free princess and unicorn embroidery pattern

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Here is the completed free unicorn and princess embroidery pattern along with a colouring page for anyone who would like to do a bit of colouring in.

princess and unicorn embroidery pattern

I used a white linen but you can also use cotton.  If your fabric feels a little flimsy then once you have traced the design put a second piece of fabric behind it and stitch through both layers.  I am using a 7" embroidery hoop but you can use whatever you have.

I have tried to keep the stitching fairly basic but you can try out other stitches.

If you have never transferred a pattern before please head over here to find out how

transferring a pattern

If you don't have a frixion pen (or other embroidery pen) you can use a pencil just make sure it is sharp and that your lines are very light so you will cover them with your stitching.

You don't have to trace everything.  I tend to trace the main lines and shapes and add the details by copying the design rather than tracing every single line.  So for example for the ferns on the unicorn's legs I would just trace the main lines not all the little leaf lines.

I have used quite bright pastels so that the stitching shows up well for the photographs but you can use whatever colours you have.  I think it would look great stitched in blacks and greys.

I have a tutorial for backstitch


and french knots 


There is a fabulous sublime stitching video for 5 basic stitches (including backstitch and stem stitch)


I'm sorry for all the links but hopefully they will all work!  Tomorrow I will be back with stitching notes for the princess riding the unicorn.

I also have a colouring page of the unicorn and princess that has more detail in it

unicorn and princess colouring page

There is also this colouring page from a few years ago

garden girl colouring page

I hope these help pass a little time and maybe help with a little bit of destressing too.


wintering and split stitch

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January is a month for dreaming and planning, warm winter woollies and hot coffee.  This inspired the newest lilipopo embroidery pattern 'winter coffee'. 

I love the winter months for drawing and stitching, once the dog walk is done I can make myself a coffee and cosy up on the sofa and sketch or stitch the day away.  At least for some of the days of the week.  The computer part of pattern making is a little less romantic!

For this pattern I have used my usual back stitch but I have also introduced quite a bit of split stitch.  I have been loving split stitch recently, it gives such a nice texture to things like hair

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and butterfly wings (the kits I am working on at the moment)

Split stitch finished

It's a nice simple stitch to do and I find it quite therapeutic once I get a rhythm going.  

I have tended to use two strands, you can use as many as you like but I do prefer an even number.

Follow the lines of the shape you are stitching.  I like to make a few separate rows of split stitch and then fill in between them.

You begin with a stitch

Split stitch fill 1

Now you are going to bring your needle up between the two strands of that stitch about half way along

Split stitch 2

now take your needle down about half a stitch length from the end of the first stitch

Split stitch 3Split stitch 4

Now you are going to bring your needle up between the two strands of that stitch about half way (at the end of the previous stitch)

Split stitch 5

and you continue in this way...

Split stitch 6

I like to leave a gap and create a few separate lines and then fill in between them keeping them very close.

Here is a link to Jenny Hart's fab video for 5 basic stitches including split stitch


My winter coffee embroidery pattern can be found here 

The spring  moth kits should be ready for March and spring (once the storms are over)


a purple unicorn


I recently stitched up my unicorn pattern in purples and pinks and had quite a few requests for the colour palette.  I was trying out some of the lovely etoile threads from DMC.  They have a subtle glittery effect but are so much easier to stitch with than either the glitter or satin threads.  I loved using them.  The threads are marked with a 'c' before the number and the colours correspond to colours that already exist.  So, for example I used 603, a pink thread and c603, the equivalent etoile thread in the same colour.


