Tag Archives: embroidery

Embroidery Thread Purse

 

I was lucky enough to be given a big box full of fabric bits and pieces recently, one of which was this gorgeous piece of thick woollen fabric (it would have made a gorgeous coat!).  The piece in my box had one straight end which had obviously been cut, whilst the opposite end was the natural selvage and it had a beautiful ruffle effect to it.

The shape and size of the material lent itself beautifully to a small bag or purse, so I set about finding some suitable lining fabric and a couple of buttons.

 

 

I hand stitched the lining in place so that it wouldn’t show up on the front of the bag.

 

 

 

Once the lining was done, I used 2 strands of embroidery thread to sew up the sides using a large, decorative blanket stitch.

 

 

All that was left was to sew on two buttons for decorations, and then pop some press studs under the buttons to close the purse.

   

I think this purse could very well be the new home for my embroidery thread stash!

And Here’s One I Started Earlier …

When I came across this piece of sewing the other day, I realised with shame that it was almost four years since I started it!
I was going to make a label for Coco’s food jar and I started it whilst on holiday down in Wiltshire.  I’d bought some scraps of fabric from a charity shop and hand embroidered ‘Coco’s food’ on a piece of cream linen type fabric before hand stitching that to the larger patterned piece using blanket stitch.

Since then, the sewing has lived at the bottom of a basket until the other day when I decided it was time to finish it!

As you can probably see from the photo above, I’d managed to sew the cream linen on lopsided so the first job was to cut the patterned fabric nice and square.  I then set about finding a suitable backing fabric that I could attach the patterned fabric to and that was long enough to go almost around Coco’s food jar.  I ended up with a rather nice purple material that had small flowers on it.

Once I’d cut this to size I folded over and ironed a small hem all the way around, before sewing all the hems down on the machine.  I’d made sure that the fabric almost joined at the back of the jar, but not quite.  This was so that I could add some elastic that would enable me to pop the label on and off the jar easily in case it needed washing.

 

After that I placed the multicoloured fabric in the centre of the purple fabric and sewed it in place.

 

All that remained now was to attach 3 pieces of elastic to the back.  Because the pieces of elastic were so small I just hand sewed them in place on the inside of the label.

And there you have it – one finished piece of sewing and a much prettier food jar for Coco!

 

Embroidered Flower Paper

Last summer I had great fun making some gorgeous flower paper with the lovely Annie from Dragonfly Studio in Skye.  If you look back to Project 9 you can see exactly how I made the paper, but basically we layered up flowers and leaves between sheets of good quality paper, tied them all together and left them to soak in a basin of water and vinegar for as long as possible.

 

The result was a wonderful selection of subtle coloured paper with the imprints of what we’d pressed.  Certain foliage worked better than others, but I ended up with a good stash of paper for future projects.

 

 

At the time Annie had mentioned the possibility of sewing onto the paper, so I thought I’d have a go at that.

 

Once I’d chosen my paper, I looked through my embroidery thread collection and picked out a few complimentary colours that I thought would work well.  There was a pale blueish tint to a couple of the flowers, along with browns and greens too, so I selected a few thread options and laid them on the table where I was working so that I could place them on the paper to see which ones worked best.

 

 

I knew I’d have to be really careful as the paper would rip easily, and the stitches would have to be fairly well spaced apart or a hole would form if the needle marks were too closer to each other.

The aim was to subtly enhance the shapes of the foliage by stitching along the out edges to highlight certain parts of the picture.  You can see below that I used a selection of chain stitch, running stitch, whipped running stitch and blanket stitch.

 

All that I need now is to find a frame for the picture and it’ll be ready to hang.

 

For the moment though, it’s resting on the mantle place so I can keep looking at it in case I decide it needs a little more adding to it.  The hardest part is definitely knowing when enough is enough!

 

Going Round in Circles

Over the past few months I’ve certainly made inroads into my yarn stash, but there’s still an awful lot left!  I got rid of quite a bit of the chunkier yarn when I used my peg loom to weave a couple of car mats, so I thought I’d have a go at a different type of weaving using an embroidery hoop this time.

To prepare your embroidery hoop for weaving, you take off the outer ring and leave to one side.  You then attach your warp thread (I used some DK yarn) to the top of the hoop and bring it down and under the rim directly opposite before bringing it back round to the front and up and under the top in a figure of eight pattern.  Each time you bring your warp thread back up to the top you need to move it roughly 2cm away from the last thread to produce evenly spaced ‘spokes’.  You can find a really useful video tutorial on how to do this here.

It’s important to make sure that you end up with an odd number of spokes on your hoop, or else your weaving won’t work.  Once you’re satisfied with the warp thread it’s time to put the outer ring of the hoop back on and tighten it to ensure your warp stays securely in place.

 

Now the fun starts!

The most effective weaving is made up using yarns of different thickness (although this really is personal preference).  I started out with DK weight which I’d threaded onto a darning needle.  Leaving a tail end of about 6cm, pass the yarn over and under the spokes and keep going for as many rounds as you like.  Make sure that  you end in roughly the same place as you started and you can tie the start and finish finish tail ends together on the back of your work to secure it.

