Tuesday July 3rd 2012
Well I decided that I shouldn't pursue this project until I got some other things done, because I knew that the other things would not get done while I was pursuing this project. Last week I finally allowed myself to order some more ribbon. Yesterday I decided to do a mock up using a smocked ball.
I used DMC Perle #12 to smock a full step double chevron pattern on white on white fabric gathered onto a 2 1/2 inch ball. To save the time of smocking 2 balls I added gold beads on one half and white on the other.
Despite the fact that I used the same size ball as before, the addition of the smocked fabric made the ball seem too large for the flowers.
I dug around a bit and was surprised to discover that I had some 6 cm balls, which are slightly smaller than the 2.5 inch balls. I removed the smocking from the larger ball and installed it on a smaller ball.
The size was better but the smocking and beads is a bit too busy. I'll give it another go after the new ribbon arrives. For the next mock up I think I'll use a simpler fabric and maybe just smock a narrower band around the center of the ornament.
Wednesday July 5 2012
My new silk ribbon arrived today. The colours are not quite what I hoped they would be. The HDF BeCherished is similar to DMC 917 and I was hoping for something more like DMC 3803. Maybe with some overdying and/ or edge dying I can make it more what I was looking for.
I chose this 13 mm woven edge ribbon because I wasn't happy with the way that the 5/8 inch bias cut ribbon I frayed on the edges. However I'm a bit worried about the fragility of this ribbon. Just poking the needle in to make the gathering stitches causes it to separate. I'll have to be very gentle with it.
It is also makes very pouffy flowers and at first my flowers looked more like pompoms than pansies. I'll have to see if I can get flatter results, by making my ribbons shorter and maybe by making my stitches longer.
Monday July 9th 2012
On the weekend I made another smocked ball and played some more with my new ribbon.
I attempted to edge dye a length of ribbon and made another pansy with it. It didn't have the effect that I hoped it would have and it was fluffy enough to remind me that I wanted to try shorter lengths of ribbon. So I made a third pansy. For this one I used two 8 cm. long ribbons and one 18 cm long ribbon. It worked much better.
The photo below shows (left to right) the first flower, the edge dyed flower and the one made with the shorter pieces of ribbon.
I installed the three pansies on the new smocked ball.
I used DMC Pearlescent Effects thread to smock a half step double chevron pattern on this ball. I like the look of it but I'd prefer not to stitch multiple ornaments with a thread that drags through the fabric and requires a needle threader every time it slips out of the needle. Perhaps I should look for a fabric with a bit of sparkle and then I'll be able to use regular embroidery floss.
I also made two leaves out of the new ribbon I purchased. I like the colours more than I thought I would but I prefer the shape of the leaf I made from the 5/8 inch ribbon.
I had hoped that these hand dyed ribbons would have more colour variation than they do. Perhaps I should purchase a lighter hue of ribbon and use it for the front petals. (Which I would happily do if my StarTrek transporter would drop me somewhere where I could see the ribbon in person. Buying ribbon sight unseen is such a gamble.)
Tuesday July 10 2012
I smocked another ball today using a full step crossed diamond stitch pattern. For this project I prefer the "embroidery on the surface" look of the previous ball to the more textured look of this one. However, it was a worthwhile experiment because I discovered that if I use a larger needle I don't need to use a needle threader and the pearlescent thread doesn't drag as much.