Lesson on Victorian Dress Accessories

(Edited from Wallachian Embroidery,
The Priscilla Publishing Co, 1908)

Wallachian embroidery is particularly suitable for such Victorian dress accessories as may be of heavy linen, as those depicted below. These are shown as if worked entirely in white, but the designs may as well be carried out in color, as colors became more and more popular and were also used extensively.

Victorian Dress Accessories
Click on picture to see more detail.

Every one who embroiders knows of the enduring qualities of the best grades of embroidery silk, and how that even the best must be laundered carefully, just as any delicate colored fabrics must be treated if they are to retain their brilliancy; but not every one knows of the new mercerized embroidery cottons which are equally as satisfactory as silk, not only in their working qualities, but in the durability of their colors. If the stranded cotton is employed, the threads may be used several together or singly, according o the space to be filled In the latter case the effect is that of filo floss, and any delicately blended shaded effects may be obtained that are gotten with silks. With the heavier tinted cotton the bold effects that are often sought in Wallachian embroidery are quickly realized.

Victorian Dress Accessories Motif

The detail of the motif below, not only shows the stitchery very distinctly, but by the numbering the color scheme is indicated. This particular section is taken from the coat set, and the colors suggested are three shades of green - 1 indicates the lightest shade, 2 the middle, and 3 the darkest. As is readily under stood, this scheme may be carried out in the hat and belts also, and the linen may be either white or tan with equally good results. An advantage in using these colors is that the soft greens harmonize with almost any color, and yet if green is not the desired shade, one is at liberty to make her own choice of silks or cottons.

Victorian Collar – detail of Wallachian Work
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As for the work itself, the simple Wallachian stitches, as described on the Wallachian Embroidery page, are used, the stems are in outline, and the edge in the ordinary buttonhole scallop worked closely and evenly. The work may be entirely flat or padded if desired, by first running threads around and around inside, then covering with the buttonhole stitch.

After the embroidery is finished, then comes the pleasure of making up the piece into a wearable article. The collar is put on a straight band, and to do this cut a strip of linen as long as the collar and two inches wide, hold the work so that the wrong side of the collar is next the worker, and let it be just the least bit fuller than the band. Take a seam not more than three-eighths of an inch and sew with short running stitches, then fold the band over, and whip down carefully. Treat the cuffs the same way, and the work is complete.

After the hat is embroidered and cut out, a wire frame of the correct size is obtained and covered with French muslin, letting the edges of the brim be neatly finished. Line the brim with shirred wash blond or maline, letting the shirrings coincide with the wires of the frame, line the crown and put in a bandeau if desired. Slash the brim so that it will fit over the crown of the frame, tack this and the embroidered crown in place, and finish with a large bow of ribbon or net. An edging of lace may finish the brim or crown.

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