This week was good in progress on SSS challenge. Three stitches- Rumanian stitch, Hungarian stitch and Bosnian stitch were completed. Braid stitch is the next in line. It is not behaving friendly with me. When I seem to get the slightly familiar, if a break comes, getting back to the rhythm is hard. Should I have chosen a smaller design to try this stitch? Too late now. Just have to keep doing it.
Red striped tunic
I have started with rope stitch on the stems on this red fabric.
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We are having another festival today, Diwali. This time it was preparation of traditional sweets, snacks and some herbal paste to digest these highly heavy things. It was definitely an interesting week. but hard to find time to write a post.

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Stitch challenges
The stitch explorations on stitch challenges have not yet become part of the routine. I have to work on two stitches on TAST challenge. The TAST is over with 100 stitches this time around. It will be restarted in Jan “18 and SharonB has also mentioned that there will be another option called ‘ beyond TAST’ for people who have worked the earlier challenges. More details on Pintangle.
Few of the SSS stitches have to be worked. Some are used on projects- open chain stitch, outline stitch, Chinese knots. How to work  the latest stitch is the thought now, while working on these projects.
Projects
Blue shirt
After working the outline stitch, the flowers are worked in oyster stitches, the flower centre is worked in Chinese knots. These knots are quite easy to work with. Two challenge stitches are worked in this project. When I started learning embroidery, the new stitches were learnt and practiced on tunics and blouses. Brings back memories.
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Blue jute cotton
This project is keeping me totally occupied. The last step in the motif is the stem stitch. It is being worked again and again. Hoping to complete the front tomorrow and start with the first sleeve.
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There is always a thought that mind is held captive by big projects that are marked by the tailor.
Time factor- it has to be completed within reasonable time. Whether the tailor would do a good job and not letting other ideas intrude during the duration of the project and a tiredness which creeps in towards nearing the end. Worries looking at fabrics waiting to be designed. These thoughts are always there in the mind. And mind needs to be fresh to learn and work new stitches.

 

Though the challenge stitches are not worked as band samplers, the outline stitch on SSS challenge was used on a blue shirt project. This is a work in progress.
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The blue jute was marked and the embroidery is consuming most of my time. Simple stitches worked over and over again. This week, I started with knots inside the fly stitches.
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Some wooden beads were worked in a pattern on the copper printed tunic also.
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Focus will be on blue jute cotton tunic during the week, because it has to go to the tailor. If possible, the work on blue shirt can be squeezed in between. Working on the copper tunic and blue shirt is stimulating. Small projects take less time to complete. And working on sewn clothing is satisfying too, they become ready to wear after the completion of the embroidery.

Stitch challenges
This week I could work on one stitch sampler on SSS challenge- Chinese cross stitch. Three more stitches to be tackled on this five stitch session- braid stitch, Chinese knot and Japanese stitch.
There was a combination of feather and chain stitch on TAST challenge last week which I have been too busy to work.
There was no progress on kasuti sampler.
Projects
A pattern was drawn for the red striped tunic. The embroidery will be around the arm hole in the front starting from the shoulders. After drawing and tracing the pattern on red fabric, chain stitch borders were started with dark violet thread.
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This fabric is jute cotton. Yet to gather information about this. It is not too pricey, bought in Chennai, India, have seen this fabric in outlets like FABINDIA. But the durability and comfort factor needs to be seen.  Implementing an idea to have embroidery in the front and sleeves, the fabric is with the tailor to be marked.
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Now I have tunics made of two fabrics. The first one is a combo of plain brown and black block printed fabric.
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The second tunic is a combination of two printed fabrics.
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How to embellish these two tunics is the next thing in the agenda.

This past week was quite busy. I am yet to get back to the stitch challenge routine. Generally working the stitch sampler starts on Friday. One weekend of Dubai trip, meant there was no time to work the new stitch during that week. So this week two stitches needed to be tackled on SSS challenge.
Yesterday, I tried the Madame Totsuka’s loop stitch. It was not as difficult as it looked. It is just hard to get a neat look. A small sampler can be worked.
The Holbein stitch is the next stitch. After looking at the embroidery on internet for so many years, an idea to learn, practice, work, getting familiar with types of embroideries has been taking root on my mind. It is a long process. Procrastinating, finding excuses that there are so many UFO’s, not having enough time, involves lot of planning and hard work – all these facts will be always be there. It has to start somewhere. So seeing this Holbein stitch on SSS challenge, I decided to start on Kasuti embroidery sampler. This embroidery from Karnataka, India predominantly uses Holbein stitch or double running stitch. I bought three books on this embroidery two years ago. Planning to start working the kasuti border patterns available on the second book.
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The  week’s TAST challenge stitches were worked on previous challenges.

Projects
Violet matka silk tunic
The leaves worked on pink fabric for violet matka silk tunic are also embellished with zardosi beads. Detached chain stitch with the green zardosi in the middle is the detail I am working now.
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Green blouse
The embroidery is worked on black fabric for this blouse. Stem stitches and detached chain stitches are worked in cotton skein, the same colour as the green fabric.
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This is the progress made during the week.

We went to Dubai during the weekend. Maybe we felt the oppressing heat here is not enough, driving through the desert would be more exciting. It was a change from routine. After Wednesday stitching was not done, and I  started working from Monday. So progress was not much on projects. Stitch challenges are on hold.
The zardosi work on pink fabric has to be resumed. The tracing is continuing on cream fabric for the kutchwork border project. It seems like a lengthy project. Better to work the stitch challenges and some small projects while working on it. I have an old readymade blouse in cream, kept because the dress pattern is good, which can be used  for another blouse. A green mangalagiri fabric with border [which will be removed] may be perfect for this.
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The embroidery can be worked in green thread similar to this fabric on black cloth. A floral design for the yoke was drawn yesterday.

Stitch challenges
By starting the SSS challenge stitch early, I had time work more stitch combinations on the sampler.
The TAST stitch was worked on earlier challenge, just posting the link on FB group was the only thing to do.
Projects
Last year I had seen a half white tunic on pinterest. The is tunic had geometric borders around the neck
and front in black. It was hard to determine whether the design was printed or embroidered. An idea to
convert the borders into kutchwork designs was on mind. Found that, it is easier to convert the borders
to kutchwork design, but drawing them on paper is taking a long time. After the designing part is
completed, this pattern has to be traced on cream colour cotton fabric and after that the embroidery
work will begin. Seems like a long and tedious project, still having waited this long to start on the idea, it
is better not to postpone it any further.
A block printed fabric was bought some years ago. When it was matched with a dark green fabric and small patch of mirror work, my previous tailor made this block printed fabric into a salwar[ Indian pants],  and the dark green fabric into a tunic. The dark green fabric was thick , synthetic  fabric and was not comfortable to wear and it was disregarded after some time.
WIPW140-green mir
This printed fabric underwent another change of trying match with a brown/pink fabric with medium size embroidery. At that time it seemed a like a good idea to work the embroidery in light colours, but the fabric which had grains on it was not showing the embroidery properly. I don’t seem to have the picture of the tunic. This was also disregarded at a later date and the printed salwar was hiding in the closet. This time on my Chennai trip, I decided to play safe by buying a plain green fabric. This was given to the tailor last week.
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A simple embroidery has to be worked in between the pleats and five mirrors have to stitched on the neck. Planning to start the work tomorrow. A simple embroidery is required at this time.
I moved on to lighter green thread on this pink silk cotton fabric for the violet matka silk tunic. the stitch is leaf stitch.

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