Midnight Garden - Jacket - Part XXXIII
Those Pesky Crickets!
Thank you for for the encouraging and lovely comments on the blouse, leopard top and skirt! It is wonderful to know people who put the same amount of effort into their own projects and who understand the value of what others do.
When I finally got around to putting the original machine embroidered crickets onto the jacket, I took a good look at the ones I had pinned on and decided that they weren't quite right for this project. I even tried enhancing them with beads, but to no avail. I had to start over with them. Never fear though, the machine embroidered ones might appear in special edition of this project - to be announced later.
The question then was, "How do I make the crickets so that they fit into their surroundings but be as elegant as I've envisioned?" Making a cricket elegant isn't easy. Fortunately, I had two good inspirations. First, was part of the letter that was sent to me by Anne when she sent me the postcards from the V&A. She mentioned that during her visit, there was a demonstration of hand embroidery that used a stabilizer to show the embroidery lines and was removed later. The second inspiration was Kenneth King's book, Designer Bead Embroidery, which shows various beaded insects along with flowers and other embellishments.
I decided to take my original artwork and make a beaded applique and then stitch the appliqués into place on the garments. Kenneth King's book also gives instructions for this type of bead work. Here's what I did:
To prepare for the beading, I traced my artwork onto a piece of Sulky Solvy stabilizer. It is clear and can be easily seen under the silver crystal organza that I used. It also dissolves in water. This is basically the same first step that I did when I embroidered them by machine. I also put the work in a hoop.
Once I stitched the cricket in beads, it was removed from the hoop and rinsed under water to remove the stabilizer. The stitching was basically made up as I went. I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like, and once I worked everything out on a test cricket, I kept making the cricket
Once dry, it was placed back into the hoop and glue was applied all around the edges of the beading on the back. Due to the small size, most of the back of the cricket ended up with glue on it. I used Jewel-It by Aleene's, but any white glue will do, except for the newer varieties that wash out with water.
After the glue was dry, I used very sharp scissors to cut out the cricket. The appliqué is now ready to be stitched into place using small stitches and matching thread.
Here's a finished appliqué, along with a ruler in inches so that you can see the actually scale of this insect:
Parting Shots: January Thaw! So much for all the snow we had over Christmas. It's been very warm this week - in the 40's and our snow is leaving! We can actually *see* the mailbox.