My First Embroidery

My childhood best friend’s birthday was July 23rd. So I got to working on a gift at the end of June.

I wanted to give N something sustainable, yet really cute. To save money and eat healthier, she regularly packs her own food. I decided to make her a lace trimmed handkerchief with a cat in the corner. She could use it as a napkin or for her nose, depending on her own whims.

I decided to buy her a new hankie- using one of mine felt inappropriate. I don’t mind handing a friend one in the lead-up to a sneeze(I wash them regularly and thoroughly, after all), but not for part of a gift.

N said her favorite colors were light blue, pink, and purple. The only tatting/crochet thread I found with those colors matched one I happened to already own, so I was happy to not only save the money on that item, but to partly avoid questionable cotton harvesting practices(child slavery anyone?). I did, however, also buy the thread to make the calico kitty- thankfully there was one little bundle that was a bunch of shades of brown/tan. I still feel guilt over that, so next time I embroider I will be hunting eBay and thrift stores for sets of partly used embroidery supplies.

It was harder than I thought to find a suitable cat photo for reference. I didn’t want to grab some random pet photo off, say, Instagram. I looked on the Creative Commons site to find ones I could remix(hey ladious666, thanks for letting me adapt your cat photo!). I traced the cat’s shape onto the fabric and embroidered it during an online EGL crafting meetup.

I got to work doing a single shuttle split ring chain. During a work break I added a flourish element to a section. My coworker said he felt the simpler plain chain is much nicer look. I think he’s right. If I had found and used a thinner thread it would have needed more, but the weight would have made a wider trim with this thread too bulky.

I bought my emboidery loop in a thrift shop.

I was careful to try and make the back also nice, as I own couple of embroidered hankies that don’t look as nice on the back. If you’re using them, there’s a chance anyone around you might see the not-as-nice side. It’s not as nice as the front, but to a stranger(post-covid cure) it’s still a cat. If anyone is getting that close to her to see the difference when she uses it- they’re objectively too close.

The lace took me a long while, but I didn’t keep track of time. The embroidery took around 3 hours, but for my first ever embroidery job and it being reversible, I’m really happy with it.

I wrapped it up in the kitty furoshiki and sent it on its way- here’s to many more birthdays.