Another Bavarian Hosenträger
Yes, I know, 2017 should have been the year of my casket. Things never go to plan, do they? Luckily, I have a very pleasant interruption: a commission of another pair of traditional Bavarian braces. Today, I'll share with you how I go about such a commission.
Since I have stitched several of these braces to date, I now know that it will take me 150-200 hours to complete one. When you work on larger projects, it is always a good idea to keep track of your stitching hours and the materials used. After all, it is nice to be able to tell people who ask, how long it took you to create the masterpiece. Especially if they want one too and would like to commission you.
Next up: what does my client want? I have several books on Berlin woolwork. For instance, books by Raffaella Serena feature beautifully detailed antique patterns. The Antique Pattern Library has some of these hand-painted patterns too and there seem to be new ones added all the time. Browsing the books, my client can then pinpoint what he or she wants. When I have my client appointment, my table is also laid out with all the DMC skeins in order. This enables us to match colours and patterns. And they love the visual feast!
Then it is time to cut and paste a new pattern from the old ones the client wants me to use. This makes it a new and unique pattern. I only use this new pattern for this specific client. There are far too many exactly the same Hosenträger in Bavaria already. I use computer software to draw the new pattern: Cross Stitch Professional platinum. Not cheap, but very good and unmissable if you do this job regularly.
As subsequent turning my embroidery into a Hosenträger with a leather back, corded edges and buckles is a rather harsh process, I use sturdy embroidery materials: 18 TPI Antique Canvas and DMC/Anchor stranded cotton. The stranded cotton is used as is; no stripping of threads. Maybe not the prettiest thread to use, I would love to use a perle, but it is tradition :).
Then I send a computerised picture of the pattern to the client for approval. Once approved, I set up my frame and stitch one repeat pattern. I photograph that again and send it once more for approval. In this case, the guy commented 'unbelievably horny'! Yup, that's what he said :). Isn't German a fantastic language? So now I am all set to stitch the other 15 repeats :)!
Prachtig Jessica dit is het mooie werk fijne dag
Dank je wel Mabel!
I enjoyed reading about your process for creating these beautiful braces. I look forward to seeing them when they are finished.
Thank you, Mary! I'll post regular updates on Instagram #maerchenhaftesstickengrimm and will post here as well!
Yes, they are suspenders! Didn't realise that different parts of the english speaking world use different names for these things :). And it is 18 threads per inch, so 18 ct canvas. It is indeed a little tight, but leaving strands out doesn't help as then the canvas isn't completely covered. I am using tent stitch; as this is tradition :).
This is fantastic. I have never seen anything like it! Thanks for sharing the process with us. It is amazing. About how long are they when they are finished? It sure is a long delicate work of art! Beautiful work.
Hi Karen! They will be around 112 cm long; a tall boy!
Thank you Rachel! I've just added your blog to my feedly :).
Thank you Catherine! I am still amazed that these flowery designs are what the Bavarian men really like :).
Thanks so much for sharing this, love to learn how you go about creating a beautiful piece of art that is also practical and can be admired by many - and maintaining a tradition at the same time. Wonderful.
Thank you, Jess! With proper care, it will last a lifetime.
These are wonderful! I've been reading through about 15 pages deep on your blog ever since finding you via needlenthread.com and stumbled across these, so had to comment. I've wanted to create my own suspenders (I'm English) for years now, but haven't seen any extant pieces outside of a museum! I've never been able to find non elastic braces/suspenders on the internet before now. Is there a pattern/tutorial for the braces themselves, or a better term I could refine my search with? Many thanks! - E
Thank you Evren! Try searching with the German terms: Hosenträger sticken. There is lots out there. Good luck!
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