So here is the colour palette

The main body of the unicorn is stitched using backstitch and DMC 209

The hooves are backstitched using DMC 603

The mane and tail are stitched using stem stitch and a mix (one thread of each) of DMC 210 and DMC 26

The horn is stitched using stem stitch and DMC c603 (an etoile thread)


The fern braiding is stitched using fern stitch and DMC 603 (plain not etoile)

The french knots on the braiding are stitched using etoile blanc (white)

the stars on the unicorn are stitched using c603

The stars in the sky are a mix of DMC 3350, DMC c603 

The flower heads  are stitched using a mix of DMC 3350 and DMC 603 (plain threads)

The ferns are stitched using DMC 503 and fern stitch

Finally the flower stalks were stitched using a single strand of DMC 3052 or DMC 471 (I did a few stalks in each)

I also added a few little stitches to the stalks as leaves.


this is the colour list

etoile threads

DMC c603

DMC etoile blanc (white)

Normal DMC threads

DMC 603 pink

DMC 600 pink

DMC 3350 red pink

DMC 209 purple

DMC 210 purple

DMC 26 light purple

I used 2 strands apart from the flower stalks.

I stitched the unicorn on a pre-printed panel (no transferring required).  It is available in my Etsy shop 

If you are happy to transfer the pattern yourself it is available here

It's a very easy pattern to stitch and suitable for a child or beginner.



an embroidered spring moth

Moths all three

It has been such a long time since I last wrote here, an unexpected break.  At first it was caused by getting caught up in Christmas busyness and then a long slow start to 2019.  

Last year, when I shared a picture of my little pincushion I had quite a few requests for a pattern or kit for it.  So, months later, I have designed a pattern for it along with a couple of other possible colour palettes.  It could be made up into a pincushion or a lavender bag or even a panel on a little purse.

Blue moth

Kits are more of a difficulty because I really like this design on the Robert Kaufman essex linen (in either natural or linen).  The design is very small (only about 7.5cm (3") tall) so I have ordered a screen from thermofax screens and I am about to have a go at screen printing the design onto the fabric. 

I think this could take quite a bit of experimenting to get the right colour for the lines, not so dark that they show through, not so light that you can't see them to stitch, but I am quite excited by the possibility of producing kits using my favourite fabrics.

Moth pinkish pin cushion flatlay

This little pin cushion is very simple to stitch and really you could just use your favourite colours.  You could add a little ribbon loop (and lavender) to make it into a lavender bag.  I used danjo liberty tana lawn

While I was stitching it the weather was beautifully spring like, it has now turned and feels as though we are heading back into winter but a bit of spring stitching can help to remind us that spring will come back.  And if you are heading into autumn and winter right now you could try some nice autumnal colours on a natural linen.


and here is one of my sample pincushions in action in my chaotic sewing tin.  I like to thread a few needles before I start stitching so I can swap quickly between them so I use the cushion to hold the needles.  They are also supposed to be in order of size but not always!

Caravan full picture

I am now working on a kit for my little caravan embroidery design.  There will also be a printed panel on white cotton.  I am hoping to have this available before the end of the month.

You can find the spring moth embroidery pattern here

and you can find the little caravan embroidery pattern here

I will be back next week with news (good or bad) about my screen printing experiments

Have a lovely week


new Kitty colour ways, kits and panels and autumn


I would like to say I'm sorry I've been away because I've been so busy but the truth is we have had a long long dry summer with warm weather and we are lucky enough to live in Cornwall.  Usually August is wet and I get lots of work done but this year I got lots of sea swimming and walking and beach stitching and sketching done but not so much sitting at the computer work done!  In fact the sun has come back to us over the last few days so we are experiencing a little bit of a second summer (although not quite as warm).  


With lots of time for stitching I decided to stitch a couple of new colour ways for my 'Kitty' embroidery pattern (which Etsy tells me is a 'best seller'!)  I thought I would pop the colours on my blog for anyone who has the pattern and fancies stitching it up in different colours.

This is the pinks version because this is lilipopo and pinks are irresistible to me.

DMC 3350 - a delicious red pink

DMC 3354 - a mid pink

DMC 3713 - a pale pink

DMC 758 - peach for a peachy kitten

DMC 453 - a very pale beige

DMC 451 - my usual brown

DMC3053 - a lovely soft green

Scarf second colour

a close up of the hat so you can see how the colours were used.

Full blue pic

And then the blues, although if you look carefully there is a little bit of pink in there.

