After professional practice and a meeting about degree shop postcards, I spent the rest of today in the stitch room working on my list of samples. These are all techniques and ideas that I am thinking about using in my final collection, but need to work on them further.

First I popped my dissolvable sample from yesterday in the sink and left it there while I got on with other bits. When I went back a few hours later I was so happy that they stayed intact!

They took a while to dry but after more time, I started to prepare a sample for the anemone ‘heads’ to go on.

Today I worked on the darker linen which I was using originally, because I am playing with the idea of using both this one and the paler one which I have been experimenting with more recently. I like both of these natural, muted colours, and one is thicker than the other, so will add a nice variety to my designs.

I appliqued the bottom of the anemones with a muted pink cotton, which fits nicely into my colour palette, with a black stitched outline. I think I have decided to use this technique in most, if not all, of my samples to achieve a cohesive collection, but also because I feel that the outlines capture my personal illustrative style really nicely. I then layered up the stitched tops, 2 on top of one another, and hand stitched them on top. I used only a couple of tiny stitches on each rather than going around the edge, in order to keep the tentacles a bit more 3D. I’m really happy with the outcome of these, and I think the technique, although time consuming, was worth it due to the character it adds.

I am undecided as to what to do with the seaweed ‘scribble’ made on the dissolvable.

Seaweed was one of the first things I thought of, researched and drew at the start of this project, but its almost been put on the back burner really and forgotten about. So today I appliqued some bladder wrack and toothed wrack in a mustard poly cotton and a green polyester, with a black stitched outline again.

I also added some hand embroidered marks on the top of one of the yellow samples (last photo above) in order to try to interpret  the lumps on the seaweed. I quite like this idea and I’m really happy with the outcome of these, especially the combination of these colours.

My mermaid’s purse motif was also something that I hadn’t really worked on in stitch, but now that I’ve developed the drawings a bit more I was happy to experiment.

First I appliqued them in a scrap of textured brown fabric, which worked well in my previous samples. I love the curled strands on each corner when embroidered.

I also did a sample with no applique, with the idea of this being used as a practical alternative, for example on a tea towel. These look really similar to my drawings, although I did stitch them free hand in order to keep the shape organic, and I’m really happy with the outcome.


I then started working on my oyster shell idea. I wasn’t very happy with the sample I created before with this motif, and it definitely needed working on. To begin with, I appliqued this upholstery fabric with stitching in colours which were true to life and complemented each other well. However I felt that there was something missing and they looked much too bland, and here was where I added a black stitched outline, which is much more coherent with all of my other sampling. The black also enables me to keep my illustrative style strong in my stitched work, rather than losing it after the drawing stage. I really like the effect of working into the fabric with lots of stitching first, rather than going straight in with a black outline, this adds depth to the piece.

There is also the addition of a pearlescent thread toward the base of these shells, which I feel is much more appropriate and natural than the silver that I had used previously.

I also added some barnacles to this sample, which really finished it off nicely and also linked it up a bit better with the rest of the collection.

I’m really happy with how much I achieved today. Tomorrow there is a freelancing careers event which I’ll definitely be going to, and then I think I’m going to spend the rest of the day sorting out my sketchbook, and then back in stitch.


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