The teddy bear embroidered bookmark is now officially FINISHED! Yay! Plus, as a bonus, I got it done well before I needed to, which meant no running about in a panicnado.
I’m pretty happy with the result – the embroidery segment looks good, but my overall finishing needs some work. I had a lot of trouble with the backing fabric as I couldn’t persuade it to hold my attempts to press the seam allowances inwards. This meant that I had to hold the fabric in position with stabby pins and the edge isn’t as neat as I would like it to be – I also need to practise my blanket stitch some more! With that said, here it is!
Every time I look at it, I see more mistakes, but hopefully it will go down well. I have also learned a lot about embroidery from working on this piece so with a bit of luck my next design will go a little more smoothly. For example, the bear’s eye should be a French Knot, but the knots just popped straight through the flimsy polycotton fabric I used. I also learned, as I shared last week, that the count of the fabric was actually a bit too low for this project, meaning I couldn’t get in some of the detail that I wanted to add. The embroidery was worked entirely using a selection of unbranded embroidery cotton skeins from a big box of 50 colours that my Mum gave me. Honestly, I found the thread to be a little hard to work with because it kept knotting up at the back of the work – although I suspect it was my own hamfistedness that caused most problems. This cotton has a lovely sheen, best see on the red cover of the book the bear is holding and to be honest I wasn’t expecting it to give such a lovely texture. The blanket stitch and the purple section of the red book are worked in single strand number 8 perle cotton.
This is the back and it’s a lot more obvious on this side that the front and back pieces aren’t lined up as much as I would like. The back was made by cutting the fabric to be the same size as the front, then applying a medium weight iron on interfacing that was cut to be the same size as the front, minus the seam allowance. After I had applied the interfacing, I realised that the piece I had cut was actually too wide, so I had to do some strategic folding! The placement of the bears on the back was a total accident, I literally just chose an area and got cutting, but I’m really pleased with how it looks.
This is a close-up of the bear. His arms, legs, ears and the book he is holding are worked two strand satin stitch using a crewel needle and the body and head are worked using long and short stitch, although that didn’t come off quite as well as I had hoped on the body. The bear was then outlined using a slightly darker shade of brown using one strand of thread and a between needle.
Above are a couple of shots of the embroidered bookmark in action, keeping my place in my stitch dictionary (which will be the subject of next week’s post!).
I have to admit that I’m both relieved to have finished it well ahead of time (a first for me, as my husband can tell you) and sad because it was a major undertaking that pretty much consumed my life and now it’s gone. I’m already planning another project that will have to be kept super secret on this blog because the person receiving it is a reader and I don’t want to let on what it is ;-). I will be presenting the bookmark to my Dad on Friday, ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday – it’s also my husband’s birthday so I’m seeing my Dad early – and I hope that he likes it! I learned a lot from designing and making this embroidered bookmark, which I can now carry forward into future projects, especially about timescales as this relatively small piece took about 30 hours to design and make. My next project will be a combined embroidery/sewing project, so I will be oiling up my c.1894 Jones Family CS sewing machine to handle the heavy lifting. I’m also hoping to get some knitting done as the deadline won’t be quite as tight for the next piece!
If you would like to know more about the inspiration behind this piece, you can find a whole post about it here.
Thanks for reading! 🙂