Okay first, an update: A trip to (where else?) IKEA yielded some frames for those long worked embroidery squares. Nyttja square frames are great, cheap, but only come in white. So a little sanding, a little wiping, a few coats of black acrylic paint, and here we go-- lovely black frames to offset the embroidery of my blood, sweat, and tears. Now I just need to find a good piece of wall for them.
Second on the agenda, I actually cut the stole fabric. This was a huge deal. I spent so much time (at least 9 months) looking at patterns, examples of stoles, considering the stole-making kit, looking at directions. I really didn't want to mess up this stole because it's not like I can get more. The problem was that the patterns I had to help the stole fit Mike better didn't have the curve of the original stole. So I had to figure out if it was okay to tilt the pattern (no). I had to account for seam allowances (which I'm horrible at). I had to protect that little guy with the flame on his head. So ultimately I had to "straighten out" the stole by cutting the curve off the outside and stitching back on the inside curve. It worked okay. The seam will be closest to his neck so I'm hoping people won't notice. That said, I think I retained most of the design (a bit of the curve of the dove wings got cut).
Notes about cutting. I didn't get a picture of all my patterns, but I had three and they were color-coded. :-) I didn't use pins. I got that idea from Amy Karol in Bend-the-Rules Sewing. But I did trace around the pattern and cut inside that line. That allowed me to arrange the pattern and not mess it up by pinning AND not mess it up by pulling the fabric up. Amy Karol uses canned goods; I use books on educational theory that I don't have time to read.
Finally, here's all the cut fabric, along with the notions I'll be using to complete the stole. Here's the breakdown. The face fabric is cotton with watercolor and just a hint of acrylic (I think). The lining fabric is plain old broadcloth. The interfacing is cotton duck. Both the lining and the interfacing come from the stole-making kits from Church Linens. I'm using the shape of a stole from our pastor which uses a cord to stablize the stole around the neck which takes tension off the center seam. And I'm using what's called a set-back method which will wrap the face fabric around the interfacing and effectively hiding the lining fabric from view giving a cleaner look to the stole.