Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Certificate Module 2 Chapter 12 ...making progress...

Monday 7th January 2013

One month to the day since I last posted on my blog. A few things got in the way, some pleasant like Christmas and my brother’s visit from Canada, others not so pleasant, like a throat and sinus infection. However, I have managed to get some work done and have been really enjoying getting down to some work on the kimono again.

I’ve been working on the right front and both sleeves of the kimono. Since the left front was very busy, I wanted something altogether quieter and darker in tone to contrast with the larger light areas of the left front. I liked the sample I’d done earlier of woven strips of fabric, so I sized that up. I didn’t have any large enough pieces of dyed fabric left, so did another tie dye session. I dyed some pure cotton and some polycotton, so that I could obtain a variety of tones but with a sort of unity. It worked well, the polycotton taking on a paler, greyer hue. The pieces which went into the dye bath first turned out darker, which was what I wanted for the right front of the kimono. When weaving the strips of fabric, I used a bought dark blue cotton for the warp and my darker greyish tie dyed fabric for the weft. The flat, even colour of the commercially dyed fabric gave a quieter, restful contrast to the uneven-ness of the tie dyed fabric. I cut out a piece of lightweight iron-on interfacing the size of the pattern piece for the front. I laid it on my ironing board sticky side up (on top of a sheet of non-stick baking parchment) then pinned the warp strips along the top and wove in the weft strips, pinning them temporarily at each side. When I had filled the space available I covered it with another piece of non-stick baking parchment then ironed it. I then moved the whole thing up and did the next section in the same way, until the interfacing was filled. I pinned the edges to keep them from slipping out of place then stitched both sides of each strip with a zigzag stitch.

2.12.7jan.01 close up of right front

I used the same technique for the left sleeve, except that I made the strips wider (the resulting squares therefore larger) and used a paler grey fabric for the weft. 2.12.7jan.02 shows the two fabrics side by side. I wanted them to be “the same but different”.

kimono 7 jan 13 right front and sleeves 016
2.12.7jan.02 left sleeve and right front

For the right sleeve, I wanted it to be similar in style to the left front and so I did the same random patching technique. In order to make it “the same but different” I used rows of straight machine stitching to anchor the patches instead of running stitch worked by hand.

2.12.7jan.03 right sleeve

I now wanted to see how the pieces worked together, so I laid them out flat on the floor (2.12.7jan.04).

kimono 7 jan 13 right front and sleeves 026

In order to see how it might look when worn I also pinned the pieces onto the trial kimono to get a rough idea of how it might look (2.12.7jan.05).


It is getting really exciting now that the kimono is so near to completion. It is tempting to rush on, but I need to give myself time to play with ideas for the back of the kimono and not take decisions too quickly.