Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shortcut embroidered pinball

Two years ago at Costume College's Bargain Basement I bought a distressed copy of Pincushions by Averil Colby, B T Batsford Ltd; 2nd edition (October 1988).  The book is an excellent compilation of historic pincushions and includes instructions for makeing quite a few different pincushions, including an 18th century pinball.. Most of the pinballs described are needlework, worked in queen stitch or cross stitch and the book gives the pattern for a queen stitch pinball.  Other canvas needlework pinballs, including one in flamestitch, are found in Fitting and Proper by Sharon Ann Burnston, Scurlock Pub Co (March 1, 2000). There are also resources available for making knitted pinballs, primarily of Quaker designs.
From the Stash:
  • 2 - 4 X 4 inch pieces of embroidered silk tafetta
  • polyfill
  • 1/2 yard petersham ribbon

 After my recent needlework adventure making a small reticule, the Grape Renaissance Reticule from The Nostalgic Needle. I decided that there would be no way I could finish a pinball prior to my trip to Williamsburg in November.  The small grape reticule (mostly detached buttonhole stitch) here took me approximately 35 hours of stitching time, mostly because I'm new to needlework. 

Small Grape Reticule
An extensive survey of extant 18th century pincushions and pinballs can be found at the 18th Century Notebook. Some of these are embroidered silk, although mostly not as pinballs. Looking around on the internet some more I found some photos that Katie Jacobs had taken at the Winterthur (see her flickr stream, its fantastic!) that were of embroidered pinballs, one looks like silk with a silk ground, the other possibly of some other fiber.

I have several small pieces of embroidered taffeta in the stash that were waiting around to become stomachers.

Embroidered silk taffeta

I picked out some nice embroidered motifs and cut a roughly 5 inch diameter circle around each and then loosely gathered the edges of the circle. 
These were stuffed with polyfill until they were fairly firm half domes and then stitched together.  There was a bit of a crevase between that I filled with more polyfill, using a knitting needle to poke it in.
I then used a catch stitch to sew the peternsham over the join.  Leaving enough to make a tail that can hang the pinball from my apron strings.
Finished short-cut pinball

Accesorizing in Williamsburg