December 2013


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 150,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The fabric of this tunic is slightly rough variety of handloom cotton. Because of its texture, when starched it maintains its shape like khadi fabric. The indigo stripes were the best match for jeans.
A block printed fabric with two shades of indigo was chosen for the mirror work on yoke and sleeves.
The tunic

blue striped mirror work tunic

blue striped mirror work tunic

The indigo fabric had this block pattern of alternating stripes [four] and dots. The small square mirrors were worked over the dots. The medium round mirrors were worked on four evenly marked places. The sleeves had just the dots part of the fabric, with small square mirrors. A simple mirror work design with minimum effort. Ideal for people wanting to practice mirror work. The detail of the yoke.

blue striped mirror work-yoke

blue striped mirror work-yoke

The embroidery is very simple on this block printed dark pink tunic. The fabric is cotton. Surprisingly, the fabric seems to retain its colour even after bleeding quite a bit.

pink blue fabric

pink blue fabric

The pattern was evenly placed small triangles worked in surface satin stitch with two strands of cotton skein.  This can be categorized as phulkari embroidery of Punjab, India with a modern  application.The yoke placed over the tunic fabric.

pink blue yoke

pink blue yoke

The sewn tunic, the tailor is creative here in designing the neck line similar to the block print pattern.

pink blue tunic

pink blue tunic

When I go for fabric shopping, sometimes I tend to pick up some fabrics, which makes me wonder what was I thinking when I bought them.This is one such fabric. A dull brown block printed in mustard yellow.

Later an idea came to match it with a maroon fabric block printed with paisleys. Now I wanted to design a neck pattern with mirrors. These mirrors when worked with maroon thread would go well with my idea. Instead of drawing a new pattern, an old pattern with kutchwork and mirrors which was drawn earlier was chosen .
The tunic-

mustard maroon tunic

mustard maroon tunic

The embroidery detail-

musmaroon-embroidery detail

musmaroon-embroidery detail

Some things have to be said – a simple pattern would have been better. The pattern with curves and circular mirrors would also have been better. The fabric on which the embroidery was worked was dull as the tunic. The colours chosen did not add any brightness to the tunic. I could go on and on.
The sleeve fabric detail.

musmaroon sleeve detail

musmaroon sleeve detail

This maroon fabric looks better than the embroidery. The surprise was finding a salwar with the similar colour scheme.

musmaroon-salwar

musmaroon-salwar

The embroidery pattern.

musmaroon-pattern

musmaroon-pattern

The tunic when worn looks fine. The maroon  fabric definitely brightens the tunic.

After realizing the mistake of whipping these buttonhole stitches, today, a few more samples were worked with the reversed buttonhole stitches.

46.94.reversed buttonhole bar-sampler3

46.94.reversed buttonhole bar-sampler3

6.The first row is up and down buttonhole stitch over which this stitch was worked in pink. In the second sample, two rows of reversed buttonhole stitches are worked over closely worked buttonhole stitch. Reversed buttonhole stitches are worked over basque stitch in the third sample.

46.94.revbholest-6

46.94.revbholest-6

7.Reversed buttonhole stitches worked over two stitches in the first sample, again with an urge to work a braid, two rows of reversed buttonhole stitches are worked together over arrow head stitches in the second sample. I like this variation. Zigzag coral stitch worked with reversed buttonhole bar in the third row.

46.94.revbholest-7

46.94.revbholest-7

8.These samples are embellished with glass beads.

46.94.revbholest-8

46.94.revbholest-8

This sampler was completed.

46.94.reversed buttonhole bar sampler

46.94.reversed buttonhole bar sampler

I learnt and explored so many stitches in this challenge. My sampler with all the TAST 2013 stitches is thirty two feet long now. I am hoping that SharonB will introduce many more stitches. Her step by step approach has been easy to comprehend and follow.
I have developed a liking for samplers, [earlier I thought they did not have any practical purpose], I have also learnt it is only by working and exploring a stitch I can really learn it. I have my own library of stitches with these samples. I have also gained some confidence to learn new things.
I have this dream to learn other ethnic embroideries, crochet, tatting, then work some samplers for reference. For this I need to manage the time, which is the first and foremost thing. My time is divided between designing and embroidering tunics and TAST challenge.
Then choose the types of embroidery which I want to learn, for this I need to segregate what I want [I want all of them!] and more importantly what I don’t want [which is very difficult]. I am still in the browsing the net mode.
Lots of work to do.

I started working on this sampler, and did not touch it for two days[went to Dubai] , result instead of buttonhole bars these samples became whipped buttonhole variations. I did not realize the mistake till today! Here are the whipped buttonhole samples-

46.94.reversed buttonhole sampler2

46.94.reversed buttonhole sampler2

4.The mistake starts in this sample, where I wanted to create a chained or braided effect over the buttonhole stitches, which I did by just whipping. Small straight stitches are worked over the buttonhole stitch rows in the next two samples, in the second row, the buttonhole stitch itself goes through the straight stitches and whipped with pink thread. In the third row, the whipping pink thread goes through the straight stitches.

