katharine likes to make things: embroidered jacket

Two years ago, my khaki blazer suffered a mishap in the laundry. Instead of chucking it or trying to dye it a new colour, I tried my hand at embroidering over the dark spots.


I skimmed through Google images and Etsy to look for embroidery inspiration. I’m not one for floral or paisley patterns, so I didn’t want to stitch on a bunch of flowers. I considered some more organic flourishes, argyle, and more specific images relevant to my interests. Eventually I landed on an Etsy listing for this bolero embroidered with gears.


Of course! Gears are graphically interesting, not “girly” and relevant to my robot drawing habits. And, most importantly, I could make them neutral enough so that I could still wear the jacket with everything.

This embroidery project was the most advanced embroidering I’d tackled. Mostly my embroidering consists of simple outlines. I’m in the dark ages when it comes to the textile arts. The names of the different kinds of stitches and styles all sound like figure skating terms to me. My embroidery lacks the sheen and professional crispness of the bolero but it serves my needs.


After adding the embroidery, the whole thing felt flat. So I went through my craft stash and found some gear-like washers. Using industrial-strength glue, I added a bit of sparkle to the gear centres and the buttons.


Now I can throw on this coat in the late spring and early fall. And now you can spot me in the late spring and early fall.

(P.S. I’m bringing back flash photography to the internet. Yes, all of those natural light photos are lovely and make your handmade goods look all the more impressive. What about the mole people who are also crafters and would like to share their projects on the internet but feel intimidated by all of the natural light photography? We must do what we can to encourage true underground creativity.)

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