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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Initialled denim shorts

I wanted to embroider some denim shorts for my grandson - to replace the ones with the dragon that graces the background of my blog above, which no longer fit. I bought some quite soft black denim shorts - much easier to work if they are not stiff.

I decided to adapt something from the Dover book of Celtic designs that I reckon I have owned for at least 35 years.

There was no suitable initial, but a very clear drawing of the Winged Lion, evangelist symbol for St John, drawn from the original in the Book of Kells.

The Dover outline was crisp and clear. I managed to adapt this to a letter 'F', by reversing the image and manipulating the front legs and one wing.

I then traced it on to Solvi - not my favourite method, but the only way I could see to do it on dark denim.

I then went to Hettie's Patch and supplemented the threads I had with a range of lion colours. They had a new range of Cosmos stranded thread, with some really rich colours.

The Solvi worked fairly well.

I used mostly stem stitch but also tried out a double chain, some buttonhole bars and fly stitch to give texture to the wings.

 I added Ghiordes knots for the brush at the end of the tail for good measure.

The teeth and mouth gave me most trouble. Mine does not look as fierce as the original.

I realised I would need to explain a bit about winged lions, evangelist symbols and illuminated manuscripts, so I did a bit of online research, found a few photos and created a photo book that hopefully gives a bit of context.

I am pleased with the result and Fionn likes it too.


Anonymous said...

WOW! I always like reading your story about the item too.

Karyn said...

I love the jeans (what a shame they grow out of things!!). I think it is a great idea to make a book to go with it, what a great present for your grandson.
What will they do with the old jeans?

Jillian said...

I'm not sure yet about the old jeans. My daughter talked to me about making something like a bag with the embroidered bit. They have been worn to death and wouldn't be much use to the younger children. I'll let you know when it happens!