A few sunny days this Summer has meant a lot of butterfly stitching in the garden. I love sitting in the sun, snipping tiny fragments of fabric from my scrap box and hand sewing them into place to create butterfly wings. I try to be as accurate and close to the real thing as I can, part of the challenge is finding the perfect fabric and I quite often use the backs of prints for a subtler shade, or even paint up ‘grounds’ of calico in just the right colour. Sometimes I add a sprinkling of hand embroidered stitches for extra texture. A lot of fiddly hand sewing goes into each one before they are finished off with machine stitching.
Here are a few of this Summer`s butterflies so far.
A selection of finished butterflies out in the sun.
Moorland Clouded Yellow, Clouded Yellow and Small Heath. These brooches are a dainty 7cm across.
I think Orange Tips are my favourite to make. I spotted quite a few real ones this Spring for the first time here.
Clouded Yellow. I love the soft illustrations in this vintage field guide book.
Four little ‘Cabbage Whites’. I couldn`t decide which one to make so I made them all!
A larger Large White.
I`ve just spent the last couple of days making some more bumble bees brooches and I`m really pleased with the results. I used the drawings I did last year for inspiration again, but I let these ones ‘evolve’ as they were being made which means that they are all slightly different. They really seemed to come ‘alive’ when I embroidered their little legs, I took care over the angle of their legs to try and suggest movement and to give them a sketched feel. I really love their textures, I think the layers of fabric scraps and stitching give them a lovely furry look. It`s been such a cold Spring so far that I haven`t spotted any bumble bees in the garden yet, but I`m looking forward to seeing them soon.
I`ve been busy this week making some more round heart brooches. They proved to be popular for Valentines day so I decided to make a few more. I used more muted colours for these ones, with some thick, twill-woven vintage calico for the background. I was quite pleased with these, the rough texture of the calico gave them a look (I think) of little sandstone pebbles. I only have a small piece of this fabric, so I`ll keep it for more brooches. I`ll be making a few of these brooches for my stockists, these ones are heading into my Etsy shop.
I`ve been experimenting with bits of linens and lace this week and I bought a big piece of calico to play with. I used to use calico all the time and it`s fun to work with it again. It`s such a humble fabric, with a folksy, homespun feel and speckled with tiny imperfections, but is also really sturdy and versatile . I love combining the textures of calico, grainy old linens, homely ticking and frothy vintage lace. I`m planning to combine these in new work, using the lovely creamy, neutral shades as a nice contrast with embroidery.
The calico I bought was stitched together like this on the roll. I like the utillitarian, rough stitches.
My first butterfly… lots more to follow…
I`ve been working on some little keepsake hearts this week too. They are stitched from calico, vintage fabrics, vintage lace and shell buttons. They have a linen sachet of lavender inside as well as a bit of padding. I like the idea of making little one-off treasures and mini embroideries, something I`m hoping to develope over the next few weeks. I tried to give these hearts a collagey feel, and I`ve used both machine and hand embroidery.
Whoops! No blog for a couple of weeks…
I must admit I`ve been taking advantage of the sunny days to catch up with friends, get some gardening done and go for some lovely woodland walks.
I`ve been busy sewing too, making stitched heart and daisy brooches for Boho in Aberdour, top ups for my other stockists and lots more fascinators for Katie Cupcake (she`d sold out again!).
I made a fresh batch of decoupage brooches last week, I really like these pinky-toned ones.
I`ve still got lots of other brooches to catch up with to make sure my stockists have plenty for the summer. In the next few days I`ll be sewing rosebud corsages, rosette corsages, tweed hearts, embroidered brooches and lots more little stitched hearts.
I`m so glad that my new little hearts are selling well, they are definately my favourite at the moment and I`ve been wearing one every day. They are really light and dainty, perfect for wearing on a T-shirt or Summer dress.
I hope we have a few more sunny days next week so I can sew in the garden. There`s nothing nicer than sitting on a rug under the apple tree with a cup of tea, getting on with some sewing while listening to a play on the radio. My cat, Matilda, loves the sun and usually keeps me company, sprawled on the rug beside me.
I`ve just had a busy two weeks, making stock to top up Flux, the Lucie Fenton Gallery and Miss Katie Cupcake, plus working on a collection for a new stockist, The Wild Thistle in Braemar.
What a complete contrast the two weeks were! The gorgeous first week felt like we had by-passed Spring and gone straight to Summer. I spent long days in the garden, sewing in the sun. I love sewing in the garden, surrounded by birdsong with my trusty radio at my elbow (radio 4 all day!).
I made owls and birds;
cotton rosebud corsages;
more embroidered brooches;
tweed heart brooches;
the tulle and lace brooches and finally, rosette corsages;
Then last week I was huddled next to the radiator, watching snow falling outside! I made a huge batch of decoupage brooches. Sticky fingers all week!
I`ve been using a lot more stamps with this batch.
I made some using Queen`s head stamps to celebrate her jubilee. I even did a version of red white and blue. The Queen looks so beautiful in these 1950`s stamps.
Filed under bird brooches, decoupage, Decoupage brooches, embroidered brooches, hand embroidery, lace and tulle brooches, my garden, owl brooches, recycled fabrics, recycled papers, rosette corsages
Here are some new mini embroidered brooches that I`ve been making for my stockists for this Spring.
I`ve done versions of the larger size for the last couple of years and they have been very popular, as well as being my favourite of my brooches to wear myself, but the new wee ones are even sweeter! I love making them, they`re just so cute! They are just 3.5cm in diameter and are hand embroidered and beaded onto vintage printed linens. Even the backs are sweet with the pin stitched onto a toning printed cotton (I always put thought into the backs of my round brooches!) They would look nice on a favourite cardi, perhaps pinned in groups of two or three…
The mini brooches are definately going to be joining their big `sisters` as a permanent part of my collection!