Often when embroidering, we don’t think about mixing different coloured threads or even completely different textures. This is what we are doing here: adding a touch of fantasy to a few small roses, their stems and leaves by mixing Laine Saint-Pierre embroidery floss with our metallized thread.
Number of strands to use:
For the roses, whatever combination of Laine Saint-Pierre embroidery floss you choose, you should always use three strands. You can also choose to add a strand of metallized thread. The three strands are necessary to obtain a voluminous result.
For the stems, you will only need two strands, to which you can add a strand of metallized thread. The leaves being quite small on the fabric, three strands of Laine Saint-Pierre would give a clumsy result.
The idea is not to embroider all the fabric, but just to pick out a few flowers here and there, making your embroidery a unique object.
Floss and material you will need:
- a fabric swatch of Josephine’s Roses coordinate 1;
- five cards of Laine Saint-Pierre embroidery floss: 380, 452, 506, 555 and 845;
- two spools of metallized sewing thread: 235 and 270;
- a pack of round-tipped embroidery needles;
- a 12cm wooden embroidery hoop;
- a pair of scissor.
And if you wish to transform your embroidery into a gorgeous little drawstring bag:
- 1.20 metres of our Josephine’s Roses ribbon;
- a safety pin.
You can find a video with detailed explanations on how to sew the drawstring bag in Madame Sajou’s Diary.
All the stitches are clearly shown on the video, however, the explanations and recommendations are in French.
Translation is below.
Pull the fabric tightly on the embroidery hoop.
The embroidery stitches used:
Web stitch :
Combine three strands of Laine Saint-Pierre embroidery floss, you can also add a strand of metallized thread. Cut a length of floss to about 50cm. To start, fix the thread without a knot, as shown in the video.
Pass the thread from the front to the back of your fabric, come up close and anchor the thread in place with a small stitch. Cut off the surplus thread. This stitch will disappear under the embroidery. Sew five spokes in straight stitch, taking care not to cover up the pistil in the middle. Bring the needle up close to the pistil. You are going to weave between the spokes. Going clockwise, go under and over each of the spokes. Take care not to pull the thread too tightly, just let it fall into place. This is how you will obtain the voluminous result which is needed for the finished effect.
Once the spokes are completely covered, and consequently, the flower formed, take the needle through to the back of the fabric and fix the thread onto the stitches on the back. Continue for other random roses, making sure to use a different mix of threads.
The name is a bit of a giveaway, it is the stitch most often used to embroider flower and plant leaves. Cut a length of two strands of Laine Saint-Pierre embroidery floss, to which you can add a strand of metallic thread if you wish. Start by anchoring the thread with the same method as for the rose. Bring the needle out at the point of the leaf and mark the midrib with a straight stitch.
Then, as shown on the video, sew straight stitches on alternative sides following the shape of the leaf and bringing the needle down below the midrib. The stitches should be contiguous, but don’t worry if they are not completely perfect, as nature never produces a totally symmetrical result either!
Don’t cut your thread – you are going to use it to embroider the stem.
Yet another giveaway name – stem stitch is used to embroider the stems of flowers!
Bring your needle up and, following the line of the stem, bring it down a bit further down the stem. Don’t pull the thread completely down and hold onto the loop. Bring the needle up in between the two points and pull the thread loop taut.
Continue in the same manner for the rest of the stem.
Stem stitch is one of the basic stitches in traditional embroidery. For the best results it is important to keep the stitches to a regular size. For curves, it is best to make small stitches in order to follow them precisely.
The motif on our Josephine’s Roses fabric represents real roses that the Empress cultivated in her garden at the Malmaison Chateau, where she was known for her passion for roses and all sorts of exotic flowers.
You can find our collection of embroideries dedicated to Napoleon and Josephine in our Museums and Heritage collection.
See also our collection of haberdashery products with a Napoleon and Josephine theme.