Needle Exchange: Downton Abbey Edition

Note: This post was originally published in 2012.

OMG guys. Did you hear that series three of Downton Abbey will be Maggie Smith’s last season?  Devastated.

Oh, The Dowager Countess. You will be missed. I especially will miss your  fashionable  hats.

Now we could go over the history of millinery, but that stuff looks hard, and not  entirely  relevant. Instead, how about a tutorial on making those fabric flowers on The Dowager’s hat? Funsies!
Using sewing thread, attach the end of a ribbon to background fabric using a few back stitches.
Ribbon Flower Tutorial Part One
Turn the ribbon over the starting stitches and the end of the ribbon, and secure with more back stitches. Keep the ribbon puffy, not tight.
Ribbon Flower Tutorial Part Two
Fold the edges inward and continue turning the ribbon around the center, using back stitches to tack the ribbon down.
Ribbon Flower Tutorial Part Three
Keep working around to build up stitches.
Ribbon Flower Tutorial Part Four
When you get to the end of the ribbon, tuck the end under a “petal” and stitch it down.
Ribbon Flower Tutorial Part Five
Ribbon Flower Tutorial Part Six
You could also be professional  and use thread that matches the color of the ribbon, but whatever. I used french knots for the center…
Ribbon Flower Tutorial Part Seven
And then did a raised leaf.
Ribbon Flower Tutorial Part Eight
You could also go CRAZY! and use strips of fabric…

Or something else like oilcloth, for mixed results.

Don’t you judge me. I made these all last night for the first time ever.

Tell me about it,  Dowdge.  

Well, what’s the rest of the family into?

“Over it.”

Oh lookie! Check out this pattern from a 1914 women’s magazine! I bet this is what Lady Grantham is working on.

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Stitch and bitch, Downton Stylez

I bet they’re working on these-

Embroidered Stockings

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Lady Sybil’s the practical one. I bet she’s making this.

Embroidered Pullman Apron

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Of course, we can’t overlook the other residents of Downton Abbey.

Stitch and bitch, downstairs stylez.

 Emphasis  on “bitch”.  

Click to enlarge  

Well, I hope this bit of Downton era needlework keeps you held over until next season. At least Game Of Thrones is on.



Penny Nickels is a printmaker that started playing with needles with tremendous effect. She and her husband, Johnny Murder, have been described as the “Bonnie and Clyde of Contemporary Embroidery” and you can discover the power of her creativity at her blog.
All patterns are public domain from 1914. Downton photos from British PBS or whatever. Please don’t sue.  Hilarious  Game Of Thrones scolding from