Embellishing Brocades Part 1: Create a "Window" in your Fabric

With so many gorgeous brocades in our stores, we thought it would be fun to share some ideas how to work with them.  While beautiful on their own, they can become even more interesting and multi-dimensional in just a few steps!
Creating a “window” in your brocade
Step 1:  Layering    
Choose a brocade fabric that has well defined motifs with open spaces in the background.  Choose a fabric for your backing.  We have chosen an opaque matte taffeta, but you may want to use a sheer fabric such as chiffon, organza or high-quality tulle (possibly in colour that matches your skin tone, if you want to create a nude illusion in a dress or top). 
From the brocade and the backing fabric, cut your pattern piece.  Cut out a piece of tear-away stabilizer at least two inches (5cm) larger (on all sides) than your desired window. 
Layer the brocade and backing fabric on top of each other and pin and baste around the outside edges.  On the back of the backing fabric (i.e. the bottom layer), centre the stabilizer over the window that you want to create.  
Using applique pins (flat head), pin through all three layers close to your desired stitching line (i.e. the edges of your “window”).
Step 2:  Stitching
Choose a stitch that you want to use.  You may want to choose a narrow satin stitch or something more decorative.  Choose an embroidery thread in a colour that blends in to your brocade fabric.  If your fabric is multi-coloured, you may want to experiment with a multi-coloured thread.  Your bobbin thread should match your backing fabric.  Test your stitch on a small swatch of your three layers to make sure you are happy with how it looks.
Keep your work very flat and stitch around the window that you want to create.  Keep the needle in your work when you need to pivot at the corners. 
When you get to the end, pull your threads through to the back of your work and tie a knot.
Step 3:  Remove Stabilizer
Gently remove the tear-away stabilizer.  Try not to put too much tension on your stitches as you go.
Step 4:  Cut out your “window”
Pull the brocade away from the backing fabric and make a snip into your “window”.  Using tiny scissors with sharp points, trim away the fabric to create the “window”.  Be very careful not to cut into your backing fabric or your stitching. 
Press your completed piece carefully.
See PART 2 of this article to create 3-D fabric embellishments with the left over fabric.    

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