More Details on the Peacock Skirt
Do you remember my Peacock Skirt? Megan of Elmsley Rose asked for some more close ups of the embroidery, and while I have been remodelling it (for a slightly less sylph-like waistline – I was a skinny teenager!) I took the opportunity to take some.
This, therefore, is a close up of the branch the peacock is standing on. I simply followed the instructions here, using coral stitch for the dark grey elements of the branch and scroll stitch for the pale yellow. I think that now if I were do something like this again, I would spend a bit of time tweaking the colours a little more, because I’m not sure I like having the peacock’s legs the same colour as the highlight on the branch!
You can see, too, that I struggled somewhat with tension and the fabric is a little puckered. This seems not to matter when I’m wearing the skirt – people still admire it!
The instructions for the Peacock’s back said to work the Pekinese Stitch fairly loosely to create a slight variation on colour and texture. Since the embroidery was worked in two strands of stranded cotton, that too contributes to a slightly “fluffy” appearance. The satin stitch sections around where the wing should be are in slightly different shades of grey, and worked at slightly different angles, again to produce varying tones and textures.
Looking at this close up now, I think the rows of stem stitch used for some sections of the body represent the feathers of the bird more successfully (although, again, the design doesn’t attempt a photo-realistic representation) than the sections of satin stitch or pekinese stitch. I do admit, however, that it was the chance to work pekinese stitch that attracted me to the design!
The centres of the flowers were worked using a Spiders Web Wheel. The instructions specified working as much thread into the stitch as possible to obtain a raised and highly textured effect. This contrasts very well with the long and short stitch flowers and the stem stitches on the peacock’s tail.
Again, coming back to these pieces years after stitching them, it’s fascinating to look at surprising details. The gold and russet leaves look as though they’ve been padded, but I’m quite sure they weren’t. I remember doing padded satin stitch for the first time quite recently and wishing I’d known about it earlier!