Charting a new design is the easy part I find. It is the breaking down of the why and how you come to decide on a project that takes the time. This Kogin project will be a teaching class for 2020. It's name will be "From Little seeds". So, not only do I have to design the project I have think out why it will act as a teaching vehicle and what is the best way to present it so that students learn the techniques and enjoy the experience. Thinking about our thinking (metacognition) is a really important step when you are trying to impart knowledge, but it takes time and effort.
I have choosen this name because nearly all of the patterns seen on the antique clothing actually began with a small pattern. One pattern is even called 'rice seed'. The class will begin by stitching this basic design. But there isn't any point in just stitching the design and not using it on some article and what that article might be? My first thought was a scizzor keeper which in turn made me think of how I could use the bigger design, maybe a needle book and the full design a sewing bag? All good possibilities that embroiderers like to make.
I find it helpful to keep a record of everything I do on each project so that I can look back at my process. As you can see below, I made the pattern even smaller than I first thought because as a scizzor keeper it was 'clunky'.
This then meant I had to make a prototype. Stitching the pattern was easy. It is the finishing that causes the headaches and it is the finish the makes or breaks to final result. As I have said before hemp is a difficult fabric to work with. It frays like made, hates bending and is bulky. This little keeper is about 1" square. I tried gluing it over the template I had cut. Hopeless. Then I decided to lace it over the cardboard template. Not bad.
But two layers of this would be terrible. Solution. Take a piece of folded fabric and stitch this over the back of the hemp piece. This seemed to work well enough. But I had forgotten about the tassel and the cord! I should have made these first. Then the edges looked rough, I stitched the edges again with a red contrast thread in Van Dyke stitch. Good result but it needs to be refined.
I think the solution is to start again. Mount both the hemp and backing fabric over separate pieces of board. Make the tassel and cord in advance and sandwich between each of the pieces then join the two together. I only used 3 strand of thread for the Van Dyke stitch I might need to make this 4 threads.
This has taken 2 days so far. It took me ages to get my mind back into Kogin stitching mode. (i.e. calm and considered) Might be a couple more days before I finish the next one.