Thursday, 22 August 2013

My very first commission!

A little horse that just wants to be a unicorn!
My 9 nearly 10 year old daughter wanted to embroider a pillowcase for her horse mad best friend's birthday and it ended up being a commisson instead, it took me three or four days to finish so it would never have got done in time.  She did, however, do the stitching of the tie around the head so she can genuinely say she contributed.  She is a fast learning embroiderer, crocheter and knitter in her own right.

The design is called I Want to Believe and is from the wonderfully awesome Urban Threads, an American online provider of machine and hand embroidery designs that is certainly not traditional.  They have a huge range of steampunk designs, I am currently embroidering a shirt with an outline version of their steampunk raven but it got put aside to make the pillowcase.  They do the cutest interpretations of the gothic I have ever seen, chibi type zombies and vampires are typical.  The only problem is I want to make them all and would need a few more days in the week to do so.

I transferred the design to the fabric using dressmakers carbon paper, the fabric was too dark to trace through from underneath and I don't have a lightbox.  I used the yellow paper and the line showed up well on the turquoise, it did not come off at all but was still a nice fine line that was easily covered with stitching.  I put the sewing in a hoop when I was stitching, just an ordinary metal and plastic spring embroidery hoop, it did still pucker a bit and I think I would use a stabiliser next time.   I stitched using DMC stranded cotton embroidery threads and a metallic gold.  The gold was a right pain to sew with but it's worth the effort, you just have to use short lengths and lots of paitence!  I used a single thread of this for the horn and body band with two or three threads for the outlines on the body band and wings.  I used two threads of the DMC on the face, ears, mane and string on the head, three on the wings and body and four on the tail using two colours in the needle, the body colour and a slightly darker colour.  The eyes are french knots in four strands, two of the darkest purple and two of a dark indigo.  The writing is two threads of DMC cotton as well.

I really enjoyed using a sort of long and short stitch following the contours of the wee horse with my daughter's favourite model horse beside me to check on coat hair directions, it's really not what I would have thought had I not looked at it!   It was worth the work and I think it's just so cute, and am dead proud of my first ever use of full on hand embroidery, I'm always so nervous starting a technique for the first time but all those years of precision with cross stich have paid off, particularly knowing how to unknot a thread and hold it up to untwist it before sewing.

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