After much swearing, stabbing myself with a needle, and a lot of documentaries (the most recent batch included the siege of Malta in WW2, the history of the Tank Corps in the British Army, a brief history of mankind’s aesthetic and social relationship with gold-the-colour… all brought to me by the glory and wonder that is BBC4’s dedication to pouring completely useless information into my brain so that I never have to watch narrative television again), I finally got to the end of my embroidery project, if not the end of the whole shirt transformation project.
Having decided in a bout of “no, outside is an awful place” that I wasn’t going to get grey floss for the helmet, I finally managed to thread a decent-sized needle with the metallic floss, which you will recall from the last post about this is my bête noire (along with symmetry) and did the details in gold and filled the rest in with black floss. This seems like a perfectly acceptable (if swanky) approach to decorative armour, even if the shirt fabric was feeling the strain so much that it was turning into fluff by the time I’d finished poking holes in it. The metallic edging on the shield was an innovation chiefly derived from me trying to do something with my hands while I made up my mind about the helmet.
The angel’s body I filled in slightly more quickly and thickly than the legs and face, by doubling up the machine thread, and the lettering on the scroll had to be tidied up by using more gold single fibres to tie back pieces of itself that were overlapping the letters.
The main fears (that it would prove too heavy and go through the fabric altogether, that I’d positioned it in the wrong place, and that it was going to be such a shambles that I’d ruined the shirt) proved unfounded, but the bloody thing does have a nice ring of dirt around it from my hands at the edge of the embroidery ring, so that’s going to need more attention than just the damp cloth I’ve given it above to remove the creases.
The next step is BEADING and BLOODY STRIPES down the back, just because. And because I have rewrites to avoid doing.