Flowers on a Mask

Ah, here we are at another quarantine hobby: Embroidery.

I remember learning embroidery back in grade school as one of our Home Economics projects. I still do small embroidery projects by incorporating them in my things like the design on my 2019 Planner or placing my intials on pouches. When this skill reemerged in 2020, I knew I had to jump in and join the craze.

The most common embroidery projects that I see online is the Nike logo on clothing.

Embroidering on a sweater was out because I live in a tropical country and the weather is hella hot 90% of the time. I also work at home, which means I wear the most comfortable, uncoordinated, and unfashionable clothes that do not “require” an embroidery upgrade. Where else could I try out embroidery?

Then, I remembered my reusable face mask. It’s a pink and basic cloth face mask with no design or logo whatsoever. I could totally embroider that. Plus, I could still look cute while keeping the germs away.

The original plan was to buy an embroidery set and use the pattern on the face mask. So I placed an order for a set online, along with some other craft tools. I guess the universe thought otherwide and was telling me to be creative about it because when my package arrived, the embroidery set was nowhere inside it. Good thing I also bought a separate set of needles for bookbinding purposes, which included a needle fit for embroidery.

For the rest of the materials, I made use with what I already had. I still had a hoop that I used way back in grade school, an old and faded shirt that I wore in grade school (lol it still fits me but as a crop top), and the thread that I use for my bookbinding. I practiced first on a pink shirt because it matches the shade of my facemask.

I didn’t have a specific design in mind that I wanted for the facemask just yet, so I took flower stitches from Pinterest and bunched them all together on the shirt.

Look at all the flimsy stitches. hahahaha I was also trying out different leaf stitches but I failed in that department. I also tried doubling the thread but since the thread was already thick to begin with, it ended up really bulky, especially on small leaf designs. I also started off with blue DMC thread, but the shade of blue that I had didn’t match the pink. I scratched that and went back to white.

I nailed the woven rose design the first time I did it, but opted not to go with it as the final design because I was thinking how bulky it would look like on a face mask. If it were on a decorative hoop for hanging, it would probably work.

I wasn’t too happy with the bouquet type of design. I went back on Pinterest to look for other inspirations and saw this:

The flowers are all lined up neatly and the stitching isn’t too complicated. Tadah, I found my new inspiration and went back to the shirt to practice which flowers would work.

First, I drew on the shirt using a gray pen. A pencil will do too, but the marks easily fade.

I only used four kinds of stitches: Backstitch, Lazy Daisy, Stem Stitch, French Knot, and Romanian Fern Stitch. The first two were stitches that I already knew and the last three were completely new to me.

1. Backstitch
This is the most basic stitch, next to the running stitch. The first three stitches are a running stitch, but you go back on the fourth to connect the third and second hole. Then make a new stitch on the fifth hole, then go back to connect the fifth and third hole.

2. Stem Stitch
This is similar to the backstitch, but instead of going back to the same hole, you leave a teeny space. Keep the thread above the stitch, too, so it’ll give an illusion of waves.

3. Chain Stitch
I didn’t include this in my design but it was nice to remember how to do it. The first and second stitch goes into the same hole, but make a loop over the needle as it comes out from the back.

4. Lazy Daisy
This was my favorite in grade school. It’s similar to the chain stitch, but instead of making another chain on the third stitch, you go over the loop and close it to form a petal. Your fifth stitch is made near the first hole and you go around making petals in a circle.

5. Romanian Fern Stitch
I don’t know if it’s really called the Romanian Fern Stitch. The tutorial I got from Pinterest was in Spanish and I couldn’t find its exact name. If you know what this is called, please leave a comment below and correct me. haha

How do you explain this? It’s like making a chain of tridents.

Connecting hole 3 and 4 would make a straight line, but hooking the thread under the needle as it comes out on hole 5 (or 2) would pull the thread down and make a v.

5. French Knot
This was the most fun for me. If you knot your sewing thread by wrapping it around the needle and pulling it up until the end, then this knot will be easy to do. After pulling the thread through the cloth, wrap the thread around the needle 3-5 times (depending on how large you want the knot to be). Then poke the needle back in, keeping the knot as close to the cloth as possible.

I used the Backstitch, Stem Stitch, and Romanian Fern Stitch for the stems of the flowers then the Lazy Daisy and French Knot Stitches for the flowers and leaves. This is the result of the practice session:

I was happy with how the practice stitches looked like. It was time to recreate the stitches on one side of the face mask.

I haven’t gone out of the house for weeks now so I haven’t worn the face mask outdoors yet. Here’s my face pretending that I’m outdoors, but I just really dressed up one Sunday and took a video near the door. lol

Looks like I’m on my way to being a granny with all these quarantine hobbies. First, plants. Second, embroidery. What’s next, knitting? Oh dear. hahaha

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