A Stitched Dollhouse for Zoe

I had been looking at juneatnoon’s 1109 Poplar house pattern since before I got pregnant. I waited till I knew I was having a girl before buying the pattern. It’s a busy redwork pattern that is so large it needs to be printed on legal paper. There are tons of adorable details, like the little doll in the attic, or the wallpaper in the stairwell that make the piece super interesting to look at.

Tracing it out was difficult because of the sheer size and level of detail it entailed. I ended up needing to tape the fabric, the transfer paper and the pattern to the table/each other to keep everything steady for the time it took me to trace it. I also, after a few minutes, pulled out a long ruler to help me with all the straight lines. I didn’t use it or one of the sides of the house, and the pattern definitely suffered for it. As I was stitching the right side rooms, lamps and desks tended to stick out of the building. I fixed it by the end, but the long edges aren’t perfectly straight.

Overall, the pattern was a joy to stitch up, each floor and each room splitting up a large project into bite sized pieces that were manageable. The house took me a little over a week to finish, on and off.

I edited the pattern a slight bit, putting Zoe’s name on the box in the attic. I want her to know, later on, that it was stitched just for her while we were waiting for her to make her big debut.

I am going to get it professionally framed, but I have a really good idea of what I want them to do with the frame/matting, so there should be an update on this piece in the near future.

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dork with a baby…

My daughter Zoe was born on July 7th, 2012, at 4:18 am. She weighed 6.1lbs (despite being 38 weeks) which means she is tiny and most of the 0-3 stuff we have for her doesn’t really fit properly. Oh well, she’ll just wear the onesies I stitched for her a bit longer.

Updates may (will) be a bit short/haphazard for a while, but for a good reason!

Pattern Evolution – What A Difference A Year or Two Makes

I recently added a pattern to my shop: Butterfly Dreams.  This pattern, this ant, has been in my mind for a long time, at least a year or two.  She’s just a worker ant, she doesn’t have wings, but she can imagine that she has, resplendent wings that take her up and up, not necessarily away.

I started playing with this idea a while back, when my embroidery and pattern making skills were a bit less awesome than they are now.  I grabbed an ant from a random colouring book page online, printed out a wing of the wrong size, traced it out onto the ant at a weird angle and got stitching.  The resulting “pattern” was uneven and kind of awkward.  I didn’t go in with a plan, just a loose idea that I wanted to fill the whole wing and that I wanted to try using shisha stitch, which I had just learned and practiced with silver coinage (didn’t have any mirrors at the time).

The result is… messy and icky.  The dense stitching isn’t consistent and the overall look wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  So the ant went into my box of (mostly) completed stitching that I am not 100% happy with.  I call it my box of shame, cause everyone who sees it says “you should do something with all of that!”.  Sigh.

The new version is better.  It’s more consistently planned and simpler, but the finished product is smoother and prettier.  I used five or six shades of each colour, in either 2 strand or 4 strand split stitch.  I then filled in everything with black seed beads.   Because I planned the pattern in Inkscape beforehand, the wing is more proportional to the ant and relatively logically placed.  The ant comes from a vintage plate and the wing is an estimation of a few different butterfly wings I found online.

The colours are almost shimmery and bright and summery, and I love it. The pattern, which also includes a smaller moth wing, is available on my pdf pattern shop.  Let me know if you stitch it up!