April’s Goals

We have many projects under way here at Ecclesiastical Sewing. We have our new Luther Rose Brocade Fabric to develop; we have many new embroideries becoming available; and we are furiously working ahead in the liturgical calendar to have collections of product available for the new liturgical calendar year. Not to mention we are testing new vestment patterns from our pattern maker. One new pattern we are very excited about is our chasuble pattern. I should say patterns because we have several that have been or are being developed. There will be a Monastic, Roman (with the fiddle-back edge instead of the straight edge), and a Gothic style of chasuble available for purchase in the upcoming weeks, maybe months on the one style. Of course, we will keep everyone posted by the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and email as to when these patterns are available for purchase!

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1Roberts, Carrie. Luther Rose Brocade Order. April 2nd, 2017. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Minnesota.


Along with all the business goals, my personal goal for the month of April is to sew a Gothic Chasuble. So far, there are two Gothic Chasuble patterns, each is a slight variation. I’m only constructing the one and was not involved with the creation process. Therefore explaining the differences is not something I am qualified to discuss at this time. Carrie will have these differences available in the descriptions of the products. And she and I can compose a post here about the differences in the patterns later on (I will make a note so we make sure to remember to do this).

By April 28th, I would like to have made a chasuble from start to finish. As I said, I will be constructing one of the variations of the Gothic Chasuble. This chasuble is marked by its long sleeves. It is oval or circular in shape if it were to be spread out flat on the floor. Draping over the priest or pastor, it is almost poncho-like in resemblance. (For some history on this vestment, read this past post.) The picture below shows the rough draft that we have of this pattern. Carrie has worked with it before, but only has this one copy, which is her creation and all rights go to her.

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2Roberts, Carrie. Chasuble Cutting Luther Rose Brocade. April 2nd, 2017. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Minnesota.


Unlike the Monastic Chasuble, this style takes much less fabric. I believe Carrie said that the Monastic Chasuble takes four lengths of fabric. This Gothic Chasuble has a front pattern piece and a back pattern piece that are each cut on the center fold. There is the option to add orphrey bands to the front and back. This pattern does not use a collar or a hood.

As of today, I have cut out seven front and seven back pieces in our Luther Rose Brocade. This works well because I am multitasking. I am creating our product collection for the Reformation 2017 celebration and I am learning to make a vestment that is by no mean specific to the Reformation. I thought I was going to work on one of our silk chasubles, which will be stunning when done. Carrie, however, made the recommendation that I start with a brocade since I want to focus on learning the techniques for this vestment and meet quality control standards and trying to tackle slippery silk might make that more difficult for my first time.

Out of the seven chasubles only two will have orphrey bands. Everything will be taken to our embroidery lady tomorrow. We, for now, do not plan on having any chasubles without embroideries, unless custom-made, for our Reformation collection. That of course, like all business decisions, is subject to change; so do not quote me.

Finally, part of my job is to learn to create these vestments for production. But it is also my job to pay specific attention to detail so that I can create instructions for the patterns. All of our patterns are sold without instructions because they assume a level of competence from the seamstress or tailor. When the instructions are created, they will be sold separately. However, do to some personal future events—like making Carrie a grandma in June or July—pattern instructions will not be available at the same time as the patterns are available. This should not scare anyone from trying to make this vestment. We are always, always, willing to help, answer questions, and are available through email or other messaging platforms. After all, we all had to start learning to make vestments and paraments at some point. And making these beautiful pieces is not ultimately for our own whims. Beautifying the church and making something for the aid of worship is something that should always be pursued and encouraged. Having traditional vestments and tasteful paraments is so important. And teaching people to make them and appreciate classic work is keeping a dwindling art form alive.

So keep checking back, I’ll be sure to recap by the end of April about my monthly personal goal.

~Nihil Sine Deo~

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2 Comments »

    • That is certainly a fast way of finishing the edges of a chasuble. It is a technique frequently employed in the making of sportswear or things like dance/costuming and it will work.

      However, I do prefer to use more couture/tailoring techniques for vestment making which often means hand hemming. These techniques do take more time, but after all, we are sewing vestments for the Lord’s House and his servants.

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