Sewing Tutorial for Beautiful Antique Shadow Work Embroidery

Hey everyone, here is how I did this shadow
work embroidery piece. And this design is something that I put together
and is available on my website for an instant download. And all the materials are linked down below
as usual. Okay to begin, I ironed out my fabric and
placed my pattern piece so I could trace the outline. This doesn’t need to be super precise, but
I do like to mark the center of the bodice rather accurately. And then I pinned my design to the underside
of my fabric and traced around it. I used a frixion pen and tried to be as accurate
as I could be. For the little dots, these are intended to
be French knots and I just trace the outline of the shape so I can fill it in with French
knots later. Then I put it on this hoop with a stand, and
yes, I am well aware that it’s too small for my stand hoop, but I’m making do for
the video since it allows me to use both of my hands and then I’ll transfer it to a
regular hoop to complete everything. So anywho, I take this floche #899 and pull
a strand of it out. If you’d like to know how to get your floche
into a little braid like this, I have a video linked below. Now to start, you can simply put a knot in
your thread and use that to secure your thread. Or you can do this method if you want to avoid
the knot. So you’ll take the thread up from the back
of the fabric, and take a stitch over, and then down to the back side of fabric. Then you’ll pierce the tail of your floche
and that’ll secure your thread to your work. So to embroider this flower, I’m first doing
back stitches along the top of the flower. These stitches aren’t going to contribute
to the shadow work effect; they are simply outlining the top of the flower. Then I’ll start alternating the back stitches
from the left side of the flower to the right side of the flower for that shadow work affect. Also, I will make sure that these stitches
go over that tail to help keep things tidy on the back of my work. This may seem really trivial to worry about
containing the tail of your thread, but these little guys can get out of hand in a hurry. So I continue doing the backstitch alternating
sides and it’s this alternation that provides that lovely shadow effect behind your fabric. So the smaller your stitches, the more criss-crossing
you’ll have, which means the stronger shadow effect, but you don’t want to make your
stitches so small that the stitches themselves don’t look nice. I tend to stick to 1/8” or so. And then you’ll see that I’m at the bottom
of the flower and all of the flower is shaded now, but the bottom of the flower still needs
to be outlined, so similarly to how I started the top of the flower, now I’m just going
to do the back stitch to complete this flower. And there you go, that’s the pink flower
done. To tie off, I loop my thread around some of
the shadow work threads and create a loop, and then I go through that loop once and send
my needle under those shadow work threads so I can hide the tail. Moving onto the leaves, I am using two greens
to give some depth to this work. One is 3347 and the other is 3345. So I just tied my floche into a knot to secure
it here and then I brought my thread up at a point of the leave and then began the backstitch
alternation. Now while the overall shape of each leave
is basically the same, there are some minor differences. So some leaves will allow you to just alternate
and you’ll end at another point. And then some leaves have rounded bottom like
I’m working on here. If you get down to the rounded bottom and
your leaf is well shadowed but you haven’t done the outline of the bottom, just do the
backstitch without alternating as I just showed with the pink flower. Then I did the outline stitch in the lighter
color green all the way down the flower’s stem. Later I’ll come back and shade it some with
the darker color green. Next I moved onto the blue flower. This is worked similarly to the pink flower,
but I wanted to show it just in case anyone wants the instruction. I begin at the top of the flower, doing the
backstitch along to outline that shape. And if the flower is much bigger than this,
then I would shade each of those little petals individually. Either way, then I’m going back and forth
to create those lovely criss-crosses that will build that shadow look. And then finally, I outline the bottom of
the flower doing the backstitch once again. And here you go, I take the darker green,
start it at that blue flower, and continue that so it shades the main stem of the flower. This just adds some depth to your work. Just play around with this, there isn’t
really a wrong way to do it, just have fun. Ahh and my toddler got to a few of my floches
and took the labels off. This actually is not number 775, but I will
look it up and caption the correct number into the video. So I took this light yellow and used it to
make a bunch of French knots to fill those little bubbles, if you will. Again, no right or wrong here, do it as densely
or sparsely as you wish. I am also using this darker yellowy-orange
color, and it is actually number 725 to make more French knots. I think the combination, again, adds depth
to your work and having another texture like French knots mixed in with all this shadow
work just gives some sparkle, if you will. Then I also use the light yellow color to
do the petals of this little round flower. If you are noticing a pattern, you would be
correct… I am going to outline the top of the flower
using the back stitch, and then I am going to alternate the backstitch along the sides
of the petal to give that shadow effect. Finally, I am going to do a backstitch or
two to finish the bottom of the petal. And lastly, to fill in the center of those
flowers, I am taking this blue again and beginning on one side, if you will, of the circle, taking
a stitch, going to the other side, taking another stitch. And for this circle, I complete one side before
completing the other. Another way to do a circle is to alternate
each side, either way works just fine. And there you have it, those are all the shapes
explained. So once I was done with my work and ironed
my pen marks away, this is my finished work. I hope this video was helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them
in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them. As always, I appreciate y’all for watching
and I hope to catch ya next time.

17 Replies to “Sewing Tutorial for Beautiful Antique Shadow Work Embroidery”

  1. It's beautiful! Both your design and your embroidery. It amazes me how you can work with Henry bundled to you. I watched those videos when you were a SAGA. You are so creative and not afraid to try any thing. Peace and blessings.

  2. Thank you for making things that I feel like I can’t do seem attainable! I love your videos! I’m a momma of 3 little girls and am new to “heirloom” sewing, but something about learning from another woman in the same season of life seems to make me less anxious.

  3. Sorry, but I don’t see the link to instructions for braiding the cloche. Can you direct me to that please? Thanks

  4. The sounds of the babies are a plus. They are precious sounds and they make me enjoy your video even more. Thanks

  5. What kind of material did you embroider the shadow work on and what did you use for lining? Can you also use DMC embroidery thread or is floche going to produce a better result? If so, how many strands for the flowers? I have done a small practice piece on polyester cotton and I find this kind of embroidery VERY addictive. As I have said previously, you are VERY inspirational! I have never seen such beautiful and original pieces for children's clothing. I am DEFINITELY going to try and make a dress like this for some fortunate child out there!

  6. Please let me know how I can obtain the basic dress pattern for this and does it come in various sizes for children between the ages of about 3 and 6 years old?

  7. Dayum gurL how yo hand not in pain? Lol that’s so much stitching! This is so beautiful though thank you!!

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