Yet again a very poor blogger! I have to admit that home ed GCSEs and packing kits have somehow taken over my life. Which is why it took so long for this little autumnal embroidery to appear.
I have been doing little bits of stitching in between things
I still have a few (!!) unfinished projects and about a gazillion ideas in my sketchbook patiently waiting for their moment
but today I can focus on the completed stuff!! So here is my new pattern already in my Etsy shop. A little autumnal pixie in amongst the mushrooms in her peruvian knitted hat. And of course with a little bit of liberty bunting! I love those liberty scraps
I am attempting to become a better time manager in the light of all this craziness. We are not a 'busy' family by nature so this change to college times and keeping up with gcse subjects is all a bit new to us. No doubt it will all settle down eventually!!
So now back to posting parcels and French and English lessons!
and I will try to blog more often
finally! the final post of the stitch along. I hope you enjoyed the embroidery and I hope it has encouraged a few people to try a bit of embroidery too.
These are the instructions for the book cover. There are lots of tutorials out there for book covers and lots of Japanese magazines and books that contain instructions for various versions (I get my Japanese craft magazines from here) but this is how I like to cover notebooks.
These instructions are to cover a small moleskine pastel cahier (9cm x 14cm)
Once you have stitched your girl cut the top and bottom inch that you marked off. So that you are left with a rectangle measuring 16.5cm x 33cm.
Next cut a piece of medium weight interfacing the same size as your embroidered piece
and iron it onto the back of your embroidered piece.
Next I fold the fabric around the book to make sure that I am happy with where I need to fold it and mark the folds for the flaps and the centre back of the cover.
Now turn the two short edges in by 1cm and hem them.
Now cut a piece of lining fabric (I like this to be pretty even though you can hardly see it in the book!) 16cm tall x 15cm wide and hem the two edges with a 1cm seam allowance so it should now measure 16cm x 13cm.
with the right side of your embroidered piece facing up fold the flaps in and pin them. (Your flaps are folded onto the right side if this makes sense!)
Next lay your lining on top (with the right side facing down) centring it with the mark you made for the centre back on the embroidered piece. And pin in place.
Now stitch right across the bottom with a 1cm seam allowance. Then stitch right across the top with a 1cm seam allowance
And trim your seam to about 0.5cm neatly.
Now you have to turn the whole thing out and press it, pushing the corners out gently.
And finally slide your notebook in.
I'm sorry the pictures aren't quite as bright as I would have liked but the sunshine seems to have left for now!
I hope you enjoyed the stitchalong and don't forget there is a flickr group called lilipopo embroidery.
And a hashtag that I keep forgetting to use over on instagram #lilipopostitches
Well I'd better get on and start filling that christmas list notebook!!
I started with her boots here. Two strands of Anchor 169 and backstitch all the way around. If you are doing the red girl then the boots outline is two strands of Anchor 360 brown.
Next two strands of Anchor 168 and fill those boots with back stitch. The brown boots are filled with beige DMC 452.
Still using two strands of Anchor 168 outline her legs. The red girl has a red outline to her tights, two strands of red 304.
Now to make the stripes
I took two strands of Anchor 928 and made single stitches up the legs evenly. For the red girl the first stripes are red DMC 304.
Now take two strands of grey Anchor 398 and pop stitches inbetween the first ones to make stripes The second stripes are ecru on the red girl.
And that's the girl done
Although I still have a couple of lists to pop in at the bottom where I forgot to draw them!
I hope you've had fun stitching her.
Next Sunday I will pop the tutorial for making the book cover.
This morning I finished off her dress and most of the lists (I forgot to trace the lists that are around her feet so I will have to add those later on!)
For the red dress and lists I used
DMC 304 red
DMC 452 beige
DMC 3799 charcoal
DMC 318 pale grey
For the blue dress and lists I used
Anchor 168 mid blue
Anchor 928 light blue
Anchor 169 darker blue
I started with two strands of Anchor 168 (DMC 304 if red) and back stitched my way around the outline of her dress and sleeves, keeping the stitches as even as possible
I also used two strands of A168 (DMC 304 red) for the crosses at the top of her dress. I did these as individual crosses in the same way as the crosses on her hat.
