Monday, December 27, 2010

Haute Couture Embroidery

I have several books put out by Lesage but none in English. As I do not read French I just look at the pictures and make attempts at translating the words. Under the Christmas Tree this year I found a wonderful book Haute Couture Embroidery.... The Art of Lesage the English version published in 1988 by Verdome Press. Needless to say I have been pouring over it every chance I get. The wonderful thing about it is that it has many of the same pictures as the other books I have.
Here real beetle elytra is used.

This also appears in Point De Croix et secrets de broderie

This is a design card in Point De Croix et autres secrets de broiderie as well as shown in this book.

This is not a "how to" book but a history of the Lesage family.The book measures 10X13 and is 167 pages long with loads of colored pictures. I have just began reading it but I already highly recommend its addition to your library.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lesage Level III

When I went to Lesage in April of 2010 I arranged to do the level II piece in the previous post. Unfortunately for Iceland but fortunately for me there was a volcanic eruption and I was stranded in Paris. My planned return flight was rescheduled and I was left with a week with nothing to do. It was a stressful situation especially with CNN continually spewing doom and gloom. Frantic e-mails to my husband got a response I didn't expect "take another class". As there were openings in the class room I was able to sign up for Level III.
The piece is called Les Coeurs and measures 13" by 16" framed. The heart shape is 5"high and 6" wide. The design is worked on silk organza.

All the beads and sequins are applied with a tambour hook.
The dark brown soutache around the outline, the raffia and the padded areas covered with pearl cotton is sewn on with a needle.

When all the work is done wonder under (or the French equivalent) is ironed onto the back of the organza and each shape is cut out leaving about 1/4 inch of organza/wonder under. The curves are snipped and the edge is turned under using a hot iron.
The very thought of this really scared me, but surprisingly it was very easy.

Once cut out the pieces were meant to be sewn onto a pocket, lapel or perhaps a purse. I chose to sew them onto a piece of silk net and have it framed.

The week before I left for Paris in April I learned about tambour classes being given in Lexington Kentucky. Susan Elliott has a post about it.

To see a demo of the tambour technique by Robert Havens go to

Or you can go to Robert Havens website

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lesage Level II

The Lesage classes I took teach techniques use in the fashion industry. This is the second level of eight. This piece measuring 12" by 24" is called Vionnet. It is meant to be sewn into a make up bag. After the second day in class I realized it is a lot of straight lines. The majority of the piece is done with the Luniville (tambour) hook. the small black and aqua flowers in the bottom border are chenille and they have charcoal leave made with DMC floss.

The following three pictures were taken by Susan Elliott.

The rest of the pictures are mine. This is the DMC leave and the chenille flower.

My lines are not too straight!

This is done on aqua silk organza. I had it framed over a silk fabric with a ripple design in it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back to the Luniville hook

Well I have no scheduled classes and the projects are done. My Church Christmas Fair was Saturday and if I just ignore Christmas is just 20 days away I can now get back to the quilt I am working on. I am doing it on my slate frame in sections using the hook and the needle. I thought I would show you the reason for my love affair with the hook.

This is the first piece, except for a small pin I did as an introductory at Ecole Lesage. Susan Elliott took some pictures for me and you all
 know how great her pictures are

Taken by Susan Elliott

Taken by Susan Elliott

One of the things I love about the French 
embroidery is their use of materials that I have not seen 
used much in modern American embroidery.The lightest pink and the purple in the flowers is raffia and the leaves are chenille. The piece is done on silk , organza.

This is my chop