Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Scroll Design


Amazon Books

If you like elaborate hand embroidery in a “classic” sort of style, you may very well like the latest embroidery patterns I’m playing with. I like repeat designs for embroidery, but I’ve noticed that, in general, repeatable embroidery patterns usually only consist of one section of the repeat, so I’ve been duplicating the sections and flipping them on some of my favorite repeatable patterns.

This particular embroidery pattern is from Therese Dillmont’s books from the DMC collection – it’s in French, and the title is La Broderie au Passe. You can find the same book on the Antique Pattern Library, in four parts in PDF format. (Section 2 & 3 are the sections with patterns. Section 1 has black and white plates of finished embroidery from which the patterns were taken.)

The book focuses on regular surface embroidery in shaded techniques – so, lots of long and short stitch, stem stitch filling, and so forth. Even though it isn’t packed with patterns, there are some very nice ones in there, some of which are elaborate, but small motifs could certainly be separated from the overall pattern. When there’s a repeat, generally you only get one section – the duplication is up to you and your tracing paper (or, in this case, scanner, tablet, and Photoshop).

Here’s the pattern. You can click on it for a slightly larger image. To resize, you can play with it in a photocopy machine, or in your favorite graphics program.

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Repeatable Scroll Design from Therese Dillmont

I’d love to work this pattern in silks on linen, but I’d have to find a use for it. I can’t imagine using such a pattern on a tablecloth – not after all the work! Any ideas how it could be used?

For more hand embroidery patterns, you can visit my list of free hand embroidery patterns here on Needle’nThread, a short list of church embroidery patterns, or my list of free hand embroidery patterns around the web.

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(23) Comments

  1. Mary, these patterns are so beautiful! Makes me want to make them all :))
    I’m thinking narrow patterns can be used as a border around a small simple motif and frame as a wall hanging, or make a book cover. Another idea is to embroidery the center of a twin size bedspread with an all over pattern. What do you think? Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  2. It would make a glorious bell pull!! Of course I would rather paint it on needlepoint canvas and border a rug – or border a monogram pillow on small mesh. The mitering would be the challenge.

  3. I was thinking a border around a bolster cushion. it would also look nice as the basis for an embroidered stumpwork panel. thanks for all the embroidery patterns and links

  4. I think it would make a lovely trim all around the edges of an otherwise plain white or off-white linen bedcover. Best in a soft, cool summer breeze color. Perhaps a soft sky blue? A rose pink, lilac or gentle spring green for the stems might also be nice. No matter what you do with it, it’s going to be beautiful, of that I’m sure.

  5. I do Elizabethan Costuming and was thinking of doing it as trim. Scale it down to about 2in wide and then slip stitch it to the outfit.

    Silk threads on gross grain ribbon.

  6. I know exactly what I would use this piece for!…it would be a stunning border along the underskirt (or petticoat) of my Victorian natural form (1875) or late bustle period (1885)gowns, or as a border on a capelet. I can also see it bordering along the edge of a parasol, too. I am a very amateur embroiderer, but am having fun personalizing my pieces for competitions and Living History events! Cheers!

  7. Thank you for sharing these patterns with everyone. I’m going to use this one as is, as the fancywork for the front yokes, then repeated in a “V” on the back yoke of Western shirts I’m making for my acapella quartet.

  8. I am going to try this on a hand made linen pillow slip set. I will play with the sizing to have it circle evenly.

  9. Mary, you wondered what to do with this beautiful patten, well:
    1. Center band for a bolster pillow
    2. Vertical or horizontal band on curtains.
    3. Hem band at the bottom of a coat, dress, or skirt.
    4. Pretty wide sash over a tunic top.
    5. You’ve mentioned church on occasion; how about a band on a box hat.
    6. It’d make a gorgeous edge on a pillow case.
    7. Lucky 7, I’m out of ideas. Good thing, they might be getting pretty crazy.

    Happy sewing. Babette

  10. I’d like to try it to use as an insertion piece, on a baby dedication gown. It would be lovely done in shadow embroidery…white on white, or a little pastel color would be pretty too. I love the classics.

  11. I would do a hem. It is a bit elaborate for a hem, but for a traditional or renaissance piece I think it would be fun.

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