Firstly, we are doing a modified swetebag -- which is twinging my historic side horribly. It is an amalgam of bags and the tutors styling. It targets a 1630's bag, but does have several accommodations - most notably size. It is larger. The items on the bag have been simplified in some ways and added to in other ways -- it is hard to describe. Suffice to say it is all good for learning, but I doubt it is a project I will finish; as I hoped.
That said, there is lots to learn and much applicable to doing a real historic swetebag. The first 3 sessions for my group (we were divided into 3 groups)focused on stitching. Some of the things we covered included -- (1)detached buttonhole with return (Brussels stitch) and we did it coming out from the center of the flower with each petal separately, with 3 layers of colors; (2)hollie point - 3 or 4 colors with each petal separately and then totally detached edge (we will wire the edge eventually); (3)trellis stitch strawberry which we will add gold chips later.
The first 2 session of braids (never enough time) were on plaited braids which were finger looped and stitched as they were done - 2, 4 and 6 loop braids. The light truly went on when I think about the edgings on the 14th C gowns in the MOL books. The afternoon was making cording gimps and tassels -- this is where having a slightly larger scale really helps. As it was the gimps were 3 cm and the tassel and over all less than 10 cm. REALLY COOL!!!!
We also have had lectures galore - Overview of Swetebags (I asked after the lecture to PLEASE give each item a time frame (ie early 17th C) so we can really place things on a time tree. 2 on history - one on who was Lady Anne Clifford (Pembroke) and the George Washington connection. Then yesterday we went on a tour of Levens Hall and had a lecture on samplers. Really it was on motifs and how you see them time an again. The pictures our tutors have is amazing. Sigh!!! If only I had the same access. Many of the pictures I am familiar with the source, but frequently the picture is better than I have ever seen -- better detail or of items from private collections. Of course, the more you learn the more you see.
So I'll sign off now (boy do I sound British :) and let the brain rest up tonight. Kumihimo tomorrow and then goldwork in the afternoon. Ta Ta!