DMC 926 - a darkish softish blue

DMC 927 - a mid blue

DMC 3023 - another lovely grey green

DMC 677 - a soft straw like yellow

DMC 3713 - that ubiquitous pale pink

DMC 453 - light beige

DMC 451 - brown

Hair outline

These were stitched onto the Kitty printed fabric panels (so no pattern transferring) they are printed in a very light grey so the lines do not show through the soft colours.

In the next couple of weeks I will be offering these as kits with an option for either blue or pink and with instructions for backing the hoop with felt.


I have also finally got some linen/cotton mix lavender girl kits available.  The fabric is nice and soft, quite thick and the weave is more open than the cotton.  They are also a more natural colour rather than white which I love.  I am running low on the soft pink one on the left but I will be trying to put a couple more in the shop next week.

I have been doing a lot of sketching over the summer and have a folder full of ideas for patterns that I am quite excited about, they will be arriving over the next few months one at a time!

I'm also going to try to have more of the patterns available as printed panels and kits for those who prefer them.

and now it's my favourite time of year with longer evenings and autumnal fruits. The blackberries are picked, I actually think Jason did pick all the blackberries, they are all in our freezer if anyone is looking for them.  I pottered around in the sunshine sketching flowers and taking photographs but then I make all of the blackberry and apple crumbles (he's also been scrumping apples).

Time for stitching in the cosy evenings with hot chocolate and apple and blackberry crumble.

I hope you are enjoying the season that you are in whether it's cosying down for the winter or starting to venture back out into the sunshine.





a simple flower embroidery tutorial

Lilipopo rose tutorial extra 2

My sketchbooks tend to be filled with drawings of flowers and my camera is filled with photographs of flowers at this time of year so it's no surprise that my stitch play has been just a little inspired by flowers too.

These woven roses are some of the simplest and most satisfying stitching I have done recently.  I love the way you can play with them.  You can use one colour or an array of colours.  You can use two strands or all six strands.  Your base stitches can be simple long straight stitches like spokes or detached chain stitches to create leaves underneath the flowers.

Best of all they are so very simple to stitch, in fact really they are woven.

Lilipopo lavender bag tutorial

For this little rose lavender bag I used

Robert Kauffman essex linen in natural (use doubled if you are worried about knots showing through)

a number 7 crewel needle (or larger, ie a lower number)

a 3" wooden hoop

DMC stranded cotton in

 DMC 760, DMC  761 and DMC 502

Lilipopo tutorial 1 

Begin by drawing a circle about 2.5cm (1") diameter using a removable pen and segment it with 5 lines roughly equal distance apart as above.  Now you take 3 strands of DMC 502 and create 5 large detached chain stitches from the centre out to the edge as above.

Lilipopo tutorial 3

this is the base of your flower.  You could use straight stitches if you prefer but I like the leaf effect of the detached chain stitches.

Now you are going to weave your rose.

Lilipopo tutorial 5

now take 6 strands of DMC 760, and bring it up through the fabric very close to the centre just to the left of the top leaf as shown above.  (I tied a knot at the back as there won't really be anything to anchor the back to).

Lilipopo tutorial 7

And now the fun part you simply weave the thread over and under the leaves in a circle pulling it into the centre as you go.  You don't go through the fabric, you are simply weaving over and under your green leaves.

Lilipopo tutorial 8

You just keep going round until you are happy with the centre of the flower.  You can push your stitches closer to the centre to stop the green showing through as you go.

Lilipopo tutorial 9

Lilipopo tutorial 11

When you want to change colour just go down through your fabric with the needle just after an under stitch and tie a knot to fasten it in place.  Then come up with the new colour just after the under stitch and continue in the same way

Lilipopo tutorial 12

Keep going until just the tips of the leaves are left showing.  Take your needle down through the fabric and tie the thread off.

Then make lots more

Lilipopo rose tutorial extra 3

You can experiment with size of circle, number of spokes, colours and thread tension for different effects.  You could use different numbers of threads, perhaps even doubling the six strands over so you are working with 12 strands.


you can also experiment with using straight stitches for the base and wrapping the flower thread around each strand as you go.  For the purple flower I wrapped the thread around each spoke instead of weaving over and under.

