The Third Labourer

Beginning The Third Labourer

Beginning The Third Labourer

The mini-iron has been very helpful in turning and pressing the edges of the fabric pieces – sometimes before they’re applied, and sometimes afterwards, but at first I was very surprised to find myself wielding it left-handedly, more often than not. Then a little further thought, and it made sense – the difficult part is controlling the fabric, so naturally I would use my better hand.

First of all I started on the middle figure, forgetting that he is the nearest to the camera. So I stopped working on him – leaving his trouser bottoms in place – and moved on to the figure on the right.

Then the pleated drape cause me a great deal of trouble. Then I wasn’t sure about the left leg. Then I realised that I’d used the checked fabric I was intending for the overshirt.

More unpicking. Grr!

Pinning Third Labourer

Pinning Third Labourer

I reinstated the trousers and the drapery in white fabric and then started trying to fit the overshirt.

I’ve been making extensive use of that set of pins that Karen Ruane sent me (thank you again, Karen – they’ve been invaluable!) as I try to work out how to make the overshirt sit properly.

In this case, however, having pinned and stitched, and unpicked and pressed and restitched, I decided I still had some reservations.

Still more unpicking.

Grr yet again!

Spot The Differences!

Spot The Differences!


So after much more puzzling and unpicking and re-stitching, I think I’m happier now. I’ve reduced the bulk in the left shoulder, removed the drapery, which is in the photo but didn’t “read” well in the applique, and reworked the overshirt.


None of the lower edges have been caught down, which I hope will help create the proper effect of garments that can move around a body. That does mean, of course, that I will have to be very careful not to crush the final piece when I’m storing it, but I do think it will be worth the effort!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Yes – all that work on the third figure is definitely worth it!

  2. jenclair says:

    A lot of effort, but I think you’ve nailed it! I’m loving the way this is turning out!

  3. Penny says:

    I know it was a lot of work, involving lots of ‘grrrring’ but well worth your efforts. Its so realistic. You’re doing a wonderful job.

  4. Sue Jones says:

    These guys really look so good. Thanks for sharing all the unpickings and changes along the way – they show how making the fabric appear to flow and hang naturally isn’t easy.

  5. wow! interesting!

  6. Cynthia says:

    I agree with Sue, I appreciate knowing about the process, and how you came about it. Too often we show the finished product without telling our audience about the trials and tribulations that got us there. It’s looking good!

  7. Carolyn says:

    I like this third figure and although it has taken a lot of work to get him right it was worth it.

  8. As others have commented, I like that you share your process, even the unpicking. Your third laborer turned out really well.

    I was also going to comment on Rusty the Dragon that you linked up to my Stitchery Link Party this week, but it seems comments have been turned off for that one. So I’ll just say here what I was going to say there… I really like Rusty… he has personality!! And thanks so much for linking up and for having the party button in your sidebar to help get the word out about it. Aloha hugs!!

  9. Janice says:

    Yes, I agree with what the others have said. It looks like it flows so naturally. Obviously getting it to do that was anything but flowing and natural! But worth it!

  10. karen says:

    oh wow, this clothing is fabulous!! So happy my pins played even a small part in your amazing creativity!!

  11. Anita says:

    You’ve nailed it again Rachel ! I kind of feel that the third guy looks tired, may be because of his shoulder position.. But the other two are serious and wanted to get the job done.