Rose Chalice Veil Construction
This weekend past weekend was Laetare Sunday, one of the two Sundays in the Church Year when Rose colored vestments are used. For this Ecclesiastical Sewing project, the two fabrics being used are an Ecclesiastical Brocade called Florence in the rose color and a tapestry fabric called Verona with Lurex. Both of these Ecclesiastical fabrics are coming to the new website in the fall of 2015.
Part of the fun in making this Ecclesiastical Vestment set was determining the placement of the various motifs in the fabric. Utilizing the design motifs within the fabric to enhance the finished piece can make a project all the more fun. The positioning of motifs on this fabric offers some interesting possibilities.
If one looks closely at the corners on the above piece, notice there is a motif that is at a 45 degree angle, in the exact place the fabric will be folded into a point when draped over the chalice. Placing this motif in the corners worked out perfectly for creating a chalice veil that will have a finished dimension of 25 1/2″. (Please carefully check the size of your church’s chalice and pall to determine the correct size needed). The orphrey band is centered on a motif, and the patterns on either end of the orphrey band are perfectly symmetrical. The placement could not have worked out better! Not all orphreys will be symmetrical, and that is ok, too. Just watch the placement of the design motifs in the orphrey band.
The orphrey is basted in place, and stitched using a walking foot, or even feed foot to avoid “take up” or puckering. (Take up happens when layers of fabric shift during stitching, resulting in puckers or bubbles where the fabric bunches up).
The next step in the process is to add the Oak Leaf Trim. This trim is woven with real metallic thread. It has an unusual, somewhat stiff feel, but stitches in place like a dream! This is VERY nice trim, as in exceptionally NICE trim. It is pricey, comes in gold and silver colors, is available in three sizes of 1/2″, 1″, and 2″ widths, comes from the UK, and is available through the Ecclesiastical Sewing storefront.
The Oak Leaf trim was stitched with a very bright gold thread that was not quite a metallic, but has the appearance of a metallic thread.
So what color does one use to line Rose Vestments? I tried the Roman Purple and violet. Those colors seemed to “deaden” the rose color. A friend suggested a red color, but it was not my favorite option. Perhaps later, rose and deep red it might grow on me. There is always gold as an option, but I would prefer an old gold and did not have the color on hand. So, that left…..cream? I did have a deeper cream silk shantung on hand courtesy of a clearance table. The color worked well. The silk was a natural choice for use with the Florence fabric.
The silk lining was cut about 1/2″ smaller than the chalice Veil face fabric. The reason? When the fabrics are stitched and turned, cutting the lining slightly smaller forces face fabric to roll slightly in when turned, ensuring the lining never “peaks” out at the sides. This is a project where one does not want to understitch the lining to keep it in place, and certainly, top stitching is out of the question on fabrics like theses. After all, Ecclesiastical Sewing is not sportswear. And if the proper techniques are employed, topstiching will not be needed to smooth seams or keep fabrics in place. So, little tricks like cutting the lining slightly smaller than the face fabric “do the trick” in allowing fabrics to turn and stay in place.
Next, the corners need clipping at a 45 degree angle, and the seam allowances need trimming and pressing before turning the fabric right side out.
The final step is to turn the fabric right side out, and adjust the corners with a point turner. Next, sew the opening closed with tiny blind stitches, press the edges, being sure the lining rolls under slightly. And that completes the making of the chalice veil.
One other comment is worth noting: the orphrey bands can be cut from small pieces that remain from the Verona Tapestry. Select a portion of the fabric that is pleasing to look at and is balanced. The Chalice Veil on the left has a Jardiniere centered on the orphrey band. The orphrey band on the right was cut on the cross grain, using the flowers that are in the Jardiniere as the focal point of the orphrey.
Chalice veils are very simple to construct. The beauty of the finished piece lies in excellent workmanship with regards to construction techniques, and appropriate design placement. The design of a chalice veil can be as simple or elaborate as the imagination allows. Although the chalice veils above do not have any trim around the edge, it is appropriate to use a cord as a decorative finish at the seam. Chalice veils often have a cross motif placed on the front edge, too.
Now that the chalice veil has been worked through, it is time to start on some other Ecclesiastical Sewing projects. You might wonder what is in the works? Here is a tiny hint: the new project is fit for a King…..
Solo Dei Gloria
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