More work on the assembly

Map panel assembled and screwed together, surrounded by Nefertiti's Cartouche, the Felucca, the Fish, the Crest of the dig, the Antelope, and the Hippopotamus.

Once the backing boards had been drilled and painted, the pieces could be properly assembled.

And oh, what a world of pain those words conceal!

Never mind, moving on…

I like the look of this – it is the first time I got to look at the panels upright, and it’s astonishing what a difference it makes. I’ve been through the entire process a prey to Doubts, and they are beginning to dissipate at last.

Lovely old sewing machine, a Jones, black enamel and gold highlights

So the next thing was to make it possible to hang the overlays in front. I don’t want to have the gauze touching the embroidery, permanently in place, in fact ideally I would like to be able to remove them more or less at will when the pieces are exhibited, so I’m still working out how to achieve that. In the meantime, I decided to put channels top and bottom of the gauzes, so I have an interim solution. That will mean that, for example, I can start to think about booking the second photography session.

Deciding on that interim solution, however, meant fishing out my old friend Jones. Jones was given to me when I was eight, and I did a fair bit of dressmaking with him, until I was deemed old enough not to do myself a mischief using my mother’s Bernina. He weighs rather a lot so with years of a bad back, I’ve not used him for years and years, so I was rather pleased that, first, he worked, second, that when it came to it, I also remembered how to wind the bobbin, and third, getting him out didn’t make my back go “spoing!”…! As you see, the bobbin is not quite the same as modern ones, not least in that it is long and thin, and the bobbin carrier (not on display) looks more like an asymmetric torpedo, with a very sharp point.

Map panel assembled and screwed together, surrounded by Nefertiti's Cartouche, the Felucca, the Fish, the Crest of the dig, the Antelope, and the Hippopotamus, and now overlaid with Akhenaten's gauze.

Now I’ve draped the gauze over the top of the panel it is clear that I need to be absolutely on top of the ironing, since crumples in the fabric interfere with the face showing. It has also shown, however, that the effect that I was reaching for can be achieved.

Next steps – decide whether I need to cover the places where the panels butt together, and (definitely!) iron the gauzes.

But for now, I’m pleased with progress!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    I think you want a hinge and bracket (sorry) arrangement, at the side, to hold the gauze rod, or rods, forward of the panel to allow it to swing back for close viewing of the panel items. If there’s no bottom rod, you’ll want a curtain-weight strip at the bottom to prevent creasing, but I think two rods would be more secure.
    The other alternative is an actual two-door cabinet – with front windows, and the gauze behind those. The sort of thing you might see in an antiquities department or period museum. This would also allow you to integrate lighting in the case.
    From one Jones to another: Well done, sewing machine!

  2. Alex Hall says:

    Absolutely love the gauze idea and looking forward to seeing how you solve the complexities. My Frister and Rossman has the same type of shuttle bobbin which I love, apart from the limited amount of thread it carries. Rather envious of your more sophisticated winding arrangement though…

  3. Lin says:

    What a beautiful machine! The gauze is going to work well, good luck with sorting out how to hang it though! xx

  4. Carolyne Foley says:

    I learnt to sew on a machine very similar to this. It belonged to my grandmother and I think my aunt inherited it, even though she didn’t sew. I remember being very miffed at the time. I love the gauze idea, I will have to remember that.

  5. Karen says:

    The gauze overlay is so effective. Jones is doing a grand job, as are you.

  6. The channels will make the gauze hang straight, but you still need to iron it a flat as possible.
    Your little sewing machine is so charming. I was never allowed to touch grandmother’s old machine and have only used ‘modern’ ones. The threading of a machine can be a mystery.

  7. Jillayne says:

    Love your Jones machine! I’ve never seen a bobbin, nor winding system quite like this – very intriguing. Your presentation work is coming along beautifully – it seems a bit complex to me but its going to be fabulous, especially with the gauze overlay. You most definitely have a good stock of perseverance!

  8. Pence says:

    I love the effect of the gauze.
    And Jones is gorgeous. They don’t make them like that anymore. Many years ago I knew a lingeree shop that used to do corset alterations for the older customers who still used them. They had an industrial machine of the same period – all gilt and flowers and long arms that stretched a good five feet. I should have taken pictures.

  9. Meredithe says:

    What an amazing machine – glad he (and your back) behaved. It’s looking great!