


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