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This is the final post in this series and deals with the bordering stitch for my sampler. The pulled work I have been practising is for use in an up-coming project of mine, an 18th century embroidered fichu. From my recent research into some extant items, most fichus were either edged with a rolled hem, or blanket stitched into a decorative scalloped edge. It was this type of blanket stitch that I really wanted to try.

Blanket stitch is a very common embroidery stitch, and is sometimes called buttonhole stitch. These stitches are exactly the same in terms of structure.

The buttonhole stitch

The buttonhole stitch

In my reading regarding embroidered extant items, I found that sometimes a blanket stitch was used over the top of a folded raw edge, which to me sounded like a very neat way of doing it. Unfortunately, this is very hard to do over a scalloped edge and I had to abandon my attempt because it was very slow going and rather messy. It could work better if the scalloped edges were folded and basted down first though – something to try for another day!

Initially I used two strands of embroidery cotton, but this made the edging too bulky and untidy so I changed to using one strand of cotton. I also altered my technique to using a blanket stitch over the raw edge, cutting away the excess as I went along. This is an easier way to do a scalloped edge and was a lot more successful in some ways, but I still feel that cutting away the excess does not leave the edge looking as finished or clean as it could. Using one strand of embroidery thread was a good move though, as the stitches look a lot finer and less bulky.

At the bottom right you can see the bulky stitches using 2 strands of thread. Then I moved to using just one thread. You can also see my markings and the running stitch along the finishing line.

At the bottom right you can see the bulky stitches using two strands of thread. Then I moved to using just one thread. You can also see my markings and the running stitch along the scalloped line.

Once I was halfway through I decided to change the direction that I worked the blanket stitch. I had been working it so that the “loops” (A & C in the diagram above) were on the inside of the work, but I switched so that they would be on the outside, that is, the side where I was cutting away the material. The loops are hard-wearing and designed to increase the stability and wear-and-tear of a buttonhole, so my reasoning was that it was probably better that they were on the outer edge of the piece. From some quick embroidery research it appears that this is the way that it is supposed to be done, and I had been doing it wrong!

Here is my finished embroidery sampler:

All complete!

All complete! On the left side is the buttonhole technique that I finished with.

The blanket stitching around the edge is a little wonky, and I have realised that the quality of embroidery is impacted largely by the drawing that is done on the fabric. This is all the more reason to have a well-executed design drawing before I begin on my embroidered fichu.

I am looking forward to using some of these skills now! I hope you have enjoyed following my progress.

Related Posts

Pulled Work Embroidery Sampler: Part One

Sources and Relevant Links

Image source: Buttonhole stitch

Blanket stitch scallops – by Rocksea & Sarah

Shaped blanket stitch scallops – by Rocksea & Sarah

Many more Pulled Work stitches – by Lynxlace. At the top of this page there is also examples of different outline stitches. At the very bottom of this page there are examples of other edging stitches, including stitching over a folded edge.

For the last square in my pulled work embroidery sampler, I had decided to do some stitches that created a raised appearance. This raised effect is produced by pulling the rows of stitches towards each other underneath the fabric, so that the top of the fabric has a small “bubble”.

The double backstitch uses the same concept as a backstitch, but uses it over two rows to pull these rows together. It is worked horizontally.

Double backstitch is worked horizontally. The needle comes to the front of the fabric at the black dot. The solid lines represent the thread on the face of the fabric, and the dotted line that on the underside of the fabric.

Double backstitch is worked horizontally. The needle comes to the front of the fabric at the black dot. The solid lines represent the thread on the face of the fabric, and the dotted line that on the underside of the fabric. The grid paper represents the thread count of the fabric.

This stitch creates rows of holes, with a raised row of fabric that puffs up in between. I found it very easy to do and it has a very pretty effect, which you can see in my sampler below.

As in previous posts, when you are beginning a new row be sure to take the thread from the top of one row to the bottom of the next (or the furtherest distance that the thread can possibly take), which helps the tension remain even throughout your work.

The cushion stitch is a variation of the double backstitch, and is structurally very similar to it. The main difference is that the rows move apart from each other in steps, instead of staying straight, to create rounder “puffs” in the work.

The cushion stitch is worked horizontally.

