12 Little Needle Cases

In 2021, I embarked on a year long project combining historical research with practical application of embroidery techniques. Each month I completed a different needle case based on a different embroidery technique.

This project was life changing in that it opened my eyes to different styles I would not have set out to do, and led to many hours of up close contemplation of historical pieces, pattern making and of course: stitching!

10 Little Needle Cases

This post is the culmination of a year long project of embroidering a needle case each month in 12 different styles. Due to time constraints and the complexity of a few of the embroidery styles, in the end I have 10 finished needle cases! The Embroidery Styles include: Applique, black work, German brick stitch, Bayeau… Continue reading 10 Little Needle Cases

December: Smocking

We have entered the final stretch, the final month of needle cases! The last one is smocking. Smocking was a popular decorative way to decorate pleats in chemises and other linen garments like aprons in the 16th century (the last half of the year has been full of 16th century, huh!). The best extant example… Continue reading December: Smocking

November: Caterpillar

This needlework piece is part of my ongoing exploration of different medieval embroidery styles. A full explanation of the project can be found here. A post discussing how I drafted this pattern and the stitches/materials used can be found here. I have had so much fun stitching this year. I have learned so many new… Continue reading November: Caterpillar

November: Padded Work

As you may have read in the finishing of my Reticella piece, September and October were rough months for me. And reticella was difficult. Drawing my threads from the fabric rather than doing a punto in aria design took many more hours than anticipated. And thus, I am sick of white linen and want to… Continue reading November: Padded Work

September: Needle Lace

Needle lace was the first new thing I learned at my first event in the SCA. I learned a little needle lace edging for a handkerchief (that is yet unfinished, alas). But it lead to the creation of this beautiful bunny: Now, the casual embroiderer might ask “What is going on there?” and “How is… Continue reading September: Needle Lace

August: Goldwork

When I started my little Saint Catherine needle case I knew she would be a lot of work. So I suppose it makes sense she should be broken up into two months. This month I will be working on the goldwork of her gown. From looking at the Bowden Cope, there are several different types… Continue reading August: Goldwork

Lacis: Starts and Stops

Lacis is hard. Its difficult to wrap your head around. My best advice is to do a bunch of samples before you start. Practice twists and turns. Then do a small piece like one of my flowers. And don’t be afraid to get this far and start over. Because once you get it, and getting… Continue reading Lacis: Starts and Stops


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Me showing an embroidery to the Queen of the East Kingdom

About the 12 Little Needle Cases Project

12 Little Needle Cases is a year long project with the goal of creating 12 completed Needle Cases, each in a different embroidery style.

Each month I will write a post introducing the embroidery technique, historical samples, and the plan for my design. At the end of the month I will write a post including a step by step instructions for the needle case.

To learn more about the project click here.

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