I have finally given in and decided to do one of the ultimate Elizabethan accessories, a sweetbag. I have come up with the design, using elements from various surviving bags.
3rd Oct, 2004
Here is the design for the front of the bag:
The numbers at the bottom of the page are the codes for the Eterna stranded silks I will be using. The background will be silver thread, in goblien stitch and the stems will be done in imitation Japanese gold thread in plaited braid stitch (once I work out how to do it). I will line it with either pink or red silk, satin if I can get hold of it. I would also like to do the covered beads for the tassels, but I still haven't found anyone who knows how to do that, so that is optional at this stage.
4th Oct, 2004
The pattern is now on the fabric. I will be using 28 count white linen. I don't work on finer fabric, it hurts my eyes. I will outline the various motifs in black thread first, then move onto the coloured fillings.
I've coloured the fabric with pencil on some parts to help me with the shading of colours. I had to stop with the dark colours as I realised this was going to make it hard to see the holes to sew!!
26th Oct, 2005
This very big gap between updates is a good illustration why you should only have one big project on the go at once! (see Blackwork shirt).
Anyway, here is the progress after three hours, done sometime over the last year.
This is at 2hrs work.
This is at 3 hours work.
16th March, 2006
Picked up the sweetbag again last night. Got another two hours done on it.
17th March, 2006
Another couple of hours.
15th May, 2006
I was finally able to work out how to do plaited braid stitch this weekend. So I sat and did it for 5 hours. This is what it looks like. Finally starting to feel like I am making progress.
17th May, 2006
I also managed to get 3 hours done on the sweetbag, in between being distracted by Survivor and yes, I hate to admit it, Big Brother. I had originally planned to do all the black outlines, but I found this very tedious, so my plan now is to work in sections - outline, fill, goldwork, then next bit. It gives the impression of making headway. If I did all the goldwork, then I would be faced with many, many hours of tent stitch.
20th May, 2006
Another three hours today. Got the red done on flower two. The outside edges of the petals will be white, so I am going to wait until the very end to put that in, so it doesn't get dirty or if water gets on the red, it won't bleed into the white.
22nd May, 2006
Another few hours while watching tv, managed to get the cornflower done and a couple more leaves. Can't wait to get the honeysuckle underway to get some more yellow in, should really make the colours pop.
7th August, 2006
Worked another 15 hours. Worked a remaining leaves and the yellow flower.