Posted tagged ‘embroidery floss’

Perle Cotton for Embroidered Nightgowns

October 6, 2016

I’m having difficulty embroidering and sewing due to a shoulder impingement and attendant tendinitis and nerve pain, but I started embroidering the bodice of a nightie, and I’m chipping away at it as I can.

The fabric is a softly mottled aqua flannelette that I bought from Connecting Threads two years ago. I am using a variegated green Perle cotton #12 from Presencia to outline the motifs in chain stitch and then I’ll fill the shapes in. The motifs are a combination of the Kate & Rose embroidery patterns Faraway Garden and Bewitching Botanicals. I’m really getting some mileage out of those patterns. I hope to do a small motif on each sleeve as well as embroidering the bodice.


I bought some more Presencia perle cotton #12 threads from Connecting Threads during a recent sale and I bought two colourways of variegated DMC and Anchor floss which you can see surrounding the bodice that is currently being worked. BUT, I’ve always wanted to try the hand-dyed perle cotton threads from Lorraine at Colour Complements, so I ordered two skeins of her beautiful hand-dyed DMC perle cotton #12, just to try it.


One of the nighties I’m making is plain white flannelette, and I wanted a variegated thread that really popped. Lorraine’s gorgeous blue, yellow, red, and orange colourway will absolutely pop on white fabric. I think I’m going to hand draw my own pattern up for this one using some motifs from adult colouring books as inspiration. I tend to get bored following patterns so I want to do my own exuberant drawings for this second embroidered nightgown.

I also plan to sew myself a mid-length dressing gown from a navy flannelette, and I thought the second variegated colourway from Colour Complements would be a nice jumping-off point for embroidering motifs on the shawl collar of the dressing gown.

I hope my hand and arm settle down soon so I can get something done.





Embroidery Progress and New Threads

September 4, 2014

I am doing well on my purse flap. I just have to outline the motif on the left and then I can start filling it in.


The woman I was trying to order some variegated Presencia Finca #12 perle cotton kindly reduced the shipping price so I could afford to buy three balls that I special ordered.

I tried them as soon as they arrived and really like the thread. I think I like it slightly better than the Valdani I am using in my purse flap. The spacing of the dye seems better in the Finca, less subtle and the thread definition seems better too. It’s a shame that it is so hard to find.

This is an old piece of quilting cotton that I am filling up with trial runs of various threads and stitches. At some point when it’s filled up I will use it for a purse of some sort. I have marked the respective trials of the Finca in this image.


I am gradually chipping away at these projects, but I make a lot of things in several disciplines so it might take a while to complete, or not.


Choosing Colours for Embroidered Purse Flap

August 23, 2014

I am trying the Valdani perle and wanted to buy some Presencia Finca perle to try too but with shipping it was too much money for 3 balls. The shipping cost almost $17 (more than the $12 order), so it’s well above my means. Canada Post is going to put many small business owners out of business at those rates.

Fortunately I had the manufacturer’s registration marks for all the colours on the selvedge of the main fabric. From there, I pulled out several suitable colours which you can see in the top tier.


Top tier from left to right:

Valdani perle cotton #12 – Maroon Moss – 524
DMC 154 – Red Vy Dk
Valdani perle cotton #12 – Rich Plum – 86
Anchor 218 – Pistachio Green Vy Dk
DMC 3350 – Dusty Rose Ult Dk
Weeks Dye Works Hand Overdyed Cotton – Rum Raisin – 1270
DMC 367 – Pistachio Green
DMC 502 – Blue Green
DMC 598 – Light Turquoise

On the bottom tier are a few odd things to mix in for a bit of zing. I find threads that are too matchy-matchy lack zip so I like to mix in some subtle blends and pops of colour.

Bottom tier left to right:

Silk Twist #12 – Vicki Clayton/Hand Dyed Fibers – Holly Berry
Silk Twist #12 – Vicki Clayton/Hand Dyed Fibers – Pansy
DMC 208 Lavender Vy Dk
Threadworx 1083 Hand Overdyed Cotton – 1083 – Romantic Wedding

I am using the Valdani Maroon Moss with occasional dashes of DMC 154 (which is a deep purple-red) for the variegated outlining in chain stitch and single or double stem stitch. So far it looks great, I like the extra subtlety of the DMC adding a purplish tone among the black and maroon of the Valdani.


