Embroidery is a craft that has been linked back to the 5th-3rd century BC. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of hand embroidery, and during lockdown its popularity has increased. Sites like Instagram and Pinterest have allowed people to share their work, inspiring more people to learn this craft. Embroidery artists have said that its become popular because it’s a digitally disconnecting and relaxing practice.
The Hannah Sisters, Liberty and Isabella, started embroidering during lockdown. I had a little chat with them about why they started embroidering and why it’s such a great way to upcycle your clothes!
What made you start embroidery?
At the beginning of lockdown, I was struggling a lot with not having anything to do but sit around and watch TV or scroll endlessly on my phone, which left me feeling unproductive and frustrated. So, I decided it was time to take up a new hobby. I wanted a hobby that I could do whilst watching TV or listening to an audio book, a hobby that I wouldn’t have to engage my brain fully in, one that would allow me to multitask when doing it.
So, I decided to try crochet. I really enjoyed it, for a while, although my excitement in it began to dwindle because it is a craft that is less about the thing you’re making, but the process of making it. When my mum suggested that we learn to embroider our clothes, I was eager to try. There is a large element of design to embroidering your own clothes, and a larger focus on the product that you are producing.
Why do you love embroidery?
I love embroidery because it’s so exciting to realise that you can customise your own clothes and completely revamp a piece of clothing. I love it because there is always a new stitch or technique to learn that requires a lot of concentration and time. When you finish embroidering a piece of clothing, you feel like you’ve really accomplished something, whilst constantly finessing your craft.
Why is embroidery a great way to upcycle clothes?
Embroidery allows you to completely transform a piece of clothing that you were previously disinterested in, to a staple in your wardrobe. It’s also taught me to have a greater appreciation for clothes and has encouraged me to spend slightly more time on clothing that has obviously taken love and care to make.
What pieces have you embroidered & what do you want to embroider next?
I embroider lots of different things, like dresses, shirts, t-shirts, and jackets. I’ve been thinking about embroidering some shoes, potentially my old white converse that I haven’t worn in years!
Any top tips for embroidering?
If you’re trying to learn embroidery, YouTube is the place to start! There are so many amazing videos on there, I would particularly recommend ‘HandiWorks.’ Start with learning different stitches before you focus on your own designs.
Check out their Instagram @sisters_who_sew to see some of their gorgeous designs!