For the crosses at the base of the dress I used a different method. Working one diagonal across the row of crosses (as above) still using two strands of A168 (DMC 304 red).
then I worked back across the row putting in the other diagonal (see above). I think this method seems to make my crosses more even.
The heart is also backstitched using two strands of A168 (DMC 304 red) but my stitches are probably about half the size of the dress outline stitches to make it easier to get around the curves.
For the ribbing I used just one strand of the same thread and made single stitches following the pattern.
Next I took two strands of the light blue Anchor 928 (DMC 452 beige for the red girl) and did a bit of running stitch for the dashes across the top and hem of her dress. Running stitch is just the normal in - out stitch that most people know.
I also used two strands of the same thread to backstitch just inside the heart.
And because she is really quite easy to embellish with extra stitching I decided I wanted stripey sleeves on the blue girl so I marked some stripes on them
I then stitched them using one strand of Anchor 168 and single stitches. You could do the same on the red girl using red or beige.
With her dress done I moved onto the lists. For the lists I used a single strand as I didn't want them to stand out as much as the dress.
For the blue girl the list outline was backstitched in Anchor 169, just a bit darker than her dress outline colour and the lines (single stitches) were Anchor 168. For the red girl the outlines were charcoal (DMC 3799) and the writing pale grey (DMC 318). Again I stitched quite slowly with the single strand, making sure that the end of one stitch butts perfectly against the beginning of the next.
and there are the lists.
The next stitch along post will be next Sunday as there is a very busy week coming up as Annis and I start on her GCSE home education! But I'm hoping to be into a nice routine by the end of the week. So roll on a week of English, Maths, French, Psychology and Literature!!
Wish me luck
Today I'm covering the face and hair.
If you are stitching the red girl you will need two strands of DMC 745 yellow (which I forgot to add to the pattern notes - very sorry) and for the blue girl I'm using two strands of ecru.
I'm hoping the photos help make my words a bit clearer here!
I start by back stitching the outline of the top part of the hair
I try to keep my stitches very small and even
Next I stitch a line down the middle of the hair and continue with more lines filling the top part of the hair
Now I make stitches as little v shapes to form the plait. I'm hoping that the final picture shows just what I mean
at the bottom of the plait there are three little stitches fanning out. I think the trick is to keep the stitches fairly small.
For some reason I started to stitch her face before her hair here but just ignore that. Normally I would stitch her face after her hair.
Take a single strand of the charcoal grey (DMC 3799) and pop a couple of stitches through the back of the hair stitches near the jaw line to anchor the thread. Now backstitch the jaw and neck, making sure to keep the stitches neat and on the line. I actually stitch quite slowly when I'm using one thread because any wobble tends to show up a lot more.
For the first eye I carry the thread up weaving through the back of the hair stitches and make two small stitches one above the other. I then weave the thread through the back of the hair stitches again and snip it.
For the second eye I anchor the thread in the back of the hair stitches in the same way I did for the jaw line then make two small stitches, anchor the thread again and snip. All this saves having knots at the back of your work.
That's the hair and face done. I will pop a post on about the dress on Sunday (hopefully!)
This stitch along is quite a fun distraction from all the upheaval that is happening here at home. One son gone away to university to study film, only an hour and a half away but he has moved out and it does feel quite final! And the other son is at college studying art at college so he's not home educated any more!! Just one girl left at home all day with me until dad gets home! But that one girl wants to do five or six GCSEs so we're certainly not bored!
The stitching is a welcome break from all that studying!
I hope you're all enjoying your stitching and don't forget there is a flickr group that you are welcome to join if you would like to share your stitch along pics or any other lilipopo embroideries that you have stitched.
There is also a hashtag of lilipopostitches on instagram (I admit I keep forgetting to use it) for anyone who would like to share or chat on instagram.
