This tutorial would have been totally cutting edge last year. But I didn’t have a blog last year. Nevertheless, oversized eyelet lace is still having its moment, and this is a fresh, summery DIY project.
Last year, I fell totally enamored with the oversized eyelet lace items by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton that were in every magazine and worn by so many famous people. (The collar was especially ubiquitous.) And the colours – white and turquoise and pink and yellow – so awesome! So, since I couldn’t buy any Louis Vuitton clothes myself, I thought I would try and make myself something.
|Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton Spring 2012|
This spring, I have seen oversized eyelet lace cropping up on clothes at the mall and on fabric at the sewing store. That’s why I say that this post would have been more cutting edge last year, since you couldn’t get this anywhere! Fortunately, now oversized eyelet has crept into the mainstream.
I used white linen fabric, and hand-embroidered my own oversized eyelet lace necklace. I have learned that it is actually called “Broderie Anglaise”, or “English Embroidery”. (Kind of ironic that you are supposed to say it in French, then, eh?) Here is a tutorial and a download so you can make one too, or add your own oversized Broderie Anglaise to a dress or shirt. I think that if I were making this project this year, I would choose instead to do it on a Peter Pan style collar.
First, if you want to make a necklace, you can download and print this file. I hand-drew the shape of the necklace and the eyelet pattern.
DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE
DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE
If you want to make a Peter Pan collar instead, here is a link to a good downloadable template. (The template is part of the sequined Peter Pan collar DIY post. Just scroll down to find the download link. This blog "A Matter of Style" is full of cool projects, isn’t it?) You can either trace the eyelet pattern from my necklace download onto this, or draw your own features to embroider.
- Fabric – white or light-coloured linen (or 100% cotton) is recommended.
- Three skeins of embroidery thread (totalling approx. 24 yards or meters) in the colour of your choice. I used DMC colour #598
- Embroidery hoop
- Water-erasable fabric marker
- Embroidery needle
- Small pointy scissors
- Ribbon for necklace, or to tie the collar together
1. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric big enough to fit your design and to fit in your embroidery hoop. Put your fabric over top of your paper print out, and trace the design onto the fabric with a water-erasable fabric marker. (This is a fabric marker whose marks will disappear with water.) Do NOT use a disappearing or vanishing marker, because your pattern will likely disappear before you are done. If you have trouble tracing the design through your fabric, you can tape the paper and fabric up on a sunny window to trace it.
2. Put the fabric in your hoop. (Your fabric should still be a rectangle. You are NOT cutting out the shape of your necklace or collar until after the embroidery is finished.) The entire design will not fit in your hoop, so just start embroidering at one end of the design, and once you are done that end, you can take the fabric out and put it back in again so you can do the other side.
3. Cut a length of embroidery thread about the length of your arm. You can see that your thread is likely made up of 6 strands of thinner thread, twisted together. So that the thread is flat, thinner, and easier to work with, you should separate your thread. Trust me, this is so worth it. To do this, hold one end of your cut piece of thread, and pull out one of the strands with your other hand. Pull out another one. Now you have two strands of thread, and you can thread your needle with these two strands – basically just pretend they are one strand. (When these run out, go back to your initial thread and pull out two more strands to continue embroidering with.)
|Separate your thread by pulling out a strand.|
4. TIE-ON and TIE-OFF TIPS: Now, you could knot your thread are start embroidering, just like you would do when sewing. However, because your fabric will be a bit see-through, you may see your knot all lumpy beneath your embroidery. If you want to avoid this, do the following: knot your thread, and plunge your needle into your fabric at least 6 inches away from where you plan to start embroidering, going from the top of the fabric to the bottom. Now your knot will be sitting on top of the fabric, and your needle and thread are underneath. Then, come up with your needle from the underneath where you want to start embroidering and do your stuff.
|Enter your needle here, away from your design.|
|Bring your needle up here, on your design, and then start embroidering. See the knot sitting on top, back where you originally entered your needle?!|
When you are finished embroidering a shape or your thread runs out, here’s what you’ll do: To tie-off, don’t tie a knot. Instead, put your needle underneath your work and thread it through the other bits of embroidery at the bottom, until it feels secure, then cut the thread off. (For those of you who are knitters, this will be familiar.)
|This is the back of the work.The needle is sliding in to tuck itself under the other embroidered bits.|
Now you also want to deal with the part where you began, because you don’t want to leave that first knot you made sitting on top of your fabric. So, from the top of your fabric, cut the knot off. (Careful not to cut your fabric!) Your thread will now hang loose underneath. Thread it onto your needle and then, on the underneath side of your fabric, thread it through the other bits of embroidery until it feels secure or is all hidden away. The reason that I recommended placing your initial knot at least 6 inches away is so you’ll have enough thread to do this and secure it using your needle.
There! You have no knots on your embroidery bottom, and yet your work is secure.
5. Now on to the business of embroidering an eyelet. First thing to do: trace the outline of your shape with a simple running stitch. (The blog to which I linked here is fabulous for embroidery, with a great index of many different kinds of stitches.) This running stitch will be covered up with other embroidery later, but doing this secures the fabric. Next, cut into the middle of your shape. With the flower petals, I typically cut one straight line from bottom to top, but I didn’t cut close to the edges of the shape, because I found that the linen, once cut a bit, naturally unraveled to widen the cut while I worked. If you are using cotton, you may need to cut more.
|Running stitch around the shape, and then a cut in the middle.|
Now, do a satin stitch around the hole: Come up with your thread about a quarter inch out from your stitched line, and bring your needle back into the hole. Now come up again right next to your last stitch. You’ll see that this will pull the extra fabric bits that are hanging around your cut hole to be tucked in the back and covered up. Keep doing this until you go around your entire shape. Then tie off your thread as per the instructions in number 4.
If you have lots of thread left on your needle when you finish a shape, it is tempting to not tie off and instead start embroidering the next shape. However, if you bring your thread along the back of your work, you will be able to see this through the top and it will look messy. So, I recommend tying off when you finish each shape, unless you are really close to the next one – in which case, you can just keep going.
6. Finish all your eyelets! This takes a while. Do it over a few nights while you watch TV, or wait for the bus. It is a very portable project.
7. Outline the edge of your necklace or collar with embroidery. You do not need to start with a running stitch for this. Simply do satin stitch along the length of where you want your necklace. The dots between the petals are also done with a satin stitch.
8. When all your embroidering is done, VERY CAREFULLY cut your necklace or collar shape out. You will be cutting right below your satin-stitched edge. Don’t cut your beautiful stitching! You can cut around the dashed lines to give yourself somewhere to sew the ribbon on to. (Cut them to fit your ribbon of choice.)
9. Find a ribbon and hand sew it on to your embroidered piece in order to make a necklace. If you have made a collar, attach some ribbon to the front edges so it’ll stay on when you wear it.
Other ways to use this oversized eyelet embroidery, besides making a necklace or collar: cut out the top of a t-shirt and sew your embroidered piece in. Or add sleeve details or front placket details on a shirt, or cover the border of a skirt. I originally envisioned making a skirt covered with this embroidery, but that would have been a major, major project. Instead you could just embroider a few oversized eyelets on a skirt!
I hope that you enjoy this post. If anyone makes this project, please send me pictures! I’d love to post it or Pin it!