Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dragon Slippers-Inspired Embroidery

In Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George, one of my favorite aspects was the description of all the embroidery Creel does throughout the book. A significant part of the story revolves around Creel's embroidery. When I was trying to think of a project to do inspired by FOOF, embroidery was the first thing that came to mind.

So I took up a needle and thread and made a small embroidered pin. The pin is about the size from the tip of my pointer finger to the middle of it. There's a safety pin sewed onto the back, which is what attaches it to the bag. It's propped up by the stack of books I need to review.

I couldn't get a great picture, but when I get my hands on a better camera I'll edit better pictures in. These photos were taken from my computer. Check back in a few days for better quality photos. [EDIT: a detail of the embroidery is below.]

Instructions to DIY / How I made it:

  1. I cut out a piece of fabric about 3 x 3 inches. This was intentionally a little bit big - I planned on trimming it once I was done.
  2. On scratch paper, I sketched out a few ideas for what I wanted the embroidery to look like. With this fabric, I had decided on a sailboat already, so my sketches were to figure out proportions and to make sure I liked the design. 
  3. I used pencil to draw the design onto the fabric. Professionals have special pens for this sort of thing, but I found pencil to work just fine.
  4. Start sewing. I made a diagram (below) of what my stitch looked like. I'm pretty sure it's not a real embroidery stitch, but it works just fine for me, and it's very simple. 
  5. If you run out of thread or want to switch colors, just knot your thread at the back and start over. The back doesn't have to be pretty. That part will come with practice. 
  6. I advise starting with a line drawing and not filling it in. The "filling it in" part takes a lot more time, and often it looks just as nice outlined with no fill. 
Well, I'm no Creel, but I like how my pin turned out. Check out my review of Dragon Slippers!

[EDIT: Here's a more detailed picture of the embroidery. Click for a larger view.]

This feature is part of my Fortnight of Old Favorites Challenge.


Small Review said...

That's so awesome! It looks like it much have taken you ages. Could you imagine embroidering an entire dress like Creel? I don't think I'd have the patience :P

Pica said...

Thank you! It didn't take that long, but I've also had a little bit of practice. I also embroidered while watching movies and/or TV, so it seemed like much shorter than it was. And no, I can't imagine making a dress like Creel. It'd take me years! There's no way I'd have the patience. And then I'd have to sew it into a whole dress! Not a chance. But a little project like this is lots of fun and not very hard. It's very easy to get started with, too, once you get past the first few pricked fingers.

Small Review said...

Haha, I think I would have a lot of pricked fingers :P I forgot, Creel also sewed her entire dress! I knit while watching tv/movies. It really does make the craft seem like it's going much faster.

Pica said...

Yes, and Creel didn't have TV, movies, or if I remember correctly, even a sewing machine! That is one patient gal!

I used to crochet when I watched movies, but after a while I got a little bored of that. Then I started friendship braceleting for a while. I still have a half-finished giant bracelet on my bulletin board, waiting to be finished. Now I'm on to embroidery. I sort of drift in and out of each craft. I've always been interested in knitting, but I've never been able to quite get it. I've tried to learn countless times. Crocheting is easier for me if I want that type of craft. My mom and I actually crocheted the bag in the pictures in this post about 4 or 5 years ago.

Small Review said...

I love crocheting too! My mom taught me when I was really young. I was wondering if you had made the bag in the picture. Very nice!

Ahgh, and I have so many unfinished projects :( I really do lack the patience to see anything much larger than a scarf through to the end.

I only started knitting this year. One of my library patrons made me a beautiful knitted scarf and then we started talking about knitting. Another patron then said she'd teach me. I learned using this yarn. It's super easy to start with because those pom-poms are perfect for hiding errors :P

Pica said...

I have tons of unfinished projects too. When I last got bored of crocheting, I was working on a blanket. Right now, it looks more like a scarf. I also have a scarf on my desk that I "gave" (promised I'd give when finished) to my cousin last December. I should get back to that. :D

Nice tip with the yarn - I will keep that in mind. It seems like it would be harder to knit with all of the puffballs getting in the way, but I suppose you'd know. I can usually figure out how to do to the stitches if someone is sitting next to me helping me along when I get stuck, but I can't quite get the stitches in my head. If you asked me to knit something right now there's no way I'd be able to do it. Oh well. Someday I'll get it.


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