Monday 28 January 2008

And for my next trick...

For what feels like about 3 years I've been searching for a pair of pretty vintage pillowcases with a spray of tiny embroidered flowers adorning them. I am quite fussy about what I want, no morning glories, no crinoline ladies, no flower baskets.
Something like this is actually what I want (on ebay) but there is only one and I probably won't win it. Hmmmm...maybe I could make my own I found myself imagining the other day. Ambitious?... Moi...?
Well it seemed like a sign when I found a huge bunch of embroidery silks for 50p each in one of my favourite charity shops on Saturday. Such pretty colours, perfect for the job, (sorry no photo because my rotten camera won't do close-ups!).

The thing is - I have never embroidered a thing in my life! I struggled to stitch my name onto the CDT apron it took my two terms to make at school! Maybe these will help though?
At Christmas mum re-discovered a beautiful tablecloth she'd made as a young teenager and its magnificent and completely inspired me. She told me all about embroidery transfers she used to use and I discovered these wonderful things on ebay and quickly snapped them up this morning. I already have a couple of vintage pillowcases ready to work my magic on (gulp!) and I'm even planning to make a separate picture with the lupin transfer. (Someone rein me in please!)

Have I bitten off more than I can chew though? Is it really difficult? I'm feeling a bit daunted. Just how do you make the stitches? The little bobbly ones are really foxing me. I don't think the transfers will come with a guide so there will be much guessing, I guess.
Yet again - wish me luck!


Felicia said...

Sounds like a fantastic and fun challenge :)

Unknown said...

Oh, you must go for it...I am not talking through experience though!!
I wish I had the patience, I want things finished and completed yesterday!!

Niki Fretwell said...

Hi Steph,
Good luck! Such a relaxing hobby, I'm sure you will enjoy it and have something beautiful to show for your efforts at the end.

Thanks for finding the time to comment on my blog. Its a shame you aren't closer - It sounds like you and your husband would love 'bea & evie'! I'm sure it must be named after 'The House of Elliot' - it certainly has that feel when you walk through the door - its run by a lovely young girl (who sounds French); she has great taste.

Anyway, good luck with the embroideries,
Niki x

tess said...

oh what a lovely projects, those vintage transfers look gorgeous.
you can get some lovely embroidery instructions, try google, or look for a childrens book, they're often the same stitches but the instructions are better.
the little bobbly ones might be french knots, where you twist the thread around the needle.
have fun, can't wait to see . xx

French Knots said...

Go for it! Embroidery is my first love, French Knots (not surprisingly!) are my fav stitch.
Have a look at she has a brilliant stitch school explaining how to do each stitch. You can get pacets of needles with a mixture of different sizes to make it easier to use a different number of strands of thread.x

Anonymous said...

I just bought a vintage embroidery this morning and hope to make it into a cushion, I think it's a good idea having a go at making some pillowcases, and you can choose what colours you like then.
good luck.

Ragged Roses said...

Oh good luck Steph! I love embroidery, the little bobbly ones are called French Knots, google them for instructions. It sounds like a lovely project

Kathy said...

Steph, What a lovely post - embroidery is very daunting but definiately worth a try? If you see my latest post there is a picture of a pair of very pretty pillowcases I found - I really want you to have them...They are kind of what you are looking for? Let me know - I will post them to you. Kathyx

dragonfly said...

You should definitly give it go. I used to embroider a lot when I was younger with those type of transfers. My Mum still has some of my things framed on her walls!

Tracy x said...

go for it!!!
look in the charity shops for a vintage book on sewing - they have great instructions x
t x

mollycupcakes said...

Good luck Steph,
I'm sure you'll do a fantasic job and will really enjoy it.
It will be lovely to put your feet up and sit and sew.
Looking forward to seeing the finished items (if you're going to show them).

Catherine x

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

Hello Steph
I am full of admiration that you are taking on this challenge! It will be a wonderful learning curve for you and I can't wait to see what you produce.
My mother had lots of these transfer patterns and would embroider beautiful pieces... alas I didn't inherit the sewing gene!

Have fun!

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Steph

Just go for it. The best way to learn is by having a go! Looking forward to seeing the results.

Sue x

Carol said...

Hi Steph,
Once you get started you will love it. I think getting the colours right is important - I have a couple of embroidered table cloths that I will not use as I have now decided that I do not the colours I used!
Have lots of fun.
Carol x

No one is you ...& that's your power said...

Hi steph
I hope you win your pillow case. I am always losing on ebay normally!!. There is something called auction sniper that you can use its free and it puts the bid in for you, you tell it what the highest price you want to go up two is.
Embroidery does look like a great hobby , cant wait to see how you get on with it. I might even have a little go myself as I have been thinking about it and it is on my hobby to do list !
Take care x Dominique

julia said...

I'm teaching myself to embroider as well. I've found Caroline Zoob's "Childhood Treasures" great for inspiration and "Sublime Stitching" by Jenny Hart great for techniques, oh and make sure you use a hoop, it makes life much easier!
Good luck!
Julia xx

Anonymous said...

Found this that might help. My mum taught me some embroidery when I was little (she had won prizes for hers!!) Its a great hobby to pick up and put down whenever (unlike knitting) and it stops you from snacking if you are on a diet!! Cant wait to see your finished results.

janet said...

I'm so jealous of your patterns - just gorgeous flowers! The lupine is done with lazy daisy stitch and my tutorial for that is here:

I have a whole series of embroidery tutorials, which one of your commentors mentioned, so you'll probably find most of the stitches you need. But do let me know if you need any help. Embroidery is great - you'll love it!