Well, here it is! The beginning of a new venture, which has been going on in the background – and which I’ve hinted at here and there over the last few months – for some time. I’m, frankly, both totally nervous and very excited to do this, to show you all the first two embroidery patterns to be put up for sale at the Little Dorrit & Co. etsy shop. I really hope people will like them – we do, me and Chrissy (aka my mother, aka my business partner in this project) and we’ve worked really hard to make a set of patterns that illustrate these beloved stories, are fun to stitch, and are just darn cute! Let me tell you a little about the first two, if you’d like?
This is our “Little Red-Cap” pattern, illustrating the tale we all learned as Little Red Riding Hood, but returned to the red velvet cap she originally wore. The rest of the tale remains familiar though – taking a basket of food to her grandmother’s house, Little Red-Cap meets a terrible wolf in the woods! Whatever will she do?!
This one is one of my favorites of the bunch – I love this little path of french knots, and the tiny one-strand flowers and mushrooms tucked in amongst the trees. And those trees, I could just eat ’em up! (I’m allowed to say these things since Chrissy is the draw-er of our little team, and I cannot claim credit myself for those lovely curvy tree shapes.) The basket is done in very tiny cross-hatched couching, with the inside shading by simple one-strand long stitches. It might also look cute done in satin stitch, or perhaps a fill of chain stitch to look like a braided basket.
The sun in this photo introduces a little technique I’ve been using on this pattern set which I like to call (having made it up just now) ‘faux goldwork’ — an affordable version of goldwork that doesn’t need special training to do. I’d love to learn real goldwork techniques, but this will keep me in shine for the meantime. I’ve basically just laid down some Anchor Lamé floss (the best, if you ask me, it’s easy to work with and catches the light so beautifully!) and used a semi-matching thread to couch it down. Working across the back can be a messy challenge, but it’s doable – perhaps I can do a full tutorial for this if people are interested.
The Little Red-Cap pattern is a large one, intended to cover the full length of an A3 paper, and several in our Brothers Grimm set are similar. As much as we all love a quick stitchy fix, I also really love a project that won’t be finished too quickly; I like to have something that I can really get into — and I’d be shocked if there weren’t at least a few others out there like me! But having said that, these patterns will be easy to adapt to a smaller project – there’s no reason you couldn’t enlarge it more and use Little Red and/or her wolf on their own! Most of our patterns’ main elements or characters can easily be lifted out and applied to any project you have in mind.
The second of this first batch is a smaller one (to print on a single A4): good ‘ole Rumpelstiltskin, that little devilish man popping his head in, ready to trick the poor Miller’s daughter. Before she knows it, she’s going to have to guess his ridiculous name or give up her first-born child! I particularly like this one because I’m a spinner myself, it’d look very cute hanging in a spinning nook near a basket of woolly goodness, no?
For the apron, in lazy daisy stitch, stem stitch, and little cross-stitches, we used an off-white thread that was only just a bit different in color to our fabric. We wanted to mimic the look of whitework and lace for the Miller’s daughter’s apron, but still have it be visible enough not to be drowned out by the other stitching. It was a little stitchy experiment we tried there, and I think it worked out pretty well. I’ll definitely use that trick again.
Rumpelstiltskin himself just had to be a red-head, don’t you think? Mischievous little fellow and all. I have no idea what it’s called, but I filled in his hair with loads of tiny stitches going every which way (does that have a name? I’m sure it must.) which I’d never done before. Fun! I can’t wait until there’s a need for that again!
Both of these patterns are available at our Little Dorrit & Co. etsy shop and there will be more to come in this Brothers Grimm fairy tale set. I will show them to you as they go up in the shop, probably a few at a time over the next couple of weeks, while we work on a whole new set that I think are pretty great. Sssh, more on that in good time. But before any of that, I’m going spend the week working on a blog re-design – I’m excited to have outgrown this layout, it’s time to try something new!