The working of the stitch is on Queenie’s blog. After coming across this stitch many times over the years, there was never a thought, that this could be a stitch by itself. It looked like a filling or unfinished filling stitch. After seeing this on SSS challenge, I thought the braid stitch can be learnt later and started with this stitch sampler.
The sampler starts with individual Chinese cross stitches. Two crosses are worked together in the second sample. The crosses are worked continuously in a row in the third sample. It started with two rows of Chinese cross stitches in the fourth sample, but realized it has to be varied to get a flowing pattern.
SSS.32.chicrosst-1
The variation was made in the first sample in this part of the sampler. This will make nice filling pattern. Two rows of Chinese cross stitches are worked with space between them. This way other stitches can be incorporated along with this stitch to make a nice border. Upright Chinese crosses are worked in the third sample. The Chinese crosses and upright Chinese crosses are worked together to form a border in the fourth sample. Three Chinese crosses are used as border in the last sample.
SSS.32.chicrosst-2
Individual Chinese crosses and upright crosses are worked in the first sample. Two rows of upright crosses are worked in the second sample. Working the Chinese crosses in two colours are tried in the last two samples.
SSS.32.chicrosst-3
The completed sampler –
SSS.32. Chinese cross stitch sampler
This Chinese cross can be used for filling and border patterns. Easy to work stitch. This stitch can be used to add texture to otherwise plain fabric too, like Sashiko embroidery. Just pondering over some ideas.

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We had family visiting from India. They left on Tuesday last week. I was never near the needles or thread or computer during that time to post progress.
The stitches on SSS challenge of the last three weeks are yet to be tackled. The braid stitch is a stitch to be learnt, this might be worked on a string bag. The design is yet to be drawn. Hoping to start the Chinese cross stitch samples today. The method of working the Chinese knots will have to be considered after this.
The TAST challenge has to be visited on Pintangle.
A few borders in Kasuti embroidery was worked on the sampler cloth. This will be a separate post from now on.
WIPW144-Kasuti-sam
Projects
The embroidery with green thread on black fabric for green blouse was completed. The zardosi work on pink fabric for violet matka silk was also completed.
The kutchwork border designs were drawn on cream / half white cotton fabric. This will be long project, so the progress may not be regular. It started with working near the edge.
WIPW144- cream tkutch-1
We had open chain stitch on SSS challenge. This stitch is often used in some Indian ethnic embroidery. To work this stitch for this red striped tunic, is the next project idea.
WIPW144-redstrt-1
Another project idea is also there, which will be shared on next work in progress Wednesday post.

We are back in Muscat slowly flowing into routine. I am better now.
The SSS challenge and TAST challenge both have new stitches to work. The upright cross stitch is an easy one. I hoping to start on it tomorrow. After that I have to work on beaded oyster stitch on TAST challenge.
Before returning to Muscat, I managed to work on my friend’s saree. A kutch work line along the width of the saree, which could be more than 40 inches.
WIPW132-broeles&b-3
The detail of the embroidery.
WIPW132-broeles&b-4
The kutchwork line in two colours was worked on the sleeves of the blouse also.
WIPW132-broeles&b-5
Nothing else was done other than this project and packing in Chennai, India. I have unpacked the fabrics bought in Chennai. Phew!! Some or most of them would require embroidery, which would be looked into during the next week. Lots of work to do.

This tunic fabric is cotton. It might be Kanchi or south Indian cotton. It came with a woven  border on it. The embroidery is worked after the tunic is sewn. The tailor stitched the border on the tunic beautifully and neatly.

pinborkut-before emb

pinborkut-before emb

The idea was to work kutchwork borders just below the borders in the front of tunic and use mirrors to further embellish it. Presently the designs I am working on are exclusively kutchwork, without any other stitches, influenced by Armenian Marash embroidery. The small kutchwork borders were drawn free hand with pencil. When I started embroidering on the tunics, this is how the designs were drawn on sewn tunics. Going down the memory lane, the kutchwork embroidery was worked with yellow anchor cotton skein# 304.

pinbotkut-left

pinbotkut-left

The second border is made of square kutchwork motifs. I was still in the stage of adding mirrors below this border. The detail-

pinborkut-rightdet

pinborkut-rightdet

The completed second border. When looking at these two borders, I felt the embroidered borders were quite attractive below the woven borders by themselves, and if the mirrors are stitched, they might take the focus away from the beauty of the woven border.

pinborkut-right

pinborkut-right

While buying this fabric, I could get a cotton ikat with similar colour scheme of the woven border for matching salwar [Indian pants].

pinborkut-salwar

pinborkut-salwar

The completed tunic.

pink border kutchwork tunic

pink border kutchwork tunic

Since the patterns were drawn on the tunic itself, the pattern on paper is not available for sharing.

I went to Chennai, India for two weeks. It was a whirlwind trip. A wonderful combination of spiritual, religious, social and shopping. The embroidery was not even looked at during this period. After returning to Muscat, first started with the Randje per week challenge 2015 catching up.

WIPW61-RPW2015

WIPW61-RPW2015

Shopping included some handloom fabrics for tunics, of course! This tunic is printed soft cotton, with cotton crepe salwar.

