Sunday, 9 December 2012

More organza experiments

These are kind of working notes, learning how to use the iPad as a tool to record my thoughts, and get them into an order I can use in my City and Guilds without too much grief. so, here are notes to self with illustrations I hope!! Click for bigger pictures.

While I'm stitching, I'm also working out how to catch this tender fabric down without ruining the translucent quality of the textile. There's also the direction of the grain  to consider. Sometimes, with the black piece, I had to stitch down in both directions to prevent the organza pulling out. I used two strands of thread as that seemed to be about the right weight, and I wanted to concentrate on colour without the distractions of other textures. there's enough texture in the organza. There's also very little chance of hiding the start of the stitch with each thread, so I made a feature of it, crossing the stitches and finishing on the front with a French knot to secure the initial stitches.

I rather like the tails on the back.


Now I've moved to stitching on white backing fabric. I considered using a shiny rayon thread for texture, but decided that it was adding nothing, so changed to navy stranded cotton, two strands. The stranded cotton, with its easy texture and willingness to bend makes the stitching much quicker, and is, I think, fine in this context. The glisten of the organza likes the muted, not quite black of the stitches. As the stitching progressed it developed a changing rhythm depending on the lay of the fabric. As I layered more and more on the backing fabric the stitches had to evolve, becoming one long stitch, with a tying down thread across the centre at right angles - I think it's a proper stitch of some sort, must check. I had to do this as the varying layers and overlaps couldn't be tied down using my original ordered little stitches I started with. At the end I lengthened the pieces of organza and gave them a wavy pattern, to move right away from the neat texture of the first part. My daughter sees a tulip in this bit - I just see scrumptious colour, though this image is a bit more in the blue scale than the actual fabric

In stitching these rectangles at right angles , I tried to reflect the colours of the organza by mixing similar colours of thread on the needle. I started with the French knots at the corners, it seems delicate yet secure, especially as I make a very short stitch first, then work the French knot over that stitch. It stops the knot being pulled through to the back of the fabric and makes the organza more secure.

I hold the twisted thread tight against the fabric with my nail whilst pulling the thread through to the back, making sure the knot part stays tight around the needle and so, neat against the fabric

The French knots worked well, but for the last one I thought a little bright pink laid work cross, tied down in the centre with a single stitch was more appropriate (trust me, I'm not normally a pink person!), as there are 11 layers altogether! I also tried to keep my backside neat - if you'll pardon me!

I realise I've not shown you the finished organza on black
I tried for  landscapey effect, with haze on the horizon and birds swirling in the neon sky! It is, after all, only supposed to be a quick sample of fabric and stitching, but it's made me smile!

Oh, and the iPad bit? In the end I had to come back to the PC as I couldn't figure out how to position the images in the text via iPad. Must be a lack in my technical knowledge!!


  1. I love the fabulous colours and your stitching, very effective.

    1. Thank you Anna, I'm amazed at how much variety of colour comes from one small set of primaries - like magic!