Goldwork Bumblebee kit by Hattie McGill


Tooled Up - Mr X Stitch Product Reviews

Welcome to another Tooled Up column where we aim to give you reviews of fun products from all over the crafty world. Today we review the Goldwork Bumblebee kit from Hattie McGill.Hattie McGill is a lady who needs very little introduction on this site as she is our Goldworx columnist who specialises in spreading news of the best goldwork in the land.

A graduate of the Royal School of Needlework, when she’s not writing for us, Hattie puts her amazing embroidery and goldwork skills to good use working on costumes for period films. Some of the most recent films you will have seen her stunning work on are Emma and Enola Holmes.


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Then last year with lockdown keeping us all at home and meaning the film industry ceased production for a while, Hattie decided to add a kit to her Etsy shop. Before that the shop contained goldwork items Hattie had made, so this was a first step into the world of kits. So of course I was desperate to review it!

Everyone loves a beautifully wrapped crafty item arriving in the post!

Any box that comes beautifully wrapped is good in my opinion – and this one did. It also had a lovely blingy Hattie McGill sticker.

This kit is listed on Etsy at £60 plus postage so if you are like me it’s more of an investment than my normal £25 or so cross stitch or embroidery kit purchase. However as you can see it is jam packed with goldwork goodies which, unless you have tried goldwork before, you won’t just have lying around the house. Then on top of the value of the items in the box, you get a really accurate instruction book which is essentially a professional lesson with Hattie herself. So I think it is excellent value for money.

The very inspiring instruction book – like having Hattie McGill on hand throughout the project

The finished picture measures around two inches tall and in the process of making it you learn lots of goldwork techniques. As you can see in the photo below you learn how to handle goldwork materials including Pearl Purl, Bright Check and Smooth Purl. Inside your kit you also receive:

  • A velvet board (in either Pink or Green)
  • Goldwork scissors
  • 10cm embroidery hoop
  • Cotton fabric
  • Transfer pen
  • Yellow felt
  • Soft string
  • Beeswax block
  • Needles
  • Bobbin of thread
  • 22ct gold Zari thread
  • Fine gold Zari thread

That is a LOT of goodies! Goldwork scissors have special blades which cut through the thicker materials like butter so they are a great help over your standard scissors you would have at home.

New types of goodies to play with and learn about

So I set off following the instructions… I transferred the pattern onto the fabric, then padded out the body…

First of all I padded up the body of the bee

Then I put the body together. The most satisfying part of this was building up his little bum. I couldn’t stop stroking it when I had finished..

Look at his groovy gold bum!

Then I added his little legs…

Coming together nicely!

Then added and added all the steps until he was finished.

How fabulous is this guy?

I am totally in love with him. It was without doubt one of the most satisfying makes I have ever done. Very relaxing to stitch too.

Whether you are new to goldwork or have been doing it for years, I think you will really enjoy this kit. I was learning techniques, playing with different types of materials, and felt like I had Hattie in the room helping me along because the instructions were so clear. 

If you follow Hattie on Instagram you will know she has a lovely dog called Rigby, so I decided to call my finished bumble bee Rig-bee in tribute.

If you don’t follow Hattie of Instagram you can find her here and you can have a look at her Etsy shop here. The bumble bee kit can be found here.

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Jo Burgess

Originally from Northern Ireland, Jo Burgess is a craft crazy rock music loving gal based in England. With a career including time spent as a motorsport journalist in England, in the film industry in Northern Ireland, and working on ghost tours in Scotland, her background is as mixed up as her love of craft. Jo will try her hand at anything and loves learning a new skill with tea and cake, crafty friends and great music blasting out of her speakers. Cross stitch, electronics, sewing, beadwork, glass fusing - she loves it all, and through this column Jo hopes to pass her love of different crafts, music and (of course) cake on to you. Craft rocks!

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