In this part of the series we will see the possibilities of working embroidery on sewn tunics. We all have some plain tunics either sewn by a tailor or bought from the shop. These tunics inspire us to work some simple embroidery to enhance the look. Big shops have same tunics in different sizes, how to make them unique? is the question. Sometimes printed salwars or patialas or leggings, jeans help us to jazz up a plain tunic. The necklines, the sleeves and the style are already there. The first thing to choose is the embroidery itself. The options are- our embroidery skill and use of mirrors or beads or stones. There are embellished pieces available in the market. These pieces can be glued or sewn or appliqued on to the tunic fabric. Now moving on to the colour choices. Generally colours are chosen with tunic in mind or are based on the salwar or leggings. Sometimes a colour in our mind also brings about a project. Tracing the design. This is the trickiest part in embroidering on sewn tunics. A well sewn tunic may look odd with wrongly placed design. It is hard to erase the mistakes of the copied design. Ensure the design is placed at the right place before tracing. Some tips- Please work at one sitting, instead of moving away for some other purpose. Use a steady hand. Stabilize the pattern with pins. Lift and check at different points before tracing. If there are pleats, seams on the tunics, ensure the pattern papers placed properly and careful in drawing over and around them. These are the vulnerable places, where if the pressure applied is more it may cause tearing of the pattern. Place the tunic on a flat surface. Spread it well. Be careful while securing with pins. Pierce with the pin the paper and the tunic together. Smoothen the surface of creases after the pins are all in place. Check often to see the placement is as perfect as possible. This part is not to be done when we are tired. Tracing any pattern on to the fabric is tedious. There is another option. When we want to stitch mirrors, beads on to the fabric, we can mark the points with the help of scale. Small lines and curves can be drawn with the help of pencil and scale if we have a steady hand. Now let see some samples of embroidery on sewn tunics. This tunic has a kutchwork motif element which is repeated to make a border. The single motif element is extended a little and used for the centre. The border was traced without much difficulty with the use of .the lines on this checked cotton mangalagiri tunic. The centre was folded and midpoint of the design was placed on it before securing with pins.
This tunic fabric is Kanchi cotton. The border on the fabric was horizontally sewn in front. The centre was folded and the midpoint of this kutchwork design was placed over it before it was traced. The border was too plain, some line stitches are worked on them and around the neck.
This design with the square especially for this neck was traced in the centre on this cotton tunic.
The tunic fabric is tussar. It was sewn with lining. The embroidery was worked with single strand of anchor cotton. To fill inside the design space with running stitches, the lines on the fabric were used.
Here are some samples were the markings are made with the help of ruler. In this border, points are marked with the help of pencil and ruler. Fly stitch variation is worked on those marked points in black thread. Mirrors and beads can be worked in this manner.
This cotton tunic in maroon colour was sewn with these borders in the front. The sleeves were made in cotton ikat fabric. After copying the motif below these borders, the markings for the mirrors, kutchwork squares were made with the help of ruler. The individual kutchwork elements were drawn by hand.
In this tunic, the sleeves, the border and the fabric below the neck were all sewn by the tailor. The paisleys on the printed yoke was highlighted with white thread. The space around the fabric was quite thick, it would have been hard to work the embroidery on it. Using the outline, the kutchwork elements were drawn at equal intervals around it. Gold sequins and beads were added as embellishments.
This linen tunic was sewn with tiny pleats in front. Markings were made with the ruler for the flowers, the stems were drawn around it.
It was difficult to use the embroidery hoop on these four tunics, so I did not use it. These samples are shown here to explain some ideas on embroidery on tunics. The samples used are my own. Use this as a reference and move ahead and work to create your own beautiful tunics. The last post on this series will be embroidery on tunic part two, where the tailor cooperates and marks the neck, sleeves for embroidery.