The cushion stitch is also worked horizontally.

As can be seen from this example, the double backstitch could be used to create a variety of different effects by varying the distance between the rows.

My finished square looks like this:

The top stitch is . The bottom stitch is.

The top is double-backed stitch and the bottom is cushion stitch. It is difficult to see the “puffs” created in this photo, but it is quite a textural effect. 

I really enjoyed these stitches. The effect is quite different to what I had seen with the previous sampler squares and I liked it.

This was my last square in my sampler, but there are so many more stitches to try. I feel like this has just given me a taste of some filler stitches to use for my up-and-coming project: an embroidered fichu.

The last post in this series is Part Nine, involving the border, and it will be coming soon!

Related Posts

Pulled Work Embroidery Sampler: Part One

Making a Pair of Lawn Ruffles – with whitework

A Regency Letter Case

Sources and Relevant Links

Many different Pulled stitches – by Lynxlace

For the seventh square in my pulled work embroidery sampler, I wanted to try some cross stitches. Normally cross stitch is associated with the embroidery of coloured threads to make a picture, but it can also be used to great effect in pulled embroidery.

Upright cross stitch is fairly similar to normal cross stitch, except that the lines of stitching are worked diagonally across the fabric and not horizontally or vertically. This means that the stitches are also offset from each other. One half of the stitch is worked along the row and then the second half of the stitch is completed when you work back along the row.

This stitch is worked diagonally...

Upright cross stitch is worked diagonally. The thread comes to the front of the fabric at the black dot. The solid lines represent the thread on the top of the fabric and the dotted lines represent the thread underneath the fabric. The grid paper represents the threadcount of the fabric.

The Greek cross stitch is made by first laying the thread for the first two “cross-arms” to form a reverse L-shape. The needle is then taken behind and up to the corner of the L and anchors it by forming the third “cross-arm”. The fourth “cross-arm” is made in a similar fashion and then the centre of the cross is anchored by a small stitch through the middle. I had never heard of this type of stitch before, and its effect (as well as the technique) seemed quite different to what I had seen before.

Greek cross stitch is a bit more complicated that the other stitches I have done, so I have shown the steps in this picture.

Greek cross stitch is a bit more complicated than the other stitches I have done, so I have shown the steps in this picture. The fourth “anchoring stitch” that is done in the middle of the cross is what seems to create the different textural quality of this stitch.

Greek cross stitch is worked diagonally.

Greek cross stitch is worked diagonally, with each cross offset to the one before.

When you are ready to begin a new row, try – as in previous tutorials – to take your embroidery thread in such a way which creates an even tension (or pull) on each of the stitches. I found that a bit more complicated to do with this stitch!

My finished square looks like this:

The top left is cross stitch, the bottom right is Greek cross stitch.

The top left is upright cross stitch, the bottom right is Greek cross stitch.

I don’t feel that I was particularly successful with the second Greek cross stitch, but it does have a bit of a different textural quality when compared to other pulled work stitches. This is because of the way the cross sits on the top of the material. For some reason my tension differed in the top areas of the cross compared to the bottom, but maybe after a bit more practise I will improve!

Part Eight will be coming soon!

Related Posts

Pulled Work Embroidery Sampler: Part One

Making a Pair of Lawn Ruffles – with whitework

A Regency Letter Case

Sources and Relevant Links

Many different Pulled stitches – by Lynxlace

This weekend I had a love-ly time!

That’s right! LOVE-ly! I went to visit the exhibition “Love, Desire and Riches” at Ripponlea Estate in Melbourne, Australia.

Ripponlea Estate was built in 1868 by Sir Fredrick Sargood.

Ripponlea Estate was built in 1868 by Sir Fredrick Sargood.

This exhibition consisted of a collection of wedding dresses and wedding memorabilia, ranging from Victorian times through to contemporary dresses, and also included many wedding costumes used in films of classic literature.

A wedding dress from 1889, made from....

A wedding dress from 1889, made from silk ottoman, velvet, cord, chiffon and tulle.

The back view of an 1889 wedding gown.

The back view of an 1889 wedding gown. I love that vandyked edging to the train.

