Vintage Sunday: Embroidered Girl (and a plea for help!)

1960s Embroidered Girl

Sorry, guys, I had that awesome (ahem, if I do say so myself) idea for Vintage Sundays and then it kind of got lost in the shuffle. But now we’re back on track! So, this week I want to share this amazingly beautiful embroidered girl I found at a charity shop a week or two ago. She must be from the later-1960s or maybe early 1970s, there’s no real doubt about the era on this one. Isn’t she lovely?!

1960s Embroidered Girl

She does need a little repair though! As you can see, she’s quite badly puckered there around her face and head, and there’s a few pulled stitches in her apron. No broken threads or anything, so I thought she’d be easy enough to fix up – just tighten the loose threads from the back, give her a gentle wash and blocking, and then reframe!

I started with a washing, just the same as I would anything else handmade: lukewarm water, a touch of gentle soap and left her to soak for a bit. The soak water was totally orange, which I didn’t see coming, and it did leave a light bleed mark on the fabric in one corner, but it might be hidden by the framing. Otherwise she looked pretty good, and I pinned her out crazy tight, hoping to cure that bunchiness.

1960s Embroidered Girl

Which was not entirely successful. Or at all really. Huh. Here she is still pinned to the blocking board, but now dry – the fabric still totally puckering all over the place. She looked wonderfully smooth when she was still wet and freshly pinned, but now the same as before. I’ve never blocked embroidery before, but I block knitting (successfully) all the time – is there some difference I didn’t know about?!

Is there anyone out there that can give me some advice on flattening this girl? I know she’ll smooth somewhat if I mount the embroidery more properly than it was before, but will that take care of it completely? Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated!

4 Comments on Vintage Sunday: Embroidered Girl (and a plea for help!)

  1. nicole follow the White Bunny
    August 25, 2013 at 10:33 (5 years ago)

    ooh lovely find! I like how the outline of her face/profile is defined by the branches. :) I know nothing about blocking embroideries though, sorry… Have you tried gentle pressing/ironing the fabric (on the wrong side) yet?

  2. Annette - California Stitcher
    August 25, 2013 at 18:49 (5 years ago)

    Beautiful find, she’s so pretty and love all those specialty stitches. Something to think about:
    I wonder if a thin layer of felt or batting, to be cut and fitted within the size of the embroidered piece, attached to a piece of card board, then to lace the backing. I have found that lacing does help with the puckering. Good luck.
    love Annette

  3. Tammy
    August 25, 2013 at 19:40 (5 years ago)

    How beautiful.Puckers and all. Wish i could help you on that but I am totally ignorant of how.


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