Next week we are off to WOMAD for a few days of dancing, music and (fingers crossed after last year) sunshine so the lilipopo shop will be closed from Thursday to Monday evening and there will be no blog post.

I hope you have a lovely week filling scraps of fabric with woven roses.




I've been busy over the last few weeks with a lot of admin type work and testing out printed panels but in between all of that I have been doing a little bit of sketching and this little pattern came out of it all.  Butterfly girls is two embroidery patterns that would sit together nicely in either a 5" or a 6" frame (I've shown both in the picture).  I've kept the stitching deliberately simple so the most difficult stitch is a french knot, most of the rest is back stitch, satin stitch or couching and a little bit of fern stitch.


I tried out a few colourways for this pattern but in the end I liked these muted soft colours the most so both patterns share most of the colours.  This one is a little more rose pink


and this one has more of a blue green feel to it.  I loved keeping the girl simple so I could get carried away with all the flowers and butterflies.  I just love embellishing.  I did stop myself though so it's not too busy (I hope!).

The butterfly girl pattern is available in my Etsy shop over here

Now I'm thinking about winter patterns, which seems so strange when summer feels as though it's only just beginning.  I find it easier to work in the late evenings so I can forget the season I am in for a while as it's still quite cool here in the evenings.  It's difficult for me to think of anything but flowers at the moment!  Perhaps I will try knitting something, that always feels a bit wintry.

I'm looking forward to this weekend as it is our  Golowan festival which is always full of lots of inspiring costumes and creatures in the processions through the town along with lots of lovely stalls and music and it looks like sunshine too!

But my very favourite part is the Serpent dance late tonight after the fire works with the slightly scary 'oss.

So I will be dancing tonight and enjoying the sunshine tomorrow (hopefully).  I hope you have some lovely weekend plans too whether you are in Summer or Winter.



how long should my stitches be?

Lilipopo blog stitch length copyA question I get asked quite a lot is how long my stitches are.  The first time I was asked I took a ruler and measured, a fairly consistent 3mm.  But this morning I was a little distracted while I was stitching this first draft of a princess and listening to podcasts and when I looked down I noticed something strange.  I had naturally stitched much smaller stitches on the inside curve of the dress.  I expected my stitches to be the same size throughout as I do such a lot of back stitch but my subconscious had decided that the waist of the dress would be better with smaller stitches.  The funny thing is I think it does look better, it adds to the sense of the dress pulling in tightly around the waist then billowing out into the full skirt.

Door and borderI do know that the backstitch on my little caravan door is bigger than 3mm probably because it's a longer straighter line.  I've realized that I often don't think too much about the stitch size.  It seems to happen naturally.  There are occasions when I might deliberately use a tiny stitch or a much longer stitch for a particular effect but usually I just start stitching.

In the past I haven't included a suggested stitch length in the pattern but now I'm thinking it might be helpful for beginner stitchers to have a sense of how big the stitches should be.  After all I have no idea if other people's back stitch is the same length as mine or not.

Lilipopo chain stitch hairMy stitch length and tension are something I have been paying more attention to recently because I have been playing around with chain stitch.  Chain stitch changes so completely according to the stitch length and tension so you can create really different effects.  A tight tension and smaller stitch makes beautiful hair (this would work on the ballet dancers hair too) whereas a looser chain with bigger stitches looks completely different.

I will share more of my chain stitching explorations soon.

Today is a beautiful sunny day but I am stuck indoors waiting for a parcel for my son hoping the sunshine will last for the weekend.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend no matter what the weather





A beautiful book by Yumiko Higuchi

IMG_6180When I first began Lilipopo it was zakka sewing that interested and encouraged me.  I love the way very simple designs can be beautiful with a little care.  So over the Easter weekend I had a little time to do some personal stitching and pulled out my zakka embroidery book by Yumiko Higuchi.  I have had this book  for quite a while now.  I did stitch one design when I first received it, loved it and then put the book in my bookcase and left it.  This week my train pass wallet fell to pieces in my hands so I decided that, rather than get another ugly plastic one from Great Western Rail, I would stitch my own pretty one and I remembered this book

