Rebekka of Dear Friend

Hi there, all of Kaelah's little honeybees! My name is Rebekka Seale, and I'm an artist and illustrator here in Nashville, Tennessee. I blog over at Dear Friend. Come visit me sometime! Meanwhile, I'm really excited to share my favorite new obsession hobby, silk ribbon embroidery. I've nursed a fervent love for sheer, vintage dresses from the 20's and 30's for a long time now, especially those with delicate embroidery. A few months ago, I found this on the lovely Foxtail and Fern blog and almost lost my lunch. It's just so exquisite. While I could never make anything to rival that deliciousness, I'm happy to keep trying.

Silk ribbon embroidery, at least the kind I do, is really fun because it's less precise than other types of needlework. With the one stitch I'm going to show you, you can create a pretty floral motif with no pattern, rhyme, or reason. And you could embellish anything...pillowcases, lampshades, napkins. For this project,  I chose a simple, sheer blouse. 

First of all, supplies. All you need is silk ribbon...any color or size. I used mainly this brand. It's best to use chenille needles (like these) because the large eye allows for easy threading of the ribbon. For this, I used a six-inch wooden embroidery hoop. If you're embroidering a blouse or dress, just put it on and figure out exactly where you'd like the embroidery to go. You can attach and tighten the hoop while you're wearing the garment, and then once you take it off, it will be ready to go.

Naturally, there are lots of different stitches to learn in ribbon embroidery. But you can create an entirely splendid motif with just this one: The Lazy Daisy. And here is how: 1. Thread the ribbon through the needle, and then pierce the ribbon about an inch or so from the end. Pull tight. This creates a knot around the eye of your needle, securing it in place. 2. Starting with the needle underneath your fabric, bring it up through the fabric and pull the ribbon almost all the way through, leaving about an inch on the other side. Hold that inch to make sure it doesn't go anywhere, and insert the needle back through the fabric in the same spot.

 3. Pull the ribbon almost, but not all the way through, until you have a loop. Bring the needle back up through the fabric about a centimeter away from the base of the loop, and drape the loop over the needle. 4. Pull the ribbon up and out, and tighten it...not too much, just enough to make a soft, petal-like shape.

5. Insert the needle back into the fabric, right behind the loop, pull through and tighten. 6. That's your lazy daisy stitch! If that was confusing and you need to see it in action, this YouTube video might help. 

From here, you can do just about anything. Making four or five stitches around a single center point creates a flower. For the centers, I just free-formed a little knot. As you are forming the stitches, make sure to keep a careful watch on the backside of your fabric. You want to pull the ribbon all the way through each time or things could get messy back there.

Here's where things really get exciting. You can use the same stitch to create leaves. Don't worry about making them too precise. In fact, it's more fun not to. I like to use a few different shades of green ribbon to give the motif lots of depth and texture. 

Once you have a cluster you're happy with, just check the back to make sure all ends are knotted and neatly tucked away, and remove the hoop! Voila, the sweetest little thing. It doesn't even matter if the whole patch looks kind of like a mess...I think that adds to the homespun, vintage-y charm. 

Happy Stitching!!!



  1. So perfect! This adds so much charm to a simple, everyday top. I love it! Thanks for the tutorial :)

    xo, Sarah

  2. I love seeing how the process and finished product. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Gosh, this is so beautiful! You make it look easy. I LOVE this blouse!

  4. so beautiful! i think i want to try something similar. thank you

  5. this is lovely, i might try this on a vintage blouse i bought today thank you for sharing, i love Rebekka blog :)

  6. This is a great diy - I love the finished product!

  7. I haven't done any needlepoint in the longest time - not since my grandma taught me the basics when I was a kid. One of my readers pointed me to Emily Peacock recently, which has the most badass patterns you've ever seen.

    Ribbon embroidery seems like a great way to dip my foot in the pool before I jump in. This is gorgeous, and I'm so excited to try it!

  8. That is gorgeous.... LOVE this! Such a simple way to spice up a basic shirt!


  9. ummmmm. i. love. this. thanks for sharing rebekka! xo

  10. Oh wow, this looks sooo pretty :)

  11. that is such an incredible idea of yours!!! wow. it looks beautiful!!!!

  12. LOVE this so much, and really like rebekka's blog, new follower~

  13. Wonderful work..i like it. you can buy embroidery dress materials 2012 from G3 fashions surat.


HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB