Friday 6 May 2011

Guest Post - Kylie Hunt's brooch tutorial

Hello there :) My name’s Kylie and I have a blog called 3 Sheets. I’ve just finished making my swap piece for the Great Flower Press Brooch Swap (I know, I’m sorry! But I’d already three-quarters finished it when Susie announced the swap.)

Anyway, Susie’s enacted appropriate girly-swot punishment for finishing so quickly and asked for a tutorial on how to make an embroidered brooch. I’m a self-taught embroiderer so there will be no technical terms I’m afraid… when in doubt refer to photo and I’m sure you’ll work it out ;)

1. Embroider your chosen design or choose a favourite fabric motif and embroider this in your colours of choice. If you’re using a patterned fabric, make sure you embroider a border around the motif so that it stands out from the background.

2. Remove your embroidered design from the hoop and cut around the fabric, allowing a generous border of at least 2cms. Turn the design over to the wrong side and cut out some thick felt vaguely in the shape of the motif. This need not be exact to the shape – it’s just for structural integrity ;)

3. If you have a circle motif, you can simply thread cotton in a loose long-stitch and draw-string the fabric border tightly around your motif. If your motif shape is irregular (like this one) tack the fabric in and sew to the felt shape. I usually start by folding in the corners and tidying up the loose bits as best I can after that. When done, the front of your embroidery should show none of the fabric.

4. Next, prepare your brooch backing by cutting out the shape in felt. Do this by cutting from the front where you can see every curve, bend and angle – it needs to be exactly right. Once you have the shape, you might need to trim a couple of millimetres around the circumference so that it is exactly the same as the front piece in size and shape.

5. Attach your backing fabric in the same way as Step 3. I always use invisible thread for this part so that if I do thread through to the fabric it’s not the end of the world ;) Once this is done, attach the brooch clasp.

6. The last step is to sew the front piece to your backing. I tend to use invisible thread for this too, again, to avoid dodgy stitchery exposure.

Finished Brooch Swap

And this is the finished brooch. Hope this all makes sense. Thanks again, Susie, for hosting this brooch swap – fabulous idea :)

p.s. Thank you so much Kylie! Kylie was one of the first people I interviewed for my Show and Tell series. I fell in love with her wonderful brooches back then and featured this image showing a collection of her pieces. In fact they hleped inspire this swap! Check out more of Kylie's beautiful work on her 3Sheets blog and in her shop.



  1. wow kylie ~ makes me want to start making! thanks for sharing your methods. love, love your art/brooches, especially all grouped together like that.

  2. So much inspiration here - thank you Kylie! (i love the term 'dodgy stitchery exposure'!)

  3. What a great idea to embroider over the printed motif! I love this!

  4. I do so love Kylie's brooches. I wear mine with pride. (The fabric and paper one in the very bottom right of the montage.)

    This method of construction is wonderful, with such elegant results. I love that even someone who doesn't embroider could make something like this out of a thrifted embroidered doilie or napkin.

    Great work Kylie! Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. great stuff, always interesting to see how other people work, especially when their work is so beautiful.

  6. Thanks everyone and thanks again to you, Susie! Kx

  7. Oh my eyes. Someone is going to be extremely very lucky indeed. That brooch is beautiful - I adore the yellow and vintage touch. What a fabulous tutorial too. I'm so excited about this swap.

  8. what a wonderful tute Kylie, thank you for sharing your fabulousness with us!
    I absolutely have no idea what I am doing but I am really motivated to start!

  9. I'd love to join in on the brooch swap. I'm having technical details with clicking on your email button so here are my deets:

    Looking forward to this! :)


  10. Great inspiration thanks, I put my name down for the swap earlier but haven't heard back - maybe you did not get my email so try me at thanks

  11. Regards for all your efforts that you have put in this.


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