The Embroidery Angel

My ever popular Celtic and Christmas angels have one failing. When created as stand alone angels their backs are a little untidy. A while back I decided that my next Angel would have a few accessories which would solve that problem. She has now been released.

The third angel in this series celebrates machine embroidery and heirloom sewing. As before she is embroidered on sheer fabric like tulle or polyester organza. This supports the embroidery and means the stitching does not have to be as dense as free standing lace. The templates are basically the same as my previous angels so you could mix and match to a degree, but not everything is interchangeable. I started with designing a new set of wings and these consist of imitation corded lace which gives them stability so they probably will not require any support. The corded lace effect is shown best when done in two colours. To get them looking perfect it was necessary to make multiple colour changes. Notice that there are two versions of the wings and that the second version is not as full as the lower section has been removed.

Close up of the corded lace wings

Having perfected my wings I had to move on to the skirt. Below the central embroidery with its scrolls and discs, I have created a panel of ruching with delicate lace peeping out above and below. Along the base of the skirt is a further panel of embroidery featuring string stitches, delicate flowers and the discs found in the main embroidery. I have chosen delicate colours for the embroidery and suggest that the centers of the tiny blossoms are stitched in silver or gold metallic thread, or left out and replaced with small hot fix pearls or crystals. 

The main embroidery

As with my previous angels this one has no facial features. Her hair style is unique too and she has optional earrings, a tiara and tiny heart on her bodice. These look great stitched in metallic thread. There are some excellent colours for the flesh like Sulky Rayon 1085 Silver and 520 Bone. I noticed that Designs in machine Embroidery do a wonderful set of threads for all skin tones. I have not invested in it as yet but I would be interested to hear from anybody who has used them. Choose a brown, grey, black or blonde colour for her hair that compliments the colour scheme you have chosen. However I prefer my Angel to be a red head as I used to be one many years ago!!

The main bodice stitched out on organza

The sleeves of her bodice spill out in frothy cuffs. Her bodice is a different shape to the previous angels so be careful if you give her wings from the other angels as they may not sit well behind her bodice. I discovered that the narrow waist that I had given her did not lend well to the standing version so there are two versions of the bodice. I had to unpick the heart on this design below but notice that I caught the motif stitches in error. You need to be careful when trimming around large overlay stitches.

The wider bodice option stitched out on tulle, easier to trim

The bodice has an optional appliqué and motif overlay which holds the appliqué fabric flat. I suggest that you use a slightly darker thread colour than the fabric. For the first time I have given the Angel a v-shaped neck and to get a perfect finish around this her next is stitched after the appliqué is added, so you don’t have to cut too close into the neckline which can be difficult, and with silk it can start fraying. Finally a beautiful double satin high collar finishes off the top section of the Angel. 

The support strengthens the angel so she sits upright in her skirt

Another feature of this Angel are the skirt layers which can be created. There is a lace underskirt, the main skirt and an over skirt which wraps around the skirt from the back hiding the seams. GFE-EBG-25 combines all these layers into one embroidery.

Join the layers of the skirt at the top and the sides

A stiffening like Vilene pellum or Floriani stitch and shape, is cut to sit inside the skirt so the angel stands up. Two new supports are available for the upper section of the angel. The plastic boning can be hand stitched to the inside of this if you do not want it to show or added a couple of rows of stitching on your machine.

This second support can be used with the previous angels.

There are several ways to construct the standing angel but I find it best to pin everything in place and then open up the back and stitch the support to the skirt stiffening. I no longer attempt to stitch the skirt support and find a couple of paper clips a better alternative. They also allow for tiny adjustments if necessary.

Pin the top of the angel to the skirt stiffening

Now we come to the accessories which I have created for the Angel. I have created two sizes of flat capes to hang at the back of the Angel, fixing them at the crown of her head and at the sides if they are a little wayward. There is also an option of a hooded cape. These designs stitch out in such a way that lining can be floated underneath the hoop for the final colour.

You may want to trim your jump stitches before doing this. The capes feature stripping stitches but this can be omitted. The hooded cape does not have embroidery on it but the main embroidery from the skirt can easily be added as it comes as separate design. I have a also included a 12″ x 8″ fabric block to create your own embroidery fabric just in case you want to make your own accessories for the Angel. 

The veil is my preferred method of covering the back of the Angel. It is probably not necessary to stitch it out with your embroidery thread wound for the bobbin unless you are doing another colour other than white. 

I have given you lots of details about the stand alone angels but there are two versions of the flat Angel in this set and about three different colour schemes for each. Use these colour schemes as guides if you plan to create your own colours for the standing angel. If you going to include darker colours allocate them to smaller elements so they do not draw the eye away from the overall effect. Notice that any slight protrusions of the red silk in this bodice are more apparent.

This seasonal angel with the smaller wing option

A very detailed PDF tutorial of over 100 pages comes with the Embroidery angel designs and should be read a few times. I know you will thoroughly enjoy planning your unique Angel. If you have not embroidered one of my angels before I suggest you start with a flat Angel and then attempt the standing angel.

It is also advisable not to over complicate the Angel. If she is going to have a cape or veil the over skirt may be too much. 

The Embroidery angel is available for just $24 until the end of November 2020. There will be a series of videos showing you how to embroider and construct the angel. Here is an introduction to the angel and the freebie which comes with her.

Happy embroidering from Hazel

About gracefulembroidery

I digitise machine embroidery designs specializing in Bridal, heirloom and Celtic work.
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4 Responses to The Embroidery Angel

  1. ROBIN A LYNCH says:

    Thank you so much, Hazel! I can’t wait to try this one.

  2. Monica Powell says:

    Absolutely love this angel and your explanation too. Thank you Hazel.

  3. Margaret Rose says:

    Not just an extraordinary digitiser and embroiderer but an author too. Everything you do is so well explained and has informative images to complement the text. You really do go the extra mile.

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