A Flag Fan - Jennie Fauss

An Italian Flag fan for Alyvia - or How to distract your infant during court!

Item: A silk embroidered linen flag fan on wooden handle with tassels. Embroidery pattern based on a embroidered stomacher from "La Vera Perfezione del Disegno per Punti e Ricami" found by the lovely Hastings S! It has a flamey heart! Stem, van dyke, chain, blanket and satin stitches used.

I started my Idle hands project late in the game (October 16th!) but I had been planning loosely what I wanted to do as soon the challenge was announced on Facebook. I did some initial planning and my pal Praks found the PERFECT pattern for me! Excited, I started my embroidery.

Enter in miss Alyvia who was 10 months when I started and into EVERYTHING!! Which of course made it difficult to actually get some quality embroidery in. Then suddenly Lyvy started stealing my project! She kept running her little baby hands over the stitching. it was cute and endearing, and the sweetest moment was when I found her rubbing the raised embroidery on her cheek. Lyvy claimed the embroidery for her own, but this was my project! I was finally going to add another item to my garb closet. However, what Miss Lyvy wants, she gets (within reason of course).

It suddenly occurred to me. As a mom, we constantly hand our kids anything to occupy them during quiet moments. Lyvy has played with my normal sandalwood fan, the end of my girdle belt, assorted jewelry and anything else I can find in my basket. I highly doubt that children during my time period in Italy were the utterly well behaved little minions we'd all like. I'm sure mothers thru the ages have handed their children something from their person to entertain them during restless moments. A plan was formed! I would make Lyvy her very own mini flag fan, complete with tassels, bells, ribbons and anything else that might distract when necessary.

Traveling for work took me away from home on the 31st, but I was able to finish my embroidery, get the wood stained before I left and put it all together. I haven't stiffened it yet because I'm going to be using a fun "kid friendly" fabric for the other side, and I didn't bring it with me. 

The lilac and dark purple twisted lines are a combination of a van dyke (a different version of the Viking chain stitch) and outlined with a stem stitch. The rest of the embroidery is satin stitched with stem and chain stitching. Blanket stitching was used on the edge for detail.

The heart and flames in the center have been heavily layered in messy sort of style to give it depth and detail. I'm going to put a piece of cellophane into the fan to give it a fun kid sound! The gold tassels are store bought and the mini bells are from an SCA merchant.

The handle is made from some pre-cut dowels and end caps, stained with a store bought stain in a stick (which worked better than I thought it would) for a different project. The finished fan (as much as it has been finished) has been hand sewn to the dowel.

What I learned: I love this type of unstructured silk embroidery. Blackwork drives me insane, but this is actually fun for me. I read an article about kids in the SCA and someone suggested that to keep your kids entertained with their toys at events, make sure they are different than their everyday at home toys. This fan will be for Alyvia at events just for fun.  :)



2001 - 2011 Anabella Wake (Known in the SCA as Bella Lucia da Verona) I hold copyright on all information on these pages, and on all images of clothing/costume that I have made. You are allowed to make one facsimile copy for your own use provided that this notice is included on each page. Please ask permission to copy, disseminate and/or distribute my work - I would like to know when and how you are finding this information of use.