The photos I took were mostly of the extant garments, but it was interesting to see the wedding dresses from popular movies, such as that of Emma Woodhouse, played by Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma (1996), and Marianne Dashwood, played by Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility (1995). There were also garments used in the filming of Twelfth Night, Madame Bovary, and Great Expectations, among others.

Interestingly, this "celebrated CB corset" was a ready-made corset available to buy "off the shelf".

A corset, c. 1890. Interestingly, this “celebrated CB corset” was a ready-made corset available to buy “off the shelf”.

There was a room dedicated to the seductiveness of wedding lingerie, but also detailing the rather long list of items required for a bride’s trousseau. A trousseau not only included basic undergarments for the new wife (of the Victorian era, in this case), such as chemises, petticoats, corsets, dressing gowns, drawers and stockings, but also included items for the expected arrival of new babies. A trousseau rarely included expensive outer garments, but were merely a way of ensuring that a new bride could begin life with an entire “set” of “essential” undergarments for her new station in life.

I was excited to discover a copy of The Queen, The Lady’s Newspaper in one of the rooms. This publication had been the result of a merge between two magazines, The Queen and The Lady’s Magazine, in 1863. During the 1870’s and 1880’s, publications for ladies began developing that skill of advertising that we see so prevalently today!

An advertisement for silk shoes, published in "The Queen, The Lady's Magazine", August 2, 1879.

An advertisement for silk shoes, published in “The Queen, The Lady’s Magazine”, August 2, 1879.

An advertisement for a "binder belt", to be used after childbirth to help "remodel the figure of the wearer". From "The Queen, The Lady's Magazine", August 2, 1879.

An advertisement for a “binder belt”, to be used after childbirth to help “remodel the figure of the wearer”. From “The Queen, The Lady’s Magazine”, August 2, 1879.

As part of the exhibition, the rather-famous and rather-large statue of Mr Darcy is also residing in the lake at Ripponlea Estate.

Mr Darcy's statue that recreates the scene in Pride and Prejudice (2005) where Colin Firth as Mr Darcy swims in his lake at Pemberley.

This statue of Mr Darcy recreates the scene in BBC’s Pride and Prejudice (1995) where Colin Firth, as Mr Darcy, swims in his lake at Pemberley. There is nothing like a Regency man in a wet shirt…

The grounds of the estate were particularly nice to wander around in, especially on such a lovely sunny day. A coffee and lunch in the pop-up cafe made the day complete! This exhibition is advertised to run until the end of September, so be sure to rush in quickly and get your photo taken with Mr Darcy!

In a few more weeks I will be visiting another exhibition in Bendigo, Australia, “Undressed” on the fashions of underwear through history. Keep an eye out for the upcoming post!

Related Posts

Advice to Avoid Matrimonial Misery

A Recipe to Soften the Hardest Female Heart

Will Your Clothes End Up in a Museum?

Sources and Relevant Links

Ripponlea Estate, Melbourne, Australia.

Love, Desire and Riches Exhibition, National Trust of Australia

Mr Darcy in Hyde Park, London

For my sixth square of my pulled work embroidery sampler, I decided to do some faggot stitches. As with most of the other pulled work stitches, there are many different variations you can do with this stitch.

Faggot stitch is virtually a wave stitch that is worked diagonally. This stitch forms triangles that pull apart the threads of the fabric. I found the most important part of this stitch was at the ends of the rows, where it had to be worked in a particular way in order to ensure the tension continued to pull at the fabric threads evenly. For this reason I have drawn out my pattern for two “row changes” so that you can get the idea.

Faggot stitch is worked diagonally.

Faggot stitch is worked diagonally. The needle comes to the front of the fabric at the black dot and follows the direction of the arrows. The solid lines represent the thread on the front of the fabric and the dotted lines that on the back. The grid represents the thread count of the fabric.

Spaced faggot stitch is worked in a similar way as above, but the subsequent row is offset by one vertical and one horizontal thread of the fabric. This spacing can be difficult to count for the first time in a new row, but for subsequent rows it is easier. The result is a pretty diagonal cross that appears between the pulled threads, which you can see in the sampler below.

Spaced faggot stitch is also worked diagonally.

Spaced faggot stitch is also worked diagonally. In the same was as mentioned above, the needle follows the arrows.

