Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From Japanese to Jeans...

It's taking me a little while to get back in the groove, but today I finally feel like I'm getting there. Last Saturday, I returned to Japanese embroidery after quite a long break and attended class for the first time since Mom died. It felt good to be there and to be re-immersed in my work.

I'm working on finishing "Gracie". This is a piece I've been working on for far too long and it's time to just get her completed so she can join her other friends on my wall. This is Phase VI of ten phases in my study of Japanese Embroidery called Eternal Grace but many of us refer to her as just "Gracie". I think she's quite lovely and a pleasure to stitch.

Today, I am stitching all of the knots that go over the metal thread "grid" that I laid on the blue foundation silk. This makes the undergarment of the kimono look tufted.

My goal for 2009 is to stitch 10 hours of Japanese embroidery per week or 40 hours/month. My teacher believes that I will probably be able to finish Gracie by class time next month if I stick to that schedule. So far, so good.

I had lots of questions about how to go about making a pair of jeans so I posted some more detailed pictures here today. Hopefully, this will answer your questions but feel free to email me if you have any more.

First, take your pair of jeans and remove the seam on the bottom of the pants....

Unfold the seam and iron in place. You can see that you will get at least one more inch to the hem of your jeans when removing this seam. Next, you remove the seam on the outside leg of the pants, NOT the inseam.

I remove the seam up to and no more than 1/3 up the thigh of the leg. That way, you won't have a bulky seam sticking out where the bulky part of your thigh is.... Not that any of you have bulky thighs...

Lastly, when you open up the leg of the jeans, it gives you a flat space on which to sew your fabrics.

I sew on the fabrics using a straight stitch which leaves a nice raggy effect on the patches when the jeans are washed. If you don't like that look, you can always zig-zag the pieces around the edges of the fabric which will limit the fraying.

Have a beautiful day!


Judy S. said...

Gracie is just beautiful, Susan. Question about the pants: it looks like you resew the leg seam after the embellishing? Have you ever seen the long jeans skirt where you open up the inner seam and add fabric to that spot, in a upsidedown V?

Vicki W said...

Your Japanese embroidery is beautiful!

Barbara C said...

Your embroidery is lovely. It will be quite an accomplishment to finish her.

I like that the embellishment is on the bottom part of the leg. It's a much more wearable look. I may try opening mine from the inside seam so that I can do continuous design over the outside seam. Maybe there's some point to the seam choice that I don't get yet.

Debra said...

Just gorgeous embroidery work on Gracie! She will be a treasured piece for sure.

coral-seas said...

Welcome back, Gracie, it is so nice to have you back where you belong :)

She's looking swell, Susan.

It was Gracie who lead me to your blog, when I was first searching out fellow Japanese Embroiderers. I am grateful to her for that.

I love the colours you have chosen. Thank you for pointing out the tufting on the under garment, I had never noticed that before.

Welcome back to JE Susan, I hope you find some solace in your work.


Penny said...

Your embroidery is incredibly beautiful!!

Elizabeth said...

I have just come to know you through Robin Atkin's latest Blog post!! You and your friend Angela are the subjects of that post! I live in VA and I am just getting involved in Bead Embroidery. I have just posted my first project on my blog. I have also just read your post and seen your pictures of Returning Home. What an amazing written tribute to your Mom!! The piece is beautiful as well, but the love for your Mom that comes through in your words outshines the art- the love shines through it , I should say!!
I also love what you have done with the pants for your niece!! Now if I only had a nice little bottom and beautiful legs like hers.... SIGH!! I might just have to do a new pair for myself anyway!!!
Love the photos of all of your neices and son at tea- Jack is a real trooper!! Great to MEET you!

Mary Timme said...

I'd never make it with Japanese embroidery! But my goodness how beautiful!

The pants are very western in theme aren't they?

Wanda said...

Wow....RESPECT!!! Japanese Embroidery. And it is so beautiful and looks perfect! I was told at an EGA national seminar years ago that I would probably never be able to to Japanese embroidery, that it was too detailed and difficult. Guess no one ever told you that....I'm so glad that no one ever did! You are amazing and your work is absolutely wonderful. I haven't had much time recently to catch up on my blogs but I always look at yours!

TattingChic said...

Gracie is lovely! You are one talented embroiderer! THat is accomplished work there! Thanks for sharing.

Mr X Stitch said...

What a beautiful piece of work!
I come from a cross stitch background and am in awe of high quality embroidery like this.
It would look great as a standalone piece of work, let alone stitched onto a pair of jeans!
I am in awe.

One Crabapple said...

oh you smarty pants ! ooops . sorry , no pun intended....

HEY thank you for inspiration AGAIN AND AGAIN here !

I wish I was home to split some jeans up the side and work RIGHT NOW !

Your embroidery is amazing and I am in awe....

Love, S.

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