Midnight Garden - Jacket - Part XXIV
I Hear Crickets!
I say this once in a while to my classes when I've asked a question and they all just stare blankly at me as if I had green skin and spoken in Martian. Today, however, the crickets are singing a happy song because they're going to be appliquéd into whatever place I chose among the flowers on the jacket. Here's how I made the crickets.
First, I chose the size of cricket that would look appropriately proportioned to the flowers. I took my original drawing and reduced and enlarged it on the photocopier to get many sizes. In the end I chose a cricket that had been reduced to 75%.
For this type of applique, I machine embroider or satin stitch a design onto several layers of tulle. To even be able to stitch on the tulle, I use a stabilizer made by Sulky called Solvy. It will dissolve in water, so that when I am done with the stitching, I can get rid of the stabilizer by rinsing the whole piece. Solvy is also clear, which make it ideal for being able to trace the stitching lines from the original artwork with a fine point Sharpie marker. You can see the cricket partially traced below.
Once the artwork is traced, I layer the traced piece of Solvy, several layers of tulle (silver in this case) and another layer of Solvy and pin the whole thing together. This whole unit is then taken to the machine and the design is stitched.
Here's what the cricket looks like after stitching. This one is only a sample. You can see that off to the side I've tried out various stitch widths and tensions to determine what will work best for this project. I also tried out some various types of stitching within the cricket. I decided that the stitching is too dense and obscures what the object really is. Notice that there are some notes written in red.
Once the stitching is complete, the piece is rinsed in water to remove the stabilizer and allowed to dry. I then trim all the excess tulle from around the appliqué and it is ready to be attached where ever I desire. I included a few objects in this last photo so that you can see the scale of the cricket. He's not very big, but will add an interesting touch to the flowers.
Q/A: After seeing my daughter winter church wardrobe capsule, Dina wanted to know, "Do you let your daughter pick fabrics or yourself?" I do let my daughter pick out the fabrics and patterns within reason. I only have one rule concerning her clothes and that is that they must be modest. You can dress with the current fashion and not be immodest! She and I are not the same person, therefore we both have our individual tastes. She likes many colors and embellishments that I wouldn't pick for myself (like pink!) and I like a lot of cute trendy styles she doesn't. What I try to do is let her chose for herself and express her own personality, within the limits of modesty.
Parting Shot: Ginormous Paisleys! This is one of my latest treasures from eBay. It is a piece of vintage fabric that is about 4 yards long and has some of the largest paisleys I've ever seen. I was attracted to it by the bright colors! That is an 18" ruler in the photograph ! I'm not sure what I'd use this for, but is is beautiful. The scale might be a bit much, and obviously I won't be able to cut it into something with a lot of little pieces.