Shisha work adds that sparkle in your clothes which gives it a royal distinction. In earlier days royalty had diamonds added to their clothes, while the common man added these shishas to make their clothes sparkle.It is an affordable and easy way of adding glamour to your dresses.
The fashion for Shisha work fluctuates but you can add this work to your clothes to supplement your embroidery designs and give a little bit of sparkle, in places like the center of a flower, on border designs etc.
The mirrors or shishas available in shops for this work are cut in different shapes like round, squares etc. They are very inexpensive and very easy to stitch on to the fabric despite the fact that they donot have holes. A framework of stitches are used to sew them on to the cloth.Then neat little decorative stitches are made around these mirrors carefully to cover the rough edges.
How to fix the mirrors or shishas on to the fabric
Before stitching the anchor stitches or applying any other method to fix mirror, it is essential that you use a glue stick or a fabric glue to stick the mirror on to the fabric so that it does not slip or the placement does not get skewed
Method 1. Make a simple frame for the mirror
This involves making a thread frame for your mirror.
To make this frame for your mirror just coil embroidery thread on your pointing finger or the size of your mirror some three for times. Ease out the coil from your finger gently.
Take 6 strand embroidery thread on your needle and make blanket stitches around the thread ring.
When one round of blanket stitches is complete you can add more on top of this for more width to your frame.
You can keep this frame on top of your mirror (glue the mirror on the fabric) and use small stitches to attach the frame on top of the mirror and fabric.
Method 2 Anchor using a simple Star stitch
This is a very simple and the easiest stitch used to attach the mirror to the fabric.A star shaped stitch is formed above the mirror. The disadvantage of this stitch is that the mirror surface is somewhat covered.
Method 3.Anchor using a square stitch
This method uses a couple of stitches which firmly anchors the mirror to the fabric. This is the best way of fixing the mirror with stitches.
A simple mirror work with a square stitch can be done repeatedly around round mirror.
Method 4 Anchor using triangular frame stitches
This is another way of using stitches to fix the mirror . A shape of 2 traingles are formed across the mirror. Follow the picture below to work this stitch
Method 5 Satin stitch mirror work
This is used to anchor square or triangular shaped mirrors. Satin stitch is used in all the corners to fix the mirror on the fabric.
Method 6. Anchor with Chain stitch
First a layer of chain stitch is done around the mirror. Then another chain stitch layer is done above it. Continue doing chain stitch around the mirror till the mirror is thoroughly fixed on the fabric.Most of the plastic mirrors are attached in this way.The picture below shows the chain stitch done in a machine over thin mirrors but you can do it by hand as well
Method 7. Glue and Beads
Glue the mirror and some small beads around the mirror as frame. You can also string the beads on a thread and glue for convenience.
This is a very easy method but is suitable only for clothes which you do not plan to wash frequently ( never in a machine) and for clothes you will not be wearing as frequently.
For this work, you glue on the mirror and then glue small beads all around, very close to the edges.
Another great alternative is to do Kutch work stitch around the mirror in very thick strands of thread. This work is beautiful.Checkout how to do Kutch work.
Method 8. Readymade frame
Use a readymade frame for the mirrors.
Glue the mirror on the fabric. Keep the frame on top of the mirror. Hand stitch this frame on to the fabric with firm anchoring stitches.
Method 9 -Tying the mirrors
Yet another method involves keeping the mirror on the fabric and tying it from the back around the mirror with several rounds of thread. This will create a fabric border for the mirror which looks very attractive and modern
After fixing the mirror on to the fabric, You can continue doing beautiful Decorative work around the mirrors to make it look attractive.
Check out this tutorial on Craftsy to do mirror work with decorative Basque stitch all around it