At The Makehouse: Fashion Embroidery with Katy Biele
Do you love to do embroidery? Or have you always wanted to do embroidery but been too intimidated to start? I have dabbled in embroidery before, but I never considered myself an authority on the subject. After finishing a 2-part class on embroidery at The Makehouse, I am addicted.
Fashion Embroidery with Katy Biele was incredibly inspiring and fun. Katy is a textile artist and painter who practices her art in Canada and Chile. Her embroidery style is very free and experimental and is inspired by the bright colours and traditional embroidery techniques of South America. Her works are mixed media where she uses larger worsted yarns mixed with thin yarns and different types of embroidery thread. She uses gold shiny fibres and some of her pieces are combined with paint as well. I love her style and you can find out more about her embroidery on her website and her Instagram.
In the first class we broke down our fears about making perfect little stitches by diving in, using wild coloured thread, and stitching with our intuition. We explored colour preferences and tried out different techniques and stitches. The two and a half hour class flew by like it was 10 minutes. I was hooked. In the first part of the class we worked on a Wild Rose template that Katy had drawn onto each person's embroidery hoop. This gave us the opportunity to try out different textures and relief effects and to play with a colour palate. For my Wild Rose I used techniques such as satin stitch, seed stitch, french knots, and I learned how to make the cutest three-dimensional leaves called a picot stitch.
In the second class we reviewed techniques we had learned the previous week and got to work on embroidering a bouquet onto a piece of canvas to turn into either a tote bag or a pillow. I decided that I would make my embroidery into a tote bag. The second class passed just as quickly as the first. Everyone was a lot more comfortable with the techniques, and now it was just "painting with thread" as Katy says. In the second class I learned a technique called a duster which is similar to a half pom-pom. I used the duster technique, satin stitch, french knots, and seed stitch for my bouquet. I love how it turned out with the bright colours and different textures. At home I finished the embroidery and sewed it into a tote bag. For the tote bag I trimmed the canvas into a bit of a smaller shape and made a lining with some fabric from my scrap box. I used the excess canvas and scrap fabric to make the straps for the tote bag. I really love how it turned out and I can't wait to use it for taking my lunch, books, and knitting with me on my commute to work.
Fashion Embroidery with Katy Biele at The Makehouse was such a fun workshop. It was free spirited and encouraged experimentation. I have fallen in love with embroidery and I can't wait to continue my experimentation with the fibrous medium. You can follow Katy on Instagram to keep up to date with workshops that she is hosting, and find out more about her textile art and paintings on her website. You can follow The Makehouse on Instagram or sign up to their newsletter on their website to be first to know when the next embroidery workshop will be.
Here's to "painting with thread".
Article written in partnership with The Makehouse.