About a year and a half ago, that would be November, 2009, I took a class with a local heirloom embroider teacher Kathy Awender. Kathy, if you remember, designed and taught the Smocked Pockets Tote Bag I wrote about back in May.
We made this cute little diaper clutch, out of white cotton batiste with some fairly simple embroidery. The bunny is outlined in half wrapped chain stitch. We made the bunny outline in chain stitch using white, then wrapped the outer loop in pink. This gives the outline a bit more texture which is needed when using light pink and white floss on white fabric. I suppose gray or brown would be more realistic, but I can't see it in this setting. A brown bunny just wouldn't look right.
Most of these stitches are fairly standard, but a couple deserve mention. The blue hollyhock is made with a buttonhole stitch. The stitch is really quite simple and easy to execute, but the purl on the outer edge of the flower really gives it a nice texture. But my favorite is the Twisty Rose using silk ribbon. I can't really describe it other that it involves twisting the ribbon, folding it in half and pulling through the fabric. The ribbons twists into this lovely rose, all it needs is a bit of tacking with matching floss or thread.
I love featherstitching on this type of fabric, and will always try to add lots more. The pattern called for double featherstitching on the front, but I continued it all the way around the back as well.
We were supposed to make a buttonhole loop for the button, but mine kept twisting around and looked terrible. After three tries I gave up, sewed this very nice mother of pearl button on to the fabric, and tacked velcro under the rose to fasten. It's easier to use the velcro anyway.
This was a cinch to put together. We lined it with more of the batiste, and enclosed the edges with bias binding. It even has a little strap on the back for ease of carrying.
A note about cost. This kit cost $28, and included all material plus the needles. That seems a lot for a little diaper clutch, but we are an heirloom sewing group and we love to use fine materials. You could make this much less expensive by using an inexpensive eyelet edging instead of the lace, and all floss instead of silk ribbon. By making bullions for the roses, single chain stitch (lazy daisy) for the green leaves under the bunny, substituting a polyester/cotton blend for the fabric, and using a plastic button, you could make the whole project for around $10. Less if you have the fabric and floss in your stash. I point this out so everyone knows that you don't have to spend a lot of money to create really darling embroidery projects.
If you wish to purchase a kit, email Kathy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
So this is supposed to be for a diaper clutch, and I was going to give it to my daughter, but I just couldn't part with it. Besides, the baby should be out of diapers soon.