embroidered butterfly needlebook tutorial and free pattern (part one)


I hope you have all enjoyed the winter celebrations and are looking forward to a wonderful New Year.  As a little thank you for all the lovely support you have given me over this past year I have created a little butterfly pattern that you can download here

I used it for the cover of a little needlebook but you could pop it anywhere.  I think it would look sweet on a little notebook cover.  You could add flowers or stitch lots of butterflies.

These are the threads I used for the butterfly

IMG_5413 (2)

DMC 598 blue

DMC 3854 orange

DMC 352 coral

DMC ecru

Anchor 874 gold (the equivalent DMC is DMC 834)

DMC 451 brown


a piece of cotton or linen (I used cotton calico) 17cm x 11cm

a piece of quilt batting 17cm x 11cm

a piece of co-ordinating lining fabric 17cm x 11cm (I used Liberty tana lawn Claire Aude D)

a piece of co-ordinating felt 14cm x 8cm

a number 7 crewel needle


If you are making the needle book you need to fold your calico in half and trace the pattern onto the left side (what will be the front of the needlebook) using a removable pen (transferring patterns). 

Now, using 3 strands of DMC 598 and stem stitch outline the top wings of the butterfly.  Next, using 3 strands of DMC 3854 and stem stitch outline the lower wings.


Now work on the upper wings stitching both in the same way.

Take 3 strands of DMC 352 and, using rows of back stitch fill the edging of the top wings on both sides as above.


Now fill the tall triangles on the top wings using 3 strands of DMC 3854 and back stitch.


Fill the circles with Anchor 874 and satin stitch, again using 3 strands.

Next fill the wings with ecru thread and back stitch.  I used a slightly longer stitch than usual for this part (about 3 - 4mm)  Just stitch lines of back stitch and then add more lines next to those until you have filled the whole area


Next take 3 strands of DMC 451 and use back stitch to outline the body and stitch the antennae but not the tail

then fill the body with the same thread and stitch


For the tail stitch alternate single stitches using first DMC ecru then DMC 451 until the tail is filled


I stitched the very tip of the tail using DMC 451 and vertical stitches.

Next, using Anchor 874 and stem stitch embroider the lines on the lower wings.


Pop coral french knots in between the gold lines as above using 3 strands DMC 352.

Next add more french knots to the top wings where indicated using 3 strands of DMC 352.

Add a coral french knot to the top of each antennae using the same.


Once you have finished the butterfly stitching you need to place the embroidered calico onto the quilt batting ready to add the french knots and running stitch


Leave a 1cm border all the way around as a seam allowance as shown.  Then stitch through the cotton and batting making lots of french knots (you could use seed stitch if you prefer) on the front cover.  


For the back I drew straight lines 0.5cm apart and then stitched through the cotton and batting using running stitch

Tomorrow I will share how to stitch the needlebook together



part two of the tutorial

Friday tutorials - lavender girls - putting it all together


What you need to turn them into lavender girls:

an embroidered girl on a 16cm x 8cm rectangle of linen or cotton

a backing piece in the fabric of your choice 16cm x 8cm (I use the same fabric as the dress)

toy stuffing or kapok

dried lavender

string or ribbon to hang her up


Take your printed backing piece and place it right side up on the table.  Mark the centre of the top (short edge).  Place your folded piece of string (loop facing down as in the picture).


Next place your embroidered piece on top of the backing fabric with the right side facing down


At this point I stitch a few times backwards and forwards over the string to fix the string loop in place.

3 sides

stitch around three sides (leaving the bottom open for turning).  Use about a 1cm seam allowance.

Turn and stuff collage

clip the corners close (but not too close to the stitching).  Turn the girl the right way around and press her gently.  

To stuff the girl use small amounts of toy stuffing layering it with the dried lavender.  I use about 3 teaspoons of lavender.  Stuff her quite firmly then turn the hem under and slip stitch the bottom closed.

Final lavender girls

Your lavender girl is finished.

All these instructions are included in the pattern which is available here

these make sweet little presents 

or you could stitch her onto a book cover or a little purse.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial 


lavender girls tutorial part 1

lavender girls tutorial part 2

lavender girls tutorial part 3

Friday tutorials - lavender girls - stripes and shoes

Shoes and fern

Long stripy socks are an absolute necessity, even in summer (well, an English summer!).  They are very simple to stitch

Long socks tut collage

I use two strands for the outline of the legs and then switch to one strand for the stripes.  I outlined the summer girl's legs in Anchor 68 using back stitch.  Then I took a single strand of Anchor 68 and made single stitches across her legs for the stripes.  Next I took a single strand of DMC 304 and popped single stitches in between the stripes.  Then, because there was still a little space I popped single stitches in DMC 842 in between the red and the pink.  Lovely stripy legs.

