If you have questions about my Pattern Programs head over here.
Everything in your shop is 'sold out' how do I make an order?
I am a one-woman show and each piece is carefully hand stitched, packaged, and shipped by me. I do my best to update my shop about once a month. However, things tend to sell very quickly, which is why my shop always appears to be 'sold out.' Embroidery is a slow process, so please be patient! I work as quickly as I can, while still maintaining top quality craftsmanship.
Where do you get your patterns and how do you transfer them to the fabric?
I invent them! Drawing is a major part of my practice, so I keep sketchbooks of ideas, composition thumbnails, plant details, and textile diagrams to aid in the creating of my stitched works. These sketches then come together as final designs by re-drawing them directly onto my fabric with pencil. The under drawing gets completely covered up with the stitching. This process allows for a lot of revision and experimentation before I get down to sewing.
I offer a new D.I.Y. pattern each month as a part of my Pattern Program. It's a great place to start if you are interested in trying your hand at embroidery!
What materials do you use?
I use wooden embroidery hoops in a variety of sizes that I order in bulk and DMC 6-strand embroidery floss. I stitch onto a variety of fabrics, preferring cotton and linen blends. I usually buy fabric remnants and have a collection of hand-me-down scraps from the mothers and grandmothers in my life. Lately, I have been sourcing fabric at thrift stores, buying large button-downs and pants to cut up. It's a great way to re-purpose and re-use!
What stitches do you use and how can I learn to do this?
I don’t always adhere traditional embroidery stitches and techniques, thinking of the thread more like ink or paint and inventing or adapting stitches as I go. The one common embroidery stitch I do use is the satin stitch, which is how I achieve the fields of color that create the foundation of each element in my compositions. The final and most fun stage to every piece is the surface pattern that creates all the detail in the plants, textiles, and pots.
I am thrilled to offer a monthly Pattern Program perfect beginners as well as seasoned stitchers, which can cut out the guess work and help you get started on your contemporary embroidery path. My advice to anyone wanting to learn is to go get the basic materials (hoop, fabric, thread, needle, scissors) and just start experimenting! My work has evolved over the past 4 years and is my full-time job. Believe me, I didn’t start out sewing complicated things. Be patient with yourself and have fun!
How long does each piece take you?
Every piece takes a great deal of time. I remain purposefully ignorant of the exact hour count that goes into each embroidery, but it’s safe to say they all take many, many hours. I usually work on several pieces at once, shifting between them as I change colors or need a break. This way I don’t lose interest in what I am doing and have more time to make color and pattern decisions.
Do you sell patterns or kits?
Yes and no.
On the 1st of every month I release a new D.I.Y. pattern and PDF package jam packed with information and insider tips on how to create your own beautiful piece of contemporary embroidery. Each pattern is limited to the month in which it is released, so if you see something you like, get it while you can! You can read more about my Pattern Program here. Designs are available through my Etsy shop.
Occasionally, I offer full kits in limited quantities here on my website and/or at craft fairs and pop-up events.
Do you take custom orders?
Between preparing monthly patterns, traveling for workshops, working on my own finished pieces, and trying to squeeze in time with family and friends, I am unable to accept any custom orders.
Can I recreate one of your pieces?
No, please don't. While I encourage everyone to grab a needle and thread and give embroidery a shot, please use your own creativity or seek out resources (like my Pattern Program!) that grant you permission to recreate a design. I work very hard to create unique, original work and it is how I make my living. It has taken several years to develop and hone my craft and it can be disheartening to come across copycats. I hope it inspires you on your own creative journey, but please no reproductions or derivative works. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to discover your own style.
Can I post about your work on my website or blog?
Of course! Please feel free to share whatever you like, providing you properly link and give credit where appropriate.
Do you do wholesale?
Unfortunately I am currently unable to accept wholesale orders.
I sent you an email/facebook message/instagram dm and you haven't gotten back to me, why?
I am so sorry if you are still waiting for a response from me, I receive many emails and messages across various social media accounts. I am unable to answer all the messages I receive on IG and FB, but I do my absolute best to respond all emails, but this takes time! Patience is hugely appreciated, as it may take me a few weeks to get back to you!
© Sarah K. Benning 2016