•September 18, 2020 • Leave a Comment

strange things I found

•September 16, 2020 • 6 Comments

You know that thing where you finally get around to that long overdue tidying of your sewing room and you always find a few things you’d forgotten were in there – a tape measure or three, some cloth you forgot you’d bought, or, in my case, the carpet (I mean seriously, I hadn’t seen that for years)

Well, in the effort to get things out of my mouldy house, I found a really old medieval costume in the chest in the living room. I don’t go in that chest much because useful things live on top of it. I think this was my third (?) medeival re-enactment outfit I ever made.

It was back when it was very hard to find the right cloth, so it’s wool mix, something I would never buy today, and in my least favourite shade of pale blue because that was all I could get.

The pattern might have come from candace bahouth’s medeival embroidery book, it’s dmc perle cotton on 18 count tapestry canvas in needlepoint – I was 20 and hadn’t yet realised that german brick stitch and needlepoint were not interchangeable.

Part of me cringes at how nasty the materials are and how poor the research was, part of me thinks “meh, I’ve seen worse still being worn at reenactments last year…”

I also found this, which appears to be some sort of persian rug pattern in cross stitch with silk thread. I can only assume I was between projects and a bit bored. i have no idea what to do with it.

The other bit i found was two pieces for a blackwork coif. I know for a fact I never completed the third part and i don’t have any more of the same linen to finish it. Am wondering if it can be converted into a handy purse somehow.

coloured passing sampler

•September 14, 2020 • 19 Comments

Sorry I’m late with my regular post. wordpress has switched me over to a horrid new editor, which by all I read every single user hates, and the only way I can get the old editor back seems to cost £200. Since I don’t feel like I’m getting value for what I already pay they can shove that somewhere painful.

I sort of feel like a need a new blog platform, but the thought of moving my entire archive fills me with dread, and then when I find something new and get used to it they’ll just make that less user friendly as well.

Anyway, here is a small sampler of counterpoint couching in coloured passings. Some worked in the small areas better than others – the red was a nightmare. I sort of want to get more colours and play with this idea.

I’m so stressed by this new editor thing, this post has taken nearlt two hours and I still can’t work out where the tags are…

ok, so trying to find out wehre the tags were it deleted my post, then gave me classic editor back, wtf?

Not my usual thing

•September 6, 2020 • 6 Comments

I found this last week while I was cleaning out the living room after a flood. It must have been in the sewing box for thirteen years, I only ever did cross stitch once a year to make my grandas a new antimaccaser for his chair. I must have been ahead of myself with Christmas presents when he died, I hadn’t even hemmed it yet.

Bit sad really, I feel like it needs a granda to go and live with

And then there’s the hem

•August 30, 2020 • 2 Comments

This is the hem of the saxon frock with embroidery all over – you may recognise part of it from the blog header

It occurs to me that if I ever do get around to finishing this thing, I’d better go out and buy another 100 strings of seed pearls, because I’ve used most of the 100 I originally bought for this project on other things in the last 20 years


(I do think I’d finish the rest in filamnet rather than spun, but I’d still keep this part and I still think it stands up as reasonably accurate for anglo-saxon)

another little twiddly bit

•August 19, 2020 • 2 Comments

Another repeat spot from the great dress of unfinishedness, again based on an anglo saxon metal mount. The split stitching looks really rough now I’m used to filament silk (this was 2 ply) if I ever get round to finishing this I will use filament for the rest, but I’ll keep this

underside couching

•August 16, 2020 • 4 Comments

sometimes I think that when you put a pattern into underside couching, it shows up better on the back than it does on the front?

That basket weave pattern is a complete swine to draw, it’s so eye boggling to draft that sewing it seems comparatively easy

birthday shirt

•August 7, 2020 • 2 Comments

My stepdad, Peter, is 81 tomorrow, so I managed to get a shirt made and posted to him.

Obviously I made him a matching mask from looney tunes fabric (the square kind because the shaped ones look like codpieces), but I didn’t ahve any appropriate cartoon buttons. Instead I used a paw and a bone for scooby and his snacks, a couple of dinosaurs for the flintstones, a spacship for the martian, some carrots for bugs bunny, and a yellow ducky that looked vaguely like tweety pie.

And a couple of weeks ago I made some basic masks and sent them to my dad and Janet. On a whim I made a lace fronted one (with the requisite two layers of cotton behind) because I thought Janet might need an evening look, seeing as she scrubs up ok. But then the next door nieghbour wanted a glamour mask as well, so I made a few more and send them off. Janet is also sharing them with her sisters.

(I won’t tell them the glamour masks are made from elftovers from my naughty lingerie projects if you don’t)

and i made my mother a rainbow sequinned one


hertstitch online

•August 3, 2020 • 2 Comments

I’m currently prepping an online tutorial for the hertfordshire embroiderers guild, but I’m told they’re letting other join in. details on their blog




•July 27, 2020 • 6 Comments

Normally I finish things, I have very few UFOs, but this is one of them. I would like to finish it, but I’m not sure what I’d do with it if I did. So for August I’m going to shame myself by showing them off. Or at least I’ll try and make them stretch through august whilst I’m mega busy with other things, because I really do have minimal Ufos

About 25 years ago I srated making a posh saxon frock, embroidered all over. I marked all of the pattern pieces on my gorgeous orange shot taffeta(which I think I bought in John Lewis’s sale for ten quid, because I’d only recently graduated), and marked out where each of the repeat patterns should be.

But other things have taken priority, and although I love this project it does feel a bit dated. Mainly because it was done with silk 60/2 thread, because this was in the days before the internet made it relatively easy to find filament. I think If I ever do finish it I might mix in some filament for the fancier bits.

Anyway, here are two of the repeat patterns, worked in split stitch and laid and couched work with a little bit of surface couched gold here and there. The deisgns are based on c9th metalwork, and I liked how they reminded me of japanese heraldic crests- esp the blue yellow one, which kind of looks like a stylised chrysamthemum.

They are maybe two inches diametre, so pretty tiny.

Maybe one day I will have time to finish it. But then I’d have to find a place to wear it, and I’d need a different crown to wear with it, and some sparklier saxon shoesies, and flunkies. There would definitely have to flunkies doing some flunking about

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