Working with the other side of my brain

I have been working away on Gavi's tallit which is made out of lace from her beautiful wedding dress. This is one of those projects that on paper seems simple. How hard could it be to trim a mile of lace trim off of a dress and then sew it to a new piece of silk to make a tallit?

The answer is actually that it isn't all that difficult but it is time consuming.   I had to trim off the mile of lace trim and cut it away from all of the tulle that it had been stitched to. Did I mention that the lace was stitched on invisibly? Unpicking white  stitching from white tulle is hard on the eyes.

After all of the lace had been unpicked I realized that it was actually dingy and needed to be washed. So I hand washed the mile of lace.

I cut the silk Georgette to size and realized that the size my client and I thought made sense for her tallit would in fact be too short.  I suppose I could have just ordered another length of silk. Instead, I inset a stripe of lace pieced from the the lace motifs that were on the skirt of the wedding dress. I have left out that each of the motifs needed to be snipped away  from the tulle in the same careful way that the mile of scalloped border had been un-snipped. The little motifs then had to be combines in a way that made visual and structural sense.

The lace stripe has been assembled and now finally, I have begun adding the lace border to the tallit.
The silk needs to be backed with paper or the sewing machine will suck the silk into it's guts causing me to curse while I unplug my machine and very carefully urge the stuck silk to emerge from the netherworld between the bottom of the sewing machine foot and the top of the bobbin case, hopefully without ripping the silk.

 The works is painstaking and I am not quite half done appliqueing the lace. This part of the job is proceeding pretty quickly.

This sort of work is so far from the sort of  work I normally do. I tend to be really good at creating a strong visual effect in a way that is quick and easy.

There are lots of people who create who plan out ever bit of a piece before they begin to work. I tend to figure out a general map for myself and then improvise the journey as i go along.

This tallit has all been about pre-planning and prep work. This has been really good for me.  I think I will need to make a couple of really fast garments when this tallit is completed.


  1. Yes. I am fighting a lovely drapey leather-like fabric which I thought would work well with draping on the is very heavy. So, various things and brave decisions are being made. I was going to embellish it some, but it needs much more to keep the weight from dragging the folds and tucks apart.
    So. I am working on a variation of one of my house pieces which needs lots of cutting out, but no misbehaving. hmm.


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