2020 Project Recap

I’ve been feeling like another year went by, and yet again, I don’t have a lot to show for it. It’s true, I didn’t make any historical costumes this year. I keep forgetting that I did do some vintage sewing though, and that counts! Especially given how this year has gone. My favorite project was
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Crewelwork Linen Gown – Samples

Before I committed to moving forward on this project, I made up a sample. I used the wool threads I had on hand, which are the Lana wool threads I use for machine embroidery. I had to make do with the colors I already had, which didn’t always blend that well or match the original.
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Crewelwork Linen Gown – Planning & Materials

Now that I’ve committed to this ambitious project, I have to start breaking it down into manageable parts. The most important piece is the embroidery design itself. As usual, I started by creating vector art of each of the motifs. This was a bit tricky, since I have to account for the folds of the
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Crewelwork Linen Gown – Inspiration

I’ve fallen head over heels for this crewelwork linen gown from LACMA. The bright sprigs of flowers and the green trim just make me happy. This gown presents a couple *minor* challenges. For one, it needs yards and yards of embroidered fabric. Two, it needs yards and yards of handmade trim. So naturally, I decided
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 5

In the last post, I left off with the invention of machine embroidery during the Industrial Revolution. By the mid-1800s, there were advancements in practically every area of textile production – printing, weaving, knitting, dyeing, lacemaking – as well as the invention of the sewing machine. New textiles were becoming available to more people at
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 4

Today I’m taking a look at the embroidery of the early 1800s. Not much changes in the first few years, with 18th century embroidery styles still very popular. I left off with Whitework, and so that’s where I pick back up. Whitework As we move into the Regency era, the use and variety of Whitework
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Overview of Historical Embroidery Styles, Part 1

Historical clothing is rich with examples of beautiful embroidery designs. Almost every era has distinct styles and techniques that set it apart. If I were to ask you about 18th century embroidery, an elaborately embroidered court suit might come to mind fairly quickly. However, what if I asked about the 1600s or the 1850s? Over
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Ribbon Embroidery Book Reviews

Ribbon embroidery is a beautiful way to add softness and dimension to your projects. My online class focuses on techniques and patterns found in period examples. If you’re looking for additional inspiration, here are book reviews of the titles I keep on my own bookshelf. A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery Published 2016 I love the A-Z
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Embroidery Inspiration | Shamrocks and Clovers. Baby wrapper embroidered with tiny shamrocks.

Embroidery Inspiration – Shamrocks & Clovers

Everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so today I’m sharing some shamrock and clover embroidery inspiration. One of my favorites is this gown in Dior’s Spring/Summer 1953 collection. It’s a riot of greenery and clovers accented with bright pink-purple berries (or maybe clover blossoms?). Met C.I.60.21.1a, b. Another fun example is
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New Year Embroidery Giveaways

As the new year approaches, do you have any goals to learn or perfect a skill next year? If embroidery is on your list, read on! Learn a New Skill Starting January 1st, I’m running another round of my popular Beginning Hand Embroidery class. In this class, we cover a dozen basic embroidery stitches that
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