Tag Archive | silk embroidery thread

Gail’s Garden- wall hanging with ribbon work and silk ribbon embroidery

Gail's Garden- wall hanging by Christen Brown

Gail’s Garden- wall hanging by Christen Brown

This is a close-up view of a new wall hanging that I just finished on Saturday, (closer views of the flowers.) My friend Gail made me a lovely crocheted scarf with flowers and beads, and I made her this wall hanging in trade.

The wall hanging has ribbon worked flowers and leaves made from a variety of ribbons including:

  • silk bias
  • vintage grosgrain
  • satin
  • ombre
  • picot edged ombre
  • novelty

The crazy pieced base is stitched with both traditional and silk ribbon embroidery stitches. I used 4mm and 7mm silk ribbon, #5 and #8 pearl cotton, and Wildflower threads. I hand dyed some of the ribbons and threads to match the colors of the fabric.

Many of the flowers and leaves I have developed for a book that I would someday like to publish. Until that day I plant them in my gardens whether it be on a garment, purse, or other accessory. I hope that you find pleasure in your pursuits, as I do!

Happy Stitching! Christen

Ellen Matilda’s Rose Garden- silk ribbon embroidered purse

Ellen Matilda's Rose Garden Purse

Ellen Matilda’s Rose Garden Purse

Ellen Matilda my was my grandmother and she longed for a rose garden. There was never a lot time or extra money for this.

My aunt, her youngest daughter also loved roses, and was able to have a garden in her mother’s memory. It was beautiful and her mother would have been proud of it.

My aunt’s garden inspired me to create one in ribbon embroidery in memory of both my Aunt Ellen and my grandmother Ellen Matilda.

I used the maidenhair fern stitch for the base of the design using a variegated pearl cotton thread. The tips of this stitch are embroidered with 4mm silk ribbon using the the lazy daisy and bullion-tipped lazy daisy flowers. Spider web roses are stitched with 7mm silk ribbon, and carnations are stitched with 3mm ombre ribbon. French knots and bullion knots are used for the details and stitched with 4mm silk ribbon or silk buttonhole twist thread.

A vintage button for the closure; glass seed beads and glass leaf details; brass butterflies; and vintage glass beads on the handle add the perfect finishing touches.

Happy Stitching! Christen

Days of Wine and Roses- silk ribbon embroidered vest

Days of Wine and Roses close-up

Days of Wine and Roses close-up

The inspiration for the colors of this vest came from the main fabric itself, which is from one of my favorite fabric companies, Hoffman Fabrics. The champagne-mushroom dyed background is liberally sprinkled with chocolate and rose colored ferns and leaves. I used these colors and added in a sage, celery and dark green for the ribbon worked flowers and leaves and the embroidery.

The front of the vest has a raw silk panel stitched in at a slightly off kilter diagonal angle. On either edge of the the cotton and silk seam seam run a display of whimsical floral vignettes. The ribbon worked flowers and leaves are made from a variety of new and vintage ribbons including: Hanah silk bias in 2-1/2″, 1″ and 5/8″; vintage cotton grosgrain and velvet ribbons; double sided satin ribbon; cotton and moire fabrics. The vignettes are embellished with silk ribbon embroidery in sizes 2mm, 4mm and 7mm silk ribbon. Silk and cotton threads were used for details and traditional embroidery stitches.

Days of Wine and Roses- vest

Days of Wine and Roses- vest

Happy Stitching! Christen

Tambour Embroidery-by Christen Brown

Close-up view of vintage tambour embroidery

Close-up view of vintage tambour embroidery

Tambour embroidery, introduced to the Western world by France, is a continuous worked chain stitch formed with a tambour hook, which forms a loop similar to a crochet chain. The stitch is formed on the fabric with the thread held underneath in one hand while the other hand inserts the hook down through the fabric to catch the thread. The needle is brought back through the same hole, forming a loop. The following stitches are formed a short distance from the previous stitch, catching the loop of the last stitch at the beginning of the next.

Vintage Purses with Tambour Embroidery

Vintage Purses with Tambour Embroidery

These three purses are from my vintage purse collection. All are embroidered with tambour embroidery, possibly French. Clockwise from the left:

  1. Handbag with plunger clasp and chain handle: black moire silk with cream and pink roses and sage green leaves. Circa early 1900’s.
  2. Handbag with double frame and cloth handle: black silk satin with light pink, deep pink, crimson, and mauve colored roses and olive green leaves. Circa early 1900’s.
  3. Handbag that flips open flat with chain handle: black faille with pink, red, yellow and orange roses and olive green leaves.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

Winter Symphony- French wire ribbon corsage and headdress

Corsage and Headdress for Winter Symphony

Corsage and Headdress for Winter Symphony

Collaged Memories is a new category that I have added both to my blog and my web stite. It is dedicated to re-cycled, up-cycled and re-purposed creations. Winter Symphony is listed there.

This French wire ribbon worked ensemble was made to accessorise an embroidered silk shawl and purse, images below.

Both the headdress and corsage are made from 1″ and 1-1/2″ French wire ribbon with gold stamens for details. The headdress is stitched to a vintage millinery leaf, and wrapped floral wire. The corsage is backed with three leaves. I wore my hair in a bun at the back of my head, and the headdress fits on top and around it. The corsage I used to keep the shawl closed and around my shoulders.

The shawl and purse accessories were purchased separately, one on ebay the other at a thrift store. The embroidery and coloring were great but the colors needed some help to match the rest of my ensemble. I added in ribbon worked flowers and embroidered silk ribbon leaves on the shawl, using 3/8′ and 1/2″ ribbons with silk ribbon added in for the leaves. I added in ribbon work flowers on the purse, leaving the embroidered leaves and vines and beaded centers to show.

