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I have done basic embroidery on and off since I was a child but not so much recently. My fondest memory includes one summer when my mother was making one of the most unique tablecloths I ‘ve ever seen. She made all these incredible cute drawings and was tracing them with vibrant colours. It was lovely, but she never finished it. She ‘s always been a painter more than a needle person. She designed one for my aunt, though, and that one is finished and it’s lovely! (secret question: should I try and finish it myself? tempting…).

While she was working on it, of course I got into it and wanted to do some myself (I can’t remember how old I was, but I had tried needlework before). So my father generously donated his pyjamas, and I drew some shapes on the pocket and sleeve. Sea waves and a sun on the pocket, an odd round shape on the sleeve that was supposed to be a boat’s strirring wheel (we were on summer holidays). I also embroidered his initials on the side. All that very clumsy, of course, and for that reason even more cute! Even though these pyjamas are too worn out for use, I think he still has them!!

The other day, however, I came across a very pleasant book at the library that inspired me to try my hand at embroidery again. So I pulled out my stash of embroidery floss, which I have been saving (and brought from Greece) since highschool. Back then, I used to make these:

It was the 80s, what can I say!

After studying the stitches in the book, I made a list (of course) of all the stitches and decided which ones I wanted to practice. I drew some examples on a pad, and that really helped because as I was drawing them I was visualising how the needle would have to work. It was an unexpected help!

I then transferred it on a piece of cloth. I did that just by redrawing it. I guess if I had something harder to redo I ‘d use some of the transferring techniques the book suggests, but this was simple enough.

Stitching over the pencil marks didn’t take long (yes, pencil marks! I didn’t really care whether it washes off or not. Anyway, it does wash off, and my father’s pyjamas will testify to it)

I am almost surprised, and certainly very pleased with the outcome. It was enjoyable, and its slow and deliberate pace is very relaxing and meditative. I will definitely work my way through the book’s stitches in similar small projects and add embroidered embellishments to projects.


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