Today’s post is by Allegra, our 17 year old contributor.
For this month’s Project Run and Play challenge, Ashley & Emily from Frances Suzanne assigned the challenge of creating something that included handwork.
Heheheh. Best. Challenge. Ever. If you’ve been around Skirt Fixation for any time at all, you’ve seen some of my embroidery! (Like this fish, this map, these flowers, and these feet.) So I of course set to work to create a fantastic embroidered piece. My intension at first was to incorporate whatever I embroidered into a garment for Annie. But as I worked, my plan evolved, and I ended up making two embroidered pieces and no garment!! And furthermore, I plan to finish them as a three-part set, but today I just have the first two to show you. (I think Ashley & Emily can appreciate this as they have an unfinished work in progress themselves, an Easter dress!)
First of all, I knew that I wanted to embroider a monarch butterfly. I had wanted to do it for a while. So I printed out the outline of one, traced it on to linen, and began to embroider.
It was so nice to work with real linen again; I’d been working with really thin cotton, and the linen is just so much sturdier.
I outlined the butterfly with chain stitch, but when I was done with that, I was in a bit of a fix. I was going to do the orange of the butterfly in satin stitch, but I wanted something just a little more… fantastic. So I eventually decided to fill in the parts with weave stitch. This is one of my favorite stitches, and seems like it’s quite unique – I haven’t seen it in the embroidery world much.
The thing I liked about this one was that I could weave three or four different shades of orange into one small section, and each section of the butterfly is a different combination of oranges! This makes it very realistic-looking, and adds visual interest whether you are viewing it close up or far away.
After I was done with that, I decided to do a dragonfly. This I outlined in chain stitch as well, before filling the body with stain stitch in blue, green and purple. I also added some French knots to the body.
The wings were the things that I wanted to really focus on, as the center of the piece. So first I outlined them with chain stitch, then filled in all the little veins with backstitch. That left a bunch of little empty squares in the wings. So I took thread in pastel colors of blue, green and purple, and put a French knot in each little square, spacing them so as to get an ombre effect.
The things that like about these pieces are what ‘makes’ them. On the butterfly, it is the woven stitch, and on the dragonfly, it is all the tiny knots. I’m pretty proud of these, and I’m looking forward to enjoying them as a set when I have the last one done. Speaking of which, do you have any ideas for what insect the third piece should feature? I’ve been debating some options, but none really stand out to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts!