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May 16

Embroidery WIP

Thank you soo much for your sweet comments on my Polka Dot Dress Refashion.  :)  You guys sure do know how to make a girl feel special!

I just have a quick post for you all today…  This is technically my first little foray into embroidery.  I took an intro to embroidery class last year (a 3 hr class) and it was “just okay”.  At the time I remember wishing that I had something to show for my 3 hrs except my sampler.  But looking back, I did have a pleasant time.

You all may recall me working on this 40’s McCalls 6677 pattern from last fall, which was part of my fall wardrobe planning and I blogged about here and here.

Sadly, it’s been hibernating on a chair for a while now, which was due to the fact that the skirt portion of the dress was too small for me.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it until I found some more fabric a month ago from the same bolt!  I was very quick on my toes and bought a bunch more to ensure I had enough to cover any more hang-up’s.

I’m making it just in time now for next week’s Sew Weekly theme of 1940’s.  YAY!  And I just started hacking into the fabric to recut the back portion of the skirt adding in a bit more ease (3″ or so, just in case).

Anyhow… I got to thinking that this dress would be even greater with some embroidery on it.  Not having much experience with embroidery Lladybird (aka Lauren) came to my rescue when she responded to my twitter post asking for a resource for embroidery.  She sent me to the flickr group: Hoop Love that has tons of scans of vintage transfers.

It was hard to pick just one, but given my neckline I wanted something long and fluid that I could wrap around the neckline.  I picked out this beauty since it looked feminine with the flowers and the running stitches on it remind me of the 40’s for some reason.

Vintage Briggs border

I started working on a sample piece over my lunch break today and while I was on the train during my commute.  I didn’t transfer the image yet, I was just free-handing it to practice.

My first daisy-stitch flower is the larger one on the left, and I used three strings of thread.  And my second daisy-stitch flower is with a slightly darker yellow using 2 strands of thread which I think looks much nicer, don’t you think?

I’m embroidering on a navy blue wool crepe although in the image it looks black.  I’m going to try to keep it simple for this first go, with using varying shades of yellow and a cream for the running stitches.  Instead of feeling like I got nothing accomplished like I did during my class, it was very nice and soothing to just stitch and stitch a picture.  I’m actually looking forward to sitting down to a movie and stitching this on my bodice.

What do you think aka how do you guys think I did?  Any good tips for a newbie like me?  (Thread tension, knotting tips, color choice, or stabilization ideas?)

Oh and if you know any other FREE embroidery resources be sure to leave me a comment.  :)  Thanks!

  1. Tasha / May 16 2012

    On Flickr, doe-c-doe has tons of uploaded vintage transfers (many more for kitchen towels and the like): http://www.flickr.com/photos/22309813@N02/sets/72157603907273295/

    It’s super easy to use a transfer pencil and trace it, then transfer onto light fabric. I’m no pro by any means, and do embroidery on and off (mostly off), but I do enjoy it. I’m hoping at some point this summer to embroider a peasant blouse! I’ve wanted to do that for awhile now.

    I think your daisies are looking great! Can’t wait to see what it looks like on the blouse of the dress.

  2. Miriana / May 16 2012

    Some tutorials

    http://www.sublimestitching.com/pages/tutorials

    And a free design (I think if you download one, then you get informed when it’s replaced with a new one)

    http://www.sublimestitching.com/products/free-pattern

  3. meredith / May 16 2012

    I love the second flower cluster! (And the first, but I like the darker color better.)

    Doe-C-doe does a lot of embroidering –she tends to do sort of retro/modern work, but she also posts vintage motifs. My favorites are usually the long, twisty floral designs but there are some very cute little animals too.

    http://doecdoe.blogspot.com/search/label/embroidery

  4. Annabelle / May 16 2012

    This will be so delightful! I learned how to embroider in 4th grade at school (we always got to pick a fun class for the last half hour of school). I haven’t done much of it in years, but I have been itching to incorporate it into some of my sewing projects, like you are doing with this dress.

    I don’t know of a lot of websites with scans, but I do have a few patterns that came with some. If you would like me to send you a copy of the scans, I would be more than happy to do so.

  5. Jennifer / May 16 2012

    Those flowers are going to look lovely on your dress! I do favor the darker one but, they both look nice.

    What a funny coincidence too – I recently decided I wanted to learn embroidery to add to a few of my upcoming pieces as well. I’ll have to check out the Flickr group you shared. Thanks!

  6. Anthea / May 16 2012

    I love embroidery! I’ve been doing it for a couple of projects now, mainly on knitted cardigans to give it something extra.

    Your work looks pretty good!

  7. Lauren / May 16 2012

    Yesss, I LOVE Hoop Love :)

    My biggest embroidery advice is to make sure you’re not pulling the thread too tight – it doesn’t look like you are, so I guess just keep doing what you’re doing :) If you pull it too tight, you’ll distort the stitches & make everything all wrinkly.

    My favorite resource for embroidery stitches is Needle N Thread – lots of pictures & videos for pretty much any stitch you can imagine. Also, I have no idea how you are transferring the pattern, but my preferred way is to just use wax tracing paper & trace the design with a pencil. Of course, you will want to make sure it washes off your fabric and/or be careful to cover the marks with your embroidery stitches :)

    I can’t wait to see this all finished up! That design is PERFECT for that dress pattern :D

  8. Anna / May 16 2012

    Everything I know about embroidery, I learned from Jenny Hart:
    http://www.sublimestitching.com/

    She has a few tutorials on her site, and her books are wonderful.

  9. MrsLeapheart / May 16 2012

    You will soon find out that there is a “right” end to your thread and a wrong one to thread the needle with. I had a great deal of trouble at first with knotting and tangles until my Grandmother clued me in. Cut your piece from the hank and thread from the opposite end (the old cut) . I always use DMC. Don’t give into the temptation of cutting too long of a piece. 18′ is just about right.

  10. Jo / May 16 2012

    I second needle n thread, it’s the best!! :)
    I have just started embroidery, it’s fun! Yours looks very sweet, looking forward to seeing the end result! :)

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