Here’s a little bit of Stitch Play that came about by accident. I was preparing to work up a video tutorial on shisha, which is a decorative technique of stitching down little mirrors onto fabric, but I didn’t have any mirrors. In fact, the whole thought of a mirror under studio lighting with a camera right on top of the stitching seemed problematic to me, so I opted for card stock. After all, it’s the technique that’s being taught – once you know the technique, you can use it however you want.
I took out a 3/4″ hole punch and started sifting through my paper supplies. In my paper supply box, I also stash away little note cards that I receive from people that I often “recycle” in one way or another. And this happens to be one way you can recycle a pretty note card. I figured if card stock would work as a substitute for a mirror, why not something a little prettier?
Using paper products in place of mirrors in shisha embroidery only works, of course, if you’re not planning on laundering the embroidery or taking it out in the rain. But for playing around, for “sampling” stitches, for making little samplers and whatnot that won’t be washed, it’s a fun way to play with shisha stitches.
And of course, once you start playing, your stitched elements can grow and grow. Here, I’ve added a couple circles of buttonhole stitch around the central element.
I’ll have a video for shisha up for you in the future. I got a bit ahead of myself here – too much fun playing around, I suppose, and I wanted to show you the results! But in the meantime, you can find instructions for shisha in any decent stitch dictionary. Incidentally, though, some instructions in some dictionaries are better than others. Erica Wilson’s Embroidery Book has the best instructions, I think, for basic shisha, which involves a buttonhole stitch and a chain stitch worked around a base of foundation stitches. You can find Erica Wilson’s video for shisha here on YouTube, too, so that should help you out if you want to play around with the stitch.
You can find more Stitch Play articles here, if you’re in the mood to play around with some stitches this weekend!
Have fun with it!