Today I'm going to focus on her hat. I'm thinking a lot about all the beginners that I get messages from so this post is hopefully going to be very detailed with lots of pics.
I've decided to stitch my second girl in blues, the colours I've used so far are
I will probably also use a darker blue for the boots but I haven't decided that yet.
Don't worry if you are stitching in the original colours of the pattern as I will say which colours are used where.
A quick notes on tools
I used a six inch hoop as the whole pattern fits in nicely but you can use a smaller one and move it around as you stitch. I also use a number 8 crewel needle here.
I begin by cutting about a 45cm length of thread and separate two strands off to stitch with
I always start with the hat, probably because it's more colourful :) Beginning with either Anchor 168 (blue) or DMC 304 (red) bring your thread from the back of the work through to the front of the work about a stitch length from the start of the line. Leave an inch long tail at the back.
make sure you don't pull this tail through as you start to work, you won't need a knot as the tail will be woven into the back of the stitches as you sew.
You are working backwards so take your needle back down at the beginning of the line, being careful not to pull your tail through.
as you stitch just catch the tail in the back of your stitches and this will make it secure
If you are careful to put the needle back down in the same hole as the previous stitch you should get a neat line.
For the cross stitches simply make a stitch on the line and then a second stitch crossing it still using the same colour.
Because I don't want the threads showing through my fabric, if I have to carry them elsewhere I use the stitches that are already there and weave the thread through the back of the stitches to the place I need to be next.
The running stitch is still in the same colour. I tend to stab stitch this because of the tautness of the fabric in the hoop. Just simple in - out stitches to the end.
That's all the darker blue/red for the hat. Now cut a 45cm length of Anchor 928 (if doing the blue version) or DMC ecru (if doing the red). Separate off two strands to stitch with.
and now you're going to back stitch those solid lines just as you did the outline of the hat.
Next there are a few seed stitches in the top portion of the hat. I hope you can see how tiny in the pic.
and once your seed stitches are done you need to bring your needle up right in the middle of the pompom.
You are going to radiate stitches from the centre of the pompom. Each time returning to the middle.
Keep going until you are happy with the look of the pompom. When you are finished weave your thread through a few stitches at the back and snip.
And there you have a cute little knitted hat!
I will be back on Friday for a post on the face and hair stitching
Have a lovely week
p.s this is the link for the pattern for anyone who is just joining in
Well! I think the link on the last post should now be working correctly after quite a bit of messing around yesterday!
So, on to the start of the stitch along.
The fabric that I used above is Robert Kauffman essex linen in natural (a cotton linen mix), but for the one I'm stitching up as we go along I am using white (to show the stitching more clearly hopefully). Any medium weight smooth cotton or linen/mix will be fine for your embroidery. If your fabric is too thin you will be able to see the back of your work through the fabric. Too thick and it will be difficult to trace.
Normally I use a pilot frixion pen for all my transferring. It is heat removable (you iron over it and it disappears. And normally it works beautifully, creating a fine line for the detail BUT the white fabric I am using today does not like this pen! I made a mistake, ironed it and was left with a very faint yellowish mark. I have to say I have never had this problem before so I am not sure if it is because my fabric is white or just this particular type of fabric. Of course this is why we should always check our markers on a scrap piece before starting!
If I were to use this fabric again I would use a fine water removable pen such as this or a vanishing pen. But now that I have been to have a look at cottonpatch I've noticed pens I haven't seen before so I may be trying some out in the near future...
I have tried the sulky transfer pen (you trace the design onto tracing paper in reverse then iron the pattern onto your fabric leaving a permanent pattern) but I found the line a little thick. It's possible that with a little practice this would improve. The advantage of this pen is that you should be able to get more than one transfer from your original tracing. You are effectively making your own transfer.
What to do
If you are finishing the embroidery as a cover for the moleskine cahier then you will need a piece measuring 33cm x 21.5cm (13" x 8.5").
Onto this draw a line one inch from the base of the longer edge of the fabric and another one inch from the top of the fabric. This marks the actual pattern size for the book cover.
