A Labour of Love

fabric cutting, fabric manipulation, red cut out, craft, scissors, fabric flower, rose, camellia, leather
Picture of Natasha Searls-Punter

Natasha Searls-Punter

If you’ve ever wondered about how a London Embroidery School class comes to be, the design and development process behind it then we have the answer for you. We have a new short video up on the youtube channel today, showing a little of the process behind the class and how we get it ready to share with you all.

Well to answer that, we need to go back to the beginning…

We start with a nice hot drink and a snack, because all good jobs start with a snack, right?

Then we are ready to begin the real work, whether there is already an idea floating around, or if we are starting from scratch, we do some research to get inspired and inform those seedlings of ideas.

Next, it’s time to start trying things out, where we might start with a paper sample version, much like toileing a garment to access the shape and validity of the approach. Accompanied by more nice drinks. From that we can make changes to make it better and sample it again.

Once we’ve got as far as we can with the paper, it’s time to try it in fabric and see how that reacts.

This sometimes means going back and making more changes now the fabric has provided extra information, and the pattern gets another upgrade. Like in this example, we might try it out on a different fabric this time to see what that does too.

When we think it might be there, it’s time to try a full sample in the fabric.

Taking lots of notes as we go along, it’s nice to see a piece start to come together. The building of the piece always leaves us so impatient to see the result.

It’s pretty rare to get everything spot on first time, so knowing there will likely be more than one sample gives us the opportunity to take some chances and try out so more unusual combinations.

First sample done! It’s good, but not perfect, so back to the drawing board we go, this time trying it out in a cotton so see how that reacts as well as makes the changes to the petals we desired and even playing around with some felt pen details on this one. Sampling takes away the necessity for it to be perfect just yet and allows us to focus on making it interesting at this stage.


It’s always a lot of work, but it’s a labour of love which we hope you will also enjoy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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