I’m making some progress on the Roumanian peasant blouse. I’ve had my evenings free for about a week now and I’ve been stitching while finishing up seasons 5&6 of Charmed. I know I just lost a bunch of readers by that admission but I’ve never watched that show. I’ve needed mindless mindcandy of late and at least it’s in the right topic, witches. Thought it would be interesting to see what it has to say on the Craft. I did get a little tired of uber glossy pouty lips and cropped tops and amped nipples but it’s been entertaining. The writing, well, whatever.
Back to the peasant blouse. I’ve been busy. I hope that I don’t get tired of the embroidery but counted cross stitch has never been my favorite. The other counted work is a bit better and I’ve feeling optimistic. All the pattern pieces are hemmed in preparation for the construction using faggot stitch. So for now it’s all embroidery.
You can see here several things. You can see the waste canvas that I’m using to help me have somewhat even work. The linen count is teeny and I need some assistance to get it even-ish so I don’t ruin my eyes. Trying to count the linen without the canvas help was a problem in my test sample.
I got impatient and wanted to see how things look after removing some of the waste canvas. A little uneven but it does have it’s handmade charm. I decided to use a second color as suggested in the options (Folkwear pattern #103). You can see my little test in the bottom right of the blocked area where I’ve used little green french knots. I think I might add these to the other similar motifs. I’ve also decided to remove the red cross stitches for the leaves in the tulip area and go back and make them green. It’s a process and it illustrates that I don’t always come to my final piece in an easy manner. There is ripping out and rethinking as I work to find exactly what I like once I move from my mind’s eye to reality.
Here is a close up of the stitches to show how the waste canvas works especially. You can see where I’ve cut it away and started to pull threads. I just had to see how things were shaping up without the stiffness and weight of the waste canvas. The linen is still pretty drapey even with the embroidery and I’m pleased. The colors also look a bit better without the canvas in the way visually. The blue threads are every 5th for ease in certain types of counted work. I also see now that if I pulled my tension just a tidge tighter I might get a more even line in places.
I’ve been very careful not to catch the waste canvas with my needle and so far haven’t had any trouble whatsoever pulling it out from the stitches. That is a nightmare I understand. Catch those waste canvas threads and get them caught in your embroidery stitches and getting them out can ruin your work if you’re not careful. I’m very proud of myself. I also know that folks will not be nearly as harsh in judging the evenness of my work as I am.
OMG Lovely!! Of course I can’t see any uneveness, lol. It’s going to be sublime! I also totally understand your need to have and make one of these, not only are they beautiful, they are magical too. On traditional peasant shirts where the embroidery was placed was important for magical protection – around the neck, the wrists, the hem, over the breasts, and sometimes the belly – to protect from evil spirits, illness, or the evil eye, etc. Red being the most universal colour for protection. If I find another copy of “Embroidered Textiles” by Sheila Paine, I’m sending it your way as you’d just die – it’s full of the magical history of embroidery and the meaning of the all the symbols used all over the world (I may have jumped up and down screaming “yes, yes!” when I first read it…).
Yes! Exactly. I know the book you mean, I love her work. I really should get a copy from amazon. I’ve looked at it from the library enough.
I remember when I was in Mexico and looking in to buying an embroidered woman’s peasant blouse (I never did find what I was looking for, I was pretty broke even for Mexico at the time) and my companion told me that the Mexican ladies loved it when gringa’s bought those blouses because the embroidery was a language. “Look at her buying a blouse that says she’s the mother of 8 children and she’s clearly only 20.” *laugh*
I love the little sun motifs in the blocks on this blouse and the tuplips. I’m not sure if it’s important that they are tulips or just flowers. I’ll have to dig into that.
Oooh, they are releasing it in paperback and taking pre-orders… It will only be $20. Woot!
Ooooo sweetness! The Goddess provides! I admit, I hug that book… and try not to drool on the pages. I managed to find a hardcover and it only has a few extra pictures than the paperback, but otherwise they are the same 😉
I agree with Sarah; what unevenness? It’s absolutely lovely and perfectly magical!