Browsing Tag



A Busy Stitcher: Yumiko Higuchi’s Floral Embroideries

Yumiko Higuchi

I’m always look­ing for inspir­ing Insta­gram accounts, and I’ve found that with Yumiko Higuchi (@yumikohiguch). Her embroi­dery is beau­ti­ful and process-oriented, so you see a lot of work-in-progress and detail shots in her feed. Judg­ing from how many dif­fer­ent pat­terns and pieces she pho­tographs, you can tell that she’s a busy stitcher.

Yumiko cre­ates a lot of hand-crafted coin purses, high­light­ing the begin­ning of the process to the fin­ish product—it inspires me to make my own! Have you ever sewn your own purse? If so, what’s the best tutorial(s) for it?

Yumiko Higuchi













Illustrated products, Textiles

Gucci Spring 2016: Glittering Snakes and Embroidered Birds


The devil’s in the details, as they say, and let me tell you—there are some great illus­tra­tive details in Gucci’s Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear col­lec­tion. It includes some very dec­o­rated dresses, jack­ets, pants, and acces­sories, with glit­ter­ing sequin snakes, flow­ers, and bows. Flora and fauna are a big part of this col­lec­tion, and they make an appear­ance against bright col­ors and busy pat­terns. A feast for the eyes, indeed.

There are 66 looks in this col­lec­tion. Check ‘em out in their entirety on













How Did You Do That?

How Did You Do That? Liz Payne’s Vibrant, Highly-Textured Embroideries

Liz Payne

Liz Payne is, hands down, one of my favorite embroi­dery artists. Her vibrant works are hand-painted tex­tiles with embell­ish­ments like bead­ing, intri­cate stitches, and sequins. They’re a feast for the eyes—a col­li­sion of color, tex­tures, and shapes.

Liz is tak­ing part in How Did You Do That?, a series that focuses on how mak­ers cre­ate the things that we love. So far, we’ve learned how Nancy Liang crafts her spooky GIFs and had a peak into Tinybop’s inten­sive app-making process. Irma Grue­holz also shared how she forms her whim­si­cal 3D cre­ations. Now, with­out fur­ther ado, here’s Liz!


Brown Paper Bag: What is your artis­tic back­ground? What was the most influ­en­tial part of your education—either for­mally or informally?

Liz Payne: When I was younger, I was always sur­rounded by piles of fab­ric, wool, thread and beads in every shape, size and color. I’m really influ­enced by my mum — she can sew any­thing and every­thing and so I’ve always been sur­rounded by it and loved every­thing to do with it — I guess it was nat­ural I would want to cre­ate things that com­bined my love of all those things! After school, I went on to com­plete a Bach­e­lor of Visual Arts degree at uni, fol­lowed by a Cer­tifi­cate IV in Graphic Design. But I think the ‘infor­mal’ hours of work and prac­tice was, and is, really impor­tant– noth­ing hap­pens overnight!

Liz Payne

Liz Payne


BPB: You write that you use a “mix­ture of stitches to cre­ate a syn­ergy of move­ment and dimen­sion with these threads so your eye dances around from one intri­cate detail to the next.” Who/what inspires this?

LP: I like my work to be inter­est­ing and intrigu­ing and to also grasp the viewer into all the intri­cate details of the stitch­ing, some­times sur­pris­ing them that it’s been embroi­dered. I think embroi­dery can have a stigma to it that it’s ‘grand­moth­erly’ or ‘old fash­ioned’. It’s my hope when peo­ple see my work that this old con­no­ta­tion is blown out of the water, and I hope to achieve this by draw­ing the viewer’s eye in and across the details of a work.



BPB: Give us an idea of your process. What’s the first step in start­ing a new piece, and what’s the final step?

LP: Some­times I have a plan in my head of a piece I want to cre­ate and I’ll sketch it first, some­times tak­ing it into Illus­tra­tor to fur­ther plan it out. Other times I approach a piece with more free­dom and just pull out the paints and go for it. I see apply­ing the paint as a nec­es­sary layer — even if you don’t see the paint under­neath all the time. After the fab­ric is ready, then comes the fun bit of embroi­der­ing! This can be time con­sum­ing but it’s my favorite bit — slowly, slowly build­ing up the tex­ture and color. I try to keep the bead­ing aspect till last, but I don’t nec­es­sar­ily do this. Once it’s fin­ished I’ll decided on the fram­ing options and more than likely frame it myself (as I’m a bit of a con­trol freak!)