I managed to scrounge up a package of proper crewel needles. I was finding the needles I had were shredding the Valdani, so needed something bigger with a large eye. I am slightly disappointed in the Valdani, nothing really beats the sheen and durability of DMC floss, and they have such a gorgeous palette of colours.



New Embroidery Patterns and a Small Floss Order

May 30, 2014

I don’t really need any embroidery thread but I wanted to try the Valdani perle cotton on the recommendation of Kati Lovasz, the designer of the patterns I bought. I bought two balls of that in Size #12 and I bought a skein of Weeks Hand Dyed 6-strand cotton floss in a subtle variegated shade called Rum Raisin. I also slipped in a skein of the more expensive Threadworx Over-Dyed floss but it has 20 yards.

The Ripened Plum Valdani is for another project, but if I’m lucky I can use the Maroon Moss, which is black and maroon for two projects including the purse I’m starting with. I will be mixing in colours I already have in silk and cotton, but I wanted a base of something variegated and I was missing these colours.


I ended up buying two of Kati’s patterns for optimum mixing and matching. I intend to do several projects using these over the year. So that’s me all sorted out for a few handbag projects.


The first purse will use a luxurious remnant of heavy polished cotton that I bought about 10 years ago and have been saving for something special. The fabric on the left is a quilting cotton with a soft green tone-on-tone print that picks up the subtle greens in the polished cotton. I’m using the lighter colour for the flap with the Hungarian-inspired embroidery.


I like to embroider in the early spring and throughout the summer because I can sit at the table on my sunporch and get more light and hear the birds singing.



Embroidery and Thread Eye Candy

May 27, 2014

I got captured by the Kate and Rose embroidery patterns and I notice she has a Pinterest board for embroidery which includes lovely little bags or reticules, my favourite small things. Folk purses, folk clothing, I have three large books on this type of embroidery in history.


I don’t have the patience for satin stitch but on her web site she has a tutorial for using a leaf-type stitch to fill shapes rather than satin stitch. I love using variegated thread in patterns.

She really got me with these examples, and she is encouraging about this not being too complicated—only two stitches. It just takes time but I like to take time for hand work.

I’ve got two redwork patterns to finish for a quilt I’ve been making since the 1990s, but I have a lot of embroidery thread and would like to do something else one day. I have a few current embroidery or cross stitch projects on-the-go, including some dollhouse French knot rugs and a miniature needlepoint rug all done with two strands of ply. I was missing shades in a brighter palette so I went and bought some brights for the circular dollhouse rug. I’m also still working on the cover for the memory book for my yellow Lab Abby who died two years ago.


Most of my thread is DMC cotton with a few silk plied floss and silk twist threads from Vicky Clayton, but I think Kati uses perle cotton, so I might like to try that. I prefer #12 sized thread but others like #8 which I find a bit thick.

DMC has #12 perle cotton in plain colours and heavier threads in soft variations. They cost about $3 each here in Canada, although I think Anchor brand is less expensive. I don’t want to replace all my existing threads as I’ve got hundreds of dollars worth, but a couple of variegated balls might be nice to mix in. Finca Perle cotton has 33 beautiful variegated shades but it’s more expensive and has to be ordered from the States. The beautiful hand-dyed silk Gloriana Princess Perle Petite thread is really, really expensive (about $8 a skein) as is the silk thread from Weeks Dye Works or Dinky Dyes, but I did find a couple of Canadian distributors. Way out of my league financially but silk threads work up so wonderfully.

Oh boy, look at the colours of Gloriana Silks. I’m a colour person and love a big palette in any material whether it be thread or fabric or coloured pencils or watercolours.

Ah well back to DMC cotton plied floss. At least I can afford their colour variations floss although I find the gradations a bit too subtle. I could afford the lovely Sullivan’s Overdyed cotton floss or the Weeks Dye Works cotton floss—they have lovely variegated shades, but I’d have to mail order.

It inspired me to go through my threads and get most of them on cards with their numbers. In this picture my regular trays are on the left and my mostly silk floss and variegated colours are on the right, looking very messy and needing some new cards and organization. I ran out of cards today so I’ll buy some more before tackling the silk reorganization.

Keep in mind, these are in ADDITION to the threads pictured above. It’s a palette that took me 30 years to accumulate. I feel rich just looking at this.


It makes me wonder why I want more. It was the glory of the Gloriana palette that caught my eye. Yes, there is just something about colour for some of us.

Lost in the eye candy today, it made for a pleasant, happy time.