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Preparing Altar Frontal

It’s time to start preparing the Altar Frontal for the Advent Set.  This Ecclesiastical Sewing project is on a tight time frame, and the reality is that it will not be done for the first Sunday in Advent.  The current and realistic goal is to have it completed for the third or last Sunday in Advent if possible.

But, back to preparing the Silk Dupioni.

Altar Frontal Measurement and Cutting Plans
Altar Frontal Measurement and Cutting Plans

The first step is to do a little planning on paper before any cutting is done on the fabric. Silk Dupioni is not nearly as expensive as Ecclesiastical Fabrics, but at $25 per yard, it is still wiser to plan the cut lengths first.  Using graph paper grids, the finished dimension of the Altar frontal is drawn out. Every measurement is accounted for in the width and length.  The seam placement is also drawn in. This is also a great time to drawn in any symbols to scale, and check placement for balance. Then it is time to work out the details for cutting. An additional 3 to 4″ is added to the finished length to allow for hems and 4 to 8″is added for width depending on several factors.


Cutting Silk by the Thread
Cutting Silk Dupioni by the Thread

Once the Altar Frontal Design is drawn out on graph paper, the seam placements are determined, and the cut lengths are figured out. Then it is time to cut the Silk Dupioni.  For this project, the Silk Dupioni will be cut by the thread. To cut by the thread, the cut length is measured, a small snip is made at the selvage edge, and a single thread is grasped and gently pulled. As the thread is being pulled, the fabric crinkles up, and a nice straight line becomes visible for cutting.

Cutting the Silk Dupioni on the drawn thread line
Cutting the Silk Dupioni by the thread

The silk should be smoothed out before cutting.  If the thread did not pull across the entire width of the fabric, grasp another threads, and pull and cut, continuing until the entire width is cut.  An there you have it. Cutting the lengths is the easy part.

Later this week, we will go through cutting the canvas for interlining, and adjusting for the widths. The Superfrontal  which is above the frontal (from the Latin – Supra meaning above), will also be cut and prepared.

Solo Dei Gloria

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing  on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest. Sing up for our mailing list  at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.


Filed under: Altar Frontal, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Silk Dupioni Tagged: Advent Set, Advent Superfrontal, Altar Frontal, altar frontals, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Silk Dupioni
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