Maybroidery Update

As you might have guessed, I am a liiiiittle behind with my Maybroidery challenge. This is partially due to getting far too carried away on certain motifs – not compatible with a tight deadline, especially for a slow stitcher. It’s also partially due to other simultaneous crafting efforts and, well, life and stuff.

Anyhoo, I have made some progress. I’ve done 16 motifs so I’m half way there. Despite being slow I’ve really enjoyed the process and I definitely intend to do the rest. Here’s a little Instasnap of some of my progress so far:

As you can see, I’ve stitched some far more densely than others. This wasn’t really a conscious decision, but I like that variation. I think they’ll look pretty all together.

I’ve also been making a conscious effort to try and learn some new stitches along the way. The stamen of the bottom middle flower are sewn with a “Pistel Stitch”, a fancy variation of the french knot. There’s a great tutorial for the pistil stitch (and a million others) over at Sarah’s Hand Embroidery.

Siobhan xx


Maybroidery – week 1

There is SO much going on this month in the online sewing community! Sewalongs and challenges and competitions and all sorts! Being in Geneva, I’m often jealous of the real-life sewing networks in London and New York and other places, but these online events are definitely the next best thing. I love seeing what everyone creates from the same starting point. I’ve dipped my toe before, but this month the joiner urge has taken over and I am all in!!

The first challenge I’ve made a start on is Maybroidery, organised by Carina of Polka and Bloom. The deal is that Carina sends out batches of little motifs each week and you try to complete one-a-day. Then at the end there’s a pattern to turn them in to something useful.

I know some people (including some sewists) are a little meh about embroidery, but I think it can be really beautiful. Sure the traditional cherubs and scottiedogs stuff lives on (power to you if that’s your thing), but it’s sooo much more versatile than people give it credit for. Clean, graphic hoop designs make lovely little pieces of art.


The Penny Runner via Etsy


Polka + Bloom

Jenny Hart meanwhile has taken embroidery-as-art to a whole other level with her beautiful portraits. This is her recent piece, Patti Smith:


The blogosphere also has some great examples of creative peeps using embroidery to customise their garments. I love this bomber jacket, created by Seamstress Erin, emblazoned with peacock feathers and stars.


Anyway, so now I’m done defending embroidery, here are my first set of motifs –

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  • Day 1 – Queen Anne’s Lace. Simple backstitch stems and satinstitch flowers to get going.
  • Day 2 – Anenome. I love these flowers, especially the ones where the colour seems to bleed from dark to light. To achieve a similar effect I tried out a new-to-me stitch known as “long and short” around the edges of the petals. It basically is just as it sounds – a deliberate blend of long and short stitches to give a painterly shading effect (tutorial here). I like.

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  • Day 3 – Succulent. I love this shape. I can definitely see myself using it again. I think it would look really cute on the pocket of a shirt/t-shirt. I stuck with a simple backstitch for speed (the first two motifs took quite a while!!) but picked out the spiky tips of the leaves in red.
  • Day 4 – Lavender. An easy-peasy quick sew in backstitch only, using a couple of purples on the flowers to add interest.

I like that these are easily achievable, taking just an hour or two of concentration. That’s some instant craftification right there! Hahaha! Anyone? No? Fine. They’re also a great way to practice neat handstitching (not a personal strength) and are much more portable than, say, a sewing machine, making them an ideal project for tram journeys and lunch breaks. Wins all round.

Siobhan xx

Back on the blogging horse (summer roundup)

Uh-oh, August?? Where did MayJuneJuly go?? Between finishing one job, a whistlestop tour around the UK, getting back to Genf, starting a new job, and jumping in the lake a lot because it’s just SO FLIPPIN HOT, crafting sort of fell off the table this summer. Whoops.


see how pretty? can you blame me?

But that’s not to say I haven’t done anything at all in the last 3 months. Here’s a little roundup…

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