Advent Collection City of David
At long last, a new Ecclesiastical Sewing Advent Collection has come to life. Creating a new Liturgical Embroidery and Church Vestment Collection can be a long process. The City of David Collection of Church Vestments set has been in the works for over a year. And sometimes it takes time for good things to come to life. This is a set of church vestments that we hope you will agree are beautiful for use in the Lord’s House.
So how exactly did this set come about? It really is quite simple. We are blessed to be working with a great Liturgical Artist – Edward Riojas. Last year after we completed the Collection of Designs in Honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Edward and I started discussing possible next sets. I suggested the Great O’Antiphons and Edward ran with the idea.
And here you can see his artwork brought to life in threads of gold, rich warm browns, whites, fiery oranges and lots of colors in between. When we receive a design collection from Edward, the process of turning it into stitches and a finished vestment is a long one. We first review the designs to determine the size, and how they might best be used on various vestments and altar hangings.
Pantone colors have to be converted into thread colors. There is not always a good thread match for the Pantone Colors. So we select something close and wait to fine tune right before stitching.
Next up is digitizing. We usually provide direction to the digitizer on how and what we think might work best, and then thankfully, he has other ideas. When the designs come back from digitizing, the entire process slows down to a crawl. Until recently, we only had one frame on which to do our embroidery. The frame is not a normal embroidery frame – it is massive! This month we added two more frames which means we can have several projects lined up and waiting for the machine to be free.
Yes – this is the frame. And we use it almost exclusively for our embroidery designs. The frame does make projects like the City of David Vestment Collection much easier to embroider. The larger frame means many, but not all designs can stitch with one hooping. Edward uses incredible detail in many of his designs, and those designs can take hours or even days to stitch. Wondering about the chasuble above and how many hours that took to stitch out? Take a guess below. Thankfully the City of David did not take quite as long to stitch.
Right before we begin an embroidery, Travis and I pull out thread spools and review our selections. Much of this process is trial and error. But it all works in the end. And while the threads are out, I take a break to build thread tower with my little granddaughter. 16-month-olds don’t stay still long enough to have their photo taken, but we have the third generation in training to take over thread color matching.
While the designs are busily stitching away, the fabric, lining, and all of the trimmings are gathered together and cut for the various pieces to be delivered to our seamstresses. At Ecclesiastical Sewing, we are blessed to be working with some very talented seamstresses. Stacy and Rebecca sew everything from stoles to chasubles, pulpit falls, and chalice veils. Ellie is our cutter. She also sews some of the smaller pieces and helps me with the large pieces. Nancy and Jan handle the linens. And Karla is our finisher. She does exquisite hand sewing on many of the stoles and frontals.
We try to take photos of everything in the Ecclesiastical Sewing Studios before sending collections out. Nick has taken charge of the photography. Being a technical wizard with all things computer, he also has an eye for detail and does some excellent work with the photos. The above photo is ready to be sent off for background removal before being added to the website.
Finally, things come back from the seamstresses, pressing, packaging, and wrapping are completed and there you have it:
We wish to thank all of the talented people involved in the creation of this new church vestment collection. There are still more designs to be added to the City of David Church Vestment Collection. Please feel free to contact us with questions about the specific needs of your church.
To all of this, Soli Deo Gloria
P.S. About that chasuble at the top of the page – how long do you think it took to complete the embroidery? Take a guess!