Winter tights stripes

For the winter girl I stuck to two colours just DMC 304 and DMC 842.  And she is wearing tights rather than long socks so the stripes go all the way to her dress.

Winter top

The winter girl's top is stitched in exactly the same way as the tights.  Two strands of DMC 304 for the outline of the top and then single strands of DMC 304 and DMC 842 for the stripes.  The chest stripes are back stitched rather than being single stitches.

For the shoes

Shoes collage

Two strands are used for the shoes and boots to make them bulkier than the legs.  I outline the shoes with back stitch then fill them in with the same.  For the boots I used DMC 779 for the outline and then DMC 842 for the inside.  The shoes are DMC 304.

Next week the finishing touches and putting it all together as a hanging lavender cushion.


lavender girls tutorial part 1

lavender girls tutorial part 2

lavender girls tutorial part 4

Friday tutorial - lavender girl hats and hair and faces

The hats come after the dresses and I often outline them in the same colour as the dresses, as I have here.  There are two hats, a winter hat with a pompom on top and a summer tie hat.

The winter hat has ribbing and little crosses and vs on it that you can choose to trace if you want to.  The summer hat is left blank for you to stitch as you wish.

The first step is simply outlining the hats using two strands of thread and backstitch, one of my favourite stitches!

For the pink I used Anchor 68 and for the red I used DMC 304.  In both cases I keep my stitches fairly small and make sure that they meet perfectly.  If they don't I undo and restitch.

The ribbing is just straight stitches and I popped a couple of red straight stitches on the pompom.

Cross stitch

I worked the crosses by stitching a single line in one direction then coming back and crossing them.

The vs are done in the same way as the crosses but in cream DMC 842.  I also added a couple of cream straight stitches to the pompom.

Pink hat stitching

I backstitched the outline of the pink hat and then the fun part

Pink hat french knots

I started by adding a few french knots, really my favourite thing for embellishing!  I have a tutorial over here for french knots 

Then I added some more french knots in DMC 304 and some straight stitches to fill the hat

Summer hat

The hats are one of my favourite bits to stitch.

And so onto the hair

Hair tut collage

For the summer girl I used DMC 842 and for the winter girl I used DMC 779.

I use two strands of thread.  I start by outlining the top part of the hair in back stitch (first pic).  Next I fill the area with back stitch (second and third pics). The plaits are little v stitches that lead down to the bottom of the plait.

Plait close up

Here is a close up of the stitching.  The bottom of the plait is three stitches spreading from the base of the plait.


Once all the plaits are finished I can't help but embellish a little more.  The summer girl has DMC 304 french knots in her hair while the winter girl has single stitches to make hairbands and a hair slide (this is great if you really don't like french knots).

For the faces and necks I use a single strand of thread as it adds a bit of delicacy to the stitching.  Stitching with a single thread really has to be neat as it can easily look wonky!  Again all of this is done in back stitch, although you could use stem stitch and have a slightly thicker line.  Sublime stitching has a lovely stem stitch tutorial


This is an arm being back stitched.  And don't forget (as I invariably do) to stitch the top of the summer girl's legs above her long socks.

I use two strands for the eyes because I find that one strand can get a little lost with such tiny stitches.

Next Friday stripes and shoes

lavender girls tutorial part 1

lavender girls tutorial part 3

lavender girls tutorial part 4

Friday tutorial - lavender girls transferring and appliqueing

Dresses stitched

I often get asked about the materials and pens I use so I am going to start with what I use for the lavender girls.

Firstly the fabric is Robert Kauffman Essex linen in natural (this is also rather nice in linen colour, a sort of off white).  I buy this fabric from celtic fusion fabrics in the UK.  They are always super quick to send it out.

I use a no.7 crewel needle to stitch with, the eye is just big enough to save my eyes but it's still fine enough for the stitching.

I use a 4" hoop and move it around but you could use a bigger hoop if you wanted to.  My preference is for wooden hoops as they don't seem to mark the fabric as easily.

Transfer pattern

I am lucky enough to have a fancy lightbox these days that is huge and flat and evenly lit but I used the window (aching arm) method for tracing for a long time and then a cheaper crafting light box that worked well. 

