I have been plodding along with the pincushion for a couple of weeks, albeit it only a few evenings a week. It has been a challenge right from the start as I have had to learn drizzle stitch and also bullion stitch.
I have followed the instructions carefully and also watched the video tutorials on Needle and Thread which are great. However, the ears have come out rather large I think. My eldest son keeps telling me that it doesn’t have to be identical to the photograph and that it is my interpretation – how kind. Whilst I like learning the new stitches I think I prefer the neatness and precision of the Jacobean crewel work I did two projects ago to this kind of project so I think I will be heading back in this direction once the pincushion is done. It has been helpful though as I am learning what I enjoy the most but also pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
I have finished the paisley cushion cover; I just need to sew it all together which I plan to do one wet weekend. In my bid to learn more embroidery skills I have identified a couple of kits through which I can learn some new stitches and techniques, hopefully gain more confidence and feel empowered to start coming up with my own ideas. I have mentioned before the course I was thinking of doing to give me confidence with design but I have decided that I will be trying to run before I can walk so this is my new approach which I am quite excited about.
First up is an embroidery kit from Lorna Bateman which will give me a taste of stumpwork, something which intrigues me, and teach me some new stitches such a bullion knots and drizzle stitches. The kit also has the advantage of turning into a pincushion, something I have felt the need of recently so its a win win.
I always start of nervously taking ages to really get going. I might do a few stitches and then I will keep making excuses for a few evenings before I make myself pick up the work again. Once I get going I am normally OK. To start with I had to tack some backing muslin to the background material, not something I have done before although quite simple. I do wonder how easy it will be to remove the tacking when I have finished and whether I should have used thread a similar colour to the fabric in case I don’t get it all out – we shall see. I have taken a ridiculously long time to do the 12 legs. They are bullion knots which is new to me and I have had to unpick numerous tangled messes but finally I have got there. The instructions that come with the kit are very detailed but really its a case of practising the stitches first. Next up are the faces which are satin stitch, french knots and drizzle stitch.
It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t all so small – you can see the scale above. When I opened the kit my initial reaction was well this is small and won’t take long but I suspect my dithering over new stitches will mean the opposite.
I am rather pleased as I have finished my youngest son’s PJ bottoms rather quicker than I anticipated. I think my biggest problem, as I said in the last post, is bringing myself to cut the material as I worry about cutting it wrong and material isn’t cheap at all.
The pattern couldn’t have been easier which is good as I am trying to get my confidence back when it comes to dress-making. They probably only took about 5 hours maximum to sew together although I did them over a number of evenings this week.
Despite taking it quite slowly and reading the instructions carefully I still managed to catch one of the pockets in the top waistband, as I was meant to, but so that it faced backwards!!! I didn’t realise I had done this until he tried them on. He kindly said it didn’t matter and that I wasn’t to unpick the waistband, according to him the fact that the pocket faces backwards as this is ideal for his iPhone – I think he is being very polite.
Anyway, they are made and he loves them. The material a lovely soft cotton flannel has been a joy to work with and he is excited about them as they should keep him warmer in his student house. When your room is on the third floor of a Victorian terrace near the top of a hill keeping warm becomes quite a priority. Apparently the PJ bottoms are very on trend; and there was me thinking how old-fashioned they were.
Needless to say there has been a request for a second paid, so he must really like them. But first I have to make my eldest son a pair. I suspect that by Christmas I will be a little weary of making PJ bottoms but at least they are really appreciated.