Needle and Thread, Do you hand stitch?

Hey there! How's May treating you so far?
So this month usually marks a monumental trip to some corner of the country with the Sons of Turner, but this year, I can't go :( I'm really going to miss hanging with my favorite artists, and they leave on Monday. Have a good time in Maine guys.

In other news, I've been pretty busy getting caught up in a few ideas. On top of my ever growing project list (for sewing mostly) I've decided to take a detour with my painting and see about making some embroidery art pieces. It would look like a painting (maybe) but it'd be thread instead of paint. I'm not sure how this will play out, but I have a feeling I'll like it.

A few days ago Very Purple Person posted about her amazing backpack. The genius of this tote/backpack has got me mesmerized. I could probably easily (but more like, un-easily) figure out how to make it myself, but when I find a good pattern, I usually like to just use the pattern. :) Needless to say, I immediately went to the site to try and find the pattern, but it's out of print. This is where I scream in agony and my husband calls from the other room to ask what's the matter... (haha) But I don't let the 'unavailable' get me down just yet... It took me two days, but I found another place where they still sell the pattern: PurlSOHO. I love their blog, The Purl Bee, they always have a new cute pattern using one of their products, and usually have kits available in the shop if you want to recreate the project (plus tons of tutorials, how-tos, and projects you can create with your own materials as well). Well needless to say, I bought the pattern and I am seriously excited to get my hands on it. I'm thinking some embroidery will have to be involved...

Also, I've been hanging out on the Sublime Stitching website drooling over the awesome embroidery patterns. For some reason embroidery has been off my radar for (almost) my whole life. (When I was just learning to hand stitch when I was 6 maybe, my mom gave me a simple counted cross stitch to do, and that's all I ever did). But I was hit with the hand stitching bug after I tried some lattice smocking (or sometimes known as Canadian smocking). SO easy, you wont know why you never tried it before! :) Anyway, I tried making a dress with the waistband as smocking, but it turned out rather baggy and unflattering (the smocking was pretty awesome tho;) ). It was a huge disappointment all around, but I may try to do a thing or two to the dress to revive it.

Does anyone do a lot of hand stitching? Embroidery, smocking, or even constructing garments? How do you like it? What's your favorite methods?


  1. Glad to hear your excitement about embroidery. I've got some linen/rayon blend in my fabric pile with your name on it then ;). Did you ever finish the shirt for Andrew? The weather has just gotten warm enough to start wearing my linen. It's got me looking forward to sewing up some clothes this summer :).

  2. It was helpful reading this post on hand stitching. Is lattice smocking a form of hand stitching or is it completely free-hand?

  3. I'm so glad to hear you found this post helpful! The type of smocking I'm referring to (and as far as I can tell about all smocking) uses a grid, usually 1"x 1" and you follow a certain pattern of stitching dots together. There is a great tutorial on BurdaStyle that goes over honeycomb smocking: http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/smocking-a-honeycomb-texture

    The basic idea is the same, and when you change the dots that get sewn together, you get different types of smocking. There's a great article in the Oct/Nov 2010 Threads that goes over two types of smocking. I hope that helps, I may try doing a tutorial too to clarify :)