We just got in these great miniature embroidery hoops from Dandelyne! They're handmade in Melbourne, Australia by Sonia, and come in a range of sizes to make necklaces, brooches, and tiny artwork. I decided to put together a little tutorial for you today for making one of the pendants.
I was inspired by vintage astronomy illustrations for my embroidery, but you can embroider anything you want! Or, you could even just use a treasured printed fabric that you like. Let's get started:
1 Dandelyne pendant kit
Embroidery hoop larger than the pendant hoop
Fabric to embroider on, I used a natural linen
Marking tool (I used a mechanical chalk pencil, but a water-soluble pen works too)
Heavy book or clamps (binder clips work great)
First, cut your fabric down into a manageable size. You'll want it to be larger than your larger hoop so that you can use the hoop on it. Then, take the inner wood piece of the Dandelyne kit (the wood circle without the notch), and center it on your fabric, and trace around it with your marking tool. This will be a guideline for your stitching so that you don't go past the edge of the hoop.
Put your fabric into your larger hoop, centering your newly marked out circle in it. Make sure it's nice and tight, this will make it easier to stitch.
Start stitching your design! You can use as many strands of floss as you want, more strands will make a bolder image, while thinner will give you finer detail. I used just one strand for mine, as I knew my design needed a lot of fine details. I used a reference image on my computer, and used my marking tool to lightly sketch in the drawing as needed. Make sure you stay within the circle you marked out—I went to the very edge of the circle on mine cause I knew I wanted my design to fill the entire hoop.
Once you've finished your design, you'll need to cut your fabric down before putting it into the Dandelyne hoop. Place the Dandelyne hoop on top of your fabric, and using a marking tool, trace around the fabric about an inch out from the edge of the hoop. Then using the line you just made, cut off the excess fabric.
Now it's time to get your design in the Dandelyne hoop! First, take the screw on the hoop out part way, and pass the big ring on the provided pendant chain over the screw so that it fits between the two prongs of the hoop. Get the nut back on the screw, but don't tighten it down just yet.
Take the wooden circle piece (without the notch), and center it on the back of your fabric over your embroidery. Then, keeping it in place, flip the fabric to the right side, and place the hoop over the wooden circle, pinching your fabric between the two. Adjust it as needed till you're happy with the placement of your embroidery within the hoop. You will also want the circle to be flush with the front edge of the hoop, so that there is space on the back to tuck your extra fabric into.
When you're happy with it, tighten the nut up till the fabric no longer moves easily (you may need a small screwdriver to hold the screw in place while you turn the nut).
Looking good, right? This is your first glimpse of your nearly-finished new pendant!
You will probably have a lot of excess fabric still on the back. You can now cut it down till there's about 1/3rd of an inch all around, depending on the size of hoop you're working with. Don't go too short though or the next step will be tricky. Now, take your super glue, and working little by little, glue the fabric to the wooden circle, trying to stay as neat and as flat as possible. Let it dry thoroughly.
Once the glue has dried, the next step is to glue on the wood backing piece (with the notch). Carefully apply the super glue to the edge of the hoop, and then align the backing piece over it. The notch aligns with the hoop prongs, so that you have a gap between them. You may want to either use clamps (binder clips work great), or a heavy book to hold the piece in place until it has thoroughly dried. If you have any super glue mess on the back after it's dried, you can lightly sand it with a fine-grit sandpaper to remove excess glue, just be careful not to get your embroidery dirty.
Yay, look at your awesome, brand-new pendant and wear it with crafty pride!