Embroidery

Something Old is New (or getting over it and re-purposing)

Like many people, I find that I am hardest on myself. I have a hard time seeing the *amazing* in a project. Instead, I see where I missed a stitch, or the symetry was ‘off’ or a color choice wasn’t quite right. Something done or said, that is quite benign and innocent, can haunt me for ages. When art-ing, I always thought that one never gets a second chance. What I have learned with this project is that in art-ing, you ALWAYS get a second chance. 

Do you all remember my first post? It was the recreation of a Book of Kells inspired sea-horse from a pub in Arizona? 

I did the embroidery and created a throw pillow. Well, circumstances lead the pillow back to my posession earlier this year. There were valid reasons why this happened and none of them had to do with my work. However, if I am honest I will tell you that it still hurt. I spent months going over this work. Finding so many faults in my (beginner) work. I convinced myself that he just didn’t like it. But then I said to myself, “Well, he could have just thrown it away, if he didn’t like it. Instead he took the time, and expense, to mail it back to me.”.

But what was I going to do with it? I had a pretty plain black linen Hangerok. I know that there is very little evidence of heavy embroidery work on these dresses (aside from seam treatments), but in the SCA, there is a little more room for artistic expression. 

So that’s that. I cut it out of the pillow and then I said.. CRAP!

Do you think I thought to cut out the whole rectangle, so I could put it on my frame and fill in all of those open areas??

No, silly! Why would I do that? So, off to filling in all of those little open spots.. Trying my best to maintain a consistant tention. Without the use of a frame. 

As I was filling in the open spots, I said to myself “Why don’t you tuck the edges under and tack them in place? That would probably make the applique process easier, when you get to that point.”

I did that one section, and then stopped. I’m not sure why I stopped. As I got to the point of appliqueing it on to the dress, that section was the easiest!!

Starting to hand applique:

Pins.. Lots of pins. Especially when your materials don’t “match”. Cotton cloth, cotton DMC floss (embroidery) and tissue weight linen (dress).  I should have used many many more pins. I did not.

I used a basic blanket stitch to applique it down. When I got to the edges that I hadn’t tacked down, I tucked them under as I went along. 

If you look at the top of the mane, you can see a lot of the white material coming through. If I had continued to tack the edges BEFORE I started to applique it, there would be a LOT less of that. 

This is now attached to my dress and I wore it to the event, yesterday. I didn’t get to completely cover the white edges over. And I missed 2 small sections to fill in. But I can tackle that another day. 

I learned a lot, on this project. 

  1. don’t over analyze
  2. re-purposing is fun
  3. how *not* to do something
  4. when art-ing there are always multiple chances

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