Akhenaten – the next stage

BackStitch Details

BackStitch Details

Once I had stuffed the figure from the back, I began to add to the backstitch outline with, for want of a better term, internal outlines.

I realise that the detail of the crossed arms has given him a hollow chest, but as the embroidered details are added I will be able to adjust the padding, if necessary removing some of it. Adding the stitching is going to be interesting. Some of it will need to balance over the curve of the padding, and some of it I will need to tighten a little through the padding – for example, his carefully-carved belly button.

At this point, I had to pause for thought. When the idea first came to me, it was the pleated loincloth that I could visualise, but the rest of the piece had yet to come into focus. I went rummaging on the web for polychrome representations of Akhenaten, and rummaging in my stash of threads for inspiration. And then suddenly, that inspiration duly arrived….

Detached Up And Down Buttonhole Stitch With Return

Detached Up And Down Buttonhole Stitch With Return

I remembered the ornamental stitches of the Tudor Rose Project, and fished out the Gold Special Tambour and Gilt Sylke Twist. Akhenaten’s wig is sometimes represented as black, and sometimes as blue. Black can be a somewhat problematic colour, often too dominating or simply “killing” other colours, so I decided I would go for blue, and the Indico Blewe Gilt Sylke Twist looked like it would produce just the right effect. Using the Gold Special Tambour as the thread for the return of the Detached Up And Down Buttonhole Stitch With Return helps to give a little more emphasis to the glint of the gold in the Gilt Sylke Twist.

But it’s not a quick stitch. This is going to take a while….


  1. It is going to be beautiful. Gilt Sylke Twist is a lovely thread, worthy of this big project.

  2. Sue Jones says:

    Looks like you’re on the right track with that stitch. Detached stitches will go over curves and padding safely without losing the roundness. And the glittery gold is not too overwhelming.

  3. jenclair says:

    The dimensional aspect is great, and I like the way you are using the buttonhole stitch with such lovely thread.

  4. Sheryl says:

    Interesting work and idea to use the detached buttonhole stitch.

  5. Lady Fi says:

    It’s looking very good!

  6. Terrie says:

    Great look of textures with stitches. Making the cross arms is difficult I can imagine.

  7. Let it take time. I am sure you are on the right way. it’s a lovely blue colour.

  8. Better to take a while and obtain the result you want! Have a wonderful Christmas Christmas!

  9. Carolyn Foley says:

    This piece is slowly making it’s presence felt. Let it reveal what it wants to be. It is looking great.

  10. Karen says:

    you do like to set yourself a challenge don’t you….and you never fail to rise to it either.
    A vert Happy Christmas to you Rachel….

  11. Alex Hall says:

    Stitching through padding – how to make life more difficult?! The threads look gorgeous though and the glints of gold are very Egyptian.

  12. Slow and steady… 🙂 Hopefully the new year will bring more visuals of Akhenathen. I am beginning to think that you must have been an Egyptian in your previous birth 😉
    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Rachel . Have a wonderful year ahead,too 🙂

  13. Susan Nixon says:

    Maybe not quick, but it’s going to be so pretty. I hope you have plenty of time to stitch coming up. My book came and I’ve started it, in between the bazillion other things I have going on.