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Making a banner

Hi, all! I'm not an SCA member (I would love to be, but the nearest chapter is more than a thousand miles away...) but I thought you would be the best people to ask about this project!

I've conceived the desire to make a replica of the banner of Gil-galad (as designed for the Lord of the Rings films), but I basically have no idea where to start. My experience with fiber arts is limited to a few cross-stitch projects; I have no experience with other embroidery stitches or applique. So, I have no idea what techniques I should use.

I'm most worried about the curling tendrils (applique? embroidery? if embroidery, what stitch?) but any advice you could give me on making any part would be fantastic and much appreciated. I know I'll have to practice before I can tackle the project itself, but first I need to know what to practice!

Thanks in advance. :)



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 11th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
I'd be aiming for something around the size of the banner in the photo--it looks to be around five feet long?--or maybe a little smaller. And I'd just be hanging it on my wall.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 11th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
I really do have my heart set on embroidering it. XD I think I should be okay in terms of the amount of work; I generally have large amounts of patience for fiddly work in craft projects.

It wouldn't be very floaty anyway; I already own the blue fabric I want to use and it's pretty heavy. But a floaty banner using silk and dyes sounds like a very cool idea for another time! :D

Thanks for the idea of chainstitching; I'll look into that!
Jun. 11th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
That doesn't say "floaty banner" to me -- it's a standard, and is supposed to hang down.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 11th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
A concept sketch does exist for a horizontal floaty banner for Gil-galad (visible at :45 here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FWR-88AyX8). That would be a an awesome, if complicated, way for me to try out your suggested technique of silk painting. :D
Jun. 11th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
For the curling lines, I would suggest you look into couching. It's a technique whereby you stitch a cord down to the ground fabric. I'd use satin stitch for the rest. The secret is not to pull the stitches too tightly, to avoid puckering the fabric, for both techniques.

This is an awesome online stitch dictionary for embroidery: http://inaminuteago.com/stitchindex.html

Oh, and for the lighter blue, if you can get it, try an iron-on stabilizer. In the US we have Heat n Bond; I don't know what you might have access to in your country. I'd do the stitching on it first, then iron it down, then couch around it.

(yeah, I'm editing again) Push comes to shove, you could always paint it with acrylic paint, then set it with a medium hot iron, or even throw it in the dryer.

Edited at 2011-06-11 06:43 pm (UTC)
Jun. 11th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the advice; I'll look into couching then! One question, though: how would I handle the parts where it comes to a pointed tip?

Satin stitch sounds good; and I have a tiny bit of experience with it so it's probably a good bet!

Thanks for the tip about the iron-on stabilizer; I hadn't even thought of that, but now that you say it I have seen some sort of no-sew adhesive in local stores!
Jun. 11th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
You can applique without it, but it's the best way to keep things from skidding.

As for the pointed tips... practice. There's nothing that says the cord has to be a) single strand or b) continuous. Use your imagination!
Jun. 11th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Oooooh. I think I can feel my imagination creaking to life! Thanks! :D I must go experiment some...
Jun. 11th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
And just so you'll know -- you don't have to be in the proximity of a local group to join the SCA. Just sayin ... Granted 1000 miles is a bit much, but you can play with us over the interwebz and stuff.

and if you're couching, you could couch a number of threads for the thicker parts -- and when you get to the tips, you're down to one thread. If you're using something like DMC pearl cotton, then you scan switch over to regular embroidery floss for the points too.
Jun. 11th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the tips on how to couch the...well, the tips! ;P Particularly for the idea of switching between materials.

Hmm, I'll think about joining long-distance over the internet, but I'd still be pretty lonely out here... maybe I'll wait until I live in the States, which I'm planning to do someday.
Jun. 11th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
May I ask where you live? Is it a possibility that there are folks that are close to you that might be interested?

And, yeah. I understand. Granted the closest local group is only an hour away, but I'm in the south of Meridies -- and the closest groups are 1 to 1.5 hours away. It's difficult for me to attend events. I've been to one this year. And my family is 400 miles away. The internet & the SCA-net keeps me going some days!
Jun. 12th, 2011 02:21 am (UTC)
Most Asia-Pacific branches are organized around the bases of US forces. Are you close enough to a base that you might be able to get something started with those folks?

Even if you don't have a group to play with, it might be worth it for you to subscribe to The Compleat Anachronist or Tournaments Illuminated, as they are known to have articles of interest for crafty folk.
Jun. 12th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
By the way, the floaty bits of the pennant, at the bottom? The white edging. That looks like bias tape, sewn on.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )