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Denise Hendrick

Posts by Denise Hendrick

Overview of Whitework Embroidery, Part 1

Whitework is unique as one of the few types of embroidery that has rarely, if ever, gone out of style. It is commonly found on undergarments, caps, aprons, collars, sleeves, baby clothes, and christening gowns across many eras. Once in a while it reaches even greater popularity, as it did during both the Regency and
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2020 Project Recap

I’ve been feeling like another year went by, and yet again, I don’t have a lot to show for it. It’s true, I didn’t make any historical costumes this year. I keep forgetting that I did do some vintage sewing though, and that counts! Especially given how this year has gone. My favorite project was
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Crewelwork Linen Gown – Samples

Before I committed to moving forward on this project, I made up a sample. I used the wool threads I had on hand, which are the Lana wool threads I use for machine embroidery. I had to make do with the colors I already had, which didn’t always blend that well or match the original.
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Crewelwork Linen Gown – Planning & Materials

Now that I’ve committed to this ambitious project, I have to start breaking it down into manageable parts. The most important piece is the embroidery design itself. As usual, I started by creating vector art of each of the motifs. This was a bit tricky, since I have to account for the folds of the
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Crewelwork Linen Gown – Inspiration

I’ve fallen head over heels for this crewelwork linen gown from LACMA. The bright sprigs of flowers and the green trim just make me happy. This gown presents a couple *minor* challenges. For one, it needs yards and yards of embroidered fabric. Two, it needs yards and yards of handmade trim. So naturally, I decided
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Book cover for The Golden Thread

Book Review – The Golden Thread

It’s been tough for me to focus on non-fiction reading this year, but The Golden Thread by Kassia St. Clair was an exception. It traces the story of textiles from their beginnings tens of thousands of years ago and follows them as they travel around the world and beyond. It’s written to be an approachable
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A Season of Change

This is a far more personal post than I usually make. I’m sharing because maybe someone else needs to hear it and feel a little less alone. Maybe you’re just curious about what is happening behind the scenes. I began 2020 with a sense of overwhelming change in the air. It’s a feeling I’ve experienced
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 5

In the last post, I left off with the invention of machine embroidery during the Industrial Revolution. By the mid-1800s, there were advancements in practically every area of textile production – printing, weaving, knitting, dyeing, lacemaking – as well as the invention of the sewing machine. New textiles were becoming available to more people at
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 4

Today I’m taking a look at the embroidery of the early 1800s. Not much changes in the first few years, with 18th century embroidery styles still very popular. I left off with Whitework, and so that’s where I pick back up. Whitework As we move into the Regency era, the use and variety of Whitework
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 3

This week, we continue our embroidery journey into the 1700s. Embroidery returns to clothing in full force after a bit of a lull in the previous decades. Embroidery thrived in the 18th century and embellished both men and women’s clothing, including coats, waistcoats, gowns, petticoats, stomachers, and accessories. Jacobean-Inspired Designs When the use of embroidery
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