Traditionally stitched in wool or on canvas, Bargello embroidery is created from upright stitches laid out in mathematical patterns. Putting a modern twist on a creative classic, Amanda Walker has used a plastic canvas for the base of this set for avid readers. You can store your specs in style thanks to the gorgeous glasses case, and embrace a life of easy-reading with help from the brightly coloured bookmark.
- Plastic canvas, ten count
- Tapestry yarn
- Embroidery needle, size 20
- Needle threader
- Fine beading wire
- Fabric scraps
Sew a glasses case
To make a button for the glasses case, cut an 11 x 11 squares piece of plastic canvas. The pattern is embroidered in four different coloured yarns. Follow the chart provided to create the chevron, then over sew the edges of the square to finish. To make the case, cut fabric, 20cm x 35cm. Fold it in half lengthways, right side facing.
Stitch around the three edges with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a 3cm gap in the stitching line of the long edge. Trim the corners, then turn the piece to the right side through the gap. Tease out the corners and press flat. Fold up 12cm of the piece and press flat to form a pocket. Cut a 12cm length of ribbon and position this between the two layers 2cm down from the open edge of the pocket. Pin in place, then sew the outer edge together, sandwiching the ends of the ribbon into the stitching line. Continue to edgestitch all the way around the base and flap.
Stitch the embroidered button to the right side of the flap, then position it in a diamond shape with half the button extending over the edge of the flap. The flap will be closed over the case and the button attached under the ribbon to secure the case.
Stitch a bookmark
Cut a 17 x 121 squares strip from plastic canvas, making sure that the edges are smooth and free from any sharp points. The pattern is embroidered in three different coloured yarns and the colour combination is repeated up to the top of the strip. The pattern is made from vertical stitches worked over four holes in the canvas.
Using the chart provided, count up from the base of the strip to the top of the first stitch. Pass a needle, threaded with the yarn up from the back of the plastic strip, leaving a tail of yarn approximately 3cm, hold onto this tail whilst you pass the needle through to the back four holes down from the entry point. Make another stitch next to the first. Follow the stitch sequence from the chart to create the first row. The tail thread will be secured by the stitches made in this row.
At the end of the row, on the back of the work, pass the needle through the back of the stitches and snip off the excess to secure the end of the yarn. The next two rows are sewn in exactly the same way using different colours of yarn. Repeat this sequence nine more times to fill the strip. At the top edge, fill the space with the same sequence of colours but cut the pattern off to create a flat edge.
At the base of the bookmark, trim off the excess plastic canvas following the shape of the pattern. Cut 17, 15cm lengths of yarn. Pass a looped length of beading wire through the first hole at the beginning of the pointed end of the bookmark. Thread a looped piece of yarn through the loop of wire and pull the yarn loop through the hole.
Remove the wire and pass the ends of the yarn through the loop and pull tight to create a knot. Repeat the process until all 17 holes are filled creating a fringe. Trim the ends to make a straight edge. To complete the project, thread a needle again and over sew into all of the remaining outer empty holes around the remaining three edges of the bookmark.