Jenny Wren’s ‘back’….

Last week, after so much heat this summer, the garden got a welcome break in the weather and a well earned drink! This meant only one thing….time to sew!


I decided to tackle the next stage on my Jenny Wren Etui by Jenny Adin-Christie;the needle lace that will be stretched over the birds back. I had been putting it off for a while as it is a technique that I have not tried before. The needle lace is worked over a pattern piece and stiff Vilene. It is very labour intensive and time consuming – but I really enjoyed the process. This is how far I got after about 5 hours….

The stitches used were: (a) – corded button hole stitch      (b) – corded buttonhole variation

(c) – buttonhole scallops       (d) – tied buttonhole stitch       (e) – ardenza point


I had to give up at this point as I then made a mistake on the next line – believe me, needle lace is very hard to unpick without damaging the previous stitches. I also found that my shoulders and neck really started to hurt as my posture when sewing was obviously all wrong!

Here is my progress after 12 hours work (spread out over three days)…


Stitch tension is vital when sewing needle lace. I normally work with a very tight stitch tension which was fine for the more dense areas, but the loops were harder for me to get consistent in size. It is not perfect, but I would definitely try needle lace again.

DSC_0265 (2)_LI

The stitches on the bottom half of the lace are:  (a) -padded buttonhole      (b) – pea stitch

(c) – buttonhole wings

All I have to do now is cut all the tacking stitches, knots and thread ends and remove the lace from the backing.  Nerve wracking times after the all the hours it took to get this far! Just hope nothing unravels!

Happy stitching!

About wybrow1966

My name is Deborah, and my earliest recollection of being creative is learning how to smock at primary school. We had a wonderful, white-haired lady who came in once a week to teach the 'girls' how to sew. I am not sure what the boys got up to during this time - but I never once felt as though I was missing out on anything. Now, as a primary teacher, I often give up evenings to teach enthusiastic children how to embroider. I am now just about to embarked into the world of blogging. Who knows if anyone will be interested, or if I can even keep it up. But here goes....
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16 Responses to Jenny Wren’s ‘back’….

  1. Catherine says:

    Good on you, Deborah! I’ve only tried needlelace once and it wasn’t nearly this complicated. Good luck with the next part and I look forward to seeing the wren!

  2. Jen says:

    I love the close up photos. You’ve done a great job! It’s tempting me even more now, however I’ve just booked 2 more intensives for next year so will have to save up again 😦

    • wybrow1966 says:

      I was hoping to do the silk shading as an intensive next year, if I can save enough in time!

      • Jen says:

        My intensives next year are silk shading in Durham (July) and goldwork in Dublin (June). My kids start back at school in early August so these dates work best for me. Hope to do some weekend day classes at HCP too so you never know, maybe we’ll meet again!

      • Jen says:

        Sorry, still half asleep. Not Dublin… Glasgow! Dublin would have been nice though 🙂

  3. Sally says:

    It is looking really good Deborah. Well done. Your Wren will start to come to life with that on his back.

  4. craftycreeky says:

    Beautiful, looking forward to seeing your wren come together.

  5. Oh, well done! Needlelace can be a bit tricky, but it looks so stunning it is well worth the effort. And full of possibilities…

  6. kathyreeves says:

    I’ve never tried needle lace, it looks like crochet with a teeny tiny hook! It’s beautiful, I might need to try this!

  7. rosejasm says:

    That looks very technical – but awesome – never seen or heard of it before!

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