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A Royal Wedding: Even the Embroidery is a Secret

Posted By TNNA Editor, Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Royal Wedding: Even the Embroidery is a Secret

By: Joy Macdonell

 

#wedding2018 #harryandmeghan #royalwedding #weddingideas #meghanmarkleveil#cathedralveil

A post shared by Onlylovebridalboutique (@onlylovebridalboutiqueofficial) on

 

On May 19, 2018 Prince Harry will wed Ms. Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. This is all we know. Like all royal weddings, the particulars of the event are a secret. Especially the dress!

The wedding will be televised around the world for an audience of adoring fans. Embroiderers should be particularly curious as The Royal School of Needlework secretly worked with designer Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen to hand embroider details on the bridal gown for HRH, Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. The embroiderers did not know they were working on a royal wedding gown, they were led to believe it was a costume for a television drama. 

The Royal School of Needlework
The early history of the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) is linked with the social, cultural and political history of Victorian and Edwardian Britain. The RSN began as the School of Art Needlework in 1872 founded by Lady Victoria Welby. The first President was Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Queen Victoria's third daughter, known to the RSN as Princess Helena. 

The founding principles of the RSN were two-fold: to revive a beautiful art which had fallen into disuse and, through its revival, to provide employment for educated women who, without a suitable livelihood, would otherwise find themselves compelled to live in poverty.

Located in the Hampton Court Palace, offering a thriving education program for beginners through to advanced levels of hand embroidery certifications. They restore embroidered family heirlooms, home furnishings and items from places of worship. The RSN creates bespoke embroidery for special individual occasions, organizations, and corporations. 

Kate’s Embroidery
Of particular current interest is the question of Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding gown, the designer, and the participation of the Royal School of Needlework. Will we see the work of the Royal Embroiderers on Meghan’s dress like we did on Kate’s? A tweet from @royalneedlework on May 1 announced that Ralph & Russo Haute Couture Atelier team was in the studio reviewing hand embroidery portfolios by RSN Degree students at Hampton Court Palace – is there a royal connection? … Only time will tell.

The attention to detail on Kate’s royal wedding gown was breathtaking – from the hand-cut Chantilly lace of the sleeves, to the lace applique on the bodice and the individual lace roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks hand-engineered on to the ivory silk tulle. Her veil was also crafted with hand embroidered flowers, and on the back of her dress were 58 buttons of gazar and organza, which fastened by means of Rouleau loops. 

Kate’s lace was “something old”, her “borrowed” was the tiara from the Queen, “something new” were her earrings from her parents, and a blue ribbon was sewn inside her dress for her “something blue”.

Will Meghan Have Embroidery?
Tradition is very important to the royals. Meghan is marrying in a deeply religious space of St. George’s Chapel, her dress will most likely be modest and probably have some form of sleeve – which leaves plenty of room for embroidery detail along with the veil and train. 

Meghan’s wedding day will be the first time her fans, friends, family, and adoring Prince get to see her dress. Look closely at the details, the Royal Embroiderers will (hopefully) have stitched embroidery into the fabric of this royal wedding.

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About Joy Macdonell

Joy Macdonell (www.craftingwithjoy.com) is a Creative Blogger and Fiber Consultant. Her job has provided her with lots of great opportunities to teach, including as the host of a television show on the DIY network (Greetings, from DIY) and one on PBS (Crafting at The Spotted Canary). She has also been the guest representative for Martha Stewart Crafts on the Home Shopping Network and has been the education director for the Martha Stewart Crafts brand since it launched in 2007. Prior to starting her career with EK Success Brands in 2001, she and her sister owned the very popular scrapbook store in Fairfax, VA, My Scrapbook Store.

Tags:  embroidery  TNNANews  trends 

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Falling in Love with Embroidery for the Home

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, September 28, 2017
Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017

Falling in Love with Embroidery for the Home

 By Angela Davis

There is just something about that first nip of autumn in the air that causes the desire to nest and craft! Maybe it is in our DNA. Plus, there are feasts and holidays to prepare for! How nice would it be to have a chest filled with hand-embroidered pillows (both throw pillows and pillowcases), padded hangers, napkins, tablecloths and aprons, just ready to be brought out and enjoyed?

Whether you are shop owner, a teacher, a designer, or a wholesaler, fall is the perfect time to encourage your customers, students, buyers and vendors to pick up a hoop and embroider something lovely for fall. Below are some links to inspire you, and at the bottom is a class idea to help bring forth beautiful, textured fall heirlooms! Best of all, these links cover embroidery by hand and machine, using threads, flosses, yarn of many weights, as well as any number of other supplies and materials that you may already have around.

