Posts Tagged ‘bonded nylon organza’

Hand Stitched Raw Edge Applique

Sunday, November 15th, 2020

Following on from my previous post on sampling breakthroughs, another bit of progress relates to the applique of leather, which can be tough to sew through; but I do want to use leather shapes in the large work I’m just starting.   About 10+ years ago I made a number of pieces in the Tracks Series in which I hand basted leather shapes from the reverse side, catching part way into the layer of leather, so though attached, the stitches were not seen from the front.  It was hard work then, and my hands are a bit arthritic now, so I wouldn’t dream of doing what I did back then.

Left: gold leather with various sewing machine marks and patterns left with an unthreaded bluntish needle, producing a linear surface texture  Right: these leather shapes are all hand stitched into the reverse side of the leather from behind, so that no stitches are visible from the front.

I love french knots, especially stemmed ones, and here are a couple of examples: one from earlier this year as a Stitch Club workshop project (Haf Weighton) and the other from 2006, Timetracks 2.   Considering I was already having hand problems, finding leather becoming harder to work with, I can only wonder that I didn’t think of this before.  But now I’m concentrating far more than I ever did on hand stitch, so perhaps it’s not so surprising after all.

L – a get-well message medallion with stemmed french knots border which I didn’t realise until later looks very COVID themed ­čÖé     R – detail of gold leather appliqued by stemmed frenchknots in very fine thread.

What I realised yesterday:

  • that I can machine applique the leather shapes I want on this piece using a long/basting stitch or whatever else I choose by way of stitch pattern
  • I can then sew the stemmed french knots, straight stitches or even a bead, using the holes in the stitching which will be removed when that’s all done
  • and voila! a hand appliqued leather shape! (left, below)


L- appliqued scrap leather – top 3 french knots, middle 2 straight stitches bottom 3 stemmed french knots and the last 3 holes left vacant in the leather after the machine stitched were removed.       R- nylon organza+MistyFuse with stitched edging possiblities.

I think the bonded nylon organza will be good for the ghostly figures I have in mind – the edges are oversewn with gold here, but something in a less brassy gold, or silver-grey metallic might be more appropriate – back to a little more sample making.

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