My first embroidery project

Transferring the embroidery design with a lightbox. I decided not to worry about 18th century designs and just have a little fun of my own with this one.

It feels funny to say that I’m almost finished with my first embroidery project, but the garment project itself is only almost half-finished.

I’m making a pair of 18th century pockets and decided to embroider them. The first pocket embroidery is almost finished, and then I can take it off the frame, sew the pocket, and do it all over again.

Not focusing on authenticity

Although I have the 18th century embroidery book my husband gave me for my birthday, I decided to just focus on learning embroidery without worrying about the look of the piece.

No one will see the pockets since they’ll be tucked inside my pocket hoops, so I decided to have a little fun with some ideas that came to mind.   It’s still giving me the chance to practice a lot of stitches, as well as pushing myself to try things that would have scared me to try if this were going to be on an outer garment.

The Internet is a wonderful source of information

I’ve practically been living on Needle ‘N Thread lately, learning how to embroider.  Things I struggled with when I was a kid are seemingly so easy now.  Granted, my stitches aren’t perfect, but so far I’m very pleased and most importantly, I’m having fun!

There are a few things I wish I knew a little more detail to, but maybe I’ll make a list and send them to the embroidery website for possible tips. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll eventually pick up more tips from others when it comes up in the future.

My thoughts on the embroidery frame

So far, I love the frame!  There is one thing I’m concerned about.  One of the wooden spacers between the lap base arm and the scrolling frame is cracked.  I’m worried it will eventually break apart, and I’m not sure how easy it is to replace without getting something slightly different.  I might contact the store I purchased it from and see what they recommend. I don’t think it’s something I did — I noticed it when I started putting the fabric on the frame to start embroidering.

The fabric isn’t as taut as I usually like it to be when I’m embroidering, but I don’t mind it and have been getting used to it.  I knew that would be an issue since it’s being held in a different way.  The sides aren’t tacked down, but I needed to be able to scroll around on the fabric to focus on different areas.  I didn’t want to mess with a hoop and re-hoop constantly.  The lap frame base only came with the scrolling frame, so that’s what I used.  I really like not having to hold onto a frame or hoop with my hands.  I definitely could see myself buying more frames and accessories.

Since it’s something I can work on just about anywhere, I’ve been loving that aspect.  There aren’t a lot of things I need, so I don’t have to carry tons of stuff around with me.  I do need to find a carrying bag for it if I want to transport the frame.  At least the frame folds down flat for storage and carrying.

I have discovered I don’t have enough light, even when I work during the day with windows open and lights on. My hand keeps blocking where I’m working.  I will have to look into a clamp-on light.  My mother mentioned one to me, so she might send me one she doesn’t use.

I must admit, I’m spending a lot of time relaxing with the Yule Log on Roku‘s Holiday Channel on TV while I work. I can get used to this!

It’s been a nice break from sewing garments

I must admit, it’s been a nice little break from sewing garments, but I can’t wait to get back to garment sewing.  I probably should have split my time between garment sewing and embroidery, but with the holidays and funds, I figured it would help keep me busy for a little while.  I’m not even sure when my next potential deadline for an event (or what kind) will be.  While I should try to pick the speed up a little, I’m in no rush right this moment.  I’ll probably try to move forward a little quicker after the New Year.

A more detailed entry later

I’m not sure if I’ll post an entry of the embroidery when I’ve finished one pocket, or wait until both are finished, but I thought I might at least update my blog with what I’m currently working on.  I’ll go into more actual detail in that entry.

I’m not abandoning this blog, but I’ve found that I really want to focus more energy and time on my sewing instead.  I’m sure when I feel a little more caught up or inspired, I’ll get back to posting more frequently and actually finishing the rest of the sections on here.

My embroidery frame put away for the evening. The pocket pattern is in the foreground. Although I took this photo shortly after starting the embroidery, I'm currently almost finished with this pocket and have another to do just like it.

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
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4 Responses to My first embroidery project

  1. I love how it’s turning out and can’t wait to see a finished hanging pocket. I’m impressed that you chose a detailed project for your first embroidery project, and that some of the stitches you never even practiced before doing them on the design.

    I can’t wait to see what else you do down the line.

    I’ll always be amazed by what people can do with string…

  2. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that part. I’ll have to mention it when I do the final project entry about this… *nods* Some of the stitches were literally done for the first time on the project itself. I just wasn’t in the mood to mess with practicing. Honestly, I think that just shows how awesome the Needle ‘N Thread website is! I hope she keeps that site going — SO helpful!

    Thanks for the reply! 🙂

  3. Mary says:

    Great work (and the Needle N Thread site looks like a good resource, too). No matter what you do, your talent shines through. I hope you’ll go discuss that cracked frame; that sounds like a defect in the wood and I’ll bet they’ll replace it for you. Good idea on the clip on lighting, too. That should really help.

    Like Chris, I can’t wait to see the finished product. It’s beautiful.

  4. Thanks Mary! Yeah, once the current embroidery comes off the frame, I’ll try to see if I have any documentation showing I bought it from them. The thing that worries me, is that I ordered online, so I don’t know if they’ll be very helpful getting a replacement piece. Only one way to find out, though!

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