That took forever

When I made john his silk brocade tunic lays year, he decided it was too short – I’d made it mid calf, but it turned out he wanted full length.

so I tracked down another silk that toned with the body, but with circular patterns to echo the cuffs. I just got round to sewing it on.

it took almost a week. The new silk had to be hemmed top and bottom( never easy with silk) whip stitched round the bottom of the tunic ( and two tiny inch wide panels pieced in where the new silk was almost but not quite long enough) silk taffeta tape had to be made and then couched down with red cord. A trip to the dark depths of Huddersfield ensued in order to spend an obscene amount of ( thankfully not my) cash on freshwater pearls, which were then also couched down.

in order to pass the time I also had to watch two seasons of devious maids, which was really trashy and probably bad for my brain, because I’ve already watched all the sci fi.


I wasn’t sure it was going to look alright until I got the tape down. Just the two silks whip stitched together looked a bit crappy, but now it has pearls it looks nice. Excessive amounts of pearls improve everything.


Apart from using fake plastic pearls( spitty spitty) I think the biggest mistake most reenactors make with pearls is just not using enough of them – spacing them out makes it look like you’re on a budget, which defeats the object of using pearls. More really is more, people, how many times do I have to say it?

I’m somewhat disgruntled with whaleys. I rang up to get a sample of something during the week, and they’re now saying your only allowed five free samples, then you have to pay. Which would be fair enough if it were five a year, or five per order. It’s five per lifetime, per ever. Which seems to me like a great way of pissing off your customers and driving business away.

well, I’m off to spend the day procrastinating about cutting the silk brocade for my dress…

~ by opusanglicanum on August 15, 2016.

10 Responses to “That took forever”

  1. I agree, 5 free samples per customer are awfully few.

    • I’ve been dealing with them for nearly twenty years, so obviously I’ve had my five. If you pay for samples they don’t even offset it against your next order

  2. I think I’d be grumpy with them too. And you’re dead right about the pearls. In fact, almost any ornamentation like that simply looks a bit feeble if not spread about with sufficient abandon!

    • I think the samples thing is a really bad business move. I can’t help remembering the Edinburgh farmers market where we bought nothing because the vendors were all being stereotypically Scottish and not giving any free samples, we bought from two stands that were giving tasties, and ignored the rest.

      I think the pearls thing also comes down to the same principle, people just want thier bling on a budget, so it doesn’t look blingy enough

  3. You’ve saved the tunic in a typically blingy way! Looks good.

    Sorry about the samples. I wonder if they have had people who only ever used samples and never actually “bought” anything, unlike you. These guys think they’re being clever, but as usual making life difficult for everyone else. Is it worth your while to speak to someone in authority? I’m sure they don’t want to lose your custom, built up over so many years (with real cash).

  4. The fabric at the bottom is a lovely complement to the cuffs, and it all looks wonderfully regal with the red and pearls.
    Regarding samples, perhaps you can talk a few friends and acquaintances who aren’t likely to use the company themselves into ordering samples on your behalf and passing them on?

  5. I agree about the sample thing too. In fact I am mightily pissed off with them myself – I am Australian (long way, true) and I want some linen scrim which it appears can only be had from Whaleys. No problem, 11 pounds per metre, but then they want another 60 pounds to send it by courier. How much does a metre of linen weigh or how much space does it take up? They refuse to use normal postage for some obscure reason. Who on earth can afford that?

    • I think living round here you sort of get used to Yorkshire service, but whaleys do seem to work really hard to take it that extra mile. I get the impression that what they want is for you to always use thier express service, which is ridiculously pricey, thier cheaper carriage in the uk isn’t all that cheap, and it takes forever. I live about ten miles away so if I have time I pick up because it’s just easier, even if it does mean going to Bradford, which I hate, because Bradford has the worst drivers in England.

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