Friday, July 29, 2011

First Embroidery Project

Well my precious creative darlings I have good news for those of you who have chosen to undertake the embroidery classes, a little pack of goodies is on the way.  Now it's up to you, if you apply yourselves, you will gain the development of new skills, so that you will become more than just consumers, you will become craftspeople who can make things for themselves, and if you persevere and are persistent in your pursuit of perfection.  You will become a skilled craftsman, an artisan.
I know that was a really long sentence.

 I have posted out your first challenge, in the pack you will find a card with a selection of different coloured embroidery threads, a piece of hessian fabric, and a couple of needles.

The needles are crewel needles.  To thread the needle, you need to wet the end of the thread and then flatten it by pulling it between your finger and thumb.

I am going to do this project too, cos the funny thing is, I have not done much embroidery myself so I am working alongside you learning as much as you are.  I am directing you rather than teaching, so it is going to be fun to see what we all do.  In the picture above you can see what I have done so far.  In this first project, which we could make into a pot holder if you like, (once we have finished our embroidery we can sew them up, and for those who can't get to my place, or don't have a sewing machine I can sew them up for you).

You might want to start by doing a buttonhole stitch around the edge of the fabric, and at this point I am worried I have not sent you enough thread, but if you run out, let me know and I can send you some more, I still have all the colours left.  If you don't want to do this you could just pull the threads to give a frayed edge that will look like a fringe.

Here is a link for an excellent video to show you how to do blanket stitch, or buttonhole stitch if the stitches are done really close together.

Then you could decide on a design, keep it simple, and draw it on the fabric if you want with a soft pencil.  Then you could sew around the design with this simple running stitch, (this would be a good one for Isabelle).  For the older students I would like to to use at least three of the outline stitches listed below as well.

You will find in your kits a piece of cord or sparkly thread which I have put in for you to use to practice this stitch, use the embroidery thread to couch the cord on.

Same as above just another way of looking at it.

So there you are, something to start with, and once you get on the tutorial website you will find all sorts of stuff that you might like to use, but this week keep to outline stitches.  Next week we will tackle some filling stitches.

 This is really exciting for me, and I can't wait to see what you all do, so have fun and here is a little warning from an avid sewer, it is really hard to find time to do sewing, there always seems to be something you have to do first, so set aside a time at the start of the day and stick to it.

xx zho zho


  1. Wonderful! Thanks Zho Zho, can't wait to begin and share my progress! xx

  2. Excellent there's nothing I like more than enthusiastic students. It is going to be fun isn't it?

  3. Love that you're doing this!!! Would join in, but have enough costume projects underway at the moment - don't need another! Will keep up with the progress though and look forward to seeing the results
    Best wishes to all craftspeople and artisans
    (Jojo, I'm sure you feel the applause from Gladys, Hannah and all our other crafty forebears - did you know that Glad used to teach dorset feather stitchery when she was Handcrafts convener for the NZ Women's Institute?

  4. Hi Gnomecb, no I didn't know about Gladys teaching Dorset feather stitchery. I thought it was blackwork. Do you have any examples of her embroidery? I would love photos if you do. I am going to do a post about Nana's wedding veil today, it really is quite lovely. Do you know anything about its history, who made it, was it passed down the family etc?

  5. Thanks so much for the materials francis gave them to me yesterday will hopefully get started tomorrow or over the weekend :)

  6. That's great Holly, remember this is just the first project, so just have a play, and get the feel of the thread and how to make it do what you want. Think about the tension of the thread, and count the threads of the fabric as you sew to keep your stitch lengths even. Are you going to do a picture or just rows of stitches?