Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Wedding Dress Modesty Panel - More details on the silver work

Today I'm here with an extra instalment insterted in the dress panel story.  After the last post on the silver threads, Dima from the D1-D2 blog (go and check out her progress on the Alison Cole 'Pearl Butterfly' project, BTW.  It's beautiful!) left a comment asking how I dealt with the thread ends on the back of the panel.

Well, that made me realise that what I'd declared to be 'pretty self explanatory' was really nothing of the sort and that she probably wasn't the only one who was disappointed by my lack of detail.  I plead the excuse of having almost 20 blog posts to write in only 3 or 4 sessions and being a little too eager to get them all done and scheduled.... (blush).  Here I am today to redress the balance and explain how the silver threads were attached and fastened off at the back.  I found a few helpful 'in progress' photos too. ☺

Basically, once I'd gone around the four larger flower motifs, (which were easy to deal with given the heavy embroidery I could fasten off to at the back), there were two ways of dealing with the long stems and smaller motifs: with two pieces of thread running largely in parallel, or with one doubled over the whole length.

These first three photos show part of the process of working a two parallel lengths section.  What that means is that I cut two lengths of Kreinik Japan #7, not necessarily to the same lengths, and worked them alongside each other part of the way, separating for the single lines around any motifs that fell into their paths.

I started by plunging both ends under a large motif where they could be fastened off easily on the back, then couched them down with one stitch across both threads until it was time to diverge them to outline small flower and leaf motifs.

In this third shot you can see the two ends re-converging ready to be couched back down in the original one stitch way and then plunged under the big flower and fastened off there.  I had to use my tweezers quite a lot to help the thread to settle in the right direction.

As you can see from this section, it wasn't always a simple task.  The long diagonal stem, with the motifs under it AND the stem with the heart, the flower it joins into on the right and the snaky-shaped trailing stem end underneath that flower are all one section!  The piece for the lower part needed to be quite a bit longer than the top one as it had to cater for the triple flower and leaf section.

Actually, I can't remember exactly where this piece ends, but it looks like the trailing end was worked with one piece laid double and then continuing out to the heart stem.  I'm thinking the ends are safely couched under either the heart or the flower.  I can't recall at this distance of time - I did this back in November!  It may even have been at the base of the snaky trailing bit, where it joins the flower.  I've no pictures of the back of the work, so I can't check now.

The other way of working the silver outlining was to use one long piece doubled over.  These two segments here were done with this method.

The thread was bent in either half, or as near to half as the diverging motifs allowed and started at an edge on the motif furthest out from the large flower.  On each of these, I probably (or should have!!!) started near the base of the leaf or flower, worked all around it, then begun the one stitch over two threads method until I was able to plunge the ends under a larger motif again.

Basically the same thing applied when working something with a trailing end of stem as in the two sections seen below.  With these, I 'tweezed' the Japan thread closely together and, after putting in one securing stitch over the very end of the fold, set off with the over-two couching stitches.  The right hand motif was done by bending one piece roughly in half, whilst the left hand design needed a rather longer 'lower' part so as to take in the other trailing stem - again worked by doubling up.

I hope that makes some sense at least!  I was flummoxed by some sections and had to think about the best way to do them so as to neither leave any ends showing through the net, nor scratch the poor bride to death!  I also didn't want any doubling over back under the threads as it would probably offend on both counts.

I apologise for the 'cast' on some of the photos.  Much of that came from the fact that there was a layer of reflective water soluble stabilizer underneath and was pretty hard to work around at times, photographically speaking.

The beads and jewel embellishments follow on Friday.  Join me then! ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017


D1-D2 said...

Thank you for the shout out and for the lovely explanation. I would have never thought you were couching with two metal threads at the same time, going in different directions and then joining them. It's pretty genius!

Rachel said...

There's more puzzle-solving in metal embroidery than people realize, isn't there!

SuperMomNoCape said...

Thanks so much for explaining how you worked with the silver thread. I'm finding this absolutely fascinating as I've never done any work like this.

Thanks so much for linking up to last week's Stitchery Link Party. Aloha hugs!