How to Sew the Vestments Set

 

Kit Materials Included

  • Storage bag
  • Polyester satin fabric: priest and deacon outer vestments
  • Polyester satin fabric with stiff interfacing: small vestment pieces
  • Cotton poplin fabric: priest sticharion
  • Cotton sateen fabric: priest and deacon hats
  • Gutermann machine embroidery thread, 220 yds, color #1570
  • Black thread & sewing needle
  • Sew-on Velcro (4.5”)
  • Thin ribbon (12”)

Supplies Needed

  • Fabric shears
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine (with zig zag stitch)
  • Sewing pins and/or clips
  • Masking tape

Notes

  • Thread: use the embroidery thread provided unless otherwise indicated.
  • Satin stitch: if your sewing machine does not have a satin stitch, you can substitute with a zig-zag stitch set to the closest length and shortest width. In the photo below, there are two short lengths of stitching below the cuff: the one on the left is a zigzag stitch and the one on the right is a satin stitch. You can see the difference and that a satin stitch is preferred. The cuff is sewn with a satin stitch around the edge. The intent is to make the edge look like it has decorative trim, and to keep the fabric from fraying on the edge. 
  • Velcro: use masking tape to hold the Velcro in place while sewing; remove after sewing.

    Sewing Instructions

    Priest Sticharion (Baptismal Robe)

    1. Cut out the sticharion along the black outline. Snip the four red diagonal lines in each armpit. 
    2. With white thread, sew a ¼” rolled hem on both sleeve cuffs.
    3. Switch to gold thread. Fold one of the bottom edges up to the edge of the first gold stripe, then fold again so the finished edge is along the gold stripe. Sew a straight stitch across the folded hem to secure; repeat on the other side.
    4. Using a satin stitch, sew around the neckline directly on the line. Cut out the neck hole along the edge of the thread. *Note: practice the satin stitch on a scrap piece of this cotton fabric before sewing around the neck hole on the sticharion. This fabric is harder to sew a satin stitch on, especially in a circle, and you may have to adjust your machine's tension (remember to return it to normal settings after this step!). When you sew the sticharion, if it doesn't look as good as you'd like, just stitch another line to the outside of the first line and cut off the first attempt when you cut out the head hole.
    5. Switch back to white thread; hem the eight unfinished edges (underarms and body) by folding the edge back ¼” (fold once) and secure with a straight stitch.
    6. Fold the sticharion in half with right sides together so that the bottom hems match.
    7. Sew the sleeves shut from the cuff up to the short red line. Sew the sides shut from the bottom hem up to the short red line. There will be an opening under the armpit to fasten the zone properly. 
    8. Turn right side out. 

     Epimanikia (Cuffs) – for Priest and Deacon

    1. Cut out the block of four epimanikia on the dotted cut line.
    2. With a satin stitch, sew along the outer edge of each of the epimanikia.
    3. Trim threads.
    4. Cut four pieces of Velcro ½” wide.
    5. Sew the Velcro to each epimanikia like so: 
    6. Cut out each epimanikia around the Velcro and along the edge of the satin stitches. 

       

      Epitrachelion (Priest Stole)

      1. Cut out the epitrachelion on the dotted cut line.
      2. With a satin stitch, sew along the outer edge of the epitrachelion.
      3. Sew the middle and neckline: starting at the bottom of the epitrachelion, sew with the satin stitch to the left or right of the middle line up to the neck, and then around the neckline, and back down the middle (next to the previous stitches) to the bottom of the epitrachelion. 
      4. Cut out the neck hole and cut off the excess fabric around the epitrachelion right along the edge of the stitches. 

      Zone (Belt)

      1. Cut out the zone on the dotted cut line.
      2. With a satin stitch, sew along the outer border of the zone.
      3. Cut a ½” piece of Velcro.
      4. Sew the Velcro to the zone: hooks on the front side at one end of the zone, and loops on the back side at the other end of the zone.
      5. Cut off the excess fabric right along the edge of the satin stitches. 

       

      Epigonation (Shield)

      1. Cut out the epigonation on or near the dotted cut line.
      2. Attach the thin gold ribbon to the back of the top corner of the epigonation so that it forms a loop that will go around the figurine’s head. Use a piece of masking tape and a clip or pin to secure the ribbon. 
      3. Sew along the outer line of the epigonation with a satin stitch; sew over the ribbon to secure it to the epigonation.
      4. Cut off the excess fabric right along the edge of the stitches; don’t cut off the ribbon. 
      5. Trim the ribbon ends on the back side of the epigonation. 

