Back into the swing of things

After a MOST AMAZING visit to Australia and New Zealand to examine the various Cook Waistcoats, and to have a rather stunning holiday as well, I am now trying to come down to Earth and get back into the swing of work. The house is still a bit chaotic, as the builder, Keith, is still working on the studio conversion for me, but I can get on with the waistcoat, with luck, and a following wind!

I learned a huge amount from the various study visits. Examining the embroidery closely told me lots about the stitching: which parts are tamboured and which chain stitch, for instance. I also realised there are three tones of colour on each flower, which was not clear from the printed images. The size of the metallic thread was finer than the sample I took along, but the spangles were exactly right. I've also got some useful measurements from the Te Papa Waistcoat, which was completed, to give me an idea about the size and pattern to use to make the waistcoat up. It is surprising how much you can get from a hands-on examination which is not always obvious from the images, however carefully they are photographed. When I checked the colours, NONE of the ones I had selected from the printed images to use for the sample piece were exactly right!

So now I need to get on with things. I've ordered the silk threads from Silk Mill, and some finer passing thread from Benton and Johnson, which they are making up specially for me. I need to order another roll of Tapa cloth, finer if possible, but I can get on with the pocket flaps while I wait for the post from Hawaii! I'm itching to get really started on this, especially since there is a lot to do and it needs to be done by next February.

I'll keep you posted, Dear Reader. Watch this space!