Pattern making has been going on full force behind the scenes at Ecclesiastical Sewing. This weekend we are pleased to announce 3 new pastoral or priest stole patterns have been added to our line of products. Now you might be scratching your head in wonder as to why more pastoral or priest stole patterns are need. After all, isn’t one stole pattern basically the same as another – just a long piece of fabric thrown round the neck, right? Well, stoles not quite that simple. There are subtle difference that when taken into account can make a big difference in the appearance of the finished stole. And just as people come in all shapes and sizes, and one garment does not fit all sizes, so too, one pastoral or priest stole does not fit all pastors or priests. The sizes, heights, widths, and lengths of clergy are as unique and different as imaginable. And so, it is unrealistic to expect that one stole pattern will be suitable to every member of the clergy. And sometimes, different vestments look better with a different style of stole. One stole pattern is simply not enough to fit every need and purpose. If you have been making stoles for a while, you may feel as I do about the need for additional stole patterns.
I find stole making is so much fun. In a little more than a day or so, a stole can be completed. And the more stoles I make, the more the ideas continue to flow – wider, longer, shorter, narrow, with trim, without, add embroideries, orphreys, tassels………….and the list goes on. The possibilities are endless. And as I get to know the people who for whom the stoles are intended, or the purpose behind a commission or request, the ability to customize the stole to a specific need has give rise to the creation of this line of pastoral stole patterns. Yes, I have my go to pattern, the 4 1/2 in pastoral stole pattern that is used day in and day out, but there are those times when something just a bit different fits better.
Here is the perfect example – a young pastor, who is fresh out of seminary. He is athletic, fit and trim, tall and lean. The traditional stole pattern i had used for what seemed forever on other pastors simply did not work on the slighter, longer frame of the young pastor. Hence the need for the creation of our fist stole pattern.
The first new stole pattern is a 3 1/2 inch pastoral, priest or deacon stole which has two lengths options of 46″ and 55″. This stole pattern in the narrower width works well for someone needing a deacon stole that is worn on the side, and which can later be converted to a priest stole worn at the front. The is also a great option for someone with a medium or tall frame that is more on the slender side. It also works well on many other figure and body styles, including larger and fuller figures.
I know several young seminarians, and when they are ready for their pastoral stoles, this will be the recommended pattern for several of them. I refer to this as “not looking like they are wearing their grandfather’s stole which is too large for them” syndrome. Often times for a young seminarian, they need to “grown into” a stole. As they mature, the other stole styles will work well, but this may be a great pattern for that first stole. And that is not to say the will “out grown this style in future. The stole will work for many figure types. This stole, as well as all of our stoles has three separate pattern pieces for face fabric, interfacing fabric, and lining fabric designed with our signature look and finish.
The V-neck stole pastoral stole pattern is wider, broader and longer than the other stole patterns. This stole has a 56″ length and is approximately 5″ wide. The additional width and length is wonderful for use with embroidery or other forms of embellishment. Often a stole is used to “tell a story” in symbols and embroidery. This stole pattern allows a great deal of space for telling of tales and teaching lessons. Imagine the Christmas story conveyed in a star radiating light to a manger scene with shepherd. Or perhaps an Easter scene needs to be conveyed with the empty tomb and the stone rolled away as the sun dawns on a new world. What ever the purpose of desired image is, this stole allows enough width and length to create a scene to teach important Biblical messages. The stole back sits slightly away from the neckline, making it the perfect option for use over an alb. Because this stole sits slightly away from the back neckline, it is not the best stole to use when wearing other vestments such as chasubles. For the bigger, taller pastor of priest, this might be a nice option as well.
The Tapered Pastoral or Priest Stole Pattern is the final style in our new trio of pastoral and priest stole patterns starts narrow at the center back neckline and tapers to a graceful end in either a short or long length. This style of stole looks lovely when used with a round neck surplice. The wider end at the bottom works well for hand or machine embroidery designs or other embellishments such as orphrey bands. This stole style is a classic design that has been around for a long while, and still is a popular choice. The length options are 43″ and 52″ long.
And of course, our standard 4 1/2 inch Pastoral or Priest Stole Pattern is part of our Ecclesiastical Sewing Grand Opening Special. When you purchase a stole making kit, you may receive a copy of the 4 1/2 inch pastoral stole pattern free from now until December 31, 2016.
All of or patterns have been created with the aid of a professional pattern maker to ensure that the seams, linings, and interfacing pieces work and fit together will. We have taken extra care to provide high quality pattern making skills, and aid such as a proper grain line, lengthen and shorten lines, and notches to aid in construction. (Thanks, Kimberly!) We have tested the patterns and construction techniques and developed a nice booklet with photos to explain the making of pastoral stoles.
If you have ever wanted to give stole making a try, this is the perfect time with the free pattern offer. The stole making kits are available in a wide range of colors and fabrics which are sure to fit almost any Ecclesiastical Sewing project.
Here you can see how the finished 4 1/2″ pastoral stole will look. The pattern has orphrey placement markings at the lower edge as well as on the chest level. The neckline is designed to fit smoothly and comfortably without being so wide as to ride up the back of the neck. There are also markings to place a small chain at the neckline to aid with holding the stole back a very slight amount from the neck. The stole may be finished with or with out tassels or fringe at the lower edge.
The above stole is our Alpha Omega Stole which will be on our website shortly. This is the first style in our line of finished stoles which will be available for purchase, so stay tuned for that announcement. Wouldn’t this stole make a lovely gift in time for Christmas?
Soli Deo Gloria
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Filed under: Ecclesiastical Vestments, Pastoral Stoles, vestment pattern, vestment patterns Tagged: Ecclesiastical Vestments, Pastoral Stole Patterns, Pastoral Stoles, vestment pattern, vestment patterns