      Orarion (Deacon Stole)

      1. Cut out the orarion on the dotted cut line.
      2. With a satin stitch, sew along the outer edge of the orarion. Pay attention to the backing; if you need to adjust it, gently pull the gold backing fabric from the interfacing (it is glued with a repositionable basting spray), straighten, and smooth back down.
      3. Cut two ½” pieces of Velcro (hooks and loops) and sew three parts of the Velcro to the orarion:
        1. At the 9.5” mark: sew the hooks to the back side and the loops to the front side.
        2. At the 19” mark: sew the hooks to the back side.
        3. Save the loops on the fourth Velcro part to sew onto the deacon’s sticharion.
      4. Cut off the excess fabric right along the edge of the satin stitches.

      Deacon Sticharion (Outer Garment)

      1. Cut out the sticharion outer fabric and liner on the black line.
      2. Place outer and liner right sides facing with the outer fabric on the top (so you can see the pattern through the wrong side of the fabric). The cross on the outer fabric will be on top of the logo on the liner fabric. Pin securely.
      3. Leaving a turning hole about 2-3” wide in the bottom back of the sticharion, sew along the edge of the gold trim all the way around.
      4. Clip the 90* corners perpendicular to the stitches (do not clip the stitches!) and make snips into the armpit corners up to the stitches. If there are black cut lines remaining, trim them off. 
      5. Turn the sticharion right side out and iron the seams flat (as well as you can, polyester satin doesn’t iron well).
      6. Close the turning hole with a straight stitch.
      7. Pin near the neck to keep the two layers from slipping, then use a satin stitch to sew around the neckline just like with the priest sticharion and epitrachelion. Cut out the neck hole along the edge of the stitches. 
      8. Take the remaining piece of Velcro (loops side) from the two ½” pieces of Velcro cut for the orarion and sew it onto the sticharion’s left shoulder (as worn). Place it lengthwise along the shoulder so it is in line with the long axis of the neck opening, and close to the satin stitches around the neck (see photos above).
      9. Fold the sticharion in half so that it makes a completed garment, then close up the arms and sides:
      • Choose five places on each side to close the sticharion, replicating the buttons used on the real deacon’s sticharion. Two under the arm and three down the side. 
      • Hand sew together with several close loops (like you would if sewing a 2-hole button). 

       

      Phelonion (Priest Outer Garment)

      1. Cut out the phelonion fabric (outer and liner) along the black line.
      2. Shoulder darts: fold the fabric as shown in the photo below & pin. Mark a point 1/2” down the fold, then draw a line to the corner of the fabric. Sew on the line; repeat for all four shoulders (outer and liner). 
      1. Pin the outer and liner fabrics together, right sides facing, with the outer fabric layer on top (so you can see the pattern through the wrong side of the fabric). Satin is quite slippery, so put in a lot of pins or clips.
      2. Leaving a turning hole about 2-3” wide in the bottom of the phelonion, sew the fabric together along the bottom edge of the “trim” that is printed onto the fabric, going all the way around to the other side of your turning hole. Use a 3/8” seam allowance around the top of the fabric where there is no printed-on trim.
      3. Clip the 90* corners perpendicular to the stitches (do not clip the stitches!) and make cuts into the seam allowance along convex curves. If there are black cut lines remaining, trim them off. 
      4. Turn the phelonion right side out and iron the seams flat (as well as you can, polyester satin doesn’t iron well).
      5. Close the turning hole with a straight stitch.
      6. Hand sew the front closed with a whipstitch on the inside (stitching through the liner fabric only). 

      Skufia (Hat) – for Priest and Deacon

      Hand sewing recommended:

      1. Cut out the black rectangle and circle for each skufia.
      2. Fold and finger press one of the long sides of the rectangle towards the back about ¼” and sew in place with black thread and a straight stitch. 
      3. When you get to the end, don’t knot and cut the thread. Fold the rectangle in half with right sides facing and the short ends lined up, then continue sewing up the short end with about ¼” seam allowance and a blanket stitch (to prevent fraying). 
      4. At the top, don’t knot and cut. Turn the skufia right side out.
      5. Take the circle and attach it to the top of the loop (unfinished edge) with right side facing up.
        1. Use a blanket stitch and sew about 1/8” to 1/4” from the edge.
        2. You’re making a sort of inside-out seam, making a bit of a lip on the top of the hat that sticks out.
        3. Sew all the way around the circle.
      6. Secure your stitches and cut the thread.