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Topic: Chinese trouser panel cross stitch (from a kit)  (Read 3397 times)
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tuatara
« on: October 08, 2009 01:47:21 AM »

This was my first cross stitch project in many, many, many years ... I bought this kit at a craft fair last year and plonked it away for a rainy day.  The rainy day came upon me one evening when I'd finished a knitting project but couldn't decide what to knit next.

I don't know how long it took me ... maybe 3 weeks (just working in the evenings).  I was kindof concerned about making something from a kit, because it felt a little un-creative somehow.  But I'm really very happy with the result:



(It really is rectangular, the photo is taken from a bad angle)

The kit came from Traveller's Tales:  http://www.travellers-tales.com/ - it's called the "Mien trouser panel".  I had a couple of disappointments - the chart was wrong in a few places, and some of it was printed so lightly that I had to go over with a pen and mark in the stitches by looking at a photo of the finished project.

I was also very disappointed that the needle which came with the kit broke when I was only about halfway done!  I've broken many sewing machine needles before, but never any kind of hand-sewing needle.  So I finished it with a not-quite-appropriate (too sharp, too long, and too hard to thread) needle that I had on hand.  I feel like doing more embroidery now so I guess I should shop for some good quality embroidery needles.
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schnerby
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009 03:00:23 AM »

I don't know that the kit reduces the value of this embroidery at all. The Miao people of China (2 provinces south of where I live) use panels like this and they sit like a loin cloth across their front. They all have similar designs, so without the chart, you wouldn't make an authentic trouser panel. I think you should be proud of this.
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tuatara
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009 04:09:49 AM »

Thank you schnerby!

I am proud of it, and I think I will have it framed.  My worry was that I would end up thinking "well it's nice, but I wish I had designed something myself".

Somewhere I have a stash of photos of embroideries & clothing somewhere, from a museum in Shanghai, and when I took them I had intentions to use some of the designs for craft projects.  I know it wouldn't be authentic, but I still hope to do that.  I love Chinese textiles!
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009 06:18:35 AM »

tuatara, that's a very beautiful piece!  Love the colors and design.  Don't worry that it came from a kit - everything's gotta start somewhere.  As for the broken needle, I've broken the eyes even on quality needles; meh, don't worry about it.  Also, how big is the panel?  Could it be used as a decoration on, say, a tote bag?

schnerby, when the trouser panel is worn, is it oriented as in the picture here or does it sit side ways?  Are these used just as decoration or in lieu of a fly on pants?
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schnerby
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009 06:20:51 AM »

Excellent idea! It doesn't have to be authentic. If it was authentic you would have to buy it made by a local artisan. It's your version and that's fine.

I collect Southern Chinese textiles. I just came back from a trip to Hunan province where I got cloth woven by Miao minority people on looms. Lovely stuff! I also have textiles and batik from Sichuan province, Yunnan province, Tibet and many other places. Love it! You can see the women sitting around emboridering in the street and weaving away on looms. Also, many still wear traditional clothing.

I have tonnes of pics of both the weaving and the textiles including the people wearing them if this is something you're interested in.

Sadly, the people around where I live mostly do cross stitch from kits. I haven't seen any local textile designs, which is sad.

schnerby, when the trouser panel is worn, is it oriented as in the picture here or does it sit side ways?  Are these used just as decoration or in lieu of a fly on pants?
A trouser panel is worn mostly by men as shown in the picture, an upright oblong. It often hangs from the belt over a longish tunic, so it doesn't have any modesty-protecting purpose. Women wear them apron style, and again, no practical purpose except as an apron.
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009 06:38:36 AM »

WOW!! Shocked
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tuatara
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009 07:00:27 AM »

Also, how big is the panel?  Could it be used as a decoration on, say, a tote bag?

It's 13 x 24 cm (about 5 x 9 inches).  It would be a great size for going on a tote bag, but I'd be scared of getting it dirty!!
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tuatara
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009 07:06:32 AM »

I collect Southern Chinese textiles. I just came back from a trip to Hunan province where I got cloth woven by Miao minority people on looms. Lovely stuff! I also have textiles and batik from Sichuan province, Yunnan province, Tibet and many other places. Love it! You can see the women sitting around emboridering in the street and weaving away on looms. Also, many still wear traditional clothing.

I have tonnes of pics of both the weaving and the textiles including the people wearing them if this is something you're interested in.

I'd love to see your pictures!  I'll PM you.  I'm feeling pretty jealous of your travels - I have been to China twice, and still yearn to go back again.  But it isn't the easiest place to travel around, and it felt difficult to get "off the beaten path" and see the genuine Chinese way of life rather than the tourist version.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009 07:19:49 AM by tuatara » THIS ROCKS   Logged
schnerby
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009 07:12:20 AM »

Ok, I'll find a way to share them with you. I might flickr them or something. Even clickable thumbnails... hmmm

I live here, hence all the travelling about. China is a fascinating country. I love the textiles and I like that you tookthe time to make this piece.
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tuatara
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2009 07:25:30 AM »

I live here, hence all the travelling about. China is a fascinating country. I love the textiles and I like that you tookthe time to make this piece.

I agree, it really is fascinating, on so many levels.  I've gotta say, the language barrier was the biggest problem for me.  If that didn't feel so difficult, I would have been back many times by now.  My attempts to say anything in Chinese were completely futile!  At one stage we had to play charades in order to get a taxi to the airport.  Picture two adults on the street pretending to be airplanes.  It's funny now, but felt stressful at the time!

Back on topic (almost), I'm feeling really encouraged and I have found my pictures from the Shanghai museum, so I'm going to start thinking up a new project!
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