46.94.revbholest-4

46.94.revbholest-4

5.Closed buttonhole stitch, bullion buttonhole stitch and top knotted buttonhole stitches are whipped in these rows. Here we have to imagine these samples with reversed buttonhole stitches to make this reversed buttonhole sampler!

46.94.revbholest-5

46.94.revbholest-5

This week’s stitch on TAST 2013 by SharonB is reversed buttonhole bar. An easy stitch it enhances the look of the buttonhole. The sampler so far-

46.94.reversed buttonhole st-sampler1

46.94.reversed buttonhole st-sampler1

1.Reversed buttonhole stitches are worked over the three lines of buttonhole stitches- in single line in the first, two lines in the second and in two shades of pink in the third.

46.94.revbholest-1

46.94.revbholest-1

2.Reversed buttonhole stitches worked in two ways around a circle in the first two samples. I like the second sample. In the next two samples they are worked in a curve. I wanted to bring the effect of a feather [done by Annet on her blog], but couldn’t manage to do so.

46.94.revbholest-2

46.94.revbholest-2

3.Reversed buttonhole stitches are worked on buttonhole stitch row pairs in these rows.

46.94.revbholest-3

46.94.revbholest-3

 

The colour of this georgette fabric is a mixture of maroon and dark blue. Because of this it looks like violet. But the colour varies under different lights. It  has zari dots all over. I felt, to embellish this tunic, metallic gold was vital. Instead of working with it, the yoke fabric was itself gold colour satin fabric.
 

maroon blue georgette tunic

maroon blue georgette tunic

A simple traditional Indian pattern was drawn for this embroidery.
 

maroon blue georgette tunic-yoke

maroon blue georgette tunic-yoke

The yoke pattern-
 

maroon blue georgette tunic-yoke pattern

maroon blue georgette tunic-yoke pattern

The sleeves-
 

maroon blue georgette tunic-sleeves

maroon blue georgette tunic-sleeves

The simple pattern of scallops-
 

maroon blue georgette tunic-sleeve pattern

maroon blue georgette tunic-sleeve pattern

On reflection, I could have refrained from using the dark pink beads. They are too big for this work with silk threads. They are really popping out of the embroidery. It was done in the last leg, when I was keen to finish the work, rather than search for other suitable embellishments. This tunic being quite festive looking, maybe I can wear a net dupatta [scarf] to subdue the effect.  And I learnt a lesson.

The chikan work embroidery is common in Indian state of Uttarpradesh. The embroidery is predominantly shadow work, but other stitches are also used. The chikan work is done on sarees, tunics, salwar suits, dupattas … .Pastel colours and white fabrics in soft cotton, chiffon, silk, crepe are commonly used for this work.
I wanted to explore some simple stitches in chikan work on this tunic. The fabric was light blue soft cotton. Pistil stitch was the main stitch, other stitches were-back stitch, herringbone filling [shadow work], berry stitch.

blue green chikan work tunic

blue green chikan work tunic

The colours were a shade of green I think it is called teal, but I am not sure. The centre detail-

blue green chikan work tunic-=centre

blue green chikan work tunic-=centre

The tailor marked the front for me to trace the pattern. This tunic has a high neck design

blue green chikan work tunic-neck

blue green chikan work tunic-neck

The motif details-

blue green chikan work tunic-  motif detail

blue green chikan work tunic- motif detail

The motif pattern, this can be used as a single motif too.

blue green chikan work tunic- motif

blue green chikan work tunic- motif

The full embroidery pattern

blue green chikan work tunic- pattern

blue green chikan work tunic- pattern

The shop bought chikan work tunic has more embroidery, but I preferred this minimal work. Earlier I had done this chikan work on tunics they are here

I wanted mix and match two different fabrics on a tunic. The tunic was orange and yellow woven ikat fabric, to match with this a block printed cotton fabric was chosen. After this step, there was no design idea forthcoming to do what I wanted. An idea in the form of plain maroon fabric, which could be used for the borders and the salwar [Indian pants] came into mind.
Then I drew a very simple geometrical pattern for the borders and yoke on a graph paper and traced them on to the maroon fabric. I did not have look far for the colours  for embroidery, they were taken from the two tunic fabrics. A light beige colour thread was added to give contrast.
The tunic-

orange, yellow ikat printed sleeves-tunic

orange, yellow ikat printed sleeves-tunic

The stitches used were- fly stitch, herringbone filling, straight stitches and back stitch. The yoke-

orange yellow, ikat printed sleeves- yoke

orange yellow, ikat printed sleeves- yoke

The tailor made a good job of sewing everything together. The sleeve with the embroidered border.

orange yellow ikat printed sleeves-sleeves

orange yellow ikat printed sleeves-sleeves

The tunic being cotton is very comfortable to wear during summer, which is 9 months in a year!
The printed fabric looks dull compared to the ikat. That was the reason why this tunic needed an embroidery on maroon fabric. Another way of enhancing this tunic would be to embroider over the block prints. The idea is late for this tunic, maybe I‘ll use this for another fabric.

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