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25 February 2011 @ 12:41 am
Worked Bar Tutorial  
I learned something new earlier this week - how to make a worked bar, then how to make a fancy worked bar. These special stitches are used to keep the bottom of necklines and wrist openings from tearing out. Below is illustrated my tutorial on the topic - enjoy!

Prepare the opening by making a narrow hem along the raw edge:

Finishing the bottom as a U instead of a V offers some protection against ripping, but that is often not enough and tearing out at the weak point is common.

Almost any modern problem with period clothing has a period solution - people wore these garments day in and day out, after all. one of the answers is a reinforcing patch at the bottom of a split or V, but worked bars are another viable option. These worked bars are based on examples from Patterns of Fashion 4.

Step one is to make a few stitches between the two sides of the opening, about a third of an inch or so from the bottom of the split. These stitches should be made in a circular fashion, to form a donut of thread. This will form the basis of your worked bar.

Once these base stitches are laid down, you need to secure them together. Make small stitches in a figure eight motion.

Rinse, repeat. Continue making the stitches, pulling tight after each until the figure eight stitches cover the base stitches.

That is all that is needed for a plain worked bar, but you can get all fancy and add additional strands for stability and decorative effect. This method of construction was not illustrated in PoF4, but worked well.

First, add a descending strand, then return along the same path, twisting the second strand around the first. Pull it tight.

Use small stitches on the back side to position the thread for the second pass. The example in PoF4 is a three-armed star, here I am constructing a four armed star. The second and subsequent passes should go through the initial descending thread to anchor them together. As with the first pass, the first stitch is plain, followed by a twisting stitch in the opposite direction. 

Continue until the star is completed - Success! (and protection against ripped shirts - Win!)
Current Mood: productiveproductive
Kareinakareina on February 25th, 2011 07:51 am (UTC)
Ok, this of course raises the question of which period(s) this technique is known to have been used...
eithni: sofonisbaeithni on February 25th, 2011 08:09 am (UTC)
It's from Patterns of Fashion 4 - Janet Arnold's book on linens. Specifically, it is from a Swedish shirt from the 1560's. I have not yet done any digging into which other periods used it.

Edited at 2011-02-25 08:10 am (UTC)
ego_id_non_feciego_id_non_feci on March 21st, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
Super win!
eithni: sofonisbaeithni on March 21st, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
I know - I think this will be a standard feature of shirts and similar henceforth!

Edited at 2011-03-21 02:38 am (UTC)
ego_id_non_feciego_id_non_feci on March 21st, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
Thank you for the very clear photos- I'll try it before I commit to "every shirt in the future"- but it looks so cool, I hope it works easy!
eithni: sofonisbaeithni on March 21st, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
They really are pretty easy once you understand the construction. I'll have to inquire how well they hold up, though.
ego_id_non_feciego_id_non_feci on March 21st, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
The majority will be going on the boy's shirts. Given the nature of boy, they'll be broken within a season. :(

However, I'll let you know about the ones on my shirts!