This is ribbon embroidery, the art of taking lengths of ribbon and sewing them decoratively onto a background. I love ribbon embroidery. I think it’s a fun, imaginative craft with a lot of possibilities to it.
This particular piece is part of a series of lessons that used to be offered by Sharon B’s Pin Tangle, but she has, alas! ended the courses. Why? Because most people on seeing it either say they couldn’t possibly do it or they don’t have the time to learn. But it doesn’t take longer to learn than many other crafts and while it offers many possibilities, I can’t imagine the basics take much more time and skill to learn than other forms of embroidery. The good news is that Sharon’s website dangles the possibility of a collection of her designs for sale if enough people show an interest.
So why should we be interested in learning ribbon embroidery? Take a look and see.
Most often, ribbon embroidery is done in the shape of flowers… but there’s nothing to stop us using other materials to make it more sparkly, as in this example found at Vintage Vogue.com:
Or you can make the flower your personal decoration, as in this rose pendant.
You can find the instructions to make it at Cut Out and Keep Projects.
And of course it’s invaluable for those who do historical costume from the eighteenth century up to the flapper era.
This gorgeous 1880′s style corset with ribbon embroidery is available for sale from Lara Corsets and Gowns. It’s fabulous on a corset, but this sort of embroidery would be used on caps, bonnets, belts, and dozens of other items of women’s clothes… and there’s no reason we couldn’t put them on similar items today.
The thing that’s hardest to find is ribbon embroidery that isn’t in the shape of various and sundry kinds of flowers. If you’re looking for a good challenge, how about making ribbon embroidery in a non-floral motif? I’m thinking there’s a lot of potential in celtic knotwork, scrolls, animals, and dozens of other images.
So if you have some time on your hands or are looking for a new technique to try, consider ribbon embroidery.