The Glittering Nightcap – Comparisons

The pictures in this post link to some close-ups I find positively terrifying. It’s astonishing to think that not so long ago I could never have taken a shot like these without buying some pretty serious equipment. I spent some time picking my digicam, but there is absolutely nothing special about it, and yet…!

Even looking at the real thing it is hard to see details. The eye tends to be overwhelmed by the glitter – which is very useful if there are elements one would prefer others not noticed, but positively counter productive if the aim is to analyse the techniques.

I am trying to compare and assess the differences between the Detached Buttonhole Stitch with Return worked into Chain Stitch, which is what I did on the Crown of the Nightcap with the Bordered Detached Buttonhole Stitch with Return, which is what I used on the Brim.

In the case of the silk used for the leaves, one of the reasons the stitching on the crown appears loose and floppy compared with the stitching on the brim is that in the latter case I decided not to heather my threads.

I had the impression while I was stitching that the stitching on the Brim was ending up neater and tighter than the stitching on the Crown. Looking at these photos I still can’t decide whether I was right or not!

Maybe in some cases it is. Maybe when the whole thing is made up and I can get the Crown and the Brim in a single photograph, I might be able to come to a decision!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    It all looks frighteningly neat to me. The stitches seem a little smaller and denser on the brim. I don’t think that’s ‘better’ or ‘worse’ just a difference. I would imagine that you have become more comfortable and confident with the thread and the stitches over time, which is very natural, and have found the scale that suits you. But you also know that you can loosen up if you want a more relaxed effect, without the piece going saggy and baggy. A change of which might make a nice contrast between petals and leaves, for example.
    And I agree about the excellence of digital cameras – I often use my Fuji Finepix to see hair-fine details that my eyes can’t resolve any more. (I just wish I could teach it to see yellows more accurately.)

  2. Janice says:

    Yes, I agree with Sue. Looks like you have perhaps become more at ease with the stitches, but they all look very neat and very lovely, and slight differences are all part of working something by hand.

    I have never thought of using my camera as a tool for assessing the quality of my stitching. And in any case I’m probably quite kind on myself in this respect – whenever I take a close-up photo of my work and put it on my blog, I know that it’s being viewed at a much more enlarged version than what the eye will see in real life – either during stitching or afterwards when it’s just being enjoyed. That real life scale is good enough for me!

    The thing is – if the glittering nightcap is finished, and the form is almost finished… what will you do with yourself now? 🙂

  3. Anita says:

    I agree with both Sue and Janice. I like the denser versions on the brim than the other one.

  4. karen says:

    I love these pictures, like a dictionary of your beautiful work. Re the camera…I often notice things after I have taken pictures that I never noticed before and I have read that it has happened to others too.

  5. Carolyn says:

    I have to agree with the others I like the denser stitching. As to close up photos , I managed to get my family to buy me a macro lens for my Canon camera. I can almost get a single stitch into one frame but that is not what we look at when we have finished our piece. Wait until you have finished before passing judgement.

  6. Penny says:

    This is a wonderful technique for learning. My two cents worth would be that even if there is a little difference it matters not. Something made on a machine is also perfect — those made by our hands often reflect much more because of their slight differences. I would much prefer that.

  7. Terrie says:

    So detail and fine stitches, love the leaves veins.

  8. Lady Fi says:

    What beautiful work!

  9. Andy LW says:

    Just to put the cat among the pigeons – I love the carnation on the crown! It looks like a beautiful full-blown flower. However, the pansy on the brim gets my vote. Wonderful stitching!