IMG_6181 (1)There is a card wallet pattern in the book but I wanted a different design on it so I used the wallet pattern but spent some time working out where to put elements of the botanical design onto the wallet pattern.  I think most of the designs can be put onto most of the projects.  I love this design!  Flowers and insects are fabulous for stitching.  


this little bee is stitched with stem or outline stitch in the book.  I got ahead of myself and misread the pattern and stitched it using backstitch.  But he still looks great.  I had to use double my normal number of strands but I love the way it stands out from the fabric but it still has the details.

IMG_6184I really wanted to stitch this flower!  I was a little wary of all the chain stitch and at first I did have to do some undoing until I had a chain that seemed a good size but, once I got stitching, it was a dream to stitch.  I love love love the effect of the chain stalk and the running stitch petals.  I'm not too sure why I put the bird where I did other than that I wanted to stitch the bird!  I think he could be elsewhere but I still love the simple design.  The final wallet is perfect for my train pass and library card.


and I am so addicted to these designs that I have started another tile pattern.  This is a little lavender or pin cushion, I haven't decided yet... I just wanted to stitch it.  Lots more chain stitch practice.  I think chain could be my new addiction, which surprises me because it's not a stitch I would normally use very much.

I absolutely recommend this book, it's perfect for making small projects that you can carry around anywhere with you.  The focus is on one or two colours so you don't even need lots of threads to take about with you.  The projects would make beautiful gifts too. 

I would love to hear about your favourite embroidery books, after all you can never have too many!

Now I'll hide this stitching away for the weekend and get on with my work!



Easter and bunnies

Lilipopo little bunnies coasters

Spring keeps showing it's head for a moment here and then disappearing back into cold grey rain.  I think it's probably always like this at this time of year but I do love the sunny days!  So I wanted a happy project to fill a little time this week.

Lilipopo little bunnies idea

With Easter rapidly on it's way... this weekend!  I decided a quick bunny stitch was in order.  I took the little bunnies embroidery pattern  and played around with it a little to make two little coasters.  This pattern is so quick to stitch up and would fit nicely onto little drawstring bags for mini eggs too.  

Lilipopo little bunnies backing and lace

I cut a 4.75" square from some white linen (Robert Kauffman Essex linen) and the same of pink phoebe liberty fabric for the back. Then I cut a 5" square of quilt batting (warm and natural) for the wadding.  I traced the elements of the bunny pattern that I wanted onto the linen square.

Next I centred the linen onto the wadding and hooped up and embroidered through both.

Lilipopo little bunnies stitched

I like the padded effect of stitching through the batting too.  I used just four colours for this - DMC 451 (brown) DMC 603 (pink) DMC 761 (pale pink) and DMC 564 green

Lilipopo little bunnies applique tummy

I gave this little bunny an appliqued liberty pink tummy using bondaweb to stick the fabric down and little pale pink stitches to keep it in place.

After embroidering the pattern I added french knots in the pale pink all around the bunny, leaving a space all around the edge for the seam allowance (0.25")

Lilipopo little bunnies embroidered

and then, because I realized I would have to get my machine out I stitched another bunny on natural linen and added a lace trim and a liberty print border.  I also appliqued a little heart onto the linen backing fabric.

Lilipopo little bunnies machine stitching

These little coasters are very easy to finish just place your padded embroidery right side up and then place your backing fabric right side down on top of it.  Now stitch around the edge leaving a 1.5" - 2" gap for turning (I used a 0.25" seam allowance)

Lilipopo little bunnies finished 2

Once you turn them out poke the corners gently out, hand stitch the gap closed and give them a gentle press.  These were such fun to stitch, especially as they embroider up very quickly and you could add all sorts of trims to them or, if you're a quilter, bind the edges.

I hope you all have a very happy Easter and we get to enjoy some sunny spring weather, unless you are in the Southern hemisphere in which case cosy Autumn stitching is probably in order.

Happy Easter