Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Final Sprint For HSF Challenge #24?

The deadline for the next Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge for this year, "Re-do", is December 2.  My intention is to have my himation complete--or at least completely wearable--for that challenge.  So where do I stand?  Can I make it?  Maybe.

Floss colors to embroider the himation.
Last night, I made significant progress on my himation.  The neckline is done, complete with button-and-loop closure and blue linen trim.  Now I only need to close the seams up the sleeves, finish the seams inside, and hem the tunic.  (In a pinch, I'll finish enough of the seams to do the hem, and complete that job later.)  Granted, I don't expect to be able to add more ornamentation to the tunic by December 2, but at least the tunic would be fit to wear by then.

Cross pommee
Even so, time is going to be tight.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which is a significant family holiday here in the US.  I will likely be spending a large chunk of it with my husband's family eating way too much turkey and pie.  I have a meeting Friday morning, and plans to spend the rest of the day at our favorite board gaming store, where there will be an all-day session of board gaming, and I'm committed to meetings most of Saturday.  So that will leave Sunday to finish the tunic proper before the deadline.  Doable?  Probably--unless I screw something up.  

Speaking of ornamentation, I did some looking today and confirmed that cotton crochet thread, even if braided, will not give the look I want.  So I'm going to go with embroidery after all.  To the left is a picture of the colors of DMC cotton embroidery floss I bought--an off-white simply labeled "ecru", a pale blue (DMC #827) and a deep bluish red (DMC #815).

My current thought is to do stem stitch along the side of the blue linen where I originally planned to couch some cord.  On the neckline, I will stem-stitch circles with the ecru floss, to which I will add crosses worked in the pale blue and highlighted with the red.   The crosses would be shaped much like the cross pommee in heraldry, with a red ball at each point of the cross and in the center (shown on the right, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).  I found a good video on Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread site that demonstrates how to do stem stitch; hopefully I can follow it well enough not to become frustrated. 

It sounds like a workable idea to me, but no plan, whether for sewing or battle, long survives contact with the enemy.  I'll just have to forge ahead and see how it all turns out.

EDIT:  (11/28/2013)  I have a himation.  It still needs finishing (hemming, seam finishing, and, at some point, embellishment) but it's a complete garment.  I expect to be able to hem it, and perhaps finish the seams by Monday.


  1. Have you tried doubling or quadrupling the crochet cotton as a twisted cord? In other words, start with a length at least 4 times the length needed, overtwist once then ply the cord back against itself, then repeat. I find you end up with a nice sized cord that has some body to it and couches nicely.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, but thickness isn't the issue; I know I could braid or twine crochet cotton into a cord thick enough to suit me. I just don't like the look of the fibers--it looks too much like package twine (especially in the lighter colors I wanted for this project, to contrast with the blue linen strips). I think the DMC floss will give me a look that is more esthetic.