Wednesday, 27 June 2012


I was looking for something new to try for a little present for my father's birthday, and my partner suggested stitching a monogram on a handkerchief. I thought this was a lovely idea, esp as I'd been devouring Mary Corbet's blog "Needle 'n Thread" with its enthralling mix of "how-to"s for all skill-levels and entries on the wonderful things people actually make by hand. I was aware that with my little practice I wouldn't be able to do anything brilliant, but I've never suffered from under-estimating my skills and talents, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I made the pattern from a free monogram-designing website - I'm afraid I can't find it right now, there are a number of those sites around. I'm hopeless at writing pretty letters by hand, so I didn't try just sketching it myself.

I had done some embroidery with filling stitches before, many years ago (the project is still unfinished, but I thought then my stitching improved while the work progressed), and now practiced a little before starting on the real thing.

I soon realised that the only stitch I could imagine here (and which I might be able to manage) was a standard filling stitch. However, inspired by Mary Corbet's videos, I also made one line in whipped backstitch - I thought a little gold would go well with the white.

All in all, I'm fairly happy with the result, although the gold thread is much less visible than I'd hoped and at most angles looks as if the white had become a bit smudgy there. I'm sure the stitching is not as orderly as it could be, but I'm pleased with it and with how the work felt.

Here are the results:

The materials used are Anchor Coton à Broder Vierfach Stickgarn 20, colour 1 (white) and Anchor Lamé Embroidery Thread, colour 303, a single thread, for the gold.
I chose the Coton à Broder quality because it said that it was especially good for whitework, and I thought this kind of filling stitches was kind of similar to what you do in whitework. In hindsight, though, I think a normal Anchor Stranded Thread would have been easier for the very light fabric.

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