Final Project: Skill Investigation - Embroidery

Made by Olivia Kung ·

Created: April 9th, 2016



For the final project, I wanted to investigate various embroidery stitches. In class, we briefly discussed what embroidery was and how it was used in history, but we did not get a chance to embroider anything. The goals of this project was to become more interested in hand stitching and explore the basics of embroidery. I initially wanted to follow a pattern that uses various stitching techniques, but it was overly ambitious for a first time embroidering piece. My motivations were to investigate a skill that was out of my comfort zone and to become more familiar with hand stitching. I wanted to become more familiar with hand stitching before I practiced with a sewing machine because I wanted to perfect the basics before moving onward. 


Process & Product

I started with the running stitch to create a border. This sparked my inspiration to proceed with a back stitch. I was going to try and stain stitch all of the flowers, but I lacked the resources and skills to produce presentable stain stitched flowers. I experimented with a back stitch flower, but the geometry proved to be a little too difficult. I decided the chain stitch produced the most ascetically pleasing flowers. I researched the various stitches and watched videos on how to execute those stitches. I started my project by defining the types of stitches and the basic picture I wanted to create, then I started stitching and this image was produced. Some challenges were in evenly distributing the stitches, but I think that challenge was resolved as I stitched more. 

I created an embroidered a flower pot onto a sheet of muslin using a needle, embroidery thread, and a wooden embroidery hoop. I used a variety of stitches like the running stitch, back stitch, french knots, stain stitch, feather stitch, chain stitch, split stitch, and stem stitch. I freehanded the design and created the pattern as I worked. 

Embroidered Piece Without Stitch Labels
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Embroidered Piece with Stitch Labels
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Sample Book Photos

Crocheted Triangle
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Basic Stitch Techniques
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Soft Circuit
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I learned that embroidery is very relaxing and there are multitude of stitches that can be used to create any type of image. I would consider making embroidery my hobby, except it is very time consuming. I learned that when you embroider, you should try to think of the pattern ahead of time to account for all the stitchings and just general aesthetics. I would probably base my embroidery off of an image just to make it more aesthetically pleasing; however, I believe that the piece I produced is pretty good because I have never embroidered before. 

In general, I enjoyed learning about soft fabrication and textiles because I feel like these are skills that everyone should learn and know about. We deal with textiles and fabrics on an everyday basis, but we never stop and think about how much work, time, and trial goes into creating a t-shirt or a pair of jeans. I also learned that there are many uses for fabrics beyond clothing and it is a easy material to use when prototyping or creating a product. 

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