Are you ready for another fabulous destination on our Threadventure? Terrific! Hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and we’ll take our magical virtual vacation tour bus to our next stop – Los Angeles! Better put on your comfy clothes – there’s soooo much to see and do in La La Land! From palm trees and sandy beaches in Venice to star gazing and shopping on Rodeo Drive…
And here we are! (WOW…that was quick!) 😉
Situated in a large geographic basin, Los Angeles is bounded on one side by the Pacific Ocean and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other. Its Mediterranean climate has beckoned millions of people to the area, making Los Angeles the second largest city in the United States. And, of course, there’s Hollywood…
Over inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group, I asked you to guess what we’ll be exploring in Los Angeles.
There’s really so much we could delve into, but if you guessed fashion or clothes then CONGRATULATIONS! You nailed it! 😉
The diversity of culture in Los Angeles, coupled with the laid-back lifestyle, serves as inspiration for choosing the best stitches and threads for casual clothes that you may find on your needlepoint projects like the one in the picture below by Sandra Gilmore of Once in a Blue Moon Designs.
I love to be comfortable in my clothes, don’t you? There’s nothing worse than feeling smothered by tight-fitting garments made of itchy material. UGH!
Give me billowy cotton dresses and squishy soft sweaters any day. And what a kick those cozy clothes can be to stitch, too!
It’s a medium size stitch, so you’ll need a fair amount of space to establish the pattern. Damask stitch adds subtle texture and is particularly effective when you use two different types of thread, like lustrous silk and fuzzy wool or cushy cotton and a sparkly novelty.
It’s a true diagonal stitch and is really quite easy to execute, once you understand how it’s structured. Long stitches are worked first, then short stitches fill in the spaces to complete the pattern. Follow the diagram below and you’ll be golden!
Alpaca 18 is a 100% alpaca thread that is comparable in size to Silk and Cream. It works best on 14 – 18 mesh needlepoint canvas. There are 17 natural (i.e., un-dyed) colors of Alpaca 18 and each card holds 12 yards. It’s an incredibly soft thread, so use shorter pieces (16″). And remember to move your needle along the length of the thread as you stitch to keep the eye of your needle from damaging it.
Rainbow Angora is a luxuriously fuzzy yarn that you can gently brush out (after stitching) to make even fuzzier. It works best on 13 – 16 mesh needlepoint canvas, but can be used for long stitches on 14 – 18 mesh canvas.
There are 19 basic colors of Rainbow Angora, so this thread is terrific for animal fur, beards, hair and clothing! Each card has 7 yards. Use short pieces (no longer than 15″) and pull it gently through the canvas, since it’s prone to breaking.
Use the stabbing method to stitch – come straight up through the canvas and take your needle to the back straight down through the canvas – being careful not to drag your thread along the surface or pull it at an angle. If you follow these tips, you shouldn’t have any trouble with these super-soft threads. 🙂
Kalem stitch is another lovely choice for clothes. It mimics the stockinette stitch in knitting and is especially good for men’s garments. This is a small stitch, so it’s great for any size space.
One thing to make note of is that tiny little upright stitch at the top and bottom of each vertical row. It helps you “travel” your thread to the correct starting place so that you’re ready to work the next row of stitches – and it helps keep your stitch tension consistent. Don’t leave it out. 🙂
Helene is part of Rainbow Gallery’s Backgrounds collection. It’s a non-divisible 100% silk thread that you can use on 13 – 18 mesh needlepoint canvas. Use 1 strand on 18 mesh and 2 strands on 13 mesh – and use pieces no longer than 16″ to prevent damaging the sheen on the thread.
Helene only comes in two colors – natural and black – but it’s a classic choice for men’s clothing, as well as for backgrounds on your needlepoint projects. Each card holds a generous 20 yards, so it’s a good value, too.
Did you know that Los Angeles only has about 35 rainy days every year? That means there’s plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors – whether you spend the afternoon in Griffith Park or head to one of the many golf courses for a round or two.
Plaid stitch isn’t hard to execute, however, it involves a couple of steps. It’s a lot easier to understand when you can see it broken down, so there are two diagrams below. The plaid I’m sharing here is a 3 row x 3 row two color plaid pattern.
