Tag Archives: embroidery

creative permissions

discovered kit

I remember learning to sew in the dim, far distant past. In those Dark Ages one did not vary from the pattern. It Was Not Done.

As independent pattern designers began trickling onto the scene, there was one who included a permission slip inside each pattern, giving the sewer permission to make changes. Fast forward to now, with everyone hacking up patterns right and left.

But a concept can linger on in dark corners . . . Follow me into last weekend.

I was on a search amongst my two rather large and thoroughly tangled boxes of fasteners, zips, embroidery threads, ribbons, laces, felt squares, and other crafty bits & bobs.

Having a 13-disc mystery to listen to whilst sorting made it much more enjoyable. . . 😉


Remember my linen top mending project? I have a hazy idea for a solution, and that was the impetus for the sort out.

Then I discovered the above little kit, picked up several years ago even though I didn’t like the colours or the method – punch needle. (Lime green??? 😱)

But what have I been learning from blogging friends’ embroidery posts? You’re allowed to make changes. So-o-o . . .

I’ve been giving myself permission to do just that, and left lime green & turquoise on a lime background, for a russet butterfly on mossy green background using satin stitch. And maybe a touch of blue somewhere.

What do you think? Have I gone too far? I’m not trying to copy nature, it’s just what I was drawn to.

If creativity is about freeing one’s soul and spirit, it’s interesting to realise there are still plenty of boundaries to overcome.


Monday, monday

First, the BIG news: That cold front from Canada is pushing into the area.

HUGE THANK YOU ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 😍🥰😍

And so we go from 100 plus to low 80’s (or from over 40 to 20’s).

The Not So Good News is the heat seems to have migrated over to dear U.K. and European regions. That is seriously NOT a Good Thing. 😾 🤬 😾

Opened my curtains (thermal blackout fabric to keep heat/cold out) for the first time in almost two weeks. See here, here, and here for more information on blackout cloth and some photos.

An update on mending…

I dug out my book on mending and discovered 12 pages on mending knits. TWELVE pages! At the very end I discovered another suggestion, which seemed more practical (meaning a lot less hassle than reweaving).

Deciding that cotton embroidery would be too heavy for this light weight knit, I remembered ribbon embroidery and did a quick search for some books at the library. Nada. 😳

Then I remembered I had a book on ribbon embroidery from ages ago (1995). Surely I hadn’t tossed it out…

Nope, found it and started working through the endless bits of a large unsorted collection of ribbons and laces and such. Spent lots of time pulling out bits of lacy stuff and placing on green knit. Just for effect, you know… and didn’t like any of it.

I did manage to find two ribbons that might look okay, then wondered if I had enough for the repairs.

Time to get serious and count how many holes there are:

  • 3 on back right shoulder
  • 1 on back left shoulder
  • 2 on lower back toward center
  • 11 on lower front right


I think a lot of the joy just left . . . . .

sunday sevens #40

camellia-blossoming-nowIt’s been a busy, warm week here. Nevertheless, some cooler weather gear has been brought out right quick, to take advantage of days when the mercury dips below 70℉/20-ish℃.

In between I’ve been laundering said cooler weather garments, trying on, starting a small mend pile… the usual seasonal wardrobe shuffle.

Don’t know if it’s the warmer Autumn or what, but there’s another camellia bush or two in bloom, which wasn’t blooming in Spring. meatloaf

Somewhere around the middle of the week I decided to make meat loaf. I read through several suggestions and recipes from Joy of Cooking and then decided to improvise. The result was tasty, and I froze half for another time.

A lovely surprise also arrived mid-week. A large envelope and note from Yorkshire, enclosing two pieces of beautiful silk dupioni (or dupion) from Margaret over at The Crafty Creek. Dupioni is…

“… is a plain weave crisp type of silk fabric, produced by using fine thread in the warp and uneven thread reeled from two or more entangled cocoons in the weft. This creates tightly-woven yardage with a highly-lustrous surface. It is similar to shantung, but slightly thicker, heavier” Wikipedia

We’d been chatting about the gorgeous embroidery she does, and some of the exhibits she’s written and photographed for her blog. I mentioned I’d gotten out my holiday ribbon embroidery booklets and was wondering what and where to get some fabric. Next thing I knew she was asking if I’d like something from her silk stash!

Goodness! Here I was thinking about some sort of linen or even cotton, and suddenly this lovely lady was offering silk. Eeeee!!  Aren’t sewing friends the bestest?! Above is both an ivory and a warmer dupioni, one of which has been in Margaret’s stash since 1990. You’d never know it from looking at the fabrics!

