There are lots of ways to add texture to your embroidery and here is a lovely raised stitch with two simple variations: woven and whipped wheel. Both versions are made in two stages, beginning with a set of foundation stitches that pass through the fabric, before thread is woven in and out. Once you have mastered this, you can begin to make these sweetie jar labels, adding wording worked in chain stitch.
- Fabric: cotton, plain
- Thread: embroidery, six-stranded,
- bright colours; sewing, coordinating
- Needle: crewel; tapestry; sewing
- Ribbon, satin, narrow, 70cm
Create a sweetie label
Measure the girth of a jar by wrapping a tape measure around it at the widest point to give you the length of your label, then measure the depth of the widest part of the jar to give you the height. Draw a rectangle of these dimensions on a piece of cotton fabric. The labels shown here measure 6.5cm x 30.5cm and 5.5cm x 29cm.
Transfer the lettering of your choice onto the centre of the label. Then using coins or buttons of various sizes as templates, draw a random scattering of circles around the lettering, within the rectangle, making sure they are not too close to the edges.
Stretch the fabric in an embroidery hoop. Using two or three strands of embroidery thread and a crewel needle, embroider the lettering in chain stitch. Still using the crewel needle, thread it with two strands of embroidery thread and work the ‘spokes’ for the whipped and woven wheels within each of the circles. You can vary the number of straight stitches but remember that for the woven wheel, you need an odd number. Complete the wheels.
When you have finished the embroidery, remove the work from the hoop and press, placing a folded towel on your ironing board and the work face down onto the towel. Take care not to compress or distort the embroidered stitches. Cut out the label, adding a 1cm seam allowance all round. Trim a piece of backing fabric exactly the same size.
Cut a 70cm piece of ribbon into four equal lengths. Place the embroidered label face up on your work surface and position the ends of two of the pieces of ribbon on one of the short sides, near the corners. Then pin in place. Do the same with the other two lengths of ribbon on the opposite short side.
Place the backing fabric on top, wrong side up, lining up all the edges. Tack through both layers of fabric and through the ribbon ends to hold them in place. Stitch all round, with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a 5cm gap in one of the long sides. Clip the corners, turn out and press. Topstitch all round, 2mm from edges.