Friday, March 31, 2017

Vintage Wedding Inspiration


So, I have a problem. I live in the wrong decade for bridal wear. :)

One of the reasons I find it so hard to get excited about wedding dresses is... they just don't do it for me. After a few searches, my Pinterest account became hijacked with images of modern bridal wear, and I realized I don't like any of it.

But after a few searches for vintage bridal dresses I realized I love wedding dresses, just not the ones from this century. :)

So as I go to get fitted one more time, for a wedding dress that still doesn't fit right, enjoy these lovely bits of bridal inspiration from previous years, all pinned to my Vintage Weddings Pinterest board...

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bride and Groom

Finished Bride and Groom hoops!

So I haven't been around here too much lately, but I have a very good reason for that - I'm engaged! I finally found the perfect person, and I couldn't be happier. But I've been plunged headfirst into the odd world of wedding planning. I feel very out of my element - I've never been the "plan your elaborate wedding since birth" type. I like things simple, but lovely, and I like things to be a certain way. And I also know I want to DIY as many things as I can without it looking too silly or taking on too much to handle.

As a result, I've started planning a few simple projects along the way, which I'll post monthly to Feeling Stitchy. The first project is up above, a free pattern for two Bride and Groom hoops. The design is very simple - just the lettering, but you can adapt it in just about any way possible - with beading, fabric, and wrapping your hoops in a decorative way.

I opted for our wedding colors - navy and ivory, using a navy linen I've used in previous projects. I also used DMC Snow White for the bride hoop and DMC 822 (an Ecru shade) for the Groom hoop. I wrapped the hoops in ivory and light grey bias tape to give them a neat look. I also love the Chantilly lace on the bride hoop and delicate stitches on the groom hoop.

Did you DIY anything for your wedding? Would you like to see a DIY project in particular? Let me know! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Secret" Embroidery on Feeling Stitchy

Taupe fabric background
Well, I finally posted the results of my "secret" embroidery project.

The project was a wedding embroidery for my cousin, AND a review of the new DMC Stitchable Mesh fabric. The finished post is on Feeling Stitchy: http://www.feelingstitchy.com/2016/12/review-dmc-stitchable-mesh-and-pattern.html

floating

Stitching on the mesh was a wonderful experience, but it did have its challenges, all of which I go into in my post.

flower detail

My favorite part was probably the sheen of it - it makes everything look like it's glowing - and layering fabric underneath creates an added "floating" effect.

mesh detail

Here is my finished project - a lovely wedding hoop:
finish
detail
glow

I'm doing a very special giveaway on Feeling Stitchy - if you like the pattern I used for the embroidery, I'll create a custom pattern, with the names of your choices, for two winners!

I haven't gotten a lot of entries so far, but I'm still very excited to create a pattern for the people who have responded. Please add your name to the comments, if you're interested!


What do you think of the mesh and my project? Please leave a comment to let me know. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It's better


Here's a preview of the pattern I'm featuring tomorrow on Feeling Stitchy for Wonderful Wednesday - this lovely free pattern was tweeted to us last week by Modern Folk Embroidery, and to me, it speaks volumes.

I'm going to be totally honest - these past few weeks have been hard. Every day, I find myself re-assessing where I am, and how I am to respond. The acts of hate I have seen out there don't belong in the country I love, and yet, they're there. There is division in families, friendships, workplaces and churches. I find myself asking each day "what can I do?" What can I do to stem the tide of hate, what can I do to protect the people in this country who are afraid, who are being attacked, and who are vulnerable?

It's taken some time, but here's my answer: every day, however I can, I'm going to do what I can do.

Every month, I've decided to donate to a different organization, even if it's just a small amount, to protect the rights of people that are being threatened in this country, and protect the fundamental freedoms of this country which make it truly great. This month, there were quite a few, so I started off with more than one, and I'll continue as my budget allows:

To protect the freedom of the press and ensure that no president may threaten a free press, I subscribed to:

To support publications that write things I am enriched by, write challenging articles that are rigorously fact-checked, and make me want to learn more, I subscribed to:

To hold the governing bodies of this country to their highest standard, I donated to:

These are all small things, the mere lighting of a candle, but each time I can, I will do what I can. Where my budget will not allow, I'll do my best to help with my hands and my feet.

But above all, when I see people being threatened, or who are being hurt or are afraid, I will stand up for them, however I can. As my favorite prayer says, I will do all of this "with God's help."

Monday, October 31, 2016

Vote embroidery for Feeling Stitchy


I had so much fun stitching up this free Vote pattern for Feeling Stitchy. It all started with Twitterfeed shutting down as of today, and me wondering how people find the blog the most.

So I crunched as many numbers as possible, but also thought it would be fun to let everyone "vote" from the particular place they were seeing the blog - Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, and Instagram.



I had 3 designs, that were all only different in terms of the fonts I used, and allowed peeps to vote. Boy, was Twitter quiet - I decided we haven't been using it as well as we could, by simply auto-posting. I'll try to be more diligent about visiting at least once a week with a more substantial presence. Facebook was also rather quiet - it could have just been the time of day. Instagram had the most votes. Honestly, I didn't even try Flickr, because it has been very quiet lately.