As a lovely courtesy, Margaret included a scrap of the magnificent Avoca wool she’s gotten from Fabworks Mill Shop, “… just in case you’re tempted!” . . . Oh. Dear. Meee . . . . . . (where’s the emoji of flushed face with tongue hanging out??)

some interesting twists in this one
some interesting twists in this one

The latest Agatha Raisin arrived at the library as requested, and I immediately picked it up and read it that night.

Enjoyed it so much I’m reading it again, but more slowly. I also managed to locate 2 new-to-me books by Debbie Shore, Half-Yard Home and Gifts. There are several projects I’d like to try, when time permits.

If you’d like to join in with your own Sunday Sevens, just click over to Natalie’s page and have a peek at the very forgiving guidelines.

Hope everyone has an enjoyably spooky Monday, and a lovely rest of the week!     🎃       🎃       🎃

weekly photo challenge: silhouette

Sil`hou*ette“, n. [F.; — so called from Etienne de Silhoutte, a French minister of finance in 1759, whose diversion it was to make such portraits on the walls of his apartments.] A representation of the outlines of an object filled in with a black color…

Interesting definition from the 1913 dictionary, isn’t it?  How to illustrate this in sewing… flummoxing! . . . but let me lure you into the mind of a sewer  .   .   .   .   .



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Sewers are obsessed, generally, with detail, and we can see that detail much better in an outline format, as shown in these 2 examples.  I positioned the colour examples at the end of each set so you might get used to the somewhat lack of detail in the black & white versions, and then be properly surprised when you view the colour.

Were you?!

I know these aren’t proper silhouettes, but we just don’t deal very much with them in sewing.  Oh!  Light bulb moment: If you’re thinking . . .   these are from Emma One Sock & you can click the piccie to go directly to the fabric on her site.






Original WordPress post is here.

Other photos over here…

it’s a wrap ~ not!

it’s finished & being worn as i type

The former wrap skirt is now a cozy gathered skirt, just in time for cold weather.  Yeah!

Used a clean, damp tea towel and steamed the life outta the 100% poly hem and former side facings that are now a seam.  Still a spot or two that’s not flat, but am wearing it, hopefully sitting on the non-flat bits.  That’ll flatten ’em!

I was remembering working with 70s polyester.  When we’d make trousers we steamed in the front pleat & sometimes sewed them 1/16” all the way down just to keep them sharp.  Anybody remember that?  he-he!

PS/ I did lop off the waist band!
PPS/ Now wondering about a lining, to keep the wind more at bay…
skirt minus waist band!
skirt minus waist band!

did you know?

One eye of a needle is larger than the other?

“The eye of a needle is created by punching it out of the metal, so one side is larger than the other.”       Reader’ Digest Complete Guide to Embroidery Stitches

If you can’t get your thread or embroidery floss through one side of the needle, try the other!

Another thing I learnt is if you’re embroidering something that will get handled a lot, like a pillow, use wool thread, which takes hard usage more easily.

needles & threads

the messy pile of different needles, from Universal to denim to stretch, jersey, top stitching, and a few doubles just for fun
the messy pile of different needles, from universal to denim to stretch, jersey, top stitching, and a few doubles just for fun

Chatting yesterday with Karen reminded me of 3 spools of Sulky rayon thread we’d each gotten on one of our last joint shopping ventures, so this morning I hunted them up.

Karen also told me she’d admired some embroidery on an outfit someone was wearing just lately, and got some useful advice, which she passed along to me, and I’m passing on to you.

If your machine does embroidery stitches, and you’ve tried them but they didn’t look quite right, it might be because you used regular sewing thread.  That’s where Sulky comes in. (I’m sure there are other brands, we just happened to already have these, and the woman also recommended Sulky rayon.)

They’re got all kinds of specialty threads, which require special needles in your machine and might require a different thread (other than sewing) for the bobbin.

You know moi… I also looked up Sulky on-line… and found a wonderful bunch of downloadable colour charts for their threads.  Most convenient!

sorted into an olde box - much neater!
sorted into an olde box – much neater!

So next time you’re hankering to do a little embroidered addition to your already fabulous creation, take a peek at what’s available and what’s needed to get the effect you want!

Meanwhile, thoughts of doing any machine embellishment on my Metro Middy Blouse are shelved in favour of perhaps some hand work… if there’s time.  😉

Thanks again, Ms K, for a lovely chat yesterday & all the useful info!