Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wheel of Time Embroidery Collection #6: Nynaeve's Dress

By Linda

This next instalment of my occasional series on Wheel of Time embroideries is on a sampler I did of one of Nynaeve’s dresses given to her in Shienar. It is the first dress she wears that is not Two Rivers woollens so it is a landmark garment:

Her dress was pale blue silk, embroidered in snowdrop blossoms around the neck and down the sleeves. Each blossom centered on a small pearl, and her belt was tooled in silver, with a silver buckle set with pearls. He had never seen her in anything like that. Even feastday clothes back home might not match it.

The Great Hunt, Dark Prophecy

This remark of Rand’s shows his naivety at this time. I am quite sure that Nynaeve’s feastday clothes could not match this outfit. She would not own a dress of silk, let alone one of such an impractical colour that would get marked very easily. Moreover the embroidery includes precious ‘stones’ - the pearls – and there are more on her belt buckle. It is a very beautiful and expensive outfit.

My aim in this series is to embroider samplers of the garments in materials and colours consistent with what would have been available in RJ’s world. For Nynaeve’s dress I decided to do the bodice embroidery and played around with a few designs. Real world snowdrops are bulb plants with strap-like dark green leaves and three-petalled flowers that hang from the stem (see photo right). (Garden varieties can have more petals.) Very quickly I realised that I could not get a design with leaves and hanging flowers to work, so I decided on an end-view of the flowers with the pearl in place of the cup part of the flower.

I embroidered the flowers in white soie d’alger silk thread on pale blue silk satin. The satin I found was thin so I used double thickness. Then I attached a pearl bead to each flower with green silk thread. Snowdrops have small dots of green on the carpel so I added a few small stitches in a single strand of green silk around the pearl. Since the sampler is a demonstration piece for my workshop Enhancing Male and Female Wheel of Time Costumes at JordanCon in Atlanta next month, I marked the neckline in a strand of the green silk.