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.
WIPW140-pargreepinktmir-1
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.

WIPW140-silkzardosi-5

The second part of the cream mirror work yoke starts with the cream tunic being short. It was not matching well with the striped salwar because of the length. An idea of attaching another fabric was considered and rejected. The new fabric might clash with the salwar again. So a decision was made to keep this tunic aside and a lavender colour fabric which will go well with the striped salwar was chosen on the last visit to India. The lavender fabric needed some embroidery. While browsing through the wardrobe, it seemed like a good idea to stitch this cream mirror work on to this lavender fabric. Tailor did a nice job of taking out the embroidered pieces and stitched them on to this lavender tunic. The gold beads had to go.
The sleeves on lavender tunic.
lavmirt-sleeves
The tunic with cream mirror work attached to the front.
lavender mirrorwork tunic

lavmirt
Now this piece does not have enough lavender elements. I started with working chain stitch in variegated silk thread inside the curves.
lavmirt-1
There was some unworked space near the shoulder. The embroidery was extended to cover the space. It was helpful to have a record of the thread colours worked earlier.
lavmirt-2
After working chain stitch with variegated thread, a line of stem stitch and up and down buttonhole stitch combination was worked beside the orange outline in antique violet thread.
lavmirt-3
To reduce the cream colour on fabric and enhance the lavender colour, small triangles were worked with herringbone filling.
lavmirt-4a
The yoke after working these triangles.
lavmirt-4b
The same idea of triangles worked in herringbone filling was extended to neck border too.
lavmirt-5
The completed yoke.
cream mirror work on lavender tunic
The tunic set is ready to wear now.

The story of this yoke starts with this striped cotton fabric.
cremirt-salwar
Thinking all these colours can be used for embroidery on a cream base, a cream cotton fabric was chosen for the tunic. This cream mangalagiri handloom cotton fabric was given to the tailor for marking the front and sleeves.

And  a simple border design was embroidered on the sleeves.
cremirt-sleeves
The pattern for the same.
cremirt-pats
The embroidery for this mirror work started with green colour skein. The mirror outlines were worked n chain stitch, the curls were worked in stem stitch and the leaves in leaf stitch.
cremirt-1
The second stage was to work the orange colour skein. Chain stitches and buttonhole stitches were worked with this thread.
cremirt-2
Next in line was the antique violet colour skein. The triangles around the neck were worked in buttonhole stitches and the second mirror outlines were worked in chain stitch.
cremirt-3
The last outline around mirrors were worked in polyester gold colour thread.
cremirt-4
The diamond shaped mirrors were outlined with variegated polyester thread.
cremirt-5
The remaining chain stitch outlines were worked in yellow colour skein.
cremirt-6
The same yellow skein was used for working all the mirrors.
cremirt-7
Oval shaped gold bead was the last detail to be worked on this embroidery.
cremirt-8
The pattern for this yoke.
cremirt-paty
The completed tunic.
cream mirror work tunic
This was the story of this tunic in 2014. After two and a half years, the same yoke became a part of another tunic. Which will be narrated later.

Stitch challenges
This week’s stitch on SSS challenge is to be started tomorrow. TAST challenge stitch sampler was worked in 2012. Yet to upload the link on FB group page.
This picture shows green zardosi tube with beading needle and cotton skein. The tube will be cut into desired length with nail cutter, and will be sewn with the help of beading needle and thread. This kind of zardosi beads along with other embroidery stitches, stones and sequins constitute zardosi embroidery. This embroidery on grand scale is common on bridal outfits. Incidentally, zardosi tubes in few colours  were  bought during this trip to India.
WIPW135-zardosi tube
Projects
The zardosi bead work on green benarasi georgette tunic with stones is yet to be completed. While working the stones near the neck outline, a thought came to mind that the stones might hinder the tailor’s work. Now the tunic and the unfinished neck embroidery piece are with the tailor. The embroidery can be worked after the tunic is sewn.
I was working on this string bag project during the end of 2016. The embroidery on this was resumed this week.
WIPW135-sbag'17[1]
Projects to start
I have these two tunic fabrics.
WIPW135-salwar set wipw
WIPW135- blubot-kutch-1
The cream floral print is to be sewn without any embroidery. The blue fabric would have a simple embroidery. A design was drawn yesterday. Once the embroidery is completed, both will be given to the tailor for sewing. These fabrics are  cotton with kalamkari prints.
I had seen a Matka silk tunic in Chennai. It looked elegant and cool on that person. With this my understanding of Matka silk halts. While shopping for it, realized there are two varieties of Matka silks. This fabric was bought, it needs backing. An idea of a small floral border in zardosi embroidery is yet to reach the design stage.
WIPW135-msilkzardosi-1
With these projects to work and a stitch sampler to be started, this week will be busy.