Stitching made me a bit nervous, as I wanted to finish on Saturday - so I woke up bright and early and lined up some coffee to get stitching the winning design. I could have added a whole lot more, but I wanted to stay true to the way I originally drew the design. I guess it was a lesson in designing, too!

This project was a lot of fun, for sure, and I followed it up by actually voting yesterday. If you haven't voted yet, please do! And if you'd like a copy of the free pattern, visit Feeling Stitchy! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fun vote project on Feeling Stitchy


Let's face it, this voting season in the U.S. has been anything but fun. So I'm doing a fun vote project over on Feeling Stitchy. Vote for your favorite design, and I'll stitch it up and offer it as a free pattern on the blog this weekend. Which should give you all plenty of time to stitch up a little something in time for election day. :) What do you think?

Head on over to Feeling Stitchy and vote if you want your voice to be heard! :)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Secret embroidery project

Secret project

I'm calling it a secret project because I don't want to reveal too many details in case the receiver of this gift reads this blog! :) I'm working on a beautiful DMC gold mesh for the first time ever (which I received from the lovely people at DMC). It has been a bit of a challenge to stitch on, but remarkably well-suited to stitches like couching and split stitch, with which I worked that nice "L".

Mostly, this transparent surface has taught me the value of keeping the back of my work nice and neat (something I'll admit I've never fussed about before).

Once again, I have found Mary Corbet's Needle n' Thread posts invaluable in learning tips and tricks. This post on lettering in particular helped me moved away from messy knots on the back of my work.

threads for secret project

Here are the threads I've chosen for my secret project - all DMC, with the exception of the one Nun's Boilproof skein (which I haven't used yet, but is there for its vintage prettiness). :)

It's been wonderful fun so far, and I'll reveal the results to you next week! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Finished winter wreath

finished

After many hours of stitching and imagining and re-tracing, I am done! This project was one of the most fun I've ever attempted - I think part of it was all the encouragement I received on Instagram that kept me plugging along week after week.

backside

I finished the back as neatly as possible, but I purposely made the stitches a bit long and loose, in case the back ever needs to be removed for repair or to re-stretch the embroidery.

finished center

I won't lie, I struggled a bit with the tiny date - I re-stitched it countless times, but I like this simple, very small, un-fussy version. I used DMC gold thread, just one strand for the date.

more details

Overall, this is one of the projects I am most happy with - a real pleasure to stitch. I expanded my stitch library and used stitches in ways I hadn't before - it was well worth the extra challenge. I'll have a review as soon as possible up on Feeling Stitchy - which I'll link to from here, of course, if you'd like to see it! :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Winter wreath - almost finished

Almost finished

I'm almost finished and I have to say I am really happy with this project. Up above, you see my progress with adding initials in the center.

Stitching berry stems with rayon floss

I stitched the berries using 1 strand of DMC rayon floss in a shiny copper color - 30434 - Sepia Brown.

Closeup on berry stems

The finished berries - I love the sheen.

finishing the back

Next, I finished up the back - I drew up the excess linen in the back using a loose running stitch. Then I cut a circle of interfacing and stitched some navy linen onto it...

My idea for the finished back

Here's what I hope the finished back will look like - nice and neat!

braiding gold floss

I braided some gold floss together to give the hoop something nice to hang from...

braided floss to hang the hoop with

Apologies for the last few photos, they were taken in the middle of some late-night crafting, and my cell camera is very odd in low light.

But there's my progress so far! I'll get some proper photos before I give the hoop away, and share those and a book review on Feeling Stitchy very soon!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Winter wreath - tracing paper and pearlescent floss

Using tracing paper and a micron pen

After all the chalk marks on my navy blue linen faded, I decided to try stitching on tracing paper.

I was curious to see how much I'd departed from the original - I'd just been eyeballing everything as I stitched...

Checking my progress

Looks like I make things bigger when eyeballing the pattern... I didn't stress, because I'm not aiming for an exact reproduction.

Stitching over tracing paper

I stitched over the tracing paper on a big french knot dandelion - I was inspired by this great tutorial by Mary Corbet on Needle n Thread. By the way, I'm really enjoying stitching with that Nun's Boilproof vintage floss.

Couching the stems

Next I couched the dandelion stems, using more Nun's Boilproof vintage floss.

finished Dandelion - tracing paper method

Here's the finished Dandelion - the tracing paper did help me stitch those knots more carefully. The only drawback was of course, when I removed the tracing paper, several knots were pulled.

I think I'll do a combination of tracing paper and just eyeballing for the rest of the dandelions.

Trying some Pearlescent Effects floss

I tried some Pearlescent Effects floss on the French knots in the center of that large white flower. The texture is really rough, and it's not French-knot friendly, but it has a nice icy, iridescent look:

Pearlescent floss in the large flower center

Next, I added a line of gold metallic DMC floss, couched around the flower center:

Gold couched threads around the center

Here's all my progress so far - I'm still deciding if I'll add the berries.

Progress so far

Any thoughts on the tracing paper or Pearlescent floss? I'm curious if any of you have tried either!