By Mrs. T. D. MacBey
1913 08 page 6
The name of this class of needlework – also called rococo-embroider – indicates its character. Inn it ribbons of different widths and colors are used in place of embroidery-silks, or in conjunction with them, since rope-silk or purse-silk is employed in outlining stems, scrolls, baskets, and other portions of a design for which even the narrowest ribbon is not quite suitable.
Ribbon-embroidery would be far more in vogue than it is, were there not a wrong impression concerning it. Those who know it, consider it one of the most important forms of decorative needlework, and use it constantly for small and large pieces of every description; there are many others, however, who believe it to be tedious or difficult to do, and impractical when done, because it cannot be laundered in a regular way. Answering the first objection, it is of course obvious that the work may be very much more quickly accomplished than the ordinary colored embroidery, since an entire flower can be fashioned with less than a dozen movements of the needle at most; while all who have worked with embroidery-silks know the many stitches that are required to obtain the same effect; hence the advantage is largely in favor of ribbon-work when time is a consideration. It “goes” so quickly that one has no thought of tiring of it before even a large piece of work is accomplished. Think of making an entire petal or leaf with a single stitch, and you may easily imagine the fascination the work possesses for needlecrafters who have learned by experience how easy it is and how rapidly done – particularly in these “rushing” times of ours.
As for laundering, ribbon-embroidery may be sent to a professional cleanser and come out looking like new many times; or one may use gasoline and wash it at home, keeping the fluid always away from a room in which is artificial light or fire. The better plan is to take it out-of-doors in a large bowl, or any vessel corresponding in size to the article to be washed, placing this in a pan of hot water; then wash the work by “sousing” it in the fluid, lifting up and down, and squeezing lightly with the hands. Change the supply if the first becomes discolored or dirty, and finally hang the work in the open air where the odor will quickly depart.
For dress-garnitures of every sort there is nothing more lovely than ribbon-embroidery. It may be done on bands of net and applied, or on the garment itself. Once undertaken, and the possibilities of the art discovered, many new uses will be found for it.
Three widths of ribbon are generally employed, the very narrow for tiniest flowers, a half-inch width for larger ones, and one about five-eighths or three-fourths inch, the latter, having one edge picoted and the other plain, being intended for the petals of carnations and similar blossoms. The plain edge is drawn up, the picots serving to represent the serrate edge of the flower-petals. Ribbons of crepelike texture, shaded from one edge to the other, are especially pretty for blossoms such as sweet-peas; but any ribbon may be used.
While the gathered, or picot-edge ribbon, must necessarily be caught in place (indicated by the stamped or traced outlines of the design) on the surface, using a strand of filo-silk as nearly as possible of the same shade, the usual method of using this material is exactly the same as that for embroidery-silks; they are threaded into a needle and the stitch is taken through the foundation. Choose a needle large enough to make an opening through which the ribbon will follow easily, and use the latter in short lengths, that it may not become worn or frayed in the least. It is a good plan to smooth it out between thumb and finger after each stitch. And do not draw it through tightly – thus giving a flat appearance, which is of all things to be avoided. Each petal should have the raised, natural appearance of the flower the worker is copying, so far as possible to give it. No padding is necessary, although this is sometimes recommended. Run the handle of a stiletto or some other small, smooth object under the ribbon after the stitch has been taken, shaping the petal. The ribbon puffs very easily, since it emerges and is again drawn through a small aperture at base and tip of petal.
The decoration of the table-cover may properly be classed as a sweet-pea design, since that flower is used throughout save at each corner, where appear sprays of violets, tied with narrow ribbons. The foundation is a fancy moire, green in tone and shading from light to dark. Any other material may be selected, a heavy gray linen being very appropriate. The cover is one yard square without the border, which is three and one-half inches deep.
The violet petals are of narrow violet ribbon, the leaves of narrow green ribbon, and the stems of heavy green silk, in outline-stitch. If preferred, the tiny leaves may be in solid embroidery. For the violets bring the needle up at the center and put it down at the tip of petal, repeating until the five or six are formed, afterward filling the center with a French knot in heavy silk. Baste the ribbon knots and streamers lightly in place and catch securely with sewing- or filo-silk of the same tint. These ribbons are sometimes “couched,” that is, held in place by a short stitch crossing them at intervals of an inch or more, sometimes less.
For the sweet-peas but three or at most, four “stitches,” are employed. The two – or one – in the center are first taken, then that on each side, spreading from the base. The center petals are smaller and shorter. The natural flower will help one very much in copying – as will an illustration from a seed-catalogue, even. The flowers are of various colors, and combinations of colors, pink, blue, violet, and so on through the range of sweet-pea tintings. The stems and tendrils are outlined with brown and green, the scrolls, vases and baskets done in the same stitch.
Two rows of hemstitching are carried around the square or, rather, the inner row does this, while the outer row, five inches from the first, extends from basket to basket, at each corner. This portion of the work may be omitted at pleasure.
As has been intimated, it is practically impossible to fail of pleasing effect with this work, if the beginner is at all painstaking. Commencing first with a small piece, perhaps a sachet or handkerchief-case, practise with a simple design – the daisy is easily worked in ribbon and readily obtained. Each stitch forms a petal, and the center of the flower may be filled with French-knots. There is no prettier decoration for any sort of fancy articles, such as are used for Christmas gifts; and the wise woman who enjoys making pretty things, and has comparatively little time at her disposal, will not fail to add ribbon-embroidery to her list of accomplishments.
