is a revised and updated (by Jan Eaton) edition of the classic
guide, originally published in 1934. Mary’s book was
the original embroidery dictionary, the one that inspired
the many to follow. How does it stand up today?
Like every book that is deservedly called a “classic,”
it stands up very well. There are over 400 stitches in here,
all with clear, easy to follow diagrams and, in many cases,
photographs of a worked sample. Each stitch also has a short
description that contains information about its origin if
known, use, tips for working and anything else of note. Stitches
are grouped according to their use in a design, so there are
chapters for isolated stitches, borders, outlines, various
types of fillings, different types of stitch for canvas, pulled
fabric, cutwork and more. This is how I always look for stitches
when I am designing a project, so appreciate this way of organizing.
At the beginning there is a very short section showing types
of thread and fabric available for hand embroidery plus a
few tips for beginners. At the back is an index, and throughout
the book quite a few examples of finished work. It does not
matter what level embroiderer you are, a book like this is
invaluable, and I wouldn’t be without a stitch dictionary.
I have quite a few, but this is probably the best and also
inspired most of the others. Recommended for anybody who wants
to learn (or is already adept at) embroidery.
If you cannot find a good range of embroidery
materials locally try www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.
Largest range of sewing threads in the UK (unless you know
better) available at www.sewandsew.co.uk (Ships worldwide)