Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Getting closer....

As you can imagine, I'm busy getting things ready for Create & Craft this week - finishing off samples (and thinking of new things to make), that sort of thing. It feels very weird to see my name on the tv listings page though! And yes, I am beginning to feel just a little nervous, when I stop to think about it. (I know, so the answer to this is don't think about it!)

It hasn't been all about buttons though, I have been working on some tassels!

Below is a before and after of a Victorian fan tassel. The tassel really had seen better days - not surprising as it has been hanging from a lovely fan for so long. 

Because this will be used (in the first instance as part of a bridal ensemble) I decided to start from scratch, and carefully remove everything. I was very interested to see that the skirt had been glued to the inside of the mould - as had the cord. This is quite interesting, as we are always led to believe that historically glue wasn't used with textiles, and if we use it today we are somehow "cheating". And really, the skirt would not have stayed in place on this mould without the glue, despite the covered ball under the skirt. (which I kept with the originally covering, just to keep with the 'something old'!)

The 'jasmines' hanging at the skirt were originally fine coils of wire. So fine in fact, that I was unable to find anything suitable as a replacement (as I really did not want to use some rather ugly grey jewellery wire - the only thing that was nearly fine enough). 
*note to self, begin sourcing super fine wire in a gold colour!


So, I decided instead to make a very fine cord in the purple silk, which matched the top binding and the colour scheme for the wedding. The gold lattice uses a gilt thread and the little beads on the original are simply gorgeous.

The next tassel is for the bride's purse, using similar elements design-wise, but all new materials. The more 'squat' appearance of the head should fit well at the bottom of a reticule-style bag.

The next two tassel will adorn a Victorian gown, decorating the bustle area if I recall correctly! The gimp used on these knots is hand-wrapped. It really is the only way sometimes, as gimp thread is becomming harder and harder to find these days - and when you do, it is viscose. Now, I haven't got anything against it per se, it is just that sometimes it can seem harsh colour-wise when using it with real silk. So, if matching is needed, it is often easier to work elements from the same type of thread. And sometimes, the extra effort is just nice.

So, I'll finish with another reminder - Create & Craft this Sunday, 8am...

hopefully you aren't bored of me mentioning it yet!


  1. Looooove the tassels! I feel a little excited and nervous for you! You're going to keep a copy of the TV listing, aren't you?

  2. Now I am starting to feel a little nervous too - watch me go and say some historical point incorrectly now... ;-)

  3. Don't be nervous - you'll be great.

    And as my grandson gets up at 7am every day, there's no chance of me missing you - unless you are up against Numberjacks on Cbeebies!

    Only joking! I'm Sky Plussing it in case! Mrs Jason would never forgive me!

  4. Just managed to catch the end of your show on C&C due to your sell out - loved what I saw and looked for your blog - you certainly came over as very relaxed and as a button lover I will certainly look for your next show. Love your stuff as although I like buttons and ribbons have never reallyloked at the history so am now looking to find out more

  5. Thank you so much Bea! I have to say that Debbie really did make me feel at ease right away, which was a great help.


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