The “row changes” should be worked in a similar way as the plain faggot stitch above to ensure the tension for the ends of the rows is even. If the tension is not even at the end of each row, then a conspicuous “blank” or un-pulled area appears which can look weird when using this technique as a filling.

My finished square looks like this:

The top is, the bottom half is...

The top left side is faggot stitch, the bottom right side is spaced faggot stitch.

As can be seen above, diagonally worked stitches struggle to fill in a square area completely as it is difficult to get them worked to the very edge of the piece. For this reason, it maybe important to think about the area to be filled before deciding on a particular pulled stitch to use.

I hope you are finding this series useful. Part Seven is coming soon!

Related Posts

Pulled Work Embroidery Sampler: Part One

Sources and Relevant Links

More Pulled Stitches and outline stitches – by Lynxlace. This site also includes some free sampler patterns for you to try.

There has been an enormous amount of sickness flying around my family over the past few weeks and I am behind schedule! My embroidery sampler has been coming along well so far, and I have been feeling like I have learnt a lot about a variety of different stitches, as well as the technique of pulled work.

For my fifth square of the sampler, I have attempted four-sided stitch and a variation of it.

Four-sided stitch is essentially four stitches that form a square, with diagonal stitches on the reverse of the fabric which draw the stitches into the middle. There are many different variations that you can do with this stitch, including changing the shape or size of the square or offsetting the squares in the subsequent rows.

Four sided stitch is worked from side to side.

Four-sided stitch is worked from side to side. The needle comes to the front of the fabric at the black dot. The solid lines represent the thread on the front of the fabric and the dotted lines that on the back. The grid represents the thread count of the fabric.

Spaced four-sided stitch is a variation of the four-sided stitch that adds a space between each square. In this case, the space is one thread of the fabric which creates a very cool effect on the finished work.

The spaced four sided stitch is worked from side to side, but has one thread between each square of stitches. This makes an interesting cross pattern on the finished work.

This spaced four-sided stitch is worked from side to side, but has one thread between each square of stitches. This makes an interesting “cross” pattern on the finished work, which you can see below.

As mentioned in the previous posts, for both of these stitches, when you are finished a row make sure to bring your thread from the top of one row to the bottom of the next row.

My finished square looks like this:

The top half of this square has four-sided stitch, and the bottom half has spaced four-sided stitch.

The top half of this square has four-sided stitch, and the bottom half has spaced four-sided stitch.

I really like the spaced four-sided stitch. It has such a nice pretty effect.

Part Six is here!

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Pulled Work Embroidery Sampler: Part One

Making a Pair of Lawn Ruffles – with whitework

Sources and Relevant Links

A great variety of Pulled Stitches – by Lynxlace – along with some free samplers and patterns to try out.

For the next square in my sampler, I decided to try another pulled stitch that uses backstitch as its main component.

The square-backed stitch (or square backstitch) is similar to the ring backed stitch, except that the backstitches form large squares instead of rings.

The square backed stitch is worked diagonally. The black dot is where the thread comes to the front of the fabric. The black lines represent the first half of the row and the red lines represent the second half of the row.

The square backed stitch is worked diagonally. The black dot is where the thread comes to the front of the fabric. The solid lines show the thread on the front of the fabric and the dotted lines the back. The black lines represent the first half of the row and the red lines represent the second half of the row. The grid represents the thread count of the fabric.

For my sampler, I made my stitching bigger than the above diagram, with each stitch crossing four (instead of three) threads of fabric.

This is my finished square:

Square backed stitch is worked diagonally.

My fourth sampler square contains only square-backed stitch, as it covers a large area and I wanted to see how it looked in several rows.

I didn’t really like this stitch much. It felt awkward and the underside of the stitches can show through the spaces made in the fabric. That is probably why I only did half of the square with it. It does still look good though.

There are a few other varieties of pulled stitches that can be done with backstitch, as backstitch does lend itself to being pulled. You could even make some of your own patterns or variations of backstitch in sequences.

Part Five is now completed. 

Related Posts

Pulled Work Embroidery Sampler: Part One

Making a Pair of Lawn Ruffles – with basic whitework

Sources and Relevant Links

Pulled Stitches – by Lynxlace – this site contains many different pulled work stitches and some free patterns and samplers to try out.

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