I have been working on this sewn tunic this week.
WIPW127-oryelkutcht
The kutchwork pattern was traced onto the tunic with white carbon. Not a very bright idea.
The pattern-
WIPW127.oryelkutcht-pat
When a time was conducive I started with brown thread. The design was very light after so many weeks. The brown thread in Chennai sunlight did not match so well as in Muscat indoor light. Still eager to start the project, I started with the basic stitches with brown thread. While working on it bought red and yellow threads. After ensuring the points are covered with brown thread, started with the yellow thread.
WIPW127-oryelkutcht-1
The basic stitches in brown are interlaced with red thread. This looks much better than the dull brown. Controlling the urge to work mirrors.
WIPW127-oryelkutcht-2
The four motifs below the neck was worked in red thread.
WIPW127-oryelkutcht-3
The pattern is now is worked with yellow thread.
WIPW127-oryelkutcht-4
The centre and other spaces are worked in half white thread. By this time the design from white carbon has completely vanished. This pattern was also drawn on 2mm graph paper.
WIPW127-oryelkutcht-5
The project is completed without mirrors.
WIPW127-orange yellow chanderi kutch tunic
The embroidery detail-
WIPW127-orange yellow kutch tunic-det
The tunic looks nice even without the embroidery. An outline stitch around the neck would have been sufficient.
The 17th stitch on SSS challenge seems like an easy stitch. Started working on the sampler today.

I am in Chennai, India for vacation. Embroidery is not part of this routine. Still some small assignments are worked in between other work. This tunic was worked in the summer of 2016.
After working two tunics in lemon green and white combination some pieces of lemon green fabric was lying around. A kutchwork embroidery seemed like a good idea. There was this tunic fabric in half white cotton block printed with the same colour.
whigremajekutch-f
I wanted to add another colour to this white. A medium majenta thread was chosen.
whigremajekutch-f2
Drawing diagonal kutchwork on 2mm graph paper gives a dainty look. The border pattern-
whigremajekutch-pb
The pattern below the neck-
whigremajekutch-py
I started with the first sleeve border.
whigremajekutch-1
Making the anchoring stiches was not so difficult. Care was required to work the stitch at the precise point and moving over or under the thread had to be accurate. The interlacing was not so easy, because of the daintiness of the pattern.
whigremajekutch-2
This is the same story in the second part of the journey, still it was better to work the outer squares.
whigremajekutch-3
Instead of looking for another colour, the single line kutch border was worked in green. An idea of working this border in white was considered and rejected.
whigremajekutch-4
I moved on to the yoke at this point. The kutch work in green thread.
whigremajekutch-y1
The basic kutch squares worked in majenta.
whigremajekutch-y2
Worked the border in majenta and the back stitch outline was worked in white. This piece was completed.
whigremajekutch-y3
The border on another sleeve was worked.
whigremajekutch-5
The embroidered pieces and the tunic fabric was given for sewing.

white green majenta kutch tunic
The detail.
white green majenta kutch tunic-det
After a while, a cotton fabric with same lemon colour tones was bought for salwar [ Indian  pants].
white green majenta kutch tunic-salwar
I wore this tunic set last week. It was cool.

This is the second tunic with lemon green and white combination. This summer these two colours were predominant in the tunic embroidery projects.
The fabric is handloom cotton and the embroidery was done with white cotton skein and some details worked in white perle cotton #8. There are two design elements. The first element is borders which were worked on the sleeves.

lemgrechi-sleeves

lemgrechi-sleeves

The same border design was worked around the neck.

lemgrechi-neck

lemgrechi-neck

These designs were drawn by hand with a foot ruler. The pattern was drawn on the wrong side of the cloth and embroidery was also worked on the wrong side. The fabric being see-through, was placed on the pattern and the floral design was traced with a pencil.
Started the embroidery in the centre.

lemgrechi-1

lemgrechi-1

The work in progress of the floral design. The shadow work/ chikan work/ closed herringbone was worked with four strands of cotton skein. I felt the thickness of the thread will make the embroidery more prominent.

lemgrechi-wip

lemgrechi-wip

After working the herringbone stitches in cotton skein, white perle cotton# 8 was used to work the straight stitches inside the petals. These straight stitches were worked on the right side of the fabric.

lemgrechi-2

lemgrechi-2

The last detail of French knots worked on the flowers.

lemgrechi-3

lemgrechi-3

After the completion of the embroidery the fabric was given to tailor for sewing. The tunic

lemon green chikan tunic

lemon green chikan tunic

The detail.

lemon green chikan-det

lemon green chikan-det

It has been a while since I have done chikan work embroidery. It is easy to work, that’s a blessing. The embroidery needs to cover fairly a large area because of the subtlety of the work and the colours used. The pattern-

lemgrechi-pattern

lemgrechi-pattern

This tunic does not have lining. If required a slip can be used. I have one in this green. Sometimes it is hard to get lining fabric in cotton in this place. Since a polyester fabric will take away the comfort factor, it is better to go without a lining.