Taylor’d with Style: Threads of Hope
By JeanAnn Taylor
Follow JeanAnn on Instagram @jeananns.taylord.life
There is a trend in the fashion world making a strong comeback—embroidery. The reason is attributed to the fact that we’ve been forced to stay home for over a year and we are desperately searching for ways to fill the void in our lives. Embroidery was once considered a boring hobby of ladies who had nothing better to do with their time.
There was not much individual expression as the cookie-cutter patterns were preprinted and followed exactly as directed—in stitch and in color. However, new concepts of embroidery are taking this old art form to a more artistic level. The hobby industry is well aware that embroidery has become a booming pastime and craft stores are stocking up on needles, floss, and hoops.
The act of embroidering is in itself a nurturing action. It’s a peaceful, meditative hobby. It requires concentration, which is a great distraction from the chaos and uncertainty around us. It’s a restful and satisfying way to express ourselves.
My first embroidery experience was as a teenager. I embroidered a butterfly on a pair of cut-off jeans. This led to flowers and leaves embroidered on denim shirts, which then led to making embroidered patches I gave to friends. After a while, I wandered off to other hobbies—cross-stitch, quilting, and then dressmaking. During the past year, I rediscovered this type of “thread art” and I feel like a new world of creativity has opened for me.
Embroidery is essentially decorative stitches sewn onto a material—it’s the art of using a needle and thread to embellish clothing, accessories, and home decor. The choice of material can be anything you can stick a needle through. The common materials are linen and cotton, but I’ve seen embroidery work on lace, terry cloth, and even screen doors.
Current embroidery trends are to cover large areas with thread design. Full nature scenes may be embroidered on the back of a jacket. The sides of jeans may have a design all the way from the hip to the ankle. The “fuzzy” look is another trend. This means that threads are tied and secured, then cut off with an inch or more hanging loose.
Beads, sequins, and pearls are often used to embellish the embellishment. Embroidery is found on denim jackets and jeans—of course—but also on sandals, sneakers, headbands, and purses. Embroidery has also become popular in home decor. Flowers, birds, and greenery can be found in large designs—not
only on the typical throw pillow, but also on chairs, sofas, and ottomans.
I personally love hand embroidery and don’t want to lose the art of that skill, so it’s not for me, but machine embroidery is an easy-peasy and fast way to get the look you want. With new embroidery machines you can download patterns, punch a few buttons, walk away, and let the machine do the work for you.
With hand embroidery, you can start with the basics: chain, daisy, and back stitch. My newest form of creative expression is to draw a picture on a piece of fabric, then stitch over the lines, filling in wherever I like. You’ll be surprised at how creative you can be with just a few simple stitches.
As you can see from the photo, I survived the past year by holding onto hope with my needle and thread. Having a project to focus on gives me something to think about and look forward to. Embroidery adds beauty, color, and individualism to your garments and home. You can let your imagination go and express yourself with thread.
A single thread of hope is still a very powerful thing.