Happy Stitching! Christen

Winter Symphony Shawl

Winter Symphony Shawl

Winter Symphony Purse

Winter Symphony Purse

Aubrey’s Autumn Afternoon Vest- silk ribbon embroidery

Aubrey's Autumn Afternoon by Christen Brown

Aubrey’s Autumn Afternoon by Christen Brown

This vest is another created from the class that I teach, Renaissance of Ribbon Embroidery, using a tapestry fabric for the base of the project, and stitching in silk ribbon embroidered stitches to embellish the print.

I fell in love with this tapestry mainly because of the sunflowers, I loved the bold colorful brilliance. Unfortunately I forgot to check where the sunflowers were going to land the first time I cut out the pattern pieces, well you can probably guess where they wound up, yes big bulls eyes at breast level. So I had to re-cut the pieces, made two purses from the other pieces and learned a very expensive lesson!

Close-up of Aubrey's Autumn Afternoon

Close-up of Aubrey’s Autumn Afternoon

I used mainly 4mm silk ribbon for the stitching with silk button hole twist for the vines and details. I incorporated a few tatted flowers here and there. I also used Japan Gold thread to detail the petals of the sunflower, as you can see in the lower left hand corner of this image.

The center column of flowers was added after I realized that the pattern no longer fit me. Ugh! But I have to admit you do grow and learn from these design dilemmas!

I used vintage velvet trims, like the garnet colored one sewn down the front panel, and the garnet and green on the back of the vest. I also used several wonderful large pieces of vintage lace on the back panel.

Down the center panel and on the back of the vest I incorporated silk bias and French wire ribbon flowers with dyed fabric leaves. The front panel also has several vintage and new buttons mingled amongst the flowers with charms and other beads.

Happy Stitching! Christen

Daisy’s Gatsby Days Vest- detail of silk ribbon embroidery

Detail from Daisy's Gatsby Days

Detail from Daisy’s Gatsby Days

The title for this garment came to me as I was working with these soft pastels, which reminded me of summer dresses worn by women during the 1920’s.

This is a close-up view of one of my favorite vests, see the full view here. I wear it with a blue linen skirt, and a cream colored cotton blouse. It looks great with jeans too!

I started with a simple woven print, and embroidered silk ribbon flowers and leaves; sewed on ribbon worked flowers and leaves; and stitched traditional embroidery stitches with a variegated cotton thread; bead embellishments were added here and there as finishing touches. I used a vintage blue and yellow ribbon for the flowers and some of the 4mm silk ribbon I used was hand dyed; both elements added to the vintage look of the piece.

The techniques I used for this vest are similar to the Renaissance of Ribbon Embroidery, by using a base fabric with a floral design and embellishing it with silk ribbon embroidery.

Happy Stitching! Christen

Beribboned Vest-silk ribbon embroidery with ribbon worked flowers and leaves

Beribboned by Christen Brown

Beribboned by Christen Brown

Beribboned is a class that I teach using both silk ribbon embroidery stitches with ribbon worked flowers and leaves in small vignettes created with dyed lace appliques and sections.

I used many different sizes of silk ribbon: 2mm, 4mm, 7mm and 13mm. I also used a few snip-its here and there of a vintage ombre ribbon that was given to me by a friend (see the bow below the heart). I used Hanah silk bias ribbons in sizes 7/16″, 5/8″ and 1″; I used several sizes and types of satin ribbons and a few shear ribbons here and there.

I included vintage and new buttons, beads and charms to further enhance this piece. This is truly one of my favorite vests to wear, and I did so enjoy working on it!

Berribboned Front Heart

Beribboned Front heart

Happy Stitching! Christen

Renaissance of Ribbon Embroidery Vest: silk ribbon embroidery

Close up view of silk ribbon embroidery with ribbon worked flowers

Close up view of silk ribbon embroidery with ribbon worked flowers

This is a close up view of a vest that I made when I first started teaching silk ribbon embroidery. The class is named after the vest Renaissance of Ribbon Embroidery.

I used a tapestry base for the project because this was created as a technique class, which involves learning quite a few stitches. With the tapestry base, design was a simple issue, just embellish around the pattern that is already there.

I used many, many, many yards of 4mm silk ribbon, in fact so many I jokingly said that I could no longer afford to send my daughter to college! I used silk buttonhole twist for the feather stitch and detail stitches. I also included Japan gold for the outline of the leaves.

Satin ribbon worked flowers and leaves are also included in the floral vignettes. There are a few tatted flowers thrown in for good measure, and dyed appliques, though these techniques are not included in the class. The flowers are also embellished with fresh water pearls and semi precious beads.

Happy Stitching! Christen

Tied in Knots: crazy pieced, tatted and embroidered needle case

Tied in Knots/needle case with tatting and embroidery

Tied in Knots/needle case with tatting and embroidery

Tied in knots — that’s the definition of tatting! At least it is until you get really good at it, which I have to say I still have a long way to go!!!

Tatting is a form of lace that is comprised of a series of knots made onto a loop of thread that is wound around your hand. The stitches are simple: basic knot which is a square knot, a loop (referred to as picot) and chains (single knots) are added for design interest.

My mom taught me how to tat using a red plastic shuttle that I still use. I also have used the long needle designed for tatting, and have used a basic milliner’s needle such as the designs used in the Tandledons.

This crazy pieced shuttle holder is adorned with traditional embroidery, tatted bits and pieces and silk ribbon stitches. I have started collecting shuttles to put in the holder, along with a few thread winders. I have a few shuttles made from celluloid; one from metal; one from Mother of Pearl; and one from abalone shell. But I have to say my favorite is the red plastic one that my mom gave me so many years ago.

Happy Stitching! Christen