Book Review – Jane Austen Embroidery


Mr X Stitch Book Review

Jane Austen Embroidery: Authentic embroidery projects for modern stitchers

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Introduction

Our very own Hattie McGill previously gave us a detailed review with her own personal insight into all things Austen, however this book is so worth a view, we are taking a second look….  Make sure you check out her review too!  CLICK HERE.  Bear in mind that Hattie was talented and lucky enough to embroider some of the costumes used in the new Emma film!  Thus Jane Austen embroidery in real life.

Are you in love with Mr Darcy?  Do you want to have your own happy ending?  Okay, we can’t promise that, but we can show you this awesome book inspired by that ‘happy endings’ writer…..

Who is it aimed at?

Those with an interest in traditional embroidery, historical embroidery or who love all things Austen.

About the authors

Jennie Batchelor is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of Kent and the author of five books and many articles and book chapters. Jennie has co-hosted embroidery workshops and given various talks about embroidery, Jane Austen and Regency fashion for many events, including Lucy Worsley’s BBC documentary ‘Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors’. Alison Larkin is a practising embroiderer who lectures on various aspects of needlework. She regularly runs classes and workshops. She has won many awards and written for the journals Costume and The Journal of Dress History.

Alison Larkin has been an embroiderer and dressmaker for most of her life, but since 2013 she has been able to pursue this full-time, rather than just evenings/weekends. Work on replicas, first of a waistcoat, then a Map Sampler, both originally stitched by Elizabeth Cook, wife of Capt. James Cook the navigator, led to research on Georgian embroidery. Both works have been exhibited in museums.
Alison has studied techniques and patterns used on extant examples during the 18th and early 19th centuries, and used this to inform making costumes for herself to use for lectures and demonstrating work. She also makes research-based 1/12 scale miniatures of 17/18th century embroidered items.

Content

There are a total of fifteen beautiful projects within this book, so plenty to feed us content wise…The projects are divided into three chapters according to the item the 18th century pattern was originally intended for with patterns for different skill levels….

jane austen embroidery contents
Divided into sections as you can see…don’t you just love the idea of trimmings?

There are historical notes, so we as readers understand more about the time period as well as the techniques…we get a history lesson as a bonus!

We loved the illustrations as well as the text (see image in part to the left)

 

What makes it special?

This isn’t your staid set in Jane Austen time with all projects only applicable to the past…take a look at the contents list and you will find that there is a Pencil Case to make, as well as a Quilted Mobile Phone Case!  Imagine what Austen would have thought of that! The patterns and projects are brought to life with glimpses into the world of Regency women and their domestic lives by lively historical features, quotes from Jane Austen’s letters and novels, enchanting illustrations and inspirational project photography, as we can see….

For our ventures out into the countryside to draw nature? Up to you how you use it!

 

Photography

Yes the photography of the projects is sublime, however we loved the clear diagrams, needed to fulfil the projects.

Clarification is key through this book, as the projects are often heavily detailed. The designs are explained well throughout, especially the floral ones.

 

Just some of the floral designs.

When it comes to what materials we need, clarification comes both visually and in written form…

All set out to get us started.

What is wrong with the book?

Well, if you don’t like Jane Austen…..then you wont like Jane Austen embroidery.  Then again, you might like the projects…so why not take a look anyway?!

Conclusion

Jane Austen, reimagined for a modern time…this is no out of fashion, out of time publication…this is a contemporary volume, waiting to be read by those new to Austen and those who know her well….(via her books of course!)

 

Jane Austen Embroidery: Authentic embroidery projects for modern stitchers

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