Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Duplicate Stitching on Sweaters

I love handiwork.....perhaps you can kind of tell.  I love making things with my hands, but I adore the work made by others even more.  When I pick up a piece at a yard sale or antique show, it connects me to someone in another time or place, and I want to know her/his story.  How did they find ALL the many, many hours to make this piece?  Was it a labor for someone they loved?  Did they need to support their family?  Did they leave their special mark on the piece somewhere?  How could their family have ever parted with the piece?  As you can imagine, to see the piece considered out of style and valued at only a quarter or a dollar really rips at my heart - but then again.....Oh so lucky for me!

One craft that has lost its fashion savvy is Duplicate Stitch.  Like Cross Stitch, it is just following a pattern to put a decorative design on a piece of fabric, only you are stitching V's instead of X's - and on knitted sweaters instead of Aida cloth.  Here is a great video on how to do Duplicate Stitch:

The reason it has gone out of style is because we don't wear colorful sweaters like this, along with our ginormous Pilgrim collars, and bangs hairsprayed 6 inches high anymore.......and we never want to again!

And yet, as dreadful as this sweater would be to wear now, I invested months of my life stitching all of this design.....and it still makes me happy.  A little dated....but happy!

Here is the thing:  Duplicate stitch doesn't have to be an all or nothing craft.  If you are not someone who knits, but would like to personalize a little sweater for your child or a baby gift - what about taking a small part of one of these designs and stitching on a knitted item?

Like the barn, tractor, or a few of the chicks?

Perhaps the little bunny heart for an Easter sweater?

Or, you can even design your own!  Just color in an anchor, a little whale, the Eiffel Tower, or a Monogram on this chart, and stitch it on a sweater. 

Another method, make a photo copy of your sweater, and color in a design for a chart.

Smaller designs are quite in style and can be stitched in a very short amount of time.  Imagine how accomplished you will feel seeing a little person running around in a sweater, or with a favorite blankie customized by YOU!  So you didn't knit the sweater.....the gift will be just as special.

I hope you will give Duplicate Stitch a try - even if it is only to cover a stain on a sweater to give it new life.  Someone, someday may see your work and ponder about the wonderful person who stitched it.

Thanks for stopping by the Tub!


You don't have to use yarn to stitch on a sweater.  Some of these designs were stitched using embroidery thread, and some with pearl cotton thread.

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I LOVE your ideas and comments. Thanks for taking the time :)