Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 26: the strawberry on the tape measure cover

The item I’ve decided to make next from the book by Carolyn Pearce, ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’, is the tape measure cover. I’ve bought a nice little retractable tape measure, that is about two inches in diameter. Now I’m making the little cover, which features strawberries on the front, and a strawberry flower on the reverse.

The strawberry is worked in satin stitch padding first. I worked a line of split stitch around the edge to define the shape, then worked two layers of satin stitch, at right angles to each other, inside the split stitched edge.

Tape 1

Then, using a variegated silk thread by Gloriana, I worked long and short stitch over the whole strawberry. In her book, Carolyn suggested Rococo stitch, but that needed waste canvas to be applied first, then the stitches to be worked through both layers, and then the waste canvas to be removed. To be honest, I couldn’t be bothered to do all of that once I read the instructions, even though I’d bothered to buy some waste canvas to do it with! And anyway, I like long and short stitch for strawberries, as it give a realistic look!

Tape 2

The sepals of the strawberry are worked using needlewoven picots. This is quite a fiddly stitch to do, but the results are good. I started by inserting a pin in the fabric, to the length that I wanted the first sepal to be when finished. I brought the needle up at the strawberry’s edge, and made a loop around the pin, then took a tiny stitch at the strawberry’s edge again and this time wound the thread round the pin, leaving the thread trailing to the right of it.

Tape 3

Using a tapestry needle (so that the threads to not get split so easily as you’re weaving), I started to weave the thread under and over the three threads, in a basketweave-style pattern, from right to left, starting at the tip of the sepal.

Tape 4

At the left hand side, I reversed the direction of the needle, weaving the thread back the other way.

Tape 5

I continued with these two steps, packing the weavings up towards the top of the sepal each time with the edge of the needle, until I could fit in no more lines of weaving. Then I took the needle to the back of the fabric and fastened off.

This is the first sepal, once completed:

Tape 6

The ones on each side were then stitched. I tacked the tips down with a tiny holding stitch in the same colour of thread, to stop them sticking straight up. Here are all three:

Tape 7

The stems of the strawberry plant were then stitched in chain stitch in olive green silk, and whipped with the same thread.

Tape 8

Finally, the little seeds on the body of the strawberry were indicated by attaching number 15 tiny gold seed beads.

Tape 12

The strawberry only measures about half an inch high, so this was quite slow to stitch to get a tidy finish (especially the sepals), but I’m pleased with how it came out.




Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 25: assembling the needlebook

Now that the embroidery on the needlebook from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’ is complete, I just need to assemble it. Here are the materials I need, all gathered together:

Needlebook 18

I’ve found, over the years, that it saves me loads of time if I get everything ready, cut out, and put out neatly before I begin, rather than have to leave something half way through assembling it to go and rummage for the next item. In this picture above, you can see the card shape (scored for the spine), the interlining to back the embroidery, the striped lining cotton fabric, and the doctor flannel for the needle pages.

Needlebook 19

I stuck the interlining to the cardboard with double sided tape.

Needlebook 20

The interlining was deliberately cut too large at first, and then trimmed down, leaving about an eighth of an inch overhang, to allow for a bit of padding around the very edges of the needlebook.

Needlebook 21

The interlining for the cotton fabric was iron-on. After attaching it to the cotton, I pressed the seam allowances over, including the corners (ironed at a 45 degree angle).

Needlebook 22

Then I tacked them down.

Needlebook 23

The embroidery was laced over the card shape with Perle cotton number 12 – I find that this is very strong , thin thread, and perfect for doing this.

Needlebook 24

I stopped lacing each side about 3/4 of an inch from each corner, to give me enough to fold in each corner and mitre it after doing the lacing.

Needlebook 25

Carolyn Pearce suggests stitching the doctor flannel pages to the cotton lining fabric using a sewing machine, but I couldn’t be bothered to get mine out for such a small bit of stitching, so I did mine with hand-sewn backstitch. The doctor flannel is carefully cut with the inner pages a little bit smaller than the outer one along the short sides, so that when the needlebook is finally closed, the pages line up neatly.

Needlebook 26

To disguise the central line of backstitch, I worked a line of Coral stitch along the centre.

Needlebook 27

Then I placed the lining wrong sides together with the embroidery on its card, and slipstitched around the edge.

Needlebook 28

Finally, I worked a buttonhole stitch loop at the centre of the front right hand edge of the needlebook, and attached an 8mm cloisonne bead to the centre of the back edge.

Needlebook 29

This is the back of the needlebook, once finished.

Needlebook 30

Above, you can see the needlebook standing open, to show the pages for the needles, and below, you can see how trimming the doctor flannel to slightly different sizes works – when closed, the edges match up really well.

Needlebook 31

Lovely, isn’t it?

The new issue of Artisans in Miniature free imag is out!

There’s a new issue of the Artisans in Miniature FREE online magazine this month – have you seen it yet?

AIM issue 55 August 2015 - 1

It’s got 76 pages of news about miniatures, wonderful articles about doll’s house scale minis in several scales, and inspirational pictures to make you drool!

Here is one of the pages featuring tiny scale furniture and accessories: AIM issue 55 August 2015 - 2

This article explains how to make a wig for a doll’s house scale doll: AIM issue 55 August 2015 - 3

This article shows lots of ideas for miniature gardens and flower arrangements: AIM issue 55 August 2015 - 4

And at the back of the magazine, as always, there are short news items about professional miniaturists and what they have been up to recently: AIM issue 55 August 2015 - 5

It’s always a good read, and even better, it’s FREE!! Why not go and have a look at the Artisans in Miniature website to read the latest issue now?

Just look at this miniature enchanted castle!

You’ve just got to watch this, it’s stunning!

Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, home to the wonderful Colleen Moore doll’s house castle (built in the 1930s), has just received $200,000 to spend on the renovation of this amazing example of a very special doll’s house. It stands nine feet square, and 14 feet high – pretty large, by normal doll’s house standards! Have a look at this video for more information about it:

There are so many wonderful miniatures in this doll’s house – it’s very inspirational!