(Update : check out my updated needleminder/pincushion embroidery hoop tutorial here)
So this blog post is half tutorial, half product review. While browsing the ‘search’ part of instagram I stumbled across some beautiful examples of mini embroidery, turned into necklaces and brooches. A number of them were made using hoops from Melbourne based designer and manufacture @dandelyne who has an awesome mix of kits on her etsy store. Through @dandelyne I found @madebyliss and was inspired to try my hand at making needle minders for some upcoming sewing swaps. I think they will make the perfect ‘extra’ being both adorable and useful!
I chose to start with the pastel kit and some extra hoops. If you are new to sewing it’s perfect, as the kit provides all you’ll need – the needles, thread, material, instructions including stitching etc etc. Everything in the image below cost $67.35 (including shipping) and provides enough product to make at least 6 miniature hoops – two with necklace/brooch fixings. (The darling embroidery scissors were added as a little gift which was a lovely touch) The kit has full instructions including design elements.
Here’s how I went about making my own needle maker….
Step 1. Design image
You use the carbon paper provided in the kit to transfer your chosen design to the material by tracing over the top of the image. Sandwich the fabric between the two circles of the embroidery hoop, and tighten the screw at the top. Then you are all set to make your embroidery thread selections. I started simple with a cute cupcake, but you could add initials, other designs, whatever you wish. Just keep in mind the proportions of the finished hoop, which is a lot smaller then the hoop provided for stitching.
Step 2. Start stitching.
Dandelyne includes both basic stitch instructions and instructions for 6 designs including the cupcake here. The cupcake is made by using a combination of satin stitch, back stitch and backward chain stitch.
As a beginner to embroidery, this took me about 30 mins to stitch. It was super relaxing as the sun set (hence the changing light in the pictures!) With experience it would take you much less time, and I have grand plans to expand my stitches library.
Step 3. Fit to size
Using the hoop you have chosen as a guide, cut your fabric to size, wrap around the included wooden circle and fit inside the hoop. Once again Dandelyne’s instructions are very easy to follow.
Step 4. Make into a needle minder
Now this is where I hit a problem. These magnets are too thick to fit within the backing piece, and in any event are not strong enough to hold a needle through the front piece. The kit includes the ability to finish your embroidery as a brooch or necklace which would look adorable. But I have my heart set on a needle minder so I’ll keep searching for the perfect magnet! (Edit: the search is over – this blog has all the links you need!)
The (almost) completed piece….
All in all, I’ve really enjoying this kit. It would make the perfect gift for a beginner sewer. For the more experienced sewer you might prefer to buy just the packs of hoops. While things like the fabrics or needles or thread you might have in your stash, or be able to pick up easily, I seriously doubt you’ll find miniature hoops that are finished and stained so beautifully anywhere else!