Thursday, August 24, 2017

Feather in my cap!

Today I'm focusing on Bonnie's beautiful chapeau. The movie costume was made of velvet (which I never understood, I mean they're in Georgia) so that's what I'm using, Petite Very Velvet from Rainbow Gallery in numbers V664, V634  and V660 which are the perfect hues for this very famous outfit. I usually use Very Velvet very sparingly as it often appears heavy but for this piece I am probably going to use it in two large areas which will be a first for me, but the subject matters call for it and thankfully the areas are in opposite corners so they will balance out the heaviness within the piece. 

Today I'm going to concentrate on her hat. I find it helps to start with an inspirational photo and I used this one below.

I started with basketweaving the deepest blue (V664) which is the shadow on the bottom and then backstitched to outline the edge. I have been dying to use some ribbon lately and this gorgeous Planet Earth Silk Ribbon fit the bill perfectly. It is 7mm and the color is called Victoria (I would have named it Bonnie but what do I know?!). For me Ribbon often involves a bit of futzing (yes that's a technical term) and I tried to balance laying the angled satin stitches and getting some pretty pleats. This color is an overdyed so that really helps create depth. Using the medium blue, V634, I then stitched diagonal mosaic in the left hand blue portion of the hat.

Now how to tackle those feathers? I knew I wanted to use this beautiful Access Commodities Wire Check Purl #5 in Melon, MET 1607. I'm going to warn you, it's a "slippery little varmint" as Bonnie's mother would probably call it. If you don't have the patience to deal with purl, I would suggest memory wire as a suitable substitute, but like Ms. Scarlett, I'm always up for a challenge so oh yeah, I went there! 

I thought of curse words I haven't thought of in years because you have to treat this product delicately, with kid gloves. You can slightly stretch it to make it less springy or even purposely over stretch it (and twist another thread into it) if that's the look you want but once you do so there's no going back. You can use a matching thread that you have run through beeswax to couch it but I used The Collection Designs' clear beading thread because it's one of my favorite products. Once you have this invisible/clear beading thread in your stash you will find tons of uses for it and at a generous 100 yards per spool, it lasts a very long time-- I'll be using this again on this piece, I'm sure. So I cut the purl to length in mini-sections and went through and applied it like a very long bead and then strategically couched it down to manipulate it into place dividing the feathers into sections. If you have a very long piece you want to attach, you could always try using those bullion needles we talked about last time. "WARNING WILL ROBINSON," watch your couching tension, one swift, too-forceful tug and you'll crimp/deny the wire and ruin the purl beyond repair. Just take me on my word on this... Full confession: a decent amount of purl ended up in the trash... I don't anticipate using purl again on this piece but I do intend to practice using this product-/like Bonnie practiced her pony jumps-let's hope I have less tragic of an outcome.  Here is a photo of the purl, before I started with the Fuzzy Stuff.

After that, I went back and did long directional stitches, random long and short, using Rainbow Gallery's Fuzzy Stuff FZ13. You may notice there are two colors painted in the feathers. I decided to use the painted lighter color to help me with placement location of the purl but I only used one color Fuzzy Stuff because between the fuzz which also includes a little shine/sparkle and the metal purl, there is a lot going on already, no need to further gild the lily. Using a clean tiny comb (brand new, I save this one just for needlepoint) which was originally designed to separate lashes after you apply mascara, I did a little fluff job. I normally use a wire nap brush for fluffing turkey work and the like, but did I mention the purl is as delicate as dew on a magnolia?? I think I did, so I dared not catch it on the purl so I went with something I can better control. Sometimes restraint is most efficient in the long run. And below is the result.

Next time I'll be working on Bonnie's outfit. My mind is racing with ideas for that lace....and what to do for those teeny, tiny buttons??? Until next time, I'm gone with the wind.