Friday, 6 November 2020

Chapter 8. The nurses and fun portraying their uniforms through stitch

 This was going to be fun and I have looked forward to working on these!

Again I used a photograph as reference. I took a sheet of tissue paper to trace the image. I then took firstly snippets of red dyed calico and traced the sleeves / lower skirt hems and then bits of an old white linen tablecloth to represent the aprons [ this was no longer fit for use and rotten in places! It felt good to give it a new lease of life in this way!].  These were traced onto fusible web and ironed in place carefully onto an antique napkin  ensuring that they all lined up

With the sleeves and aprons ironed into place the tissue tracing was laid over the top taking care to line the image in place and secured in an embroidery hoop ready for stitching into place. I used black thread and free machine stitching to complete the image using an embroidery foot. 


   

 Stitching complete:



I'm really pleased with this and excited about the scalloped edges of the napkin as these will reflect the shapes of the oak leaves as the composition takes shape:


 I tried another with plain sleeves and apron but feel they are all equally characterful:




I love the original photograph of these two nurses and feel the stitched versions capture their friendship and support for each other.

Inspiration for this technique originally came from a workshop I attended with textile artist Rosie James who produces fabulous images with the threads left uncut. This suggests a lot of atmospheric movement and I have experimented with this below with the nurses and examples worked from the family photos in the first chapter.
But for the purposes of this current piece of work I've decided to take the threads to the back of the work as this seems more appropriate on this occasion:










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