Here's how my embroidery experiment is going!
As mentioned before I have been only working on it when I've had spare time (watching t.v, waiting for things etc) and it's been really enjoyable passing the minutes with a needle and thread. The minutes fly by and there's something very calming and focused about working in this way.
After tracing my design onto some canvas I postioned it in an embroidery hoop and got stuck in (I think mine is called a flexi hoop in woodgrain and it's about 14cm high). I'm new to embroidery so was suprised to realise I knew more than one style of stitch. I think it's because I approached this work like I was painting a picture and thought about what shapes of stitch would suit what part of the picture: I used a chain stitch to outline the eye patch and a satin stitch to fill it in.
Then when I got home I traced the shape of the hair and collar onto separate bits of coloured material and used iron on interfacing to stick them in place. This was a bit fiddly as I didn't do it right the first time, but they are pretty well stuck now on a second attempt.
Then it was a case of outlining everything, but I wasn't happy with the way the collar turned out. I used a chain stitch for this but I thought it looked messy and not in keeping with the clean lines reminiscent of the tattoo style I want. It turns out I was doing it wrong anyway, so I unpicked it all and had to do a new collar as it had frayed the white material badly.
I'm currently using a chain stitch with a thicker thread count to outline the hair and I think it will work ok on the collar too (now I figured out how to do it right). I used a simple stem stitch to do the fine outlines on the features and neck which is my favourite stitch so far as it's the most like drawing, and I used acrylic paint to colour her cheeks and eyelid.
I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm really enjoying it so far!