April 18, 2014

Giveaway and review: My Rag Doll

The publishers of My Rag Doll have very kindly sent Feeling Stitchy a copy of My Rag Doll to review. My Rag Doll by Corinne Crasbercu of Made in France fame, shows you how to make a traditional rag doll, how to customise its hair, embroider a range of different faces and how to make a whole wardrobe of clothes, shoes and accessories.

I like how many different clothing options there are, from more traditional dolls in pretty dresses to the more themed bride doll (which I think would make a great wedding gift), ballerina doll (perfect for a ballet obsessed girl) and fairy doll. All the dolls in the book are girls but there is a dungaree pattern and I think you could probably adapt the hair and face embroidery to turn one of the dolls into a boy if you wanted to.

The book is gorgeously photographed and I loved how the various fabric options were displayed however there are no pictures or photographs of the actual steps in making the dolls and clothes and I think these would have been useful for people who are new to making this type of toy. I definitely plan on making one of these dolls (I was planning to for this review but unfortunately time got away from me) but I think, for me personally at least, there's going to be a fair bit of Googling for instructions on how to tea dye fabric and videos for making the hair, as both techniques are quite new to me and I'm more of a visual learner.

If you would like an opportunity to have a go at making some of these heirloom toys, leave a comment below, the closing date for entries is midnight on 25th April, UK time, the competition is open internationally.

April 16, 2014

Mistress of Mess

Mistress of Mess Embroidery
I cannot believe that LittleLixie nailed my  personality so well. What? Don't judge...So, this may not have been made for me, it definitely captures my attitude toward creativity. I love the lettering and the woman in the piece. Wear that Mistress of Mess with pride!

April 8, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Spring and Easter time is upon us. There are so many darling tutorials with bunnies and Easter eggs, that I felt a round-up was appropriate to share with you this week. 

The embroidered face on this bunny clutch is too cute for words! Head over to Sew Together for this darling tutorial

Sedef over at Down Grapevine Lane has an awesome tutorial for a french knot bunny! Change up the color of floss to match your decor and it's instant hoppy.... I mean, happy!

If you are in a rush, have no fear, these embroidery hoop Easter eggs come together quickly. Visit Crafting a Green world for all the details.

I love that this bunny looks like he is peeking out over the edge of the embroidery hoop! Gwenny Penny has put together the tutorial that comes with the bunny template. I think her appliqué is fantastic, but her bunny template works well as an embroidery pattern, too.

Don't forget to revisit our tutorial from last year for an embroidered Easter basket. It's still available for you to use!

Hope you enjoy and have the chance to put some, or all, of these together!

April 4, 2014

Sarah Williams poem

Sarah Williams stars poem
Stitched by aimee d

This gorgeous poem by Sarah Williams, as stitched by Aimee is just amazing. I am so moved by its simple beauty, and how just a few buttons and one color of thread can be so lovely. Beautiful work!

April 2, 2014

Blue Bird Brooch

Blue bird brooch
I have always suspected that Blue Birds were very distinguished. Klaudia Wisniewska proves my theory with her absolutely stunning Blue Bird Brooch.  I can't decide which I love more, his little tuft of hair or his smoking jacket. You can see other beautiful pieces from Klaudia on her Flickr feed. 

March 31, 2014

Mastered Class giveaway winner!

Hi all! We have a winner in the Mastered class giveaway! 

But first, let's see what your favorite classes were:
Creative Embroidery: 19
Tambour Beading: 7
Goldwork Embroidery: 6
Textile Jewelry: 2
Machine Embroidered Jewelry: 1

Ok, now let's meet our random winner - it is Maggie, and she'll be enrolling in the Machine Embroidered Jewelry class:

• 4 days ago

I am most interested in Machine Embroidered jewelry, because it looks so different than anything I have done before.

If you didn't win, don't forget that you can do a free trial for any Mastered course to check it out before you buy it - a really nice feature.

Also, the lovely people at Mastered have one more surprise for our readers - they are offering a 20% discount on all their courses! Just enter the code STITCHY at checkout.

Thanks again, Mastered, and thanks to all of our readers who entered the giveaway!

March 30, 2014

Patterns: Fresh Produce

Photos by Thimblenest

A trio of seasonal freebies today by the talented Wendy from Thimblenest. They're perfect for shopping bags and I just love the satin stitch lettering, you can find the patterns here.

March 28, 2014

Win a Spot in a Mastered Class!

Hi all! A few weeks ago I did a review of a lovely Creative Embroidery class with Diana Springall on Mastered.

