Monday, March 23, 2015

Embroidery Stitches

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my wedding dress construction post! Lauren of American Duchess was kind enough to share my post on her Facebook page. After she did the stats for that post skyrocketed! It's now my #1 most viewed post which I find very humbling. I'm often far too critical of my own work, seeing flaws or things I wished I had done differently. It's always nice to receive positive feedback but for my wedding and reception dresses, which were rather stressful to create, it's especially nice.
As a quick follow up to my recent post on crewel embroidery, today I thought I would share some helpful resources. There are lots of online resources for basic embroidery techniques. If you are searching for reproduction sewing and embroidery tools, take a look at Burnley and Trowbridge and Wm. Booth Draper. They both carry an array of beautifully made items in addition to books and fabrics!

Fantastic explanation of crewel work stitches.
courtesy of TW's needlework blog, check it out
This crewel embroidery stitch chart shows a 'good step by step' of some of the most basic embroidery stitches.

I can personally recommend the following books as I have them in my personal library.

White Work Embroidery (You can also find this on amazon too.) This book gives a history of white work and provides information on materials, pattern-transferring techniques, and instructions and diagrams for over 20 different stitches.

Art of Embroidery: History of Style and Technique is an excellent resource for someone who wants to really dive into the history of embroidery. It's filled with excellent photos and well-researched descriptions. This book is rather expensive, prices on Amazon start at around $50.00. I have an older copy of that I was fortunate to pick up at a yard sale some time ago for just a few dollars.

18th Century Embroidery Techniques, by Gail Marsh, gives detailed illustrations and color photographs of museum owned items such as aprons, gowns, and mitts. It gives you a really good understanding of 18th-century embroidery techniques and includes information on period tools and equipment. The best part are the details and illustrations showing techniques such as metal and silk embroidery, quilting, whitework, tambour and chain work, and of course crewel embroidery.  

19th Century Embroidery Techniques, also by Gail Marsh, is another good resource and is laid out in a similar manner.

Do you embroider? What are you favorite stitches and materials to use?


  1. That's a great chart. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My favorite stitches are the chain stitch, split stitch, lazy daisy and french knot. The first two are especially versatile; I've used them for lettering, outlining, and filling! I'd love to do crewel embroidery one day.

  3. I love embroidering! Unfortunately I haven't done much of it for the past few years, but your post has empowered me to pick it up again and work on some articles of clothing that definitely could use my attention... :) Crewel embroidery is amazing--so elegant and elaborate! Thank you for the wonderful references!


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