Friday, March 22, 2013

A NEW Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery Stitch Technique ... Braided Lace

Well, maybe not that new. But new to some, so I'll make a little tute here.

These LadyFlowers are "Becky, Bertha and Bubbles".
Becky, Bertha and Bubbles are all stitched with the same technique - a drizzle I have named "Braided Lace".  I have the instructions for these little LadyFlowers and almost 80 others in my book, My LadyFlowers by Rosalie Wakefield. Here's a picture:
I know, I know... *sigh*.  Sounds familiar.  I advertise and then I advertise some more. That's partly the reason for this blog, but the bigger reason is that I like to talk about Brazilian dimensional embroidery and am always willing to teach/share the things I've discovered. While I'm advertising, you can read more about the book, My LadyFlowers, on my website, here

All of the LadyFlower designs/patterns in the book will fit those little 2.5" frames, and are traceable patterns. However, you can tell from looking at the picture above that all you need are a dot for the drizzle and a spray of lazy daisy leaves and some beady or French knot curves and you'll have a design ready for your favorite wearable item or a crazy quilt, or a fabric postcard for a friend -- anywhere you can poke a needle!

I know you are more interested in learning about the Braided Lace Drizzle, so I'll tell you how to do it. I'll show you, too, with pictures as I write, since many of us are visual learners.  (And you can always drop me a note if you have questions).

You're all familiar with the basic drizzle, right? Thread your needle, come up through the fabric, unthread your needle, and start applying thread. Finish by re-threading the needle and going back down through the fabric and out. If you'd like to see a picture, please visit our BDEIG website. We have a "getting started" page that contains all of the basic stitches with diagrams and directions.  Here.  (Look around while you're here - there are freebie designs and lots of other good information, including all of the new Seminar 2013 classes, plus you can join the guild and learn even more!!!)

Back to work.
Braided Lace
You need:
      Two darners
      Two strands Lola (100% rayon Z-twist floss, from EdMar Co.), or your favorite floss weight.
         Needle Threader
      Pincushion for Drizzles
Thread a darner with Lola. (Repeat for the second strand.) Knot each end of a Lola strand separately (or just center one strand of Lola so that the fabric bite is approximately 1/8").
Bring the threaded needles up through the fabric, unthread needles. Re-insert the 2 darners, point down, about 1/8" apart into the pincushion. Like this:

You'll double cast on 18 times (this is 36 cast-on loops total, 18 alternating, on each side). Work as follows:

      With your left hand, cast on over the right needle.
      With your right hand, cast on over the left needle. 
          (The floss will cross in front) Like this (I did this a couple of times using different floss colors ...):
After you have cast on 18 sets of loops (or 36 times, total), your Braided Lace Drizzle will look like this:
See that pretty braided center vein? By the way (if you are "arranging" colors, the loops on the left side of the drizzle will be your flower "petals"). The right-size loops are 'gathered' into a tight center -- you'll see what I mean in a minute.
OK. After those loops are all on your needles, you will thread ONE needle:
     Thread the left-side floss into the right needle.
     Thread the right-side floss into the right needle.  Like this:
or this:
Now ...and very carefully so nothing pulls out, push that threaded right-side needle a little deeper into your pincushion:
...and always holding your floss loops against the needle (so nothing loosens or gets all wonky), carefully pull out that left-side (unthreaded) needle.  Now you have only one needle, the right-side threaded needle. See?
(I went and neatened up my fingernails as soon as I got finished here ...)
OK.  Finish the drizzle by pushing the right-side needle down through the fabric a little deeper into the pincushion. Remember to slip a pin or needle into the outer two floss loops so they don't twist and kink and knot for you (it's really hard to undo these with only one free hand...). Here's what I always do:
Oh, oops. Don't let these colors confuse you. I stitched this flower twice - you'll see in a minute. On the above picture, the red loops were cast onto the left-side needle. This is just a better picture, trying to show you about the pin through the two outer loops to prevent kinks and knots. On the earlier photo, the blue loops were on the left-side needle.  OK?  I guess I'd better show you:
As an interesting side note, the Braided Lace technique is a "reversible" stitch. I'll talk more about that in a minute. First, let's finish the drizzle.
          Pull the drizzle down snug to the fabric and the needle all the way through to the backside.
          Slip one of the strands of Lola out of the needle eye (you can use this long floss tail to knot off by hand later if you want).
With the one remaining threaded needle, come back up through the fabric at the base of the drizzle, or right next to where you started. Pull this threaded needle all the way through. With the tip of this threaded needle, guide the outer drizzle loop/edge/center braid of the drizzle to around in a circle to meet the beginning to the end and pull down snug. You'll have what looks like a circular flower with the blue loops forming the flower 'petals' (red loops in the flower pictured just below).
And done:
By the way, if you don't like your "joins", you can tuck them beneath another flower, or you can use any green, come up from the center and make 2-3 long bullions or cast-on stitches to give an impression of calyxes.
As a "technical" note, when you are using Z-twist floss and double cast-ing on, you'll notice the right-side loops "untwist" slightly, or flatten out (the reason why Z-twist bullions are wrapped clockwise).  [Perle Cotton is S-twist, by the way, and for those who do not have access to Z-twist floss, just reverse the procedure.] 
          I pretty much speak in "Z-twist". When these right-side loops 'flatten out', you'll see that they sort of tuck into each other and make a nice, smooth center for your flower.
That's it:  Braided Lace!
Braided Lace looks different on one side than the other. When I cast on with the blue loops on the left needle, these will make 'petals'. If I cast red loops over the left needle, I'll have red 'petals'. As I mentioned earlier, this stitch is reversible and you can flip the drizzle so the 'petals' will tuck under, or you can position the drizzle so that the 'petals' pop up.
Pretty both ways! See:
At the top of this post, you'll see that Bertha, Becky and Bubbles are kicking up their skirts and enjoying themselves. 
If you prefer the more demure LadyFlower "Garnet", let those left-side loops rest against the fabric, or even tuck them under with your needle. The picture below introduces you to the LadyFlowers, "Amber, Opal and Garnet":
I have lots of more advanced techniques in my book, My LadyFlowers, if you have already learned the basic Brazilian embroidery stitches and are feeling adventurous.
Always remember, too, that if you are trying to follow my instructions and something different comes out of your needle, just give it a name and continue - you have created a new design! 
Be sure to drop me a note, either in the comments below or by email, if you have any questions at all. I really LOVE Brazilian dimensional embroidery. Can you tell?


