This project has been completed, but I didn’t want to blog about it until the finished product had been revealed. Unfortunately, unless you attend my church you will have to wait for the big reveal at the end of this series of posts.
It all began last spring when Brandon and I were discussing the cost of various items for church. Among many items discussed was the chasuble that Father wears for mass. If you are unfamiliar with this vestment, here’s a picture of my priest wearing one while he was baptizing me:
The chasuble is the decorative vestment that he’s wearing. It looks like a poncho where you stick your head through the hole and wear it draped over you. When you see this vestment up close it doesn’t look very complicated. Basically you take a giant piece of cloth, hem it, cut a hole in the middle, and there you have it! The fancy part of the chasuble is the decoration on it. They can be very plain or extremely fancy with a lot of embroidery work. The kicker is that they are also very expensive. If you find a terrific sale you might be able to get one for around $300, but it’s not going to be very fancy or made of very good material. It would be your ‘generic’ in the chasuble world.
As I thought about this I figured it couldn’t be too hard to make one. The hardest part would be the ornamentation. So what did I do? I found a book on Amazon and ordered it:
I didn’t expect that I would be called into duty to actually make one, but I wanted to see what kind of work goes into one of these vestments. This way if one of our current vestments needed to be repaired I would have a better idea of how to go about it.
After having actually made one of these, I have to say that this book should come with a warning. “WARNING! YOU MUST BE AN INTERMEDIATE SEWER IN ORDER TO EVEN THINK ABOUT ATTEMPTING ONE OF THESE GARMENTS.”
Fast forward to August and Brandon (he’s the choir director and in charge of church environment plus lots of other things) comes to me and asks if I can make a chasuble. Again, at this point I’m figuring it’s essentially a big table cloth with a hole cut out in the middle. It seems that Father’s chasuble that he wears during Advent is getting a little older and Brandon thought it would be nice to have a newer one. Did I tell Brandon no? Of course not! After all, I am unable to say no. That’s how Jay and I got involved in this last year for advent:
Thus started my path down a long and frustrating road towards the completion of the Advent Chasuble.
(It’s pronounced CHAS-able… like jazz-able. I prefer to pronounce it as if I’m a stuffy upper class person and add a ‘u’ in there for CHAUS-able… like Santa Claus-able. However, I only do this to irritate people who know the correct pronunciation. So in your head you can imagine me talking down my nose at the CHAUS-able… “Chauncey! Where is my CHAUS-able? I must wear it while dining with Mr. Howell and his wife, Lovey.”)