BPB: Do you keep a sketch­book? If so, what does it look like?

LP: Yes, I have a cou­ple and I stash them every­where. They’re com­pletely dis­or­ga­nized, stuffed with receipts, things to remem­ber, but full of lit­tle sketches and ideas that if I didn’t write it down I’d be lost without.

BPB: How much plan­ning goes into your work before you begin? How much do you account for spontaneity?

LP: It all depends — each piece is dif­fer­ent. For the piece I’m work­ing on at the moment for exam­ple, I’ll paint the fab­ric with a bit of plan in my head but I didn’t nec­es­sar­ily plan out the embroi­dery, as in what stitch where — I like to leave those deci­sions until I get to it, and it all depends on the work before it too of course, to cre­ate a nice har­mony in color, tex­ture and detail.



BPB: Your work com­prises so many tiny mate­ri­als! What do you find the most dif­fi­cult to work with?

LP: Metal­lic thread! I don’t use it a lot even though I love it.

BPB: What is your favorite embroi­dery stitch? (Mine is the French knot.)

LP: I love the French knot — it gives great tex­ture and dimen­sion, and they’re totally addic­tive. It’s prob­a­bly the only stitch I do ‘prop­erly’ too — as my work isn’t really ‘tra­di­tional’ embroidery!



BPB: Do you have any tips for work­ing with mixed media and textiles? 

LP: Don’t be reg­i­mented into think­ing some­thing has to be a par­tic­u­lar way — I think won­der­ful things can hap­pen through exper­i­ment­ing. And not being afraid of mak­ing mis­takes along the way either.

BPB: You’ve got a loyal fol­low­ing on social media, specif­i­cally your Insta­gram. How has that impacted your career?

LP: I love Insta­gram. I was never inter­ested in any social media really until I started on Insta­gram, and I’m so grate­ful I did. Through Insta­gram I have been lucky enough to have my work been seen by peo­ple I myself admire and I’ve been given oppor­tu­ni­ties to exhibit and col­lab­o­rate that I might not have oth­er­wise had the opportunity.



Thanks, Liz! Be sure to check out her lovely Etsy shop!

My Studio, Textiles

My Studio: ‘Favorite Bites in Baltimore’ Embroidery — Complete!


At the end of July, I posted about an embroi­dery project I was work­ing on: Favorite Bites in Bal­ti­more. I’m happy to say that it’s done (!!) and fea­tures some of my favorite things I’ve eaten dur­ing my 10+ years of liv­ing in the city.

The foods I embroidered:

  • Top left: S’mores in a Jar (from Hamil­ton Tavern)
  • Bot­tom left: Dirty­boy (from Bun Shop)
  • Mid­dle: Greek Pizza (from Joe Squared)
  • Right: Fried Oys­ter Mush­rooms, Feta Cheese, Arugula, and Hot Sauce (from Mush­room Stand at JFX Farmer’s Market)

There will be text on top of the embroi­dery that explains the project—I’ll post that once it’s done.

Now that Favorite Bites is done, I’m going to go back to embroi­der­ing dec­o­ra­tive flo­ral scenes. But I do have plans to con­tinue this food series. Cleve­land is next!




Illustrator, Textiles

My Studio: ‘Favorite Bites in Baltimore’ Embroidery

Sara Barnes embroidery

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a glimpse into my stu­dio! Here’s a fun embroi­dery I’ve been work­ing on the past cou­ple of weeks. It com­bines two things I love: stitch­ing and good food.

The [work­ing] title for this piece is called Favorite Bites in Bal­ti­more, and it will include a half dozen of my favorite things I’ve eaten while liv­ing in Bal­ti­more. So far, I’ve com­pleted S’mores in a Jar from Hamil­ton Tav­ern and the Dirty­boy from Bun Shop. Now, I’m in the mid­dle of a slice of pizza from Joe Squared.

I’m plan­ning on embroi­der­ing a few more foods, but nar­row­ing down the choices has been really hard. Bal­ti­more has some great restaurants!

(Fol­low me on Insta­gram to see reg­u­lar updates of what I’m work­ing on.)

Sara Barnes embroidery



Animation, Textiles

Amazing Animations: Embroidered Zoetropes by Elliot Schultz

 Elliot Schultz

I love it when embroi­dery is in used in uncon­ven­tional appli­ca­tions, and designer Elliot Schultz has done so in a super cre­ative way. He cre­ated a series of embroi­dered zoetrope!

