In September the amazing Elisalex asked me to write a piece for her regular blog feature 'The Creators' Collaborative, a monthly feature that spotlights makers via her brand, By Hand London.
What better way to collaborate than to have to worlds collide, pairing my love of the newly released BHL Tamzin dress and a spot of bargello to create this amazing embellished smock top?
Here's an excerpt:
A few years back, sewing and I were on a break, Ross and Rachel style. It wasn’t the first time, but it was the longest time to date and I quite quickly started to get ‘creative withdrawals’, keen to do something with my hands that wasn’t as involved as we all know sewing can be.
Like every single maker in the world, my first port of call was Pinterest.
Always desperate to be one of those talented people who has the attention to detail to be able to create striking, embroidered pieces, I decided now might be the time. After nearly getting repetitive strain injury from all the scrolling, I suddenly came across these striking vintage pictures of cushions created using something called ‘Florentine stitch’.
Keen to know more, I popped the term into the search bar. And that was it, I was hooked. After some very in-depth research (thanks Google) I learned the more common term for the stitch was ‘Bargello’, defined as ‘A type of needlepoint embroidery consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to create motifs. The name originates from a series of chairs found in the Bargello palace in Florence, which have a "flame stitch" pattern.
Traditionally, Bargello was stitched in wool on canvas’, it had a brief resurgence in the 70’s and let me tell you, if you love orange and brown as a colour pairing, you’ll want to look up some of the amazing projects from the era.
Since, I’ve made it my mission to know everything there is to know about this bright, bold, retro craft.