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.
Category Archives: machine embroidery
These are some butterfly brooches that I`ve been working on over the last week.
It took a bit of trial and error to get them right at first, but I`m really pleased with the final result.
The butterflies are built up of layers of tiny scraps of fabric, handstitching and machine embroidery. I painstakingly snipped out tiny pieces of cottons, choosing fabrics in soft, muted tones of orange, yellow, blue and brown to echo the colours of wild British butterflies. I was influenced by the illustrations in this vintage wildlife field guide book. The layers of machine stitching softened the effect further, with the black stitching picking up details of veining on the wings, outlining the butterfly and drawing the antennae.
I wanted these butterfly brooches to act as companion pieces to my bumble bees and made them the same way, trying to keep quite a loose feel to them.
It`s been such freezing, wintry weather all week so I`ve really enjoyed staying cosied up in my sewing room, surrounded by scraps of fabric and accompanied by my cat and Radio 4, creating these tiny heralds of Spring.
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.