Notice how you’re skipping every other canvas intersection? There’s a reason for that – and we’ll get to it in a minute. But before we go any further, I want to give you a couple of definitions.
In needlepoint, a “clean” hole is a hole in which no thread (or stitch) is currently resting. And a “dirty” hole, in contrast, is a hole in which a thread (or stitch) has already been placed. Make sense? Great!
Now, usually, you want to come up in a clean hole and go down in a dirty hole, but this stitch is an exception. Every other row will require that you come up in a dirty hole and go down in a clean hole. Honest – it’ll be fine. Just continue working the rows on your canvas following the diagram for step 1.
After you stitch a few rows, flip your canvas over to see if the front and back look the same. If they do, you’re right as rain!
you’re going to have to turn your canvas 90 degrees. Huh?! Yep… you read that right.
Turn your canvas sideways, so that the horizontal rows you just stitched now have a vertical orientation. I know it’s awkward, but just trust me… it’s really going to work.
Fill in the spaces, working back and forth across the row just like you did in step 1. (I’m almost certain this goes without saying, but make sure that all your tent stitches have the same slant.)
When you finish filling in the rows in step 2, flip your canvas over again and look at the back. It should look exactly like the front – and if it does, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
You can create your very own custom plaids following the steps we used here. As I mentioned earlier, this plaid is a 3 row x 3 row two color plaid pattern.
Use photographs of plaids for inspiration and adjust the number of rows and colors to suit your taste. Your imagination is your only limitation!
Rainbow Persian is making an encore appearance today. You can read more about it on our visit to New Orleans.
And be sure to check out my weekly Facebook Live tours of each destination inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group to get some more tips and helpful hints. (They’re recorded and uploaded there for your convenience, in case you miss the live broadcast. 😉)
like you see in the picture below.
Each Dutch stitch unit has three steps/stitches, so it takes a little longer to work this pattern, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Use an over-dyed thread for a festive look or keep your color scheme monochromatic to convey timeless elegance.
This stitch creates a dense pattern, so be sure the space you choose to use it is large enough to handle the texture. It’s not a difficult stitch, but I don’t recommend it for beginning stitchers since there are other options (like upright cross) that are easier to execute.
Encore! is a beautiful over-dyed thread from our friends at Rainbow Gallery. This is not its first appearance on our Threadventure, so you can click here to learn more about it.
(HINT:There are also some handy tips for using over-dyed threads on our visit to Seaside that you’ll definitely want to check out!)
It’s a splendid option for adding texture to the stylish clothes on your needlepoint projects and it’s really fun to work. It’s a medium size stitch, so you’ll need enough space to establish the pattern.
There are a lot of different options for this stitch. Work the diagonal stitches in one color of thread and the vertical stitches in another color of thread, or keep everything one color and switch up the textures to create visual interest.
(And you could also work this stitch using metallic threads and beads for a dressier look. It would be a smashing choice for costumes and elegant clothing.)
Splendor is Rainbow Gallery’s stranded silk embroidery thread. I’m using it to work the diagonal stitches in this pattern. You can read more about it here since this is not its first appearance on our Threadventure.
Fuzzy Stuff is a funky novelty thread that’s both fuzzy and sparkly. It’s synthetic – 60% polyamide/40% viscose – and comes in 39 amazing hues. There are several good animal colors, as well as some very exotic colors that are great for outlandish garments. Each card has 15 yards.
Use it on 14 – 18 mesh needlepoint canvas “as is” directly off the card. Use 2 strands for 14 mesh and 1 strand for 18 mesh. I recommend using short lengths, too, since it’s a wee bit on the fragile side.
It’s been so much fun to share these charming stitches for clothes with you.
Now, let’s hop on board the Serendipity Express and hit the road to our next Threadventure destination…
Before you go, be sure and tell me what you think we’ll be exploring in Big Sur. (And please don’t be shy…I really do ❤️ hearing from you and I read every single comment. Pinky promise!!!)
Leave your thoughts down below in the comments box and I’ll enter your name into a drawing for a FREE 6-month membership in The Stitcher’s Club, too. Not sure what The Stitcher’s Club is? Click here to find out more. 🙂
Until next time, happy stitching!
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