Embroidery and #142 Old Mexico Dress

I have to confess, I am not a great embroiderer.  I love some of the modern embroidery I see around now, but usually don't take the time which good embroidery requires - to actually sit and do the handwork.  When I do sit and do the handwork, I love it.  I love the quietness, the simple-ness, of the stitches.  Just enough concentration, creating something slowly, something that is beautiful.  And, it feels like it ties me to the women who have come before me, who spent countless hours creating clothing by hand to be worn and to decorate. 

However, I usually don't have the time or the quiet energy (4 young children, running this company, etc.:-)). I have looked at buying an embroidery machine but was worried that I wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost (anyone know of a cheap but good embroidery machine?).  So, while I do plan embroidery projects (and Folkwear makes is part of my job!), I am a bit slow to take it up or to not rush through it.

I took a small embroidery kit, that I made right before I left, on my trip to Africa.  I planned to work on some of the cross-stitching and embroidery on the Romanian Blouse sleeves.  And, I the samples done while I was there (there is quite a bit of down time between drives on a safari).  See the picture above - I was embroidering outside of my tent in the bush, watching elephants walk by.

But, one of the most iconic embroidered garments that we know of, is the Mexican Dress.  Folkwear's #142 Old Mexico Dress provides a wonderful canvas for beautiful embroidery.  You can see some wonderful examples on our Facebook Group page (Folkwear Patterns Sewing Group).  I also had a couple of links for embroidery, and for this specific pattern, in our last newsletter.  And #142 Old Mexico Dress is on sale until the end of the month!

Below I have links for embroidery resources  and inspiration so you can make great hand or machine embroidered creations.  But, as a warning, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of embroidery resources and information out there, so these are just a couple of sites I thought had some interesting information and inspiration.

I'd love to hear your favorite embroidery resources and tools.  You can respond in the comments here!

Resources:

Creative Machine Embroidery - A website (and magazine) full of machine embroidery patterns, free and for a cost. 

Cozy Blue Handmade - a local (to us) artists with great modern and whimsical hand embroidery patterns.

Craftsy has some good free information on embroidery techniques.

Antique and traditional embroidery patterns

For non-traditional embroidery, which is really cool and beautiful, check out Rebecca Renquist.  I have her embroidery book and I love it - it was a great way to keep embroidery not intimidating.

Lots of links for embroidery for apparel (more information that you would ever want to know, really).