First, have you seen the cover of the September-October 2017 Piecework Magazine? It features a project that embodies everything to inspire a perfect fall day at home ─ felted slippers in a perfect fall color embellished with embroidered peacock feathers! 

Are you a machine embroiderer? These sources have most every design you will need for decorating table runners, placemats, napkins, aprons and the works! 

Designs by JuJu

Embroidery Designs
 

In addition, here is a project for hand-embroiderers of almost any skill level! 

Do you want to embroider on a knitted or crocheted piece, even a weaving? The ever-popular Dottie Angel, Tif Fussel, does what she calls Woolly Tattoos, and they are always peachy! Just pop over to the Woolly Tattoo Pinterest page for some incredible inspiration!

And we promised a class idea too. Perhaps my own first memory of embroidery was a fall project in elementary school. It involved a piece of burlap and a needle threaded with orange, olive, gold, scarlet, or beet colored yarn. Our teacher showed us how to knot the thread and pull the threaded needle through the burlap from the back at the bottom of a simple design that she had drawn on the burlap with a marker. From there we were off! I remember the room being very quiet as we were all very absorbed in watching the magic of the outline of a leaf as it appeared on our work. Yes, there were tangles and tails that were too short and needles that were too aggressively pulled and freed of their yarn, but overall it was a success. Our teacher collected our pieces and strung them all up on a long piece of kitchen twine while we were at lunch. We came back inside to see a very rustic bunting hanging across the reading area, which, to a child in Tucson, Arizona, was the closest thing to fall leaves that I might ever see. This has inspired the idea for a class. Well, this experience, coupled with an episode of The Loop and Bar podcast and the lovely Kate. 

Kate makes adorable Tea Time buntings with each of the blocks having an appliqued letter to spell out Tea Time on the front, and a pocket in the back for a packet of tea. Perhaps our rustic, embroidered fall version can hold individual packets of cider mix, hot chocolate, or another instant soup or beverage that one associates with fall.

Class: To Embroider - A Fall Café Bunting
Skill Level: All

Materials:

5” x 7” rectangles of burlap
5” x 4” rectangle of burlap (for pocket backs)
Embroidery needles
Scraps of wool yarn in fall colors (mixed weights are fine)
A marker
Small scissors
Some embellishments like buttons, shells, feathers, beads, or sequins if you’d like
A piece of kitchen twine or (a long strip of torn cotton fabric) 

Instructions:

Draw or trace a fall shape onto a 5” x 7” piece of burlap, with the piece oriented so that the 5” ends are at the top and bottom.

Ideas for shapes include leaf, feather, harvest moon, squirrel, chrysanthemums, aster, acorn, raven, pumpkin, stag, fox, etc. (There are MANY free stencils for these shapes available online).

Embroider the design according to skill level. This is an excellent opportunity to learn new stitches! Embellish with buttons as desired too!

Place a 5” x 4” piece behind the embroidered piece and either whipstitch, blanket stitch, or sew with a running stitch along bottom and sides, creating a pocket on back.

When multiple pieces have been finished, string them together bunting style across the tops. Place packets of your favorite fall drinks in the pockets, hang, and enjoy!

Click here to see Kate’s adorable Tea Time Bunting.


About Angela Davis 

Angela Davis, B.S.B.M., is a fiber artist, Craft Yarn Council of America certified-hand knitting instructor, author, artist and designer. She is passionate about supporting the needlearts, handcrafting, slow-fashion, visible mending, supporting small-batch producers of ethically and ecologically sound fibers, and reducing textile waste. Angela has taught knitting on European and Japanese tour buses, started a knitting-for-charity club at an inner-city high school in Los Angeles, has knitted props for the television show Mad Men, and is a contributing author and designer for publications including Piecework, STUDIOS, Knitting Traditions, and Sockupied magazines.

By day, Angela is director of product development and artist relations for internationally renowned punk, garage, rock and metalcore bands. She lives in Long Beach, California with her three sons. Angela’s Ravelry ID is alittlebird, and you can find her on Instagram as @angelaxdavis and on Twitter as @angelaxxdavis.

Tags:  embroidery  TNNANews 

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Design Digest: Leaping into the Rabbit Hole of Embroidery

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, June 15, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Design Digest: Leaping into the Rabbit Hole of Embroidery

By Angela Davis

In Design Digest, we highlight a particular favorite technique, type of popular design or share our experiences learning how to do something. Today, I am going to do all three!

