Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fun with Elizabethan coif embroidery

That's a misleading title cause I don't embroider, like, at all. But I do LOVE me a good embroidered Elizabethan coif. (you see my problem, here)

To make it all much worse, I'm almost out of  the machine embroidered linen I've been using for my embroidered coifs that I sell at and I can find more of it  NOWHERE.

So - I've decided to have some fabric custom embroidered just for me! Sounds like a great plan, yes?
The issue has been that I lacked an awesome, clean vector art file of the pattern I want, and I'm an Adobe Illustrator beginner. Not even an advanced beginner. I know enough Adobe Illustrator to spend over fifty hours tweaking a file, looking at YouTube for how-tos, moving little points and lines around till 3:00 AM, and then totally screw it all up by grouping a compound path all wrong or something. (Not that this happened, or anything.) (This totally happened.)

This is why it's taken a year for me to get to this point.

I finally decide on a design with this awesome blackwork pattern that I yoinked from the cover of this embroidery book:

Since I don't actually OWN this book, I've no idea what this embroidery is ON (Coif? Pillow? Sleeve?)
but it looked just like I wanted, so I'm not going to worry about it.

ANYWAY - Today I finally got it made, cleaned up, and printed out full scale to look at!!!!! Trouble was - It looked just like it did on the screen and it's really hard to say "yup - the scale is just right" unless you are looking at something in its final form.

SO. Since I'm likely to have to order 80 yards of this fabric (which will last me for EVER unless I decide to try to sell the yardage) I had better be for SURE fer shur about the scale, pattern and size. 

Naturally, the only thing to do was to make a mockup coif with the pattern drawn on.

So this afternoon, there I was, with paper and fabric all taped to the glass of my back door (otherwise known as the poorman's lightbox) tracing the design onto some linen with a Sharpie marker.

Results: I love it.

Admit it - You're totally jealous of my SharpieCoif™
I placed it next to my current one to check out the difference, and I really think the new pattern will offer lots of advantages.

Biggest design difference seems to be the lack of white space present in the actual Elizabethan pattern.

Also - I found it fascinating how different the same exact coif pattern looks on two different heads. Hairs. Hairdos. Whatevers. You get it.
Another groovy composite montage thing. I'm an advanced beginner with Photoshop :)
 Now I just need to get back in touch with my fabric person in India to see if the estimate she gave me last January still stands.  Fingers crossed!  I sure hope this works out. As enamored as I am with the SharpieCoif, I cannot WAIT to see yards and yards of it all machine embroidered!