  1. Just love your blog and the sharing of info, thank you very much. Also love the comment if ones flower does not come out the way yours looks to leave it be and give it a name. Really fun and so true.

  2. This looks like fun! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hi, Susan

    Oh, for sure, about making new flowers! That's the fun of Brazilian dimensional embroidery. It's very creative work and there aren't really any 'serious' rules. You can pull out a regular stitch book (lots available), look at a stitch and wonder, "How would it be if I tried this with a cast-on?" - or whatever.
    Mistakes are NEVER a BAD thing...

  4. Rosalie my name is Anna Smith I look forward to meeting you this year at the 2013 Brazilian embroidery retreat.I have started a new business in John day Oregon and my teacher is Polly Bingham in Sherwood Oregon.she is a great teacher.

  5. Hi, Anna
    I just saw your note, too. It will be nice to meet you at seminar!

  6. So beautiful! With out words.

  7. thank you for your tutorial...very pretty flowers...must try this out and add to my ribbon embroidery designs

  8. Keep up the good work, sharing, Rosalie! You will always be my inspiration and my mentor!
    Sherry J

  9. Felicitaciones, esto que haces es fabuloso, nunca antes lo había visto. Ahora me quedo un ratito en tu blog a ver si aprendo como lo haces. Gracias por compartir. Desde Argentina, Adriana

  10. amei mto lindo, vou tentar fazer, adoro artesanato, obrigada por mostrar uma arte tao bela bjs

  11. j'aime ce modèle de broderie il est très beau

  12. ما اجمل ان تتقن عمل ما وتشارك في تعليمه للناس
    اشكركم جزيل الشكر

  13. Chokrane wa baraka Allah fikome


  15. I have a lot of books and many of your very early books, some do not even have colored pictures if I remember. But at the moment I cannot find them in my stash. I wanted to show some friends the Airy Fairy Stitch that goes in the background - Can you tell me which book that would be in. Or have you explained this in one of your blogs.

  16. Productivity and efficiency both are very important. They enlighten very well that how to increase productivity in an efficient manner. Egyptian Embroidery Design

  17. do you have a video on this stitch

  18. Do you have an online class? Thanks.

  19. I love your gorgeous flowers .I am going to try embroidery with some similar rayon threads ...any tips ? I,ve heard they are very slippery to manage do you tame them ?

  20. Ahaan Amazing! Have you done this for orders or daily bases ??
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  21. Hi from Texas ~ Please advise as to where I may purchase books: Tropical Flower Garden, Forever Flowers, Please send me a list of books to purchase today, Thank you, Pat Jay

  22. Wow. Rosalie you have inspired me to start something new.😊

  23. Beautiful, Thank you for the ideas.

  24. Hello,

    I just found your site and love it! It's so nice to meet new people with the same love of beautiful creative embroidery. You do such lovely work!


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