Last year my younger nephew, Balaji got married. I designed and embroidered a maroon silk kurtha for his engagement. Here he is in his engagement attire. He wore a cream narrow salwar [Indian leggings] to match this kurtha.

zardosi on maroon silk-my nephew, Balaji

zardosi on maroon silk-my nephew, Balaji

This fabric was also cut by the tailor and given to me for working the embroidery. The pattern-



The embroidery was done with silk and metallic gold threads- the embroidery detail of the borders.



Balaji loves peacock design. The details of the embroidery on this twin peacocks.



The same peacocks after stitching with cream thread.



Zardosi beads were stitched on the spaces made by the arches and red stones and beads were added to embellish the border.



The detail of the borders after stitching the stones.



The detail of the peacocks with white stones for eyes, embellished with red stones and zardosi work.



I was in a hurry to finish the embroidery and let the tailor do his work.
In India, these days, men’s kurtha are embellished very heavily. I wanted to do this for my nephews. I feel happy seeing the pictures.

The tunic is fawn coloured, hand woven, self checked[is that right?] cotton. I chose red colour for the borders [so that I can use different shades of brown]
About the Pattern-Earlier I thought this as a curved creeper pattern , recently learnt this type of pattern has a name- Arabesque. I getting familiar with this new term.
I made the border for yoke, sleeves, 2 slits. It took a long time.
Drew the borders first , and asked the tailor to attach it to the tunic[when it was sewn]
Then only I started the embroidery

Fawn tunic

.For the stem and leaves, I did not have cut and start over, but the flowers had to be done individually. This experience is always there with me when I choose the pattern and colours. I try to avoid this wherever possible , without compromising the effect.

Fawn tunic closeup

Ten tears ago, the style was to wear long tunics, now it has changed, they are shorter now, but it was destined that I should learn my lesson on this long tunic.

I had these  white[a creamy white, really!]  cotton fabric and  a  blue  cotton fabric with a small zari border  .

I wanted to mix and match these two with a fully embroidered yoke.

Then, for the design-it was traditional floral pattern, with borders.

 then the final thing -the embroidery itself- for this the choice  was ‘Kantha’ work, thought it would be easy to fill with running stitches .

How wrong I was! Though the stitching was a breeze, it really  took a long time to finish this tunic,including the sleeves.

 I used light and medium shades of this turqoise blue, here and there I also used blue silk thread.

pattern outlined-

Kantha tunic- outline

This is the closeup of the embroidery-

kantha tunic-closeup

Now for the finished tunic, the blue zari border is used in sleeves and the slit over the sides-

kantha tunic-3


The other sleeve is not seen here, but it is there!

Iam so very fond of this blue colour, and tend to use this wherever possible, hope  will be content  now, having  used it fully on this white[?] tunic.

Another small piece of unnecessary information- the tailor stitched the sleeve patterns upside down, I still can’t fathom why?

I had this tunic for quite some time.

These are two different fabrics, the black woven ikat had the border , and I chose a plain red handloom fabric to go with it.

Then the fabric was stitched with  red front, woven black for the sleeves and back, and the border for front yoke and the sides.I  selected a plain black cotton for salwar[Indian pants]. the embroidery-

Small kutchwork motifs in black and cream,going around the border yoke,

 Round mirrors placed in between the motifs in variegated red thread.

 The tunic-

black & red ikat -1

 The mirrors are more visible in  this –

Black &red ikat- closeup

I particularily like this colour combination.As it is seen, the woven motifs in black  are  a mixture of grey and beige, they were  not contrasting enough [dull] so, I prefered to use cream ,to go with the effect.This is one of my favourite tunics.

copper silk tunic-1

The material for this tunic is raw silk in copper.the embroidery was quite a simple one-stem and straight stitches with sequins and beads.-

copper silk tunic closeup

Though I love the colour of this handloom fabric, I found later that the grains were going horizontally all over the tunic, and it  stood like a tent , when I wore it.

 So,Full marks for tunic pattern,but  no marks at all for the effect.Quite disappointing!

This piece  was done over a year ago.The fabric is printed voile.Though it clings ,it is very comfortable  to wear during the summers in India& Oman.I was partial towards the sleeves this time ,while designing.The Tunic-

blue on blue tunic

This is a geometrical  pattern with mirrors. the sleeve closeup-

Blue on blue sleeves

Now the square motif in the centre-

blue on blue motif

 I was on a vacation to India[Chennai] in october.So my tast 2010 posts are still pending. Before getting into  that , thought  I’ll post some tunic projects. still to come— A foolish thing–

This tunic was done, sometime ago.

There is  ‘Post  a photo of..’ challenge on Stitchin fingers group.Last time the title was couching, I couln’t add any photos.

This time it is ‘Beading’. I have been experimenting with beads and sequins for some time,this tunic also falls under that category.

 The fabric is synthetic crepe.the design idea I got from going around shops.

I did the embroidery after stitching the tunic[by Tailor ,ofcourse] I used anchor  cotton skeins and antique sequins and beads. The stitches chosen were quite simple  line stitches. Now for the tunic-

brown crepe-1


 the close up of the Yoke-

Brown crepe-2

Preview of the next post-

While  browsing the antique pattern books downloaded  from the antique pattern library, I was fascinated by some embroidery designs done  in white on bonnets.  Such wonderful patterns. And I wanted to use them .

I had a stitched  pink tunic with a white printed salwar.

The E-book did not have  patterns, only the embroidery. So I made a choice of the design and the stitches. These I incorporated on a symmetrical  yoke pattern.After tranfering the pattern to the tunic,I did the embroidery.

the fabric is  handloom cotton in plain pink.

White emb on pink-1

the veiw from another angle-

White emb on pink-2

The  embroidery  work  I did was not perfect by any standards.So what ? This ‘ll be one more excuse to do more embroidery.

While visiting Sharon’s blog  I read that there  are some interesting  things going on stitchin fingers.Do pop over there and see. the first challenge on”post a photo of—” is couching.

I don’t have any photos to post.I have done earlier kashmiri couching stitch on a green silk tunic.I don’t have the pictures.I wanted make a sampler of the kashmiri couching stitches, while doing the first TAST challenge.Haven’t done it though.

 While visiting this Shawki’s blog  today,I found some thing interesting.There are   free projects here.

green crepe

This embroidery I did in 2008.The tunic fabric is printed crepe in green.

This time I was smart enough to  do 2 things-

1-I  did the embroidery on a different piece of cloth[cotton].

2-I gave lining to the tunic, so that  it maintained its shape.

the embroidery did not have many contrasting colours.

The focus here was antique sequins and beads. So the pattern is a very simple one.   geometrical repeats were designed on a graph paper.Now for the closeup-

Green crepe- closeup

I was quite happy with the  embroidery, pattern, stitching of this tunic.I am wearing it as a salwar top now. I do seem to have lots of green tops, though!

I wanted to try some blackwork border for tunic.This tunic is handwoven  ikat  fabric in white colour.I did the blackwork pattern on black fabric.

First , the whole pattern was drawn on a graph paper- A central panel, 2 side panels and 2 borders for sleeves.

 The tunic looks like this-

blackwork border tunic

Then I attached some antique beadhangings to the central panel.the closeup-

blackwork boder -central panel.

And for the side panels and sleeves, small silver colour beads were added. the closeup-

blackwork border-small border

 I could have used brighter pink thread,

while I was doing the embroidery,the pink looked ok. After attaching it to the tunic, it looks a bit dull.I  am quite fond of this fabric.

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