Traveling in Spirals: What is Inside That Stole

I am making stoles for inventory this week. As I repeat construction tasks, I become more aware of these well honed practices.  Rarely does any one see what is inside of a stole.  I include interfacing.  The black fabric in the first photograph is a synthetic blend which contributes crispness and body to the stole. The white example below it is white flannel, often used to interline custom draperies.  It makes softer edges while adding body to the stole.  I often include a drapery weight at the hemlines so that the stole will hang well on the wearer.


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Outside views show the artistry and symbols supported by the internal craftsmanship.

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Advent Interlude 2

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Be still.

Dark, still, afraid.  Breath held.

Glimmers of light. Paused in wonder. Air sucked in and slowly exhaled.

Be still.

Photograph of Advent stole made in 2014, sold at first touch to a dear friend.

Advent Interlude I

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Bare branches define short day skies.

Bring a lamp.  Be prepared for dark nights.

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Advent stole made on speculation and available for purchase at fibergig.

Update: Clerical Stoles for Smaller Budgets

In mid-September I posted about my studio challenge to design one of a kind artistic stoles at a more modest price point than my current work.  The solution must maintain the standards of construction that I use for the rest of my work.

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After I selected fabric from my inventory, I prepared each selection to be painted with an existing motif from my collection.  Stencils, screen prints, and simple masking are all put to use. The second photograph show the five stoles after the paint dried.  The next step is to hang them on the design wall for evaluation.  Is there enough pattern?  Contrast?

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My daughter and shop partner challenged me to have six stoles priced at $75 in our Etsy shop, fibergig, by October 15.  I do not want to disappoint her.

A Stole for Ordinary Time

Take my yoke upon you….for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

About 7 years ago, a Lutheran pastor and I discussed movement away from congregations owning buildings. We talked about a more flexible church. We chatted excitedly about moveable altars and banners and worshippers with electronic tablets, not hymnals, in hand. We talked about a church closer to daily life, a life of evangelism and stewardship. It was a great conversation between a Lutheran pastor and a Lutheran artist. And from that conversation came the vision for a different approach to vestments.

I have been dreaming of this stole for at least two years: a stole that proclaims the secular world in a sacred space.
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The stole is made from cotton lawn, which has been dyed twice and then stenciled with both paint and ink. I chose the cotton lawn because it is a natural fiber, it is light weight, and it has a smooth weave for mark and print making. The small sequin tassels are constructed from cotton thread and sequins made from Mississippi River shells. They add weight to the hemline. The neckline is tied with yarn hand-dyed by my daughter.

The theme of the stole is journey and growth. I used screen prints of a labyrinth and an abstracted map, representing the roads we venture upon and the paths we walk in daily life. Leaves layered over and around the journey prints symbolize the growth that occurs before, during, and as a result of our travels. A cross appears in the lower right corner as a reminder that Christ calls us to new adventures. The three crosses near the heart represent our community in Christ.
I accordion-folded the neckline fabric, tied it securely with yarn, and let the fabric release into folds. Journey is expansive. The white circles of shell suggest path markers, or perhaps seeds. They are attached with knotted cotton cord. I often use knots in liturgical work, as they suggest work, completion, places to pause.

The stole weighs less than 4 ounces, less than half of many of the other stoles in my inventory. Weight is rarely a scale for evaluating a stole, but if a congregation is itinerant, that could become an important factor.