Saturday 8 June 2013

A Special Special Order

A friend of mine recently bought a necklace with a hand-embroidered pendant in a golden setting that had some Estonian national flowers as well as a pink blossom on it. She asked me to make her a pair of earrings to go with it. 

My first thought was, well why don't you make them yourself. But as it turned out, not all schools teach things like that in Estonia. Crafts are a compulsory part of our national curriculum in middle school, but the actual content of the lessons depends on the school and the teacher. So I dug out the books I had and reminded myself of the techniques and different stitches of embroidering. 

The flowers are embroidered using woollen and cotton threads (some of them at least 20 years old by now, I have a pile of stuff like that at home), and I added some transparent seed beads to give the earrings a sort of shine. The cloth is 100% linen, though it's bleached to make it white. 

The real question for me was how to actually make the embroidered motifs into earrings. I was also afraid that the threads of the cloth might unravel when I cut it. 

The original plan was to use golden cameo settings to create a similar golden frame around the earrings as the pendant had, but that fell through because for the earrings to be reasonably light, the metal settings would've had to be quite small and I didn't want my first embroidery project in a while to be microscopic, so that it would be easier to accomplish. 

Then I realised that I have some golden Preciosa seed beads and decided to use these to create a sort of a frame. But this still left the unravelling problem. In the end I cut the motifs out larger than the earrings were supposed to be and glued the pieces onto the same cloth. I used a kind of glue that I was sure would become completely transparent as it dried. After it had dried, I cut the earrings out by the outline I had drawn and glued the pieces onto white felt. Then I brick stitched the edges with golden seed beads and added the ear wires with jump rings which sit in one of the seed beads. The end result was super light.

Making these was quite an adventure for me and I don't really think that this kind of technique would ever become my medium of choice, but hey, it's really great to try out new things and I'm sure I'll make some more things like that in the future.


  1. They are lovely! I'm wearing them right now :)