Hand Embroidery Course


I’ve been so excited about attending this course, and it was every bit as good as I’d imagined ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a beginners’ course in hand embroidery by TGBSB’s Deborah Simms at Manchester’s Ministry of Craft. And yes, she was just as lovely in real life!

We were given a linen tea towel and a template for a Russian doll to follow. Firstly we cut out and bondawebbed our chosen fabric to the tea towel and then Deborah guided us through a range of stitches: back stitch, chain stitch, blanket stitch French knots and daisy stitch. You can see my work-in-progress above left. I was pleased with my blanket stitch and chain stitch, but I pulled too tight on my daisy stitches, which resulted in them looking more like stars. She’s also looking a bit boss-eyed! The back of my work left a lot to be desired, but I was pleased with how quickly it all came together.

I went with a colleague from work this time, which will hopefully prove useful if either of us forget anything. It was a really relaxing way to spend an afternoon and if you’re a visual learner like me, the perfect way to learn a new skill:-) I suspect embroidery could prove yet another addictive hobby for me… Deborah assured us that it was a pretty cheap, but satisfying craft. I can already see it being a great way of using up pretty scraps of fabric and prettifying a whole range of projects.

I was really tempted to ask for a photograph with our lovely teacher, but was a bit worried of coming across as a scary, uber-fan, so just about managed to resist ๐Ÿ™‚ We did get to ask her a whole host of questions about the series though, which was fun. It was lovely to hear that everyone was just as great in real life. All in in, it was the perfect Mothering Sunday treat. Thank you husband and children! I was treated to a tasty, Sunday roast, along with my own Mum (and Dad) when I got back home too.

I have a couple of friends who don’t find today the easiest of days for one reason or another. So I sincerely hope if you’re in a similar boat, you managed to survive it relatively unscathed x




Baby steps in embroidery


I had a bit of a ‘finishing off’ day today at the sewing table (aka the kitchen table…). Tempting though it was just to start something new, I forced myself to attempt some closure on a few projects that have been littering our spare room for far too long now. First up was finishing off these simple, lavender hearts from The Hand-Stitched Home by Caroline Zoob. I managed to complete the needlework on these in just one evening. Never having done any kind of embroidery before, I ignored all fancy stitch terms and just had a bit of a go! I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Sure, they’re far from perfect, but (especially from a distance), they really look quite effective ๐Ÿ™‚

Shame I made a bit of a hash sewing them up on my machine (really, this should have been the bit I did get right!). My ‘little tree’ heart is a fairly neat, heart shape, but my ‘flowers’ one is completely misshapen! The lavender makes them smell lovely though…

My second project was to revisit my first pair of trousers. Taking heed of some of your lovely comments, I thought I’d carefully unpick the crotch seam and the four darts. I then resewed them all, but this time all slightly narrower, which worked pretty well. Well, at least in that I can now get them on and zipped up. However they’re still just a smidgen too tight for workwear, which is really the last place I want too-tight pants! I think it was Sheila of Sewchat who suggested inserting a v of fabric in the back. I have plenty of fabric left over to contemplate this, but the checked pattern is making me nervous. It’s a lovely fabric and they’re so close to being just right, that I’m actually thinking of just taking them to a local seamstress to ask her to rescue them for me! What do you think? Is this classed as ‘cheating’? I have an excuse all ready if it is: see above, small, fiddly projects really aren’t my forte!

And lastly I had fun taking my first Megan Dress in on my overlocker. Although it was pretty comfy, its shape really wasn’t doing me any favours, and as a result, it just wasn’t getting worn. Taking in the side seams was really quick and it feels much smarter as a result.

So a pretty productive afternoon all in all ๐Ÿ™‚ Even more exciting is the course I’m attending on Sunday. It’s a beginners’ course in embroidery with the one and only Deborah Simms of TGBSB fame. Can’t wait!

Have a great weekend everyone,