To transfer you place the pattern over the light source and your fabric over the pattern.  If you are using a bright window just tape your pattern to the window and tape the fabric over that.

I use a pilot frixion pen that is heat removable.  I have a post on pens here

Then just trace the pattern

Pattern transfer 3

I traced these girls into the centre of rectangles that measure 16cm x 8cm as I made them up into hanging lavender cushions.  I also trace the dress patterns to make the dresses.

Dress cutting

For the dresses cut a rectangle of the dress fabric a little bigger than the dress and apply bondaweb to the back.  Peel off the backing and cut the dress out using the pattern.  I have a tutorial on dress applique over here

For these two girls I used valeria red mitsi and Katie and Millie liberty tana lawn which I bought from Alice Caroline on Etsy as fat quarters.  If you would prefer smaller pieces of liberty then I highly recommend very berry fabrics on folksy, she is a lovely friendly and helpful lady.  You can even buy bags of scrap fabrics to make lots of different dresses.

Pin dress

Next pin the dress in place and stitch it.  I used Anchor 68 pink to stitch it down.  For the winter girl's dress I used DMC 304 red.

Stitching dress

I don't iron the dress until the very end because my pen disappears with heat!

Next Friday we will stitch the hat and hair.

Please feel free to ask any questions about the process or materials.

The lavender girl pattern is available to buy here


lavender girls tutorial part 2

lavender girls tutorial part 3

lavender girls tutorial part 4

stitch along book cover - final post

Notebook cover pic 7

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

Notebook cover pic 1

and iron it onto the back of your embroidered piece.

Notebook cover pic 2

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.

Notebook cover pic 3

Now turn the two short edges in by 1cm and hem them.

Notebook cover pic 4

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.

Notebook cover pic 5

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

Notebook cover pic 6

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.

Notebook cover pic 7

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 hashtag that I keep forgetting to use over on instagram #lilipopostitches

Well I'd better get on and start filling that christmas list notebook!!


1-the pattern

2-transferring the pattern

3-stitching the hat

4-stitching the hair and face

5-stitching the dress

6-stitching the tights

7-you are here

stitch along stripey tights


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.

Boots outline

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.

Legs outline

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.

Full stripes

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.

Double stripes

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.


1-the pattern

2-transferring the pattern

3-stitching the hat

4-stitching the face and hair

5-stitching the dress

6-you are here

7-making up the book cover

stitch along stitching the dress

Dresses collage

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

Dress outline 1

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

X stitches

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.

X stitches 2

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).

X stitches 3

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.

Running stitch

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.

Inner 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

Sleeve stripes

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.

Full dress

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


 1-the pattern

2-transferring the pattern

3-stitching the hat

4-stitching the face and hair

5-you are here

6-stitching the tights

7-making up the book cover

blog stitch along face and hair


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!

Hair 1

I start by back stitching the outline of the top part of the hair

Hair 2

I try to keep my stitches very small and even

Hair 3

Next I stitch a line down the middle of the hair and continue with more lines filling the top part of the hair

Hair 4

Now I make stitches as little v shapes to form the plait.  I'm hoping that the final picture shows just what I mean

Finished hair

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.

Single thread

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

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.

Happy stitching


1-the pattern

2-transferring the pattern

3-stitching the hat

4-you are here

5-stitching the dress

6-stitching the tights

7-making up the book cover


stitching the hat - stitch along

Pic main

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

Anchor 168

Anchor 928

DMC 3033

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.

Pic 3

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

Pic 5

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.

Pic 4

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.

Pic 6

You are working backwards so take your needle back down at the beginning of the line, being careful not to pull your tail through.

Pic 7

as you stitch just catch the tail in the back of your stitches and this will make it secure

Pic 8

If you are careful to put the needle back down in the same hole as the previous stitch you should get a neat line.

Pic 9

For the cross stitches simply make a stitch on the line and then a second stitch crossing it still using the same colour.

Pic 10

Pic 11

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.

Pic 12

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.

Pic 13

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.

Pic 14

and now you're going to back stitch those solid lines just as you did the outline of the hat.

Pic 15

Next there are a few seed stitches in the top portion of the hat.  I hope you can see how tiny in the pic.

Pic 16

and once your seed stitches are done you need to bring your needle up right in the middle of the pompom.

Pic 17

You are going to radiate stitches from the centre of the pompom.  Each time returning to the middle.

Pic 18

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.

Pic 19

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


1- the pattern

2- transferring the pattern

3- you are here

4- stitching the face and hair

5-stitching the dress

6-stitching the tights

7-making up the book cover