Avoiding corset-maker's thumb!

Trying to hand-stitch a corset is tough! I now understand why most stay-makers were men. Pulling a needle with heavy linen thread through two layers of heavyweight calico and one of linen is hard work. I've never got on with thimbles very well, but I've found the problem isn't pushing the needle, it's PULLING it. The first couple of panels gave me a case of corset-maker's thumb, which I have decided is a new type of repetitive strain injury. My hand ached for a good couple of days!

Progress so far

I am making great progress with the Georgian project. At least, it seems great progress to me, now I have time to work on it full-time. I can recommend this retirement lark!

I have had a couple of research visits to look at materials in collections, one to the Kay-Shuttleworth Collection at Gawthorpe Hall, and one to Leeds Museums Discovery Centre. Both have some stunning 18th century items in their collections, which cause me some heartache in the difficulties of getting the fabrics they used, especially the very fine muslins.

Why the snail?

Long story! A few years ago I bought a facsimile copy of Richard Shoreleyker's "A Scholehouse for the Needle" which is a pattern book for needlework, especially needle lace and embroidery. It was originally published in 1632, and if you are interested in historical embroidery it's a fabulous resource.

Captain Cook Waistcoat Project

This project grew out of an email exchange with Sophie Forgan, Curator of the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby. We had been considering ideas for developing my needlework post-retirement, and I mentioned the idea of making myself suitable period costumes and sitting in museums and stately homes doing period needlework. I love both historical costumes and traditional hand embroidery techniques, so it fitted well with my interests. That Sophie thought it was a good idea was a great encouragement!


Catch my main Blog, on general matters, and my blog about the Captain Cook Waistcoat Project work. Both will mainly be posted as 'Alison Liz'.

Tap the link above to bring up the posts.