Drawn thread work.
Embroidery,  My projects,  Sewing

Kokkola costume, part 2: An apron with drawn thread embroidery

My national costume from Kokkola needed a new apron as my old one was not only worn but also too small. This being a designed rather than super historical costume gave me some freedoms. My old apron was too narrow so I couldn’t re-use the lace at the hem. This gave me a good chance to learn how to make drawn thread embroidery!

The actual apron is very simple. The fabric is white half linen, half cotton mix. It reaches to about palm’s width from the hem of the red wool pinafore dress. You can see the whole sewing process on my YouTube video here:

Before you start drawn thread embroidery

Evening out the fabric edge.

The nice thing about drawn thread embroidery is that you can combine it with hemming so that your hem gets a nice decorative touch. After practicing the basic pattern on a piece of scrap linen I decided to try the hemming thing on the actual apron. This meant that I had to cut my apron pieces exactly on the grain and fold the hem accurately along a single thread. I did this by drawing a thread and cutting my hem along it.

Preparations for the drawn thread work.

I removed a few horizontal threads right above the hem fold. Then I folded and basted my hem. For the actual embroidery, I used this old lightweight crochet thread that I actually inherited from my late grandmother and that I have been storing since the 90s. This thread was just perfect for this job.

How to make drawn thread zigzag pattern

Whipping the ends.

I finished the ends by whipping stitches after which I could cut away the remaining threads that I hold underneath my thumb in the picture above. Then I could start the actual drawn thread work.

I start grouping my threads into groups. Each group must have an even number of threads. I chose 8 threads for my base grouping. I started with half a bunch and then continued with the main pattern.

Step 1 of the drawn thread embroidery.

First, you’ll take eight (or the amount you want) threads to your needle and push the needle through.

Step 2.

Then you go back and push your needle through the side catching the hem right at the middle point of your grouped threads. Then you’ll just repeat this to the end of the row.

Coming back, step 1.

You’ll finish the other end by whipping and then turn to the second side. To make a zigzag pattern you’ll now take 4 threads from one grouping and four from the next and then group those two together.

Coming back step 2.

Otherwise the sewing goes just like in the first side, except that it really helps to have the threads already grouped.

The finished apron

The drawn thread work gives a nice touch to this simple apron. Here is a close-up image of the finished embroidery from the right side.

Drawn thread embroidered hem.

Here is the whole apron:

The finished apron.

In the next post, I will share how I made the shirt that you can see a glimpse of in the picture above! Thank you for reading and see you soon! Happy sewing!


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I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


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