I am getting very close to finished with the dress itself. Just wanted to share this photo, with the sunlight streaming through the fabric you can really see the detail of the embroidery and how translucent the fabric is. Looks ethereal.
It is starting to look more like a dress now. I put gathered 1 inch lace edging along the 2 seam lines, but I am not sure about that, it may be too much, but I’ll have to wait until I get more completed to see if it overshadows the embroidery or if it looks out of place.
I decided to make the remainder of the skirt bottom out of panels divided by lace, each panel will have embroidery like the front but gradually tapering down to only embroidery at the bottom. This is one of the panels that will be attached directly behind the front panel.
While doing research for christening gowns, I ran across some photos of an antique Ayrshire christening gown. I fell in love with this beauty and have decided to try and reproduce an Ayrshire gown. Ayrshire Embroidery is hard to find, I could not find a source for any Ayrshire linens to use for the dress, so I will have to embroider my own by machine. I searched for “whitework” patterns in order to find something similar to Ayrshire.
Ayrshire embroidery, also known as sewed muslin, was worked in white cotton thread on white cotton muslin, usually in floral designs with trailing foliage, occasionally incorporating peacocks or other birds. It is characterised by cut-out spaces filled with needlepoint lace stitches, often in circular wheel patterns, surrounded by satin stitch with stem, beading and other stitches. It is most often found on baby robes, caps and bibs, women’s collars, cuffs and caps.
Close up detail of embroidery
Books and Articles
Bryson, Agnes, Ayrshire Needlework (London: Batsford, 1989)
Swain, Margaret, Ayrshire and Other Whitework (Shire Library) (Princes Risborough: Shire Publications, 1986
Swain, Margaret, The flowerers;: The origins and history of Ayrshire needlework (London & Edinburgh: W & R Chambers,1955)