Friday, August 19, 2011

Ce qui m'inspire en ce moment... embroidery!

Just lately I've been admiring beautiful embroidery everywhere feeling very inspired...

Case in point: the lovely embroidered detail on mexican dress like
this one...

from this ebay seller

and this one...
I actually bought a giant one like the one above a few months ago and did some sewing magic with it on my machine to make it fit and look less like a giant embroidered sack and more like a pretty dress. I love it because it has a big bird on the front and it's so colourful :)

I must admit that I'm really rather get one in another colour :S but that seems a little silly.

I also love love love these gorgeous vintage embroidered pictures spotted on some of my favourite blogs. If I lived in America and could go 'thrifting' you can bet I would be searching for one of these...
(Here's looking at me kid and The dainty squid for the first picture, Smile and Wave for the second)
aren't they so so pretty!

You may have noticed my blog design features some embroidery. It's from a throw I got in Camden Market. I also have a lovely blue one. Every time I go there I always wander around the same sparkle filled grotto stall wanting moooooooooooore. One day my house will be decorated wall to ceiling in rainbows of crochet and sparkly embroidered throws like this (that is, if it's not taken over by spider plants, first, hehe). Here's a close up of what you can see in the background...

photo by me!

Further inspiration comes from the lovely present I was given at the weekend: 2 vintage French magazines which are chock-a-block with amazing adverts, patterns for dress-making and knitting, and strange romance/erotica (??!?) short stories. One of them feature instructions for embroidering gloves with this amazing design. I think I may have some gloves that will need jazzing up this winter, yes I do.

This picture also makes me wish I could pull of red lipstick. But I can't. I just look like a clown

Anyway, what to do with all this inspiration. Rather than let it go to waste or waiting until winter or just buying another dress, I think it's high time for me to trot off to my local haberdashery (which is run by about 3/4 old ladies who always pounce on me whenever I go in and offer lots of very welcome wool-related advice. I've had some very wonderfully strange conversations with one of them in particular. ahhh haberdasheries) and stock up on embroidery thread.

I need me some of this!! (image via

I have a denim dress that I got for Christmas which I've never worn because despite being a lovely fit and style it's just a bit
plain for me. I think I will embroider some nice sunset colours around the neckline and arms and maybe on the pockets.
I have a somewhat limited knowledge of embroidery (chain stitch being probably my limit - although it's a great stitch for edging appliqué and writing out things on dresses, case in point the words on my anteater dress, pictured here). Luckily, I have this book on loan from G's grandma...

This is the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Embroidery, edited by Eiran Short (London; New York: Reader's Digest Association, 1981). I just scanned in the cover to show off how awesome it is. If you ever see it in a second-hand book shop and you like anything thread related you should snap it up!

I know its bad to judge a book by its cover, but really, this book is just as awesome as its crazy cover makes out -it's an absolutely amazing source of knowledge for all my favourite crafty pursuits. It's where I learnt to do the bobble stitch which I'm currently crocheting and has so many pages dedicated to all things embroidery...

I will keep you updated with my embroidery progress on the dress once I've been and got my threads! x

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