I’ve taken a few days off from blogging for the holidays, and now that Christmas is finally over I can show you the stitchery I’ve been holding back on for fear the recipient might see it! This is the first one I ever worked on, which was maybe a bit ambitious, but I had a strong image in my head of what I wanted. It was also my intention to return the hoop I’d borrowed with something in it, so I knew what I had to do.
So do you recognise her?
This was a gift for my friend Louise who put me onto embroidery in the first place. She loves all things Parisian and one of her favourite movies set during the Belle Epoch is of course Moulin Rouge. The most important thing for me was that she’d know who it was straight away, and I was very pleased to say she did! (RESULT! Although the Swarovski crystals (doubling as diamonds) were a clue). I’ve made a little album on flickr so you can see close ups if you like, and some of my other recent embroidery projects here: Cult Stitchin‘!
This was my first time using Osnaburg to sew on, which proved challenging as it wasn’t quite as neutral a background as I hoped, and I was worried my white stitches weren’t going to show up. I started out knowing a handful of stitches, I studied reference books for more, and if I’m honest, probably just made some up along the way, and I had a lot of fun doing it. I didn’t get hung up on stitch size or style I just whaled away, and the very lovely Louise has described it as ‘sketching with stitches’, which is kinda what it felt like for me. I just viewed this portrait as an extension of my digital sketches;
I found an image from the movie that I liked,
sketched over it digitally to capture the details that I wanted to include,
and printed this off to make a tracing to form the basis of the embroidery.
It really feels like a new way of drawing for me, and I’d love to do more portraits like this in the future. I’ll be sure to keep you posted when I do