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.

Click to enlarge

Stitch and bitch, Downton Stylez

I bet they’re working on these-

Embroidered Stockings

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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

Embroidered Pullman Apron

click to enlarge

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.

via  http://audreychristina.tumblr.com/

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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.
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All patterns are public domain from 1914. Downton photos from British PBS or whatever. Please don’t sue.  Hilarious  Game Of Thrones scolding from  http://audreychristina.tumblr.com/


Penny Nickels
Penny Nickels is a print maker, a former book binder, currently a fiber artist and fledgling writer.
Penny Nickels

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15 thoughts on “Needle Exchange: Downton Abbey Edition

  • Awesome post. 🙂

    • Penny Nickels

      20 April 2012 at 7:48 pm

       @MrX I’m thinking I might start occasionally review movies or TV shows based on their needlework. 

      •  @Penny Nickels Great post and I would love to read more like this!

      •  @Penny Nickels I often watch shows based on their hats. Adam calls them all movies “about boring British people” even when the characters aren’t actually British.

  • There are far fewer boobs and scenes of men teaching prostitutes how to have sex on Downton Abbey than on Game of Thrones. 
     
    “What is a weekend?”
     
     

  • Just letting you know that Maggie Smith isn’t leaving Downton. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17739522

  • I can help you with the millinery. I have two Downton inspired hats which can be seen here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/94184717/blue-and-black-feather-downton-abbeyand here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moesewco/6942011079/in/photostreamIt's not so hard. I could teach you. You just have to be ok with using much smaller needles. And yes, that is devastating news.

    • Penny Nickels

      23 April 2012 at 3:28 am

       @EmilyMoe Now they’re reporting that she may not leave? I’m so confused. I have a bunch of millinery instructional books from the 1800’s, and I am fascinated. I wonder if those materials are still available? The wire frames and the woven straw ribbon? Email me at donkeywolf (at) gmail(dot)com. 

  • Love this post!  More stitchy TV reviews from PN, please!

  • Love this post!  More stitchy TV reviews from PN, please!

    • Penny Nickels

      23 April 2012 at 3:29 am

       @SisterTwisty I’m glad you liked! I’ve got a couple of real stinker movies that have lovely needlework that would be fun to write about. I really enjoyed writing this one! 

  • This was a great post! I saw somewhere (can’t remember now) where screenshots showed both Lady Grantham and Lavinia working on the EXACT same embroidery hoop in different scenes. GASP! I loved that someone noticed that though. 

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