Then make a small mark 7.3cm (2 and 6 eighths") from the right hand shorter edge, and another 16.3cm (6 and 7 eighths") from the right hand shorter edge as above. You will need to trace your girl centrally between these marks so that she will sit in the right place on your cover.
I hope this makes sense!
Very recently I treated myself (!!) to a very fancy pants lightbox because I have to do so much transferring and wanted a flat surface with a more even light. But until very recently I used a bog standard crafting light box which worked well enough. Before that I taped my pattern to a sunny window and then taped my fabric over it and traced it that way (this does make your arms ache a bit though).
this is my finished tracing using the frixion pen.
If you are not making a notebook cover then you can simply centre your pattern on your fabric.
Just in case anyone didn't get my list of colours and notes I am popping them here
DMC 304 red (my favourite red!)
Anchor 360 dark brown
DMC 452 beige
DMC 318 pale grey
DMC 3799 charcoal
and the stitches I used
back stitch filler
I used two strands of thread for every thing apart from her face and the lists.
Tomorrow I will be starting her hat.
Please feel free to add your own transferring tips and methods and the fabrics and tools you prefer in the comments. I will also start a discussion thread on transferring in the flickr group.
It's finally here, the christmas lists pattern and stitch along that is a big thank you to all my followers and customers.
This is a link to google drive where you should be able to open the pattern. I know that sometimes people have difficulties with google drive so if you can't open the file please email me at email@example.com and I will email the pattern (this may take a day to happen)
I have included colour notes and a list of stitches that I used but no detailed notes. You can either stitch her as you like or follow the stitch along on my blog if you prefer. For those of you who use it there is a flickr group set up for this (and any other lilipopo patterns that you stitch) if you would like to share your progress. I would love to see the pics over on flickr. You will need to join the group to post.
My instagram hashtag for the stitch along will be #lilipopostitches. This is all a bit new to me so there may be some little difficulties to iron out along the way!
If you would like to create a notebook holder with the embroidery I will put the fabric dimensions on my blog tomorrow along with instructions for transferring the pattern for any beginners
For those who just want to start stitching here are some notes
I used Robert Kauffman essex linen in natural
Most of the stitching is two strands of thread. The lists are sewn with a single strand in back stitch. The writing on the lists is also a single strand of thread.
The plan is to work through the embroidery over September. I will pop a couple of posts a week on here focussing on beginners
I will be back here tomorrow afternoon (UK time!) when I will check any messages.
Have fun with the pattern
It has been suggested by my lovely instagram followers (lilipoposketches is my instagram name) that a stitch along might be a nice idea. I can't decide if it is two words or one so I have used both!
Anyhow I thought that it would indeed be a nice idea and that it might make a lovely bit of a stitchy thing to do in the autumn (at least autumn here in the UK)
I wanted to do something a little wintery and I am a fanatical list maker (it doesn't actually make me any more organized it just makes me feel as though I am). I have bullet journals for work and home/family, two filofaxes, a sketch journal, a journal journal... As I said 'fanatical'.
So I was thinking along the lines of 'this year I am absolutely going to be ready for christmas (ssssshhhhhh) way before it actually arrives... I need a special little book of christmas lists' (little so that I can hide it away and pretend I am not already thinking about christmas).
And I had a cute little sketch of a scandi style girl with all her christmas lists on bits of scrap paper.
So I've been messing around stitching her
and this is my plan
in mid September I will pop the link to the pattern for the girl here on my blog
I am going to stitch her up as a notebook cover to cover the really small pretty moleskine cahier books (they come in packs of three).
I will photograph my progress on here and set up a flickr group for anyone joining in.
You can either make her up the same way I do (I will pop a notebook tutorial on here) or do something else entirely with her, it's up to you :)
I hope this mention of christmas isn't too soon but I know that us crafters have to start thinking a little earlier than the shoppers!
Now I'm taking the week off for my mum coming down for a holiday
See you in a week