NCC here I come! But before that I want to share with you exactly how this outfit was made. I don't have enough photos of all parts of the making I'm afraid, but I'll do my best with what I have.
Let's start with the
In other words that long, blue dress. In fact I began the making of the dress by researching how they really were made and found out that the material should be blue cotton, embroidered heavily in the front with cross-stitch and left almost entirely non-decorated in the back.
I selected a cotton fabric with as visible a weave as possible (it was a lucky find at Vogue: a fabric both the right weave, heaviness and colour, it's usually very difficult to find exactly right fabrics in Iceland), because the entirety of the cross-stitching would have to be eye-balled. This meant many frustrating moments of pulling out rows of uneven stitches, and even so, as you can see above, the stitches are not identical in size or shape as cross-stitch usually should be.
I began with the middle piece, the most decorative part of the whole dress. As you see I embroidered it before I made the dress itself because I assumed (correctly) that when the dress was put together it would be super heavy and make embroidering it afterwards a challenge.
I started the embroidery itself at the middle of the middle piece, just so that I knew it would always be centered correctly. If you're an aspiring cross-stitcher, starting your projects in the middle is always a good idea.
By the way, there's a good example in the photo of when eye-balling stitches goes wrong. Look at the diagonal thin, red rows of stitches on the bottom right side. They're not crooked because the fabric was crooked, I just failed my eye-balling. Those lines all ended up being pulled out and re-done.
Getting there! At this point I cut the front open, turned it neat and, well, embroidered it. As you do...
Even when I was this far I still went back to fix some things. That's the main reason I took these photos. An embroiderer looks at the work at such close proximity that there's two dangers: not seeing mistakes that are there or seeing mistakes where there are none. Taking a photo is a brilliant way of figuring out what's wrong, if anything, and how badly.
After the middle part was this far done I began working on the front side panels. I figured the patterns out by looking at the picture of Talas in her cover picture... if you spot mistakes don't tell me. :P
It was time to put the whole thing together! From here on I needed to know where the seams would be, but let me tell you, holding up this much fabric while embroidering it is a lot of work.
Embroidery lining up just as planned. This was a great moment!
Detail shot of the hem. The red cross-stitch border goes all around the dress.
Here's the reason I had to know where seams were - the sleeves are no ordinary sleeves. They're entirely rectangular in shape and go all the way to the middle front piece. It sounds and looks simple but I might have turned a bit gray at the temples trying to figure them out...
Oops, embroidery gets a huge gap at the seam on the top part of the picture. Fixing it: open the seam and re-sew. It's annoying but much preferable to either embroidering the gap full or just leaving it there.
Looking quite good. Somehow the sleeve embroidery was a billion times easier to align than the hem.
Having said that, they were still a bit crooked. The way I made them was to first draw a grid with fabric chalk and then embroider along the lines.
After the sleeves were done I went back to the body again and embroidered it some more for good measure. Actually I'm itching to get back to it and just you know, mayyyyyybe I could add more diagonal stripes, or maybe stars, or -
(Or maybe it's time to chill, put that needle down and back away slowly without breaking eye contact.)
Next part: the head covering, qizil kiymeshek.