Chain stitch is an embroidery basic that can be used as an outlining as well as a filling stitch. Individual chain stitches are known as ‘lazy daisy’ as they are commonly used to form flower petals. You can work this stitch with the fabric taut in an embroidery hoop, in which case you pass the needle up and down through the fabric using a stabbing motion. Alternatively, you can also work without a hoop, completing each chain stitch in a single motion. When filling, stitch following the contours of the shape. You can vary the size of each chain stitch when filling an area to achieve either a denser or more open effect.
- Fabric: linen, blue, 34cm square; cotton,
- contrasting, 31cm x 34cm
- Thread: embroidery, six-stranded, white;
- pale green; yellow; orange; pale pink, skein
- of each; sewing, coordinating
- Needle: crewel; sewing
- Bias binding, pale grey, 1.5cm x 70cm
- Coat hanger, wooden, 30cm
- Clothes pegs, wooden, 25mm
- Pen, air-erasable
- 29cm x 32cm
Make a peg bag
Place a 34cm square of blue linen fabric right side up on your work surface. Draw a line with air-erasable pen across the width of the fabric, 13cm from the top. Place a wooden coat hanger at the top of the fabric, with the hook upwards, and draw along the top edge onto the fabric. Then place the coat hanger with the hook facing downwards, with the ends of the wooden bar touching the line across the fabric’s width. Draw along the lower edge of the coat hanger; this will form the washing line.
Download the templates and cut out. Place them 5mm below the washing line. When you are happy with the arrangement, draw around each one onto the fabric. Place the cloud templates above the line and draw around.
Stretch the fabric in an embroidery hoop so that the cloud shapes are in the centre. Thread a crewel needle with three strands of white embroidery thread and outline the cloud shape in chain stitch, bringing the needle up and down through the drawn line.
Move the fabric within the hoop so that the sock shapes are in the centre then, using the same white thread, outline and fill each shape with chain stitch, following the contours of the shapes. Outline, then fill each of the other shapes, moving the fabric within the hoop as necessary. Use pale pink for the knickers, orange for the T-shirt, yellow for the vest and pale green for the trousers.
With white thread, create flowers by working groups of six lazy daisy stitches radiating out from a centre point. Scatter these randomly below the washing, making sure each one is at least 2cm from the lower edge of the fabric. When you have finished the embroidery, remove the work from the hoop. Place a folded towel on an ironing board, put the work upside down on top and press carefully on the reverse.
Cut along the washing line and bind both edges using grey bias binding. Cut along the curved line at the top, above the clouds, then place this piece on your work surface, right side up. Position the washing line piece on top, right side up, so that the pieces overlap by 4cm. Pin and tack the sides together.
Place the coat hanger on the top edge of a piece of contrasting fabric. Draw along the edge of the wooden bar and cut along this line; this will form the backing. Lay this right side down on top of the joined front pieces. Pin, tack, then stitch all round with a 1.5cm seam allowance, leaving a 4cm gap in the centre top. Turn out and press. Insert the coat hanger through the gap above the washing line and push the hook through the opening at the top. Add mini clothes pegs if desired.