Well, I'm excited to announce that the wonderful people at Mastered would also like to giveaway an embroidery class of your choice to one lucky Feeling Stitchy reader! Choose from the 5 gorgeous classes below, and be sure to click each image to see preview videos and more information:

Creative embroidery with Diana Springall

Mastered Creative Embroidery class with Diana Springall

Diana Springall is one of Britain’s leading textile artists and in this course you will discover her unique design process and learn how to devise and stitch your own bespoke creations. The first 100 students to enrol will receive a signed copy of her book: five of those will be selected to take a personal embroidery masterclass with Diana in her UK studio.

Couture embellishment: tambour beading

Couture embellishment

Learn the couture embellishment technique of tambour beading with world-renown experts, Hand and Lock, the company who Louis Vuitton and other fashion houses turn to for their beadwork and embroidery. Director Jessica will choose one student to complete a work placement in summer 2014.

Goldwork embroidery: couture embellishment

Goldwork embroidery

Learn the couture embellishment technique of goldwork with world-renown experts, Hand and Lock. Fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and royalty from across to the world turn to this 250-year-old company for their expertise in goldwork embroidery.

Textile jewellery: from raw materials to the final piece

Textile jewellery

Learn how to create truly unique pieces of textile jewellery by hand-dyeing your own materials and turning that yarn into necklaces, brooches and more. Expert dyer Helen Neale, and jewellery maker Anna Alicia are your instructors.

Machine embroidered jewellery

Machine embroidered jewellery
Learn how to use your sewing machine to design and produce beautiful jewellery with textile artist Gilda Baron. Mollie Makes editor Lara Watson is our current guest tutor and will be personally selecting the best designs to appear in a special Mollie Makes feature later in the year.

To win, simply leave a comment on this post - tell us which of these classes is your favorite, and why. Comments will be open until Sunday, March 30, 9 PM CST, when they will be closed and I will choose 1 random winner. This contest is open to all of our readers!

If you have any problems finding the comments, click this link and scroll down to the bottom:

March 27, 2014

Scottish Diaspora Tapestry - Portuguese Panels

Olá! Two weeks ago I introduced you to the Scottish Diaspora Panel and promised to show the panels that were sent to Portugal.

George Sandeman's panel
We received two panels designed and drawn onto linen, a colored pattern and wool thread. We should choose our own stitches to bring the design to life. Both designs represent the Porto Wine industry. There is a third panel, depicting Sir John Drummond (John of Scotland, Joao Escorcio) in Madeira in the 15th Century, but it is being stitched in Scotland.

The panels are very different from each other, which happened to be a great way of creating different experiences around them.

Port Wine families' panel

There is a panel representing George Sandeman that was sent to the North, the region of Porto wine. The panel has a much more intricate and detailed pattern. The North of Portugal is the region where we find most of Portuguese embroidery traditions...

So we decided to have it embroidered there, in the North, in a more traditional way, using the stitches more common in our regional embroideries.

Méri Almeida from the blog agulhas da méri became responsible for this panel, coordinating a team of volunteers that have been gathering on a daily basis...

Lovely details including the mustache using velvet stitch from Guimarães embroidery
Méri was the best choice I could have ever made... She knows all the details of our traditional stitches, she loves to use embroidery technique at a high level, and puts her heart into each stitch. The photos showing the team working tell us that this is the spirit being lived there... 

The hair is growing day by day with incredible "canutilho"stitches (bullion knots), the soul of Guimarães embroidery

In the North we have the panel of the technique and rigor... But the door is always open and whoever wants to help or see the panel will be welcome.

The grapes are finished and the first vine leaf is almost done...

The other panel represents many of the Scottish families related to Porto wine industry and the design is simpler, not giving opportunity for using many different stitches.

Using "ponto frouxo" or Castelo Branco Stitch to fill the wine barrel

And the simplicity of the design was used with mastery by Sofia, from the blog Tayari, a borboleta serrana. Instead of a very technical panel, in Lisbon, we have one in which many participate.

A group of volunteers, in Lisbon, stitching the outlines using stem stitch.
For several days Sofia received volunteers in a public space in Lisbon, where they gathered to embroider all the outlines in stem stitch. In a weekend she traveled to Sintra in order to work with another group of volunteers, including a Scottish lady. She was in an Embroidery School, where a teacher of the Castelo Branco embroidery began filling the wine barrel at the centre. And she managed to take the panel to a public school where a group of 10 year old students experienced the joy of embroidering for the first time... Next weekend the panel will travel to a rural region of Portugal and there some very skilled embroiderers will also be able to participate.

