As I was getting ready to write this second post I wanted to find another picture of a chasuble for you to see. I thought that maybe I would be able to find a good one from my wedding. This is what I found:
It turns out that Father wasn’t wearing a chasuble. Instead he was wearing this stole (the scarf-like thing hanging down around his neck). It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t remember it because if I’d been paying any attention I might have asked if he could please change it. I know that I’m a farm girl, but I also have Celiac Disease, so really it’s just mean to wear embroidered wheat on my wedding day. *sigh*
Anyway, before I invested too much time into the making of this garment I decided that we needed to find the fabric. All we needed was purple fabric so that shouldn’t be too hard to find, right? WRONG! Did you know that there are two kinds of purples in the Catholic church? You have Advent purple (a bluish purple) and Lent purple (a reddish purple). I wanted to avoid a certain fabric store in town so I decided to see what I could find online. My first attempt:
Strike ONE!! Do you see the purple on the card behind it? THAT’s the purple that I needed. This is Lent purple. So, I went online and tried again. Strike TWO. *sigh* Finally, I conceded and went to the store I wanted to avoid. They had the color that we needed, but not enough on the bolt. I told Brandon that we needed seven yards of continuous fabric on the bolt. This yardage was based off of quick measurements that I was doing after reading how you create your own pattern, etc. Once the material was in and found to be the exact color, I got to work on the pattern.
I borrowed a chasuble from the church that fits Father really well and that he wouldn’t be using any time soon. After I took the measurements from the garment I transferred them to paper and cut them out. This is what I had:
That was my work surface, by the way. I spent a lot of time on the floor of my sewing room working around this pattern board. Of course, it’s cardboard so Bob thought I had placed it there for him to play on. Luckily he never tried that when I had the borrowed chasuble laying on it!
Since I only had one shot at making this vestment I knew that I would have to make a practice one, first. I looked around and had a couple of sheets that I had bought at Goodwill for the lace that edged it. The problem was that I didn’t have enough of one sheet to make both sides of the chasuble… so this is what it looked like in the back:
And the front:
I have to say right here that my priest is a VERY good man. I sheepishly asked him to try this piece on and he obliged. I promised I wouldn’t take a picture of him wearing it, but who knows what he really thought when he saw this flowery thing coming at him! You’re probably wondering why the collar is purple. Well, it’s because I wanted to see how the rolled collar would work in the material that made up the real fabric I would be using. The actual fabric that we bought was a rayon/linen blend with a smidgen of spandex. Since the majority of the fabric was rayon I bought a rayon dress at Goodwill for use as the collar. I did a horrible job, though:
This does give you a better feel, though, of how mismatched the sheets were with the purple collar. Oh, and because I’m just that special I somehow managed to put one piece inside-out when putting the collar together so the seam was on the OUTSIDE. And I didn’t finish the neckline nicely, either. By that time I was sick of it and just wanted to be done. Again, this is a project that as a beginner sewer I probably should have stepped away from and let somebody with more experience handle.
This collar was really tricky. Not only because I had to read the instructions eight times to figure out what the book was telling me to do, but also because I didn’t think that I had the correct arc on the pattern piece. I’d had to try to interpret it by hand using the scaled drawing in the book, and it was not good. I’m a horrible artist to begin with, and this just brought that home. Luckily, I have a very resourceful husband who said, “I can draw this in SketchUp using the measurements given in the book and then I can use the laser cutter to cut it out of your paper.” So he did:
I turns out that it was operator error as to why the collar sucked. To be completely honest, I wasn’t happy with the actual one, but I didn’t take the time to break it down and figure out where things were going wrong.
In the next part you’ll get to hear about cutting out the actual chasuble. Stay tuned!
Wow! I’ll say again – you are a much better sewer than you give yourself credit for! And kudos to Jay for modeling for you and jumping in to help with the design components when things got wonky. Isn’t it awesome to have a really talented husband?! : )