dia de los muertos embroidery transfers from sublime stitching

Dear Mexico:

Sorry about appropriating your culture. But it’s really kind of your fault for being so awesome.

Love,
Me

This is the Dia de los Muertos transfer from Sublime Stitching. I have this old linen dress that I bought second-hand for like $5 and only wear on the weekends anyway, so I figured it would be no big loss if I totally screwed it up, but I’m very happy with how it came out. It’s hard to tell in the photo, probably because the flash washed it out somewhat, but the white floss for the skulls actually stands out quite nicely from the color of the dress. I took this photo literally seconds after finishing, so there are still wrinkles and marks from the hoop and stuff. I’ll clean it later.

I used 4 strands of DMC embroidery floss. I chose bright colors (using my prayer card of La Virgen de Guadalupe as a model for her colors) and predominantly used the split stitch — it seemed to fit the simple lines of the design. The exceptions are the bits of satin stitch on the sugar skulls, the red French knots around the pink spirals, and the “roses” on Mary’s cloak, which are actually whipped spider webs, a favorite stitch of mine that I wish I had more occasion to use. Oh, and I used gold seed beads to embellish the “aura” around Mary. I would have preferred French knots, and I did try that, but metallic thread is very stiff and rough; it tends to get bound up and tangled when the tail is only halfway through the knot.

My only complaint is that the lines of the transfer are a hair thicker than they need to be and in a few spots bleed around the edges of the stitching. This probably could have been avoided by using more strands of floss, but I don’t really like working with more than four — I find it starts getting too bulky-looking and hard to work with. Still, it’s only noticeable close up, and for what’s essentially a play dress, I can live with it. (I recently bought the Embroidered Effects book from the same company, and am happy to report that the transfers in that one have much thinner lines.)

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