Sunday, February 17, 2013

Doctor Who Embroidery Tutorial

Here is an embroidery project for the Whovians among you!

(Spoiler alert - if you are a new fan and haven't gotten to A Good Man Goes to War, this project will totally spoil that episode for you.)

Cross-posted at Fandom in Stitches...

Tutorial after the jump....spoilers, sweetie!

 photo river_finish1_zpsc8654a81.jpg
 photo river_finish2_zps964e6bd6.jpg

You will need:

(2) 8" squares of dark green silk dupioni (or similar)
(2) 10"  squares of dark green silk dupioni (or similar)
(2) 8" squares of double-sided fusible interfacing or webbing
(1) 10" square of double-sided fusible interfacing or webbing
embroidery floss: one skein each of dark green and gold
beading thread
gold seed beads
assorted small beads in gold, green, natural, and pearl
10" embroidery hoop
embroidery and beading needles  
star templates and embroidery pattern, printable here (printing on tracing paper is recommended)

This is constructed as a multi-layer sandwich, with the double-sided interfacing acting to baste the layers as you hand-stitch them together.

1. Fuse the small (8") squares of interfacing/webbing to the wrong sides of the small (8") dupioni squares. Pin the small star pattern to the centre of these squares and cut out along the star edges.

2. Fuse the large (10") square of interfacing/webbing to the large (10") square of dupioni.

3. Remove the paper backing from the interfacing/webbing from the star shapes and fuse to the centre of the large (10") squares.

4. Transfer the 'River' and 'Song' designs; one to each of the stars. (Since this is opaque fabric, use dressmaker's carbon to transfer or freehand the design.)

5. Using 2 strands of gold floss, stitch the designs as you prefer on the hoop. The photos show a backstitch with satin stitch overlay. This is time consuming: a quicker stem stitch or chain stitch would work well, too.

 photo river_satin_zps5f63c3dd.jpg

6. Using 3 strands of green floss, work a blanket stitch around each star on the hoop.

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7. Using beading thread, attach a gold seed bead between every other blanket stitch on both stars.

8. Remove the pieces from the hoop and press stars carefully - avoiding the beads! Line up the two stars by matching the star points using pins inserted straight through the 2 layers. Fuse the two sides together.

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9. Using the large star pattern, align the smaller stars so that the points alternate with the large star points. Pin and cut, adjusting as needed so that you do not cut through your blanket stitching. Frequently flip up the edge to make sure you're not cutting through your stitching!

 photo river_pattern_zps522c2ff4.jpg

10. Using 3 strands of green floss, work a blanket stitch around the outer edge of the large star, covering the raw edges. This is done off the hoop, so it helps to work on a flat surface.

 photo river_large_blanket_zps77c7787e.jpg

11. Using beading thread, add baubles to each large star point. The photos show a natural round or oval bead, a smaller pearl or metallic bead, and a large metallic seed bead on each point. Hide the knots in your thread by prying apart the edges of the fabric and starting your thread from the inside out.


  1. This turned out really well Aalia - you did a great job!

  2. Oi -- that's one of my favorite episodes! That's awesome.
    It just so happens that I have some lovely green silk dupioni left over from a scarf I made... I knew I was saving it for something!!
    Thank you so much

  3. You are very welcome! I forgot to mention in the post that all I had was polyester....done in real dupioni this will be even better!

  4. It is gorgeous, Aalia!! I am always so amazed by everything you make! LOVE this one too :)

    1. Thank you dear! My next embroidery project includes a TARDIS pattern from a certain designer on FiS. ;)

    2. heehee...wha'cha makin'? I am excited to see what stitches you use :)

    3. I am using a tiny version of your pattern in my FiS Fandom Mashup project. Mashing up with - who else? - Professor Snape! Since it's so small, I'll be using satin stitches throughout, with probably some couching to add the little details. Sooo excited!

    4. Are you serious?! That sounds fantastic! You got me all excited - now I have to wait very impatiently :)