WIPW61-whipinkgreent1

WIPW61-whipinkgreent1

With an urge to use a contrast fabric as yoke for this tunic, a striped mangalagiri green fabric was chosen. The idea is to use the stripes as base for linear stitches, started with zigzag back stitch and chain stitch outline.

WIPW61-whipinkgreent-2

WIPW61-whipinkgreent-2

An idea to revive the kutchwork border designs which were drawn in the year 1992 has created another activity now. The process of coping these designs [the papers became old] started 3 days ago.

WIPW61-kutchborders1

WIPW61-kutchborders1

Today we’ll see how to draw neck on paper using a sewn tunic. Ensure that the tunic is perfectly sewn and  has a simple neck design.

sample tunic-neckline

sample tunic-neckline

I have chosen this tunic as sample

st-nm-depth

st-nm-depth

Place the tunic flat on any surface. Imagine a line on the middle of the tunic. Place a scale[ best is using an inch tape, I couldn’t hold the tape and take a picture, so used scale] on it. Here, we are measuring the depth of the neck in front. Stretch the fabric, measure it and note it down. It is 6.5 inches.

st-nm-width

st-nm-width

Now we’ll measure the wideness of the neck. Placing a paper [keep a scale] on the middle line, using it as the starting point, using an inch tape measure the width of the neck. It is 3.1/4 on this sample.

paper sample-neck

paper sample-neck

Fold a large paper [ A3 or B3 size]  in the middle. Meaning the narrow side should be folded in half. Mark a point on the fold at the top of the paper leaving a 5mm space. This is the starting point. The depth is noted on the fold [y axis] from the starting point. And the width is noted from the starting point perpendicular to the fold. Now draw a neck design of your choice.
V-neck, U-neck are easiest.
Remember that, this is half of neck, whatever you draw will be half pattern, after drawing or tracing or copying the pattern on this half, place a carbon, red, blue or black, this ink side should face the other half of the paper. When we draw along the pattern placing the carbon like this, the original half pattern  gets copied on the other half. This technique is simple, fool proof.
Now some sample tunics, where embroidered borders are worked on separate fabric

eonwnl-1

eonwnl-1

After drawing the neck line, individual motif patterns were drawn around it. The tunic material is chiffon. It does not have a lining. The neck required a fabric which will hold the shape. The neck is deeper in this sample, it requires a vest to wear underneath it.

eonwnl-2

eonwnl-2

This sample is to show that sometimes pattern can be drawn and embroidered after the tunic is sewn. We just need to have some basic idea to the work on. The tunic fabric is cotton ikat. The embroidery is Kashmiri couching. The tunic was sewn with this  cross over neckline in beige fabric. Marking with scale the pattern was drawn. The pattern was two lines and points at equidistant. And embroidery commenced at that point.

eonwnl-3a

eonwnl-3a

The fabric with the copied pattern was sewn on the tunic first, and the embroidery was worked on that later.

eonwnl-3b

eonwnl-3b

In this sample, the square neck I had drawn and designed seemed too broad, so added a small triangular motif on both sides, to narrow the neck .
These samples here are to show that, it is better to have some idea of necklines before drawing the pattern and embroidery.
Things to note- if the embroidery is done very well but sewing it on the tunic is not done properly, the whole project will be constant reminder of the shortfalls made by either party. And, it is difficult for the person sewing to rectify any mistakes of the embroiderer.
Next we’ll see about yoke worked on separate fabric, which can be attached to the tunic

These are samples to further explore embroidery borders worked on separate cloth, and are later attached to the tunics.

eonwb-5

eonwb-5

In this ikat mercerized cotton tunic, Black work embroidery border is worked on aida cloth. This easy in the sense, the pattern tracing is totally avoided. Cross stitch, black work, kasuti , chicken scratch embroideries can be worked on aida, matti or any other fabric with checks, dots. Measure the length of the border required and start the embroidery.

eonwb-6a

eonwb-6a

These are mirrorwork/ phulkari borders done on dark blue fabric. These are for sleeves. note the extra space on either sides for the seam allowance.

eonwb-6b

eonwb-6b

The same embroidered border along with a small motif attached to a Bengal cotton tunic. I did not attempt the neck because the tunic fabric is fine count cotton, the mirrors and embroidery might have weighed down the neck.

eonwb-7

eonwb-7

The tunic fabric is cotton ikat. The same black work border notion is elaborated here. The length of the tunic below the neck, the sleeves, two panels on the sides were measured. The black work pattern was drawn on black mangalagiri cotton fabric. And the embroidery was done with threads and some silver beads. The pattern tracing was in full swing for this tunic!

eonwb-8

eonwb-8

This tunic is a recycled tunic. Meaning, the embroidery on the green fabric was done on another tunic, which became too tight. So these borders were attached to this violet mangalagiri tunic.
This is the first level in embroidering on wearable. The focus is on colour coordination, pattern choices and the embroidery itself. And this is an attempt to give an idea to start .These borders are faster to work, and chances of making mistakes are minimal and they are also easily rectifiable. It is better to start with small borders.

Once we are comfortable working this we can move on to drawing the neckline on paper.