Hand embroidery has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity recently, in both the craft and fashion worlds, and this revitalization is inspiring all kinds of crafters and crafters-to-be to join in. Discovering one particular technique has me very excited and planning all kinds of embroidery projects.

According to Wikipedia, the “basic stitches on surviving examples of the earliest embroidery — chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch — remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.” Embroidery is thought to have originated as a natural outgrowth of the practice of tailoring, mending, patching or reinforcing precious fabrics. Inspired, bearers of needle and thread sought to incorporate decorative stitches and colorful threads to embellish their work and enhance its beauty.

Embroidery has also served a functional purpose in marking one’s clothing and household linens for being sent out for laundering. As it has evolved, embroidery has become appreciated for its decorative function as well as for its more practical purposes.

Like many young girls, I began embroidering as a child in elementary school — first stabbing a tapestry needle threaded with yarn through burlap for an art project. After devouring library book stories in which pioneer girls were embroidering samplers, I started trying out various stitches and different weights of cloth and thread.

This was happening in the 1970s, when embroidered jeans and denim shirts were de rigueur, so I picked up various tips and techniques from women in my family and my neighborhood, and from women’s magazines. Along the way, I also learned counted cross-stitch and a bit of needlepoint, too.

Jump ahead to the present: I came across an image online of something called a Dropcloth Sampler — a stamped cotton cloth featuring a charmingly chaotic mix of lines, shapes and lettering that positively begs for embroidery. I found the designer’s etsy shop, ordered my own Dropcloth Sampler, pulled out my box of DMC floss, pearl cotton, and supplies, and got ready to start.

Then panic hit. I didn’t want to ruin the cuteness of the sampler with my awkward stitching. I decided to order the Creativebug class taught by the designer, Rebecca Ringquist, and got started.

Angela Davis' in-progress samplerRight away, I knew that I was onto something here. Rebecca’s teaching style is friendly and clear, and the instruction — it has set me free! I have been doing my own DIY-version of satin stitch for as long as I can remember. When Rebecca said that we should always stitch the outline before filling with satin stitch (even if you plan to remove it after), suddenly, my embroidery looked so much better! For so long I have struggled along, treating the printed or drawn outline of a shape as the guide to fill in. If you fill in a stitched outline, the results are so much better!

As I prepared to write this article, I reached out to Rebecca and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions for me. She is an artist, designer and teacher, who currently lives in Portland, Oregon. She comes from a crafty family. Her parents are both makers; her mother is a weaver and her father is a furniture maker.

As an art major in college, Rebecca became interested in the social history of samplers and their makers. Designing her own sampler patterns then became a logical next step for her. Because her sampler business and her art studio are housed in the same place, she is noticing that her samplers are becoming more painterly. Her drawings are influenced by her embroidery, so both practices are having an effect on one another.

Rebecca says she is excited for there to be more threads on the market and sees the trend toward more hand-dyed and artisanal threads as a hopeful one. Her samplers are available for wholesale, and her book Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops, published by STC Craft/ Melanie Falick Books, released in April 2015, has an exclusive sampler to embroider included.

I can’t say that I have fallen into the rabbit hole of sampler embroidery as much as I have jumped in — all because of stumbling across one really great technique that empowered me and opened up a whole new world! My next plan is to learn how to embroider on hand-knits, so stay tuned for that!

For more information about Rebecca Ringquist and Dropcloth Studios:

Visit: www.dropclothsamplers.com

Learn: Online Workshops with Rebecca

Follow: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest

Shop: Dropcloth Samplers

Wholesale: dropclothsamplers@gmail.com


About the Author

Angela Davis

Angela Davis, B.S.B.M., is a fiber artist, Craft Yarn Council of America certified-hand knitting instructor, author, artist and designer. She is passionate about supporting the needlearts, handcrafting, slow-fashion, visible mending, supporting small-batch producers of ethically and ecologically sound fibers, and reducing textile waste. Angela has taught knitting on European and Japanese tour buses, started a knitting-for-charity club at an inner-city high school in Los Angeles, has knitted props for the television show Mad Men, and is a contributing author and designer for publications including Piecework, STUDIOS, Knitting Traditions, and Sockupied magazines.

By day, Angela is director of product development and artist relations for internationally renowned punk, garage, rock and metalcore bands. She lives in Long Beach, California with her three sons. Angela’s Ravelry ID is alittlebird, and you can find her on Instagram as @angelaxdavis and on Twitter as @angelaxxdavis.

Tags:  embroidery  TNNANews 

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