Monday, 10 June 2013

Raised padded stem stitch band

Has it really been almost a month?  I'm shocked!  Well, here I am, still in more or less one piece and with a valiant effort on the dragonfly project to share.  Basically, I've worked out how to do the head, body and tail and the first thing to do was to ignore the instructions that came with the kit which, in part, were:

It seemed to me that this working plan was not only biologically inaccurate - the written part described the rounded end as the head and the long, thick part as the body, when the body is where the rounded part is and should have had a small area added for the head, and the 'body' should be much thinner and called 'the tail' - but also that the stitch instructions weren't quite right.

I realised that it was a padded raised stem stitch band that was being described here, and found much more helpful instructions in  Country Bumpkin's 'The Embroiderers Handbook', which you can see a part of here:

See a major difference?  The kit said work all along one band, but the CB book says to work from one end to the other in columns rather than rows.  As this is what every other set of instructions I've seen for stem stitch band, padded or otherwise, said, I decided to use the CB version instead.

As the tail part was clearly far too wide - dragonfly and demoiselle flies tending to be rather on the narrow side here - I cut the padding back from three stitches wide to two.  Still too wide really, one would have been enough, but I went with two just the same.

The next step was to add in the bands all along the length of the tail section.

After that, beginning at the body end, you need to hook each stem stitch through each band and work from one end to the other.

Repeat this step until the whole area is covered - you might need to put in more lengths than you might think in order to keep the stitches close together and cover the padding well.

And here's the finished result from both top and side:

The next step is to work the body area and the narrower area you may have noticed that I created for the head.  After that, I'll add in two beads for the eyes and put in some legs and so on.  Finally, the needlelace wings, which are now all complete, will be attached and this piece will be done.

Oh, by the way, for anyone who's interested, I've started a Google+ account and am happy to add anyone who follows/reads my blog to my Stitchers circle, where you'll get posts about new blog updates etc.  I also started two communities: Creative Embroidery and Stumpwork and Raised Embroidery, so please do look those up and join!  See you there!

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2013


floozina said...

Hi Elizabeth
I have been following your blog for several months now and I really like reading about your embroidery. In this case I would agree that your kit seems to be lacking a little, and if I may, I'd like to point you in the direction of another Australian embroiderer who is the doyenne of dragonflies, Jane Nicholas. (I am sure you will have heard of her.) Her dragonflies are wonderful, correct in every detail with several methods for embroidering them.

Elizabeth Braun said...

Yes, she's great! I've got her lovely dragonflies book (as well as the two general ones and the other few are on my wishlist...), but the only problem is that the designs in it use several quite obscure items, such as leathers that I wouldn't have a clue how to source and bead types that I don't have. I did use her ideas when I did the first raised dragonfly that I worked though and I much preferred it!