Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Learning Ribbon Embroidery

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the big focus directions for my business at the start of 2017 was to undertake some new learning. The first that I have tackled is ribbon embroidery. I've done a bit of ribbon work, which is making flowers, leaves and other shapes out of ribbon, sewing them together with regular thread and attaching to a project when complete. Ribbon embroidery, sewing with ribbon directly onto fabric, was something I was interested in but had never tried.


Sometime last year I got myself a Craftsy class on the subject, "Embroidering with Ribbon" by tutor Mary Jo Hiney. As with many of my online classes, I had watched the introduction but hadn't gone any further or bought materials.


One of the things holding me back was not feeling confident in buying materials. I found Australian suppliers, but you really need a range of colours for each project, and I wasn't sure I would pick appropriate ones or get the right amounts. In the end, thanks to some birthday money, I splurged on the class kits from the tutor herself, and despite the cost, I'm happy that I did. It meant I had exactly what I needed, and a familiarity with the materials that sets me up well to make further local purchases. I got the kits for the first three projects, which are the ones I like the best anyway.


I'm about halfway through the class, and for the remaining projects I'll be changing them up or just learning the techniques and applying them to a different design.


I also picked up some ribbon embroidery design books at a local op shop, for about 50 cents each, so I have more designs to experiment with as well.


So far, I'm really enjoying ribbon embroidery. It's a restful, calming sort of craft to do, especially in the evenings after Teacup has gone to bed, or over a morning cup of tea before she wakes. It has taken me a while to accept the looseness and freedom that the stitches require, being more used to functional sewing where security of stitches is important. Having embraced that, however, it is fun and it is a lot more artistic and open to interpretation than the sewing I'm used to. I like that individual stitches can turn out badly but the overall effect can still work.


As for the class, I highly recommend it. I don't warm to all teachers and tutors, and can be a bit critical, to be honest, but I like Mary Jo. She answers all the questions asked on the platform, and in a warm, friendly and encouraging way. The same manner is present in the videos. She's a bit goofy and funny too. One thing that is a little odd is that the stitch types are gone through in detail on the videos, but the projects themselves are not, you work through those based on the printed materials that are part of the class. That worked out fine for me, but it did seem a unusual and maybe wouldn't suit everyone's learning style. Occasionally some regular embroidery term was used and it seemed like the assumption was that you are already familiar with embroidery, but it wasn't enough to be a problem.

I have ideas but no specific plans for how I will apply my new skill. I think a nice fabric cloche hat covered in flowers would be lovely, and, on a more personal project, a little on the collar of a small girl's blouse would be cute.

Have you ever tried ribbon work or ribbon embroidery? If so, what kind of projects have you tried?

21 comments:

  1. These are so pretty! I'd seen ribbon embroidery on Pinterest before and pinned a couple that I really liked but never actually thought to try it. You seem to be getting on really well with it though.
    I didn't really know about Craftsy, that looks like a great place to get some tips and pick up proper techniques to things. I may try the bra making one because I'm determined to make my own at some point. I can never find what I want in terms of lingerie, so making my own seems the obvious choice!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Craftsy is a very useful platform. I've done some great classes there, although to be fair I also have a lot I've bought and not done yet, for various reasons. I would keep an eye out for their sales, as they have them quite often.

      I'd love to make my own lingerie too one day!

      Delete
  2. This looks like a dark art, I assumed the ribbon bits were premade and sewn on, I didn't know you could sew with ribbon!! Wow. Such skills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe. Sometimes it is hard to tell when they are sewn on and when it is embroidered, and some works are a mix. Just to confuse you more!

      Delete
  3. Kits are a smart place to start with a totally new craft because then you don't have to wonder about your materials and whether they or your technique is influencing the final look.

    This all looks amazing, Tanith. I haven't actually tried ribbon embroidery yet but it looks tempting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is nice to not have to worry! And it has made me feel ready to start choosing my own colours as well.

      Thank you. I'm sure with your existing embroidery skills you would find this a breeze!

      Delete
  4. I have been enjoying embroidery for a similar reason, it is a calming, relaxing and loose kind of stitching compared with the bag and garment sewing I do. I am using it to decorate bags and plan to embroider my children's art onto quilts. I am looking forward seeing your ribbon embroidery designs on your hats.....and yes on little girls garments! Craftsy is where I am learning metal smithing this year, it is a great platform for learning especially if it is difficult to get to in "person classes" with a family. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea of embroidering your kids' art, that's lovely!

      I have a Craftsy metal smithing class but I have barely looked at it. I think I bought it before getting pregnant the first time and it just never seemed like the right time again. One day!

      Delete
  5. This is really lovely! I could see this being beautiful not just on hats, but on sweaters or any other piece of clothing that you'd like to spruce up a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I've just been browsing some really lovely blouses and shirts with ribbon embroidery, and I have seen some 20s dresses with it too, so I think you're right. But I've also seen some hideous 80s/90s clothing examples too, so we'll just have to see how my taste stacks up!

      Delete
  6. I have dabbled in, but never really made anything with ribbon embroidery. Your work here is GORGEOUS! I think your idea of a cloche is a fantastic idea- that would be so pretty. I can't wait to see how your ideas work out :)
    The Artyologist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! There are so many crafts I have dabbled in and gone no further on...it's such an addiction :)

      Delete
  7. I have done embroidery but never ribbon embroidery. They are lovely.
    Marion

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am now the other way around! (Or at least, I've done very little regular embroidery.) And thank you :)

      Delete
  8. Thank you for sharing this post. You did a great job. The ribbon embroidery is gorgeous. I have done some embroidery, but will try to get into ribbon embroidery.
    Marilyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Marilyn! I am sure you will enjoy it.

      Delete
  9. Your work is stunning! A cloche would be beautiful or maybe a velvet handbag with metallic ribbon?

    I've done a little bit of regular embroidery but not ribbon embroidery. Thank you for speaking about your experience on Craftsy as I've just ordered my first class, crocheting a shawl for beginners. The yarn is beautiful.

    I always look forward to your newsletters and to see what your brilliant creativeness is doing.

    All the best!
    Tambra Nicole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely ideas Tambra! I hope you enjoy your crochet course and your introduction to Craftsy!

      Delete
  10. How exciting to learn a new skill! It looks like you have really taken to it. These are very pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do so love learning new skills! It really makes me feel more positive.

      Delete
  11. Thats really beautiful you are so talented

    ReplyDelete