Finished embroidery – a stumpwork embroidery ‘petal bag’

A stumpwork embroidery 'petal bag'
A stumpwork embroidery ‘petal bag’

This is the first of a ‘Gallery’ of images I’m going to put up on my blog, to show some of the embroidery and beadwork I’ve finished over the years.

This petal bag is a lovely project that I completed a few years ago, and it’s been my favourite ever since. I love making embroidered bags.

All the embroidery that I make to sell as kits is miniature embroidery for doll’s houses (see my website Janet Granger Designs for details) – so, when I’m doing embroidery ‘for fun’, I like to do ‘full size’ items, for a change.

This lovely bag isn’t designed by me, but comes from a gorgeous book published in New Zealand by Georgeson Publishing Limited (unfortunately, no longer in print). The book is called ‘Elizabethan Needlework Accessories’ by Sheila Marshall. If you ever see a second-hand copy available, GET IT!! {Edit 2014: it’s now back in print!}

My version of the bag took me two months of  ‘spare time’ in the evenings, but it was a very interesting project to work on, and the embroidery so varied that it didn’t become a chore to stitch. Each of the five panels feature a different flower, with a goldwork couched border. When the bag is opened, by releasing the drawstring, the ‘petals’ fall flat, revealing pockets on the inner side of each petal, embroidered with five smaller flower motifs. The drawstring bag is lined with gold satin, to resemble a flower centre, and opens with two more drawstring cords. The bag measures about seven inches diameter. I made the tassel from a large ceramic bead, covered with toning embroidery silks left over from the embroidery itself. Then I worked Single Brussels Stitch ( similar to a buttonhole stitch worked in rows) to cover the bead completely.

The petal bag when open, showing the embroidered inner pockets
The petal bag when open, showing the embroidered inner pockets


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24 thoughts on “Finished embroidery – a stumpwork embroidery ‘petal bag’”

  1. Janet this is absolutely beautiful 🙂
    I am a fan of stumpwork (just a beginner myself) and quite new to hand embroidery. I like making bags, soft toys, textile art…
    I’ve bookmarked your blog 😉

  2. I have the full series of those books, except the ‘alphabets’ one, they’re great, aren’t they? I even brought the one this bag came from out here to Taiwan with me! One day I’ll get to work something from it…

    Love the way you’ve let us see how the inside of the bag works too. Was this the exact book ‘make-up’ pattern, or did you adapt?

    1. I’ve got the whole series except the Alphabets one, too – I like designing my own alphabets, really. It’s the 3D designs that this series presented that attracted me.
      My version of the bag is very close to the way it’s suggested in the book, except …. I used Anchor threads instead of the brands suggested, I used a different thickness of Kreinik braid for the outlining than they suggested, I used stiffer fabric for the outer bag (so that it would ‘stand up’ better), and I made the tassel to my own design (a large ceramic bead, covered with rows of buttonhole stitches). Other than that, yes, it’s pretty much as they said! I loved making this, even though it was time-consuming, as each stage was short, so there was a lot of variety.
      Keep an eye out for a post on here soon about another bag that I made, that took just as long, but then got stolen… 😦

  3. Janet what a gorgeous bag! You are tempting me away from mini petitpoint with all these lovely projects, and that will never do – I still have too many rooms to dress in my houses vbg. Thanks for sharing such wonderfully inspiring eye candy.

  4. Hi Janet! Just discovered this post. Is it the one from the ‘Elizabethan Needlework Accessories’ book? I keep meaning to do that one… What sort of thread did you use for the thicker gold?? And which elements are stumpwork? I don’t remember there being any, but you may well have adapted.=)
    Beautiful piece!

    1. Yes, it is from that book. I used Kreinik gold braid for the thin and thick gold outlining – extra fine and fine weights. Can’t remember which shade I used, though – sorry! Ididn’t adapt the design much from how it’s shown in the book (I used Anchor threads instead of those mentioned in the book, but other than that, I followed the instructions pretty closely). The ‘stumpwork’ elements are the padded petals of the flowers, mainly.

  5. Oh and PS – that book *is* in print again. It was re-released a couple of years before this posting.=) I bought mine in 2007 after a period of it being out of print. Hope it’s still going now, having said that…..

  6. Is there any chance of getting the pattern I would love to make a version of this as largesse. Thank you for displaying your amazing work

    1. Hi Lesley, the book Elizabethan Needlework Accessories by Sheila Marshall is now back in print, so you could buy the book with the pattern and instructions in.

  7. I really wanted to make this bag, but can’t justify buying the book at $60aud

    What is the diameter of the drawstring and dimensions of the petals?

    I wanted to make one that had different flowers important to me hence why I cannot get the book only for the bag pattern

    It looks sooo pretty

    1. To be honest, it’s a complicated pattern, and the book would be well worth the money investment to get the details right. I can’t really explain the measurements, or how you would put it together. And the other projects in the book are all lovely as well, so I think you’d probably end up making more than one thing from this book.

  8. Hi Janet!
    it´s so beautiful your bag!
    Could you tell me where can I obtain the pattern for make the bag

  9. Hi, what a lovely bag! I just stumbled upon your blog trying to find patterns and I saw you linked amazon. BUT I was wondering if you do commissions and if you’d ever sew this bag (without the embroidery) again. I’m not good with handwork at all so I greatly respect the work you put into it! Please let me know

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