The panel at the school, where students learned history, geography and embroidery technique

Sofia is coordinating all these different volunteers and at the same time ensuring the quality of the stitching. The stitches that have been chosen are giving the panel such a textured touch... That's not an easy job and Sofia is coordinating it always with gentle words and a smile on her face...

One of the four corners of the Port families' panel. 

This is an incredible experience for all of us... A truly feeling of celebration inspires all the volunteer embroiderers, regardless of their age and experience... We are celebrating our "global village" in this journey between Portugal and Scotland on the tip of a needle! 

March 26, 2014

Bunnies! Bunnies! Everywhere!

Bunnies, bunnies everywhere! Bunnies, bunnies, in your hair.Okay, maybe not in your hair but definitely in your stitching. You can purchase this darling pattern from Red Letter Day Stitches...just in time for Easter. Be sure to check out her other patterns on her website. 

March 25, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Today's tutorial was an idea I had when I walked into my sister's office without knocking, and began talking to her before I realized she was on an important phone call. I had to do that apologetic move and bow out until she was finished. I thought a stitched double-sided doorknob hanger would be good, that way my sis could use it to let me know when it was alright for me to barge in, or flip the hanger over if I need to zip my lip. This is a good doorknob hanger for offices and workspaces, but I also thought it might be good to change out the telephone image and use something appropriate for a nursery when the baby is sleeping. Either way, this doorknob hanger can help alert visitors as they approach your door.

To make this doorknob hanger you will need:

-muslin in a 18x18 inch piece (there will be scraps)
-11 inch piece of ribbon
-poly-fil or fiberfill
-embroidery supplies (hoop, floss, scissors, needles)
-sewing machine and coordinating thread
-Telephone embroidery pattern (available at Urban Threads)

I created a pattern of sorts using a free vintage pattern from French-knots.com and incorporated text using a stock font in a Word document. You can access the vintage floral pattern here, but I have also made the floral pattern with text available for you here.

Step 1: Transfer the patterns to fabric. Make sure to place the the patterns far enough away from each other so you can cut 6.5x6.5-inch squares out of fabric with the embroidery at the center. Stitch.

Step 2: Once embroidered, cut two 6.5x6.5-inch squares with the embroidery at the center of each square.

Step 3: Place one square with the right side, face up, and lay the ribbon on top of it with the curved part inward and the edges aligned along the top edge of fabric. The outer edges of the ribbon need to be at least 1-inch away from the side edges of the fabric. Lay the second embroidered square right side down on top of this. Pin in place.

Step 4: Stitch around the exterior of the square with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, leaving one small space at the bottom of the square open, for flipping. I used red so you could see where I sewed this up.

Step 5: Clip the corners and flip, pushing the corners out.

Step 6: Take poly-fil or fiberfill, and stuff the doorknob hanger to your liking. Be careful not to overstuff the hanger, because it can bust out the stitches.

Step 7: Using a ladder stitch, close the space used to flip and stuff the doorknob hanger.

Step 8: Hang on your office or work room door and hope I don't barge in while you are on the phone!

Hope you enjoy this week's tutorial and give it a try!

March 23, 2014

Patterns: New Bumpkin Bear!

L to R clockwise - Rabbit's Favourite Outfit, Over The Garden Gate, The Giraffe Ride - by Bumpkin

Just in time for some Easter stitching, there are three new embroidery patterns by Bumpkin! You can check these out, alongside Bumpkin's classic designs here.

March 20, 2014

Welcome Spring

Olá! May Spring inspire our stitching...

These stitches belong to Maria Alice, with fairy hands... And the inspiration came from the beautiful poppy fields of Alentejo.

*next week I'll bring the news from the Portuguese panels of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry.

March 17, 2014

Kristen's Tutorials on Cut Out And Keep!

Kristin (or as she's known on the internet, Bobby Pin Bandit) is being featured all this week as a Crafty Sewing Superstar on the blog Cut Out and Keep!

Kristin writes the wonderful Tutorial Tuesday series here on Feeling Stitchy, and we're mighty proud of her!

Visit Kristin's tutorials on Cut Out And Keep.

March 16, 2014

Patterns: The Girls

the girls

the girls by liz stiglets

Cozyblue has even more patterns out! The left is called Flower Girl and the right is called Home Girl and both can be found in Cozyblue's oh so tempting shop. Both have lots of really nice detail to get into.