A very old FO

Thanks for the embroidery links! The only thing preventing me from buying a kit* from the internet RIGHT NOW is knowing that my mom will bring me embroidery supplies from her basement this weekend – aren’t parents great?

But I’ve also been thinking back to the ONE embroidery project I ever did. My freshman year in college (long before I had a blog, or even knew how to knit) I was going a little stir crazy without my sewing machine. So I decided to make up a hand sewing project – a prettily embroidered hip bag to go with my renaissance faire costumes seemed like just the thing. I’d never been a fan of sewing seams by hand, but doing a little seaming and a lot of decorating seemed like a good compromise.

I remember some bits of the project better then others. I was blown away by the fabric shop I found in Boston. I don’t remember the name, but it was in a fancy brownstone part of the city. And it was tightly packed with gorgeous garment fabrics. Having done most of my fabric shopping at a jo-ann’s before then I was more then a little impressed. Think about your first trip to a big LYS, and just replace yarn with fabric to see what I mean. They had a remnants basket and I picked a lovely black suit wool and a jewel colored, nubbly silk for the lining. I had wanted a cobalt blue, but this peacock shade of green caught my eye instead:


And they had thistle buttons. Since I have scottish heritage, and had already decided this needed to be celtic themed, the button was perfect.


I made the pattern myself. A thistle for scotland,


a mountain in flames – the Grant family emblem.


I wanted celtic knots around everything.**


I don’t remember picking embroidery floss. I do remember I was making it up as I went along, and that I didn’t have a hoop. Now that I’ve read some embroidery tutorials I can tell you I did some version of satin stitch for the whole project. Maybe that wasn’t the best choice – but it certainly seems to have worked:

celtic hip bag

*I would get the petite kit, because I like the idea of a wooden hoop and silver scissors better then the plastic hoop and pink scissors. Also, the forest friends set of patterns. Not that I’ve seriously considered it or anything…
**and I’ve clearly been designing celtic cables since LONG before I knew how to knit them.


4 responses to “A very old FO

  1. What a great bag! That button is unbelievably perfect.
    I’ve done applique with celtic knotwork – homemade bias tape cut in convenient lengths works really well.

    • Celtic knots done with bias tape sound really pretty, nice and textural too. I have to admit I’m considering this crewel embroidery thing a lot too. I like the idea of using pretty bits of leftover yarn to make nifty designs, and I bet they’d make nice celtic knotwork as well.

  2. I don’t recall your making this bag – was it while you were at BU? It really is lovely work, amazing if you consider that you had essentially no experience and were making it up as you went along!! But typical Becky. . . .

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