Monthly Archives: September 2014

Dragon decisions… (or: I can’t decide)

I can’t decide how to finish the dragon embroidery. I have three alternatives, but none seem really good. Can you help me, please?
This is the current dragon progress:body
It’s the best I could do with natural light (and you can get to the big version by clicking it).

Do you see the nude-coloured part at the base of the wing? This should be the same colour as the crest on his back. This picture (from another stitchalong participant) shows that nude can go well together with rust/madder red and green, but my wing is light green and yellow and not such a dark green.

I think the nude-coloured thread blends in too much, it doesn’t really stand out against the green wing part.
But I think the same about the lighter green of the two strands/skeins of yarn that I laid on the fabric above the dragon wing. The lighter green skein is only a little bit darker than the green part of the wing.
The darker green skein doesn’t have that problem, it would stand out really well. (but it’s the darkest colour in there if I use it.)
I don’t have any shade of green between those two shown here.

The next question: what do I use for the outline color? Tanya used some shade of purple for her original.
I can either use the dark green (if I don’t use it for the wing base and crest), or the nude-coloured skein (if I don’t finish the crest with it). Apart from that I have a skin-tone skein (color is right between the nude and the orange of the body), a red (that’s a darker shade of the orange of the body) and a little bit of lavender coloured embroidery yarn. But the lavender colored yarn is a bit thicker and probably much less. I don’t mind so much about the thicker yarn but I don’t know if it’s enough.

I hate such decisions, I can find no solution that’s not a compromise of some sorts and I don’t know which is “better”. Can anybody please help me reach a decision?

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A dress with no shoes

I’m still stitching along on the dragon and making some good progress, but in the meantime I’ll show you another dress I made and finally got around to take a photo early this summer.

blue dress

This dress is made out of light blue linen fabric after my “standard dress pattern” (which produces suitable dresses for anything until about 1300). The interesting and time-consuming detail here are the buttons. There are about 9 buttons on each sleeve, all handmade out of smaller pieces of the same fabric, accompanied by the same number of buttonholes. The buttonholes don’t look really well done but for my very first try they are acceptable. It’s completely handsewn (as usual for me) and the wrinkles are because I gained some weight since making it.

It’s a really simple dress but I like it very much. It’s light and comfortable, light enough for even the hottest summer day. And somehow this is the first dress that I made that I will voluntarily wear on my way to a historical event even when going there alone by public transport.

It kind of looks like I’m thinking “oops, I’m wearing no shoes” but the truth behind my bare feet is that it was too hot that day to wear anything else than sandals. All shoes that are more closed were too narrow for my feet that day.

The dragon has a head now

This morning I finished stitching the big wing, then I embroidered the other wing. I looked at some pics in the Flickr group for the Stitchalong and saw that there’s a tip of the other wing also showing. So I did that right after the first wing was finished.

head part 1

Then I couldn’t decide on the color for the base of the wing. Shall I use a green that’s just a bit darker than the green part of the wing or shall I use the dark green with more contrast?

The color on the wing base is the same as the crest on his back so I was wondering which shade of green would look better with the main body color.

In the evening I had a good idea what to do next: the body. After the body is embroidered I can compare both shades of green to the wing and the body and then decide.

The picture above was done around 11 pm, after I laid the long stitches over the whole body front (head, chest, raised front leg) and started couching down the head.

Dragon’s wing part 1

Here’s the first part of the dragon embroidery:

first part of the couched embroidery, the wing is partially completed.
first part of the couched embroidery, the wing is partially completed.

On Sunday I finally got around to starting embroidering the dragon. Here’s the first part of the wing. I took the photo yesterday in the early afternoon while the sun was shining into my living room, but stitched on a bit in the evening.

When I compare my embroidery to Tanya’s photo, it seems like I chose the right thickness/weight of the yarn.

Stitchalong – embroidered purse

This September Tanya from Opus Anglicanum, a blog about textiles and embroidery started a stitchalong which will result in an embroidered medieval purse. When she announced that it would feature a dragon I was hooked. 🙂

Her first post was the materials list with a picture of the finished dragon.
She also offered kits with everything needed but I have plenty of supplies and not so much money, so I will use what I have and try to avoid buying new stuff. That means I won’t be super authentic, but I will be as authentic as my supplies permit.

I will use white wool fabric for the background.
Embroidery thread will be mixed: the white one is cotton, but I have orange (madder dyed) wool yarn, green (several shades), light brown (skin tone) and yellow wool yarn (the yellow being acid dyed, all done by a friend).
I planned to use my handspun alpaca yarn but then I looked closer at them and the alpaca is about double the diameter of all the wool yarns. It’s about the thickness of commercial cotton embroidery yarn, but the cotton yarn can be split up into up to 6 thinner strands, the alpaca can’t.
We’ll have to see what I will use for the rest of the materials when I need them.

Here is my current progress:
IMG_2905
Outline sketched on the fabric and all the yarns are ready. I haven’t gotten more done until today.
I will use two of the three greens in the bottom left corner, and probably one of the yarns in the top right corner as the fifth color. But I will decide about that on the go.