I’ve had my eye on blogger Nat from Made In Home for a good while. She has an absolutely gorgeous blog filled with sewing, knitting and all kinds of wonderful things. I spotted her using one of our fabrics (below, and sadly no longer in stock) and her use of embroidery was so stunning that I had to get in touch and see if she would share more of her techniques with us!
Nat accepted the challenge and was eager to put some more of our eco fabrics to use! We had no idea what she was going to create, but we knew it would be special. Needless to say she has completely outdone herself. Take a look for yourself…
Nat, Made In Home:
I love embroidery. Cross-stitching is in fact the first craft I learnt, closely followed by knitting. However, this isn’t something I picked up until recently, when I started cross-stitching nearly everything – linen, felt and of course, handmade clothes. This was helped by discovering waste canvas which opened up so many possibilities, and I got inspired by more and more intricate design like this Isabel Marant top (below). This became the inspiration for my Offset Warehouse make!
It was the perfect opportunity to work with the soft bamboo silk from Offset Warehouse. The top reminded me of the Alice top pattern from Tessuti Fabrics. I made one plain version (ok, maybe not so plain) to see how the top was constructed and decide where it would be best to add some embroidery.
The soft bamboo silk is quite light and it was not the easiest to cross-stitch without some tweaking. It soon became obvious that I had to use some lightweight interfacing on the yoke. As that part of the top is quite static, it did not matter. Once interfaced, the biggest challenge was to set the waste canvas to fix the embroidery on the yoke.
In the end, I just drew the yoke onto the waste canvas and added the seam allowance to have a sense of where to stop the embroidery and how to place it, especially at the neckline.
I tend to fix the waste canvas quite strongly by basting it onto the fabric to be stitched. As this embroidery work takes quite a bit of time, this is probably the best way to do it. For smaller projects, like embroidery baby clothes, you can leave the pins in.
Then it’s time to get cross-stitching. I collect cross-stitching inspiration on Pinterest (where else) and chose a colour scheme similar to the Isabel Marant top. You could equally go for a bigger and bolder design – you can do anything you want once the waste canvas is fixed.
Once the embroidery is done (it took me a couple of months to finish this design, albeit I did not work solely on this) – it is time to remove the waste canvas, with your tweezers – thread by thread.
Unfortunately there is no shortcut here, otherwise you run the risk of messing with the cross-stitching panel you worked really hard on. It does not take that long (probably a couple of evenings in my case).
And here you have it – your embellished Alice top yoke. Of course I could have added embroidery to the sleeves too – I toyed with the idea, but in the end I did not have the patience. I wanted to move to another project (and I think my husband was quite keen on the idea too)!
Ta da! Now, all you have to do is wear the top! I used some DMC thread, I wanted to make sure the colour did not run/fade. I have now washed the top a couple of times, and neither the cross-stitching panel nor the colours moved.
I might even have showed off my top at the Offset Warehouse & Fabrications party in London (you can see it underneath all my layers!)
I’m just absolutely blown away @natmadeinhome!! This whole top has been made by hand – including the embroidery!! It is just so so beautiful and I can’t believe how much work and love has gone into it. A truly sustainable and beautiful piece. And made even better as its made from an Offset Warehouse fabric!! Weee!