Reverse applique using hand dyed linen and cotton fabric. Tiny little stitches, cutting ever so carefully so as not to cut the cotton or the stitching. Saving all the little leaf shaped scraps. You cannot do this type of work for hours on end, as I did for the Locovore dress, if you don’t love it. And I do love it. This attention to detail is what I love to do. Creating a fabric from which to make a sculpture is what I’ve wanted to be doing.
The pattern is a simple one by Anne Dyer that I had drawn in my sketchbook and then modified (quite a bit). But the simplicity of the pattern allows the fabric to shine.
I traced the pattern onto the linen then sketched out where I wanted the applique to be. I stitched around my pencil marks, then cut out using the marks as a guide. I left the knots on top, because I like the effect. I then stitched most of the cut out pieces onto blank parts of the birds body, again leaving the knots on top, it is hard to see them because for the most part they are under the wings. For the wings and tail, I back the pieces with the same cotton fabric as used in the underlay.
Bird legs are my nemesis, I know how to make them but it takes forever to work myself up to them then get the wire twisted just right. I’m getting better but I swear it takes me as long to make the legs as it does to make the rest of the bird. But she’s done and I love her. I’m keeping her. I never say that – when a piece is done, it’s done and it can leave now… but not this one. She’s mine.