If you aren’t famil­iar with a zoetrope, it’s an ani­ma­tion tech­nique that uses a series of pic­tures on an inner sur­face. When they’re rotated and dis­played — either with a strobe light or by pho­tographs — the illu­sion of motion is created.

For his final project at the ANU School of Art in Aus­tralia, Elliot cre­ated six discs with ani­mated sequences embroi­dered on their sur­faces. They were designed to be played on stan­dard turnta­bles, bor­row­ing the shape and size from a 10″ vinyl record. Once they were hit with a strobe light, the ani­ma­tions came to life.

Check out the GIFs and video to see these pieces in action. How cool! (Via Colos­sal)

 Elliot Schultz

 Elliot Schultz





Digitally Embroidered Celebrity Portraits by Ashlee Woo

ashlee woo

David Bowie

Ash­lee Woo cre­ates por­traits of celebri­ties, artists, and polit­i­cal lead­ers using a com­bi­na­tion of dig­i­tal embroi­dery and silk screen. The abstract images fea­ture thick stitched lines that define the large, bold shapes of the sub­ject. Smaller, more expres­sive embroi­dery adds fun details like crazy hair styles and del­i­cate facial fea­tures. This com­bi­na­tion pro­duces unique pro­files that cap­ture both a like­ness as well as an essence of their per­son­al­ity. Love!

H/T @sbuzelli

ashlee woo

Kim Jong En

ashlee woo

Keith Har­ring

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Mick Jagger

Mick Jag­ger

Salvador Dali

Sal­vador Dali

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly




Exquisitely Minimalist Embroideries by Miga de Pan

miga de pan

Miga de Pan is the label under which Buenos Aires-based crafter Adri­ana Tor­res cre­ates her work. Her exquis­ite and min­i­mal­ist pieces are a lovely com­bi­na­tion of tex­ture and line. Quiet scenes fea­tur­ing wood­land crea­tures, geo­met­ric shapes, and even archi­tec­ture are sewn onto natural-colored back­grounds. These images are inspired with the help of Adriana’s ded­i­ca­tion and for­mal train­ing in a num­ber of fields: archi­tec­ture, graphic design, illus­tra­tion and gen­eral fine arts.

As some­one who embroi­ders for fun, I am lov­ing the vari­ety of stitches that Adri­ana uses. It adds keeps things visu­ally inter­est­ing. My eye doesn’t get bored look­ing at the same stitch over and over — instead, I find myself keenly exam­in­ing every part of her handiwork.

Fol­low Miga de Pan on Face­bookInsta­gram, and Pin­ter­est.

miga de pan miga de pan migadepan-16 migadepan-8 migadepan-7 migadepan-6migadepan-18 migadepan-12 migadepan-9 migadepan-10 migadepan-11 migadepan-13 migadepan-14


Stacey Page Adds Bizarre Embroidery onto Vintage Photos


Stacey Page trans­forms dis­carded vin­tage pho­tographs from banal to fan­tas­tic in her on-going series of embroi­dered por­traits. Since 2008, she’s adorned men and women with bizarre head­dresses, cos­tumes, facial hair, and much more. This is both con­cep­tu­ally and visu­ally inter­est­ing. I love that the stitch­ing cre­ates a “sec­ond skin” and a new nar­ra­tive onto the old pic­tures. And, at the same time, it’s a great con­trast between the smooth sil­ver gelatin pho­tos beneath the fuzzy threads.




Ceramics, Illustrator

Who Needs a Pencil When You’ve Got Thread?

Julie Van Wezemael

Julie Van Weze­mael is an illus­tra­tor based in Ghent, Bel­gium, and she com­bines paint­ing and embroi­dery in her exquis­ite works. The use of thread is often sub­tle; here, you can see that it takes the place of lines that would nor­mally be drawn with a pen or pen­cil. I like the tex­ture it cre­ates, and it adds an unex­pected twist to her land­scape scenes.


Julie Van Wezemael Julie Van Wezemael Julie-Van-Wezemael-14 Julie-Van-Wezemael-9 Julie-Van-Wezemael-8 Julie-Van-Wezemael-7 Julie-Van-Wezemael-2 Julie-Van-Wezemael-1 Julie-Van-Wezemael-10

Julie also pro­duces ceram­ics! Here are a few of her animal-centric creations:

Julie-Van-Wezemael-6 Julie-Van-Wezemael-3 Julie-Van-Wezemael-4