Lichfield Liturgical Fabric: Reformation Stole and Chasuble
A few days back on Ecclesiastical Sewing, we had a post on matching patterns while working with liturgical vestment fabrics. Once the patterns are matched up on the fabric, the next step is to determine pattern placement on the vestment (IE – those big roses and fleur-de-lis on Lichfield – where will they land once the garment is cut?)
This can be another area of concern, and rightly so. I have made my fair share of “pattern placement” mistakes over the years. Pattern or motif placement when working with Ecclesiastical Brocade fabrics does take some careful thought and planning. There are lots of little tricks and tips, but we will just look at a very quick one for tonight. The trick has to do with cutting out stoles. I am making a few stoles using the red Lichfield Liturgical Fabric, and this is a beauty! The red is rich and deep in color. One could say it is a martyr red. Red is a color that can stand on its own, but for this set, I will be combining the red Lichfield Brocade with a black fabric, Evesham, which is a black silk damask.
For this set of stoles, the plan is to center the stole on the Tudor Rose and Fleur de Lis pattern. While this sounds easy, it really can be a bit of a trick to center a pattern over a particular design motif for the simple reason: one can not see through the pattern to make sure it is centered at the exact correct spot.
The paper pattern is placed on the fabric, and the usual method is to check the design motif on either side of the paper pattern, lift an edge, peak, pin, and cross one’s fingers and hope and pray you got it right! This can work, or, it can be off by the slightest of amounts and be a disaster. It is after all, a matter of trial and error, or success. It is not fool-proof.
To avoid or rather minimize the risk of having the design be off by a bit. Here is one of the simple little tricks I use:
Simply fold the paper pattern in half along the length of the stole and center the fold on the center of the design motifs. Then, lift the edge, place a pin or two or three to keep the under side in place, and then, fold the pattern out to full size again, and you should end up with a stole that is perfectly centered on the design motif of your choice. And that is my simple little tip for cutting out stoles that need to be centered on a specific motif. Easy, once you know how.
For this chasuble, the design worked out fairly well. The Tudor Rose is place just an inch or so up from the hemline edge, and the Fleur de lis lands just below the neckline. The center of the row of motif. Now, while this placement worked out perfectly, what is more important is the rows of motif on either side of the center. There is a full Fleur de lis motif on either side of center at the bottom of the chasuble. The center row will be covered with an orphrey band of Black Silk Evesham, but the motifs on either side of the center will show, and the need to have nice placement. And, so, with the successful cutting out of the stole and chasuble, it is off to the sewing machine. Until next time, wishing your success with your Ecclesiastical Sewing projects.
Soli Deo Gloria
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