The border is of heavy mercerized crochet-cotton, crochet-silk, or linen thread No. 25; the latter has a lustre which is lasting, and a crispness when worked that renders it very effective. For the straight lace begin with a chain of 50 stitches, turn.
1. Miss 13, 3 doubles in next 3 stitches, (chain 5, miss 5, 3 doubles) 3 times, chain 5, miss 5, 4 trebles, turn.
2. Chain 11, miss 8 of chain , 3 trebles in next 3 stitches and 1 in 1st of 4 trebles,*chain 5, a treble in last of 4 trebles and 3 under chain, (chain 5, 3 doubles under next chain) 4 times, turn.
3. Chain 7, (3 doubles under 5 chain, chain 5) 3 times, 3 trebles under next chain and treble in treble, chain 5, fasten under 5 chain, *chain 5, treble in last of 4 trebles and 3 under chain, turn.
4. Like 2d row to *; (chain 5, fasten under 5 chain) twice, chain 5, treble in last of 4 trebles, and 3 under chain, (chain 5, 3 doubles under next chain) 3 times, turn.
5. Chain 7, (3 doubles under 5 chain, chain 5) twice, 3 trebles under next chain and treble in treble, (chain 5, a double under next chain) twice, 3 trebles and 1 double under same chain; like 3d row from *.
6. Like 2d row to *; chain 5, fasten under 5 chain, (chain 5, shell of 1 double, 3 trebles and 1 double under next chain) twice, chain 5, fasten under 5 chain, chain 5, treble in last of 4 trebles and 3 under chain, (chain 5, 3 doubles under next chain) twice, turn.
7. Chain 7, (3 doubles under next chain, chain 5) twice, treble in last of 4 trebles and 3 under chain, chain 5, fasten under 5 chain, chain 5, 1 double, 3 trebles and 1 double under next chain and 1 in 1st of 4 trebles, turn.
8. Chain 5, miss 3 trebles, treble in treble and 3 under chain. *(chain 5, fasten under 5 chain) twice, chain 5, 3 trebles under chain and treble in treble, (chain 5, 3 doubles under next chain) 3 times, turn.
9. Chain 7, (3 doubles under next chain, chain 5) 3 times, treble in last of 4 trebles and 3 under chain, chain 5, fasten in 5 chain, chain 5, 3 trebles under chain and treble in treble, turn.
10. Like 8th row to *; chain 5, 3 trebles under next chain and treble in treble, (chain 5, 3 doubles under next chain) 4 times, turn.
11. Chain 7, (3 doubles under next chain, chain 5) 4 times, 4 trebles in space between 2 treble groups of last row, turn.
Repeat from 2drow for the straight lace. When the corner is reached, repeat 2d and 3d rows of the pattern as usual.
4. Like 4th row of pattern, ending with (chain 5, 3 doubles under next chain) twice, turn.
5. Chain 7, 3 doubles under 5 chain, chain 5, 4 trebles, and continue like 5th row of pattern.
6. Like 6th across diamond, ending with 4 trebles, turn.
7. Chain 7, treble in treble and 3 under chain, and continue like 7th row.
8. Like 8th across diamond, ending with 4 trebles, turn.
9. Chain 7, treble in last of 4 trebles and 3 under chain, continue same as 9th row.
10. Like 10th, ending with the 2d group of 4 trebles, turn.
11. Chain 7, 4 trebles in space between 2 groups of last row, turn.
12. Like 2d row to *; chain 5, a treble in last of 4 trebles and 3 under chain, chain 5, 3 doubles in next loop, turn.
13. Chain 5, 3 trebles under 5 chain and treble in treble, continue across diamond as in 3d row.
14. Like 4th across diamond; after last 4 trebles, chain 5, 3 doubles in loop (on the diamond last made, at beginning of 7th row), turn
15. Chain 5, 3 trebles under chain and treble in treble, work across diamond as in 5th row.
16. Work across diamond as in 6th row, and after last 4 trebles in loop chain 5 and make 3 doubles in loop (at beginning of 5th row in last point), turn.
17. Chain 5, 3 doubles under chain last made, chain 5, miss 3 trebles, treble in treble and 3 under chain, and work across as in 7th row.
18. Like 9th row, putting last 3 doubles in loop at beginning of 3drow in previous point.
19, 20, 21. Like 9th, 10th, and 11th rows, inclusive.
Finish the outer edge as follows: After the last treble at end of 11th row, chain 3, fasten in the space where the 4 trebles were made, *chain 3, and under the loop of 5 chain following make (2 doubles, picot of 5 chain) twice, 2 doubles under same chain, chain 3, fasten in the treble in which treble of preceding row was made, repeat fro *, then in the loop at point put (2 doubles, picot) 3 times, 2 doubles, *chain 3, fasten in top of treble next row back, chain 3, (2 doubles, picot) twice, 2 doubles, all in next loop, repeat from last *, then repeat the row.
This is a very effective border for tea-cloths and similar articles, if made in heavy thread, and in finer thread for any trimming.
(Mrs. MacBey will answer all inquiries in regard to her work materials, samples, etc., if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is enclosed.)