16th Century, Bobbin Lace, The Week in Review, Things for the Shop

Week in Review: Silk Pincushion and Bobbin Lace

This post is a tiny bit misleading, I’m smooshing together last week’s missing review in with this week. I was sick last week and while I sat at the laptop with the Edit Post tab open it, it just wasn’t happening. (After typing the week that many times in a row the word has lost all meaning.)

I have one big project off my plate, it just needs a few threads clipped and proper photos taken. Then I can pack it up and sent it off to its new home. It is a surprise for a friend so I won’t be able to post photos until she receives it.

But until then here is what I worked on this week!

Bobbin Lace

Silver bobbin lace sample


I’ve been trying to learn bobbin lace for the past two years. It has been an on and off process. The books I have don’t always explain the whys and sometimes I’m looking for very specific information with no idea what to call it. It is the beginner’s curse of standing on the edge of a mountain and looking at a sea of knowledge below, knowing that you can’t swim very well.

Bobbin lace has a very long and rich history that crisscrosses various cultures and techniques. I know in a round about way there are different styles of lace grounds and different ways to work footsides. There are different ways of holding and working the bobbins depending on who teaches you and where you are taught.

That is something I am not ready to dive into.

For now, at least my interest in bobbin lace intersects with the 16th century and stays there. That means various types of laces usually based on plaits and braids. I’ve found a few resources online, some books that have filled in gaps.  Staring at Le Pompe and at zoomed in paintings helps too. The silver lace I made is far from perfect, working with a faux metallic thread is a new experience, my tension is wibbley and I suspect my pattern is too large for my thread weight.

But it stayed together when I unpinned it and that counts for alot.

Sewing Experiments and Samples

Blue and Gold Silk Damask Pin Cushion

This week I also made a few test pin cushions. These are made from an inner pillow of linen, stuffed with linen scraps, covered with silk damask and edged in gold cording. They are inspired by the embroidered pincushions that are often found with 16th century sweet bags, but I don’t know if they were ever made of fancy fabric in period.

I might put a few of these in my Etsy shop, they have a nice weight to them and have kept my work table from being covered in random pins and needles.

I also revisited my pouch pattern and streamlined how I make them. Prototype number 2 turned out a little smaller than version 1 but I’m overall pleased with my process for them.


Next week I need to work on the silk taffeta kirtle and there are some silk damask sleeves that need my attention.

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