Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Butterfly tutorial

Put on the kettle for a pot of tea... gather your silk ribbon and embroidery basket... find a nice, sunny spot to sit for a spell. Lets travel back to a time where silk ribbon embroidery was the at its height - the 17th century.

Thats right... another tutorial slash sneak peek at a new kit hitting my etsy store :)

I sketched this awhile ago when I sold a Blue flowers kit. Some of my favorite flowers (that can be blue and complementary shades of violet and purple) are delphinium and foxgloves that would fit the kit nicely!

So I included the sketch and iron on transfer of my Butterfly whimsy:This was largely inspired by my new purchase of a book that promised to teach me how to make butterflies in silk ribbon embroidery. Let me tell you a little secret. You already know how to make butterflies in silk ribbon embroidery.

It is simple and pretty - and lets get started.

You are going to use this and the simple ribbon stitch to make beautiful butterflies, daisies, irises and bluebells.
Things you will need:

*Silk ribbon. Craft stores are not stocking this for some reason, but you can get bucilla lots on ebay for cheap (don't overpay, they sold for a buck or two in their time) or lots of silk ribbon hand dyed by professionals between 20 - 40$
You can also grab my silk sets:
*embroidery floss in green, blue to match your bluebells and colors for the butterfly bodies and antennae. Choose earth tones or flights of fancy, whatever you want!
*transfer pen

Step one: Put the fabric in the embroidery hoop. With your transfer pen, draw a fun pattern onto your fabric. Keep the drawing simple- you are going to have to stitch over or wash this out after you are done embroidering.
Straight lines can be foxgloves and irises, small lines can be butterfly wings.

Step two: Approach your butterflies with your selected two strand embroidery floss. Stitch a straight stitch for the body. Make a french knot for the head and a small stitch for the antennae. Tie off the embroidery floss.

Step three:

Now the fun part- lock on your silk ribbon. Stitch the upper wing first so that the lower wing will have fullness. You can use a padded stitch nicely here:
To use a padded stitch, make a simple ribbon stitch - place the ribbon flat against the fabric and place the needle through the ribbon, pulling it through smoothly.

Then bring your needle up very close to where you began the previous stitch. Lay the ribbon over the first ribbon stitch, laying the ribbon flat. Push the end of the ribbon towards where you brought the needle up to make a small ribbon 'hill'. Place the needle through the ribbon over the previous stitch, bringing the needle through smoothly.
This may take some practice to get, but it makes nice raised stitches.

Congratulations! You have made your first silk ribbon butterfly!
If you need any advice, post in here.

You can purchase the full kit assembled and ready to go here:


  1. I love all your creations. So talented! <3 - Fallon

  2. Thanks, Fallon! I really appreciate that :)