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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Glitz and Glam of Embroidery

I love watching "period" films and TV programs like Downton Abbey or "Game of Thrones", partially, of course, for the glitz and glam of the intrigue and romance of the story, but mostly, for the glitz and glam of the costumes and the sets. When "Lady Mary Crawley" dresses for dinner, it's the lavish needlework on the gown that has my attention. In "Game of Thrones", London embroiderer Michele Carragher hand embroiders many of the intricate designs, that she has also created, onto the costumes. Her website is worth checking out (www.michelecarragherembroidery.com).

Thinking of all of the detailed beadwork embellishment and intricate embroidery in these gowns, made me remember these "petites cigales" (hidden somewhere in my stash), that I started in 2006, the first full summer we spent in Montpellier. That summer, I did not have a sewing machine there, and I had not as yet taken up "Boutis". So armed only with my basic sewi…

Boutis: The Straight and Narrow of Silk

Cell Phone Pouch

On the learning curve once again.

As with any type of hand stitching like embroidery or quilting, (or machine stitching for that matter), precision and accuracy are key to a presentable product. Being familiar with silk fabrics from machine quilting and from sewing clothes in a former stitching life, when I started this little boutis pouch on dupioni silk, I was not at all concerned or intimidated by the fact that I was working on silk.

Around the central motif, where all the channels are rounded, the stitching was fairly straightforward and presented no unsual circumstances.

However, once off of the central motif and onto the body of the pouch, where all of the lines and channels are straight, two things became apparent very quickly.

First: When working with silk, appropriate lighting is crucial.  With insufficient light, the lines become muddy and seem to run into each other. When there is too much direct light, or misdirected light, it creates a glare that makes the…