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Detail inspiration: Cross stitch

red-cross-detail

red-cross

When it’s cold out, there’s nothing quite like curling up by the fire with a bit of hand needlework.

I admit that I haven’t tried doing cross stitch embroidery since I was a kid. But seeing these gorgeous vintage dresses with their intricate and folkwear-ish appeal makes me want to give it a try again.

blue-cross-stitch-close

blue-cross-stitch

yellow-gingham

[images: red dress from CreatedandCollected, blue dress from BaxterVintage, yellow gingham from EadoVintage]

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On , Susannah said:

I recall doing cross stitch on gingham fabric for school sewing projects. Our Grade Six sewing project was cross stitch on gingham squares that became pockets on the aprons we used for cooking classes in Grade seven. (we all did white crosses on the dark blue squares of navy and white gingham. Not much scope for creativity!). I was quite taken with the technique, and made a few table cloths, experimenting with different colours. My favourite was green and brown crosses on yellow and white gingham. No idea where the table cloth is now (and from memory, the width of the fabric was only about 90 centimeters, with a bit cut off to square up the squares).

I still have a soft spot for cross stitch (although on gingham, maybe not so much). The red dress looks amazing!

On , Sam said: | alittleofwhatyou.blogspot.co.uk

Oooh, that red dress is gorgeous. I haven’t done cross stitch for years, we used to do it at school on special woven fabric with evenly spaced holes – I think it was called Binca.

On , Diane @ Vintage Zest said: | vintagezest.blogspot.com

I used to do cross stitching when I was a kid, but only those ones of animals, sayings, etc. that you get at the store and frame afterwards. I would love to try this on a garment as an embellishment! However, I would probably try it on a less full skirt or a neckline because that’s a ton of work!

On , annette said: | asimplebreath.blogspot.com

I enjoy doing cross stitch… These are lovely examples and great inspiration.

On , Lholy-chan said: | anomori.com

Wow! The red dress might have reconciled me with cross stitch. I like embroidery but I’m not a huge fan of cross stitch, which I tend to find boring. But used like this! It could be interesting… Although probably very time consuming. Thank you for the inspiration!

On , Shelley said: | shelleyshouse.blogspot.com

I love cross-stitch, but wouldn’t put it on the hem of a dress unless I had great legs I wanted to call attention to, which sadly is not the case. I would definitely go for a neckline and sleeves, though. Not into wearing gingham checks either, not being Dorothy from Kansas, but there must be another way to get those even crosses in place! Any ideas?

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Amanda (in the comment below) has a great recommendation, but I just wanted to give gingham some love for a second! I used to consider it very farmgirl-little-girlish too, but now I think of it more in the context of classic menswear checked shirting. I think gingham looks so classic and modern, especially in colors like black, navy, and grey!

On , Amanda Cawley Rudd said:

This does look amazing! You can buy soluble aida (canvas for cross stitch) that you just soak in warm water when you are done and then you are left with perfect, even cross stitch.

On , Carolyn said:

Thanks Amanda! My jaw practically dropped seeing that red dress, it’s so stunning. I do a fair bit of cross stitch, but never on non-crosstitch fabric and my first thought was – how does one do this stitching on plainweavefabric? I’m guessing the original cross stitcher of this dress didn’t have the luxury of soluble aida cloth, but I’d sure take advantage of it!

On , Jeri Sullivan said: | jerisullivan.wordpress.com

I have never heard of soluable aida but would definitely be interested in trying that for clothing embroidery. I like gingham ok but would love to recreate something like the solid red dress. How “soluable” is it? I expect a project as large as the red dress would require months of work and if your hands get sweaty does the stuff dissolve?

On , Carie said: | spaceforthebutterflies.blogspot.com

Gosh they are beautiful – the red one in particular. I’ve done a fair bit of cross stitch and other embroidery so I might have to give it a whirl, particularly with two little girls to sew for.

On , Yoshi said:

Thanks for sharing! I love cross stitch, it is my embroidery obsession! Currently I’m cross-stitching a cover for my phone, but I’m really keen to do some on a collar!

On , little cuckoo said: | thecuckooemporium.wordpress.com

Would you do the cross stitch or embroidery when the dress is made or on the flat pattern pieces before it was constructed? I really want to try this out! And thanks Amanda Cawley Rudd for the handy soluble aida tip!

On , Colleen said:

I was just thinking that and I think it would be best to do it after the piece is constructed. Otherwise, you might run the risk of making mistakes in construction and/or have a fitting issue and have to change things.

On , tanya said:

That is nice. I have to try that. Anna maria horner has fabric out that has cross stitch on it. As well as here new book of embroidery. Is great for learning.

On , Susan said: | starryfishathome.wordpress.com

I had to make a gingham apron with cross stitch borders for my first project at senior school back in the day. I can’t imagine wearing a gingham dress now! The red dress is pretty but it would take months to make!

On , Rebecca said:

I still have gingham aprons that my mom cross stitched. She also did something called Swedish or huck (?) weaving which was a type of embroidery done with a blunt needle on a loose weave fabric where the floss was sort of interwoven in the fabric. It looked a lot like the embroidery on the yellow dress. I still have tea towels (what were those for anyway?!) she made with Swedish weaving.

On , Barb said:

Hi Rebecca,

I did huck weaving on tea towels in high school and I still have one of them left. I don’t use it anymore, just a keepsake now, but I’d like to try it again 50 years later! The fabric isn’t that easy to find when you live in a small town. We must have had a Swedish Home Economics teacher (Who’s that, you say?). I still use tea towels and don’t know how things would go in my kitchen without one for wiping down hand-washed items; polishing glasses, etc. And one for wiping my hands, but I guess that’s technically not a tea towel. How do you manage without one?

On , Rebecca said:

Barb- I think I must be calling my “tea” towels, “dish” towels. : ) I do use mainly cloth and not paper.— And, I’m delighted to hear that there is someone else out there who has heard of huck weaving. — Next, maybe Coletterie will have something on tatting- to use as lace insets! Sarai?!

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

I know little about tatting, but I’d love to learn! I have some bone tatting needles and tatted pieces inherited from my grandmother. It’s quite lovely.

On , Aimee said: | aimeemajor.com

I really appreciate all these detail inspiration posts. Even if I don’t always comment, I always really enjoy them. Thankyou!