Continue weaving making sure you maintain the pattern of over one spoke then under the next, and varying the yarn you use along the way.  As well as yarn you could try ribbon, shredded plastic bags, string, strips of old clothes etc.  I have quite a lot of wool tops from my spinning, so I popped some of that in too which gave a lovely texture to the finished item.  It wasn’t possible to thread the tops through a needle, but it was very easy to simple thread it over and under with my fingers.

Remember to keep pushing your work towards the centre of the hoop as you go to ensure you don’t have any holes in the middle, but it’s simply a case of keeping going until your hoop is full!

This was a really enjoyable project to make and I think next time I’ll experiment by adding some charms to the weaving too.  I love the fact that it has a ready made frame and is all ready to simply hang on the wall once you’re finished weaving 🙂

All Washed Up!

One of my favourite projects to date has definitely been the apron that I made from a tea towel, so I thought I’d have a go at upcycling another one in the drawer too (they actually came together in a set from Morrisons)

I’ve made a few projects for the living room recently – bunting for the fireplace, Coco’s basket that sits in the corner by the rocking chair, plus my 2 latest cushions, so I thought I’d continue the theme by turning the tea towel into a simple mini throw with a crocheted edging for the sofa.

 

There were 2 parts to the edging – a blanket stitch worked in embroidery thread, followed by a row of crochet stitches to make the decorative edge.

Using a water erasable pen, I marked tiny dots every 2cms along the hem of the tea towel to show me where I would need to make my stitches.

 

The next part was choosing what colour to make the edging.  I needed embroidery thread and cotton, so I laid all the possible suspects out on the tea towel to help me make my choice.  In the end I plumped for a deep purple.

 

 

Using the embroidery thread, I worked a blanket stitch all the way around all four sides of the tea towel using the dots as a guide.  This gave me a nice loop along the edges into which I could work the crochet stitches.

 

 

Using a 4ply cotton and a 3mm hook, I worked 1 double crochet, 1 half treble, 2 trebles, 1 half treble and 1 double crochet into each loop produced by the blanket stitch.  When I got to the corner, I worked 1 double crochet, 1 half treble, 6 trebles, 1 half treble and 1 double crochet to ensure there were enough stitches to go around both sides of the corner and lie flat.

 

A gentle hand wash got rid of the dots, and then it was simply a case of sewing in the loose ends and deciding which chair to put it on!

 

Like Hilda Ogden Loves Nosing

One of the things I’m loving about my 52 and Thrifty Too! project is that I’m finally getting to finish lots of WIPs that have lain for months (and sometimes years) in my stash.  This little embroidery started life four years ago on a holiday in the rather lovely village of Honeystreet, near Malborough in Wiltshire.

 

It’s a copy of one of Harry’s poems, and reads:

Like curtains love closing
Like models love posing
Like Hilda Ogden loves nosing
So do I love you!

I hand sewed the words freehand on a piece of linen cloth I had using 2 strands of embroidery thread.  The letters were worked in back stitch with french knots for the punctuation and dots on the i’s.  At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with the embroidery, but just enjoyed making it and added to it using what I had with me on holiday.

 

Once I’d finished the words, I folded over the edges of the white linen and centred it onto a piece of Liberty fabric.  I then hand sewed a piece of ribbon on top of the join.   Next I folded over the edges of the Liberty fabric which I then placed onto the teal background and sewed all the way around it with a decorative blanket stitch.  The last thing I did was to add a button to each of the four corners.

This was as far as I got on holiday, and the embroidery has been at the bottom of a basket since then!

When I rediscovered it recently I thought about turning it into a wall hanging, but in the end plumped for another cushion to add to my collection (or should that be obsession!)  After a rummage through my Liberty stash I realised I didn’t have enough of the same fabric to create the front and back of the cushion, so opted instead for 3 different patterns which you can see above.

To save a bit of money I was going to take the cushion pad out of one of the existing cushions on the sofa, but when I removed the cover the pad definitely looked the worse for wear, so instead I spent £1.75 of my budget to buy a new one.  The size of the pad was 45cm x 45cm so when I cut the fabric for the front I cut a 48cm x 48cm square (to allow for 1.5cm seams).   I also opted for another envelope back so cut out 2 rectangles 48cm x 34cm.  This would leave enough of an overlap to get the cushion pad in, but ensure both pieces would lie flat once the pad was safely inside.

 

 

Once I’d cut the fabric for the front of the cushion, I cut the rectangular teal fabric into a square shape, folded over the edges, centred it on the cushion front and used a decorative blanket stitch to attach it in place.

 

 

Now that my cushion front was complete, it was time to prepare the back.  To do this, I needed to hem the inside edges of both back pieces.  It was then simply a case of overlapping the back pieces and placing them snug against the front (right sides together) then sewing all the way around the square.

 

Once completed, I trimmed the seams and snipped the four corners before turning the cushion cover the right side out and pushing out the corners to make them as sharp as possible.

 

 

You can see the finished front and back of the cushion cover below:

 

And here’s what it looks like with the cushion pad inside and on the sofa!