Friday, October 3, 2014

The birdy details

So the first bird for Cersei's blue gown is basically done!


I spent an inordinately long time staring at this image of Cersei's bird embroidery trying to get colors, ideas and what to stitch when in my head, when I suddenly realized I was seeing something rather unexpected.


Look at the mottled center part of the red breast of the bird - what I see there is red velvet, not embroidery.  Specifically something that looks a lot like red leopard print velvet!  So appliqued to the center of my birds breast is a tiny piece of red velvet leopard print!

But I'll back up a bit and tell you my process.

First I found images of the birds online, this exact photo in fact.  One I blew up for reference, the others I shrank down until I felt they were the right size. Then I used a light box and traced the outlines of the different parts of the bird onto my silk organza with a sharp mechanical pencil.

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Next I stitched down the bit of velvet and a piece of aqua Italian mesh ribbon (cut open and stretched into the right shapes) to the bird.  The center of the velvet I wanted to show, but the mesh is there more to add body and provide color in case my stitches don't completely cover it.

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Then I started embroidering on top of the mesh and velvet.  I'd brought my ipad with me to the embroidery store and picked out threads I thought would match the original, mostly I'm just "drawing" with thread using rather large single stitches, other times I'm doing outlines or chain stitches.

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 I probably won't sew the feathers onto the bird until I've appliqued it to the gown.  I found the perfect source for the orange ones and am still poking around for the best ones for the tail.  I think too that Michele Carragher may have sewn feathers onto parts of the wings, a few areas look rather "fluffy" to me, but I think I'll pass on that, for this first one at least, or maybe add them later.  Although I do plan to go back over these with the silver striped embroidery thread in in the places you see it above I've gotten fir first bird basically finished.

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This took 3 hours
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This took an additional hour, and another hour finished it - 5 hours total

One kind of fun thing - having the Italian mesh as an under layer means that tiny bits of it shine though giving it a very subtle sparkle. I figure this first bird will be put down low since it's my first one and will probably be the worst of the bunch.  I just need to do two more left facing and 2 right facing birds then it's on to the dress!  :P


3 comments:

  1. You are so impressive! I love it! Can't wait to see more!
    You know that silver thread stuff that seems to be etching out the feathers on the wings? It's such a lovely thread. What do you plan to use for it?

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  2. Thanks! I couched down some very pale metallic gold embroidery thread. I suspect that Michele Carragher probably couched some sort of goldwork on hers. You can see it in my latest entry.

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