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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The Jade Dragon – An Embroidery Kit from Roseworks


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Continuing on with our recent exploits into embroidery kits from designers who sell their own kits, today I want to show you a kit for an Absolutely Fantastic Dragon!

Jade Dragon hails from Roseworks Embroidery Designs in South Africa, the work of designer and embroiderer Colleen Goy, who has produced a prolific amount of embroidery kits suitable for all tastes and levels. Roseworks has been producing embroidery kits for a long while, and they have over 100 designs available in kit form now!

Let me introduce you to Jade Dragon, up close and personal. I’ll share with you all the pertinent details of the kit, chat a bit about the level of embroidery, and share information on where you can find it.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

When I first saw this kit, I thought, “Wow, that dragon is pretty incredible!”

And I thought of all of the embroiderers I know who like the world of fairy tales, fantasy, dragons and the like. If you fall into that category, this kit is definitely for you!

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

Jade Dragon is a riot of color, stitches, and textures.

The suggested threads for the kit include cotton floss, perle cottons, metallics and rayons.

The piece can be embroidered either on a silk or a cotton ground fabric. For the nominal difference in price, on something like this, I’d go with the silk, and I’d back it with a good cotton muslin.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

Most of the stitches involved in Jade Dragon are simple stitches to learn – buttonhole, chain, stem, split stitch, raised chain and stem, and the like.

But even though the stitches are pretty simple, I wouldn’t suggest this particular piece for a beginner. I’d say a determined intermediate embroiderer could undertake it successfully, if really determined. Otherwise, I’d put it at the advanced level.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

The kit includes the pre-printed fabric (you can choose silk or cotton), a photo of the finished piece, and all the instructions for stitching it as shown in the finished photo.

There are no threads (or needles) included in the kit.

This works out well for the embroiderer who likes to choose colors. For those who want to work the same color scheme, no worries – there’s an extensive thread list included.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

The silk version of the kit is a very light rosy-gold silk dupioni. It’s silk screened with the design, in a fine, easy to cover line.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

The instructions for Jade Dragon are mostly written instructions, which is one reason I’d recommend it for determined intermediate and beyond.

You definitely need to know how to read and interpret stitching instructions. Occasionally, there are small drawn diagrams that help clarify the written instructions.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

You’ll find clear stitch diagrams for all the embroidery stitches used in the project.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

The instructions include a clear layout of every part of the dragon, with stitches and colors for each area marked out.

Think of this as a kind of “paint by number” map, so that you can see what goes where, according to the designer’s original concept for the dragon.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

The thread list (remember, the kit does not include threads) is fairly extensive, and it includes House of Embroidery threads, Raj Mahal Art Silk threads (they’re rayon, not silk), DMC stranded cotton, and DMC Satin (also rayon). There are also a few metallics.

All the threads can be substituted. You could use EdMar rayons, for example, instead of DMC or Raj Mahal. You could substitute your favorite colorways of overdyed perle cottons for the House of Embroidery Threads, and you can substitute Kreinik metallics for the Madeira metallics.

But I think for substituted threads to work together well, you definitely need to have a good sense of color and a knowledge of texture and thread sizes, to make good choices in substitutions – which is another reason why I’d rank this as a determined intermediate to advanced level kit.

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

Here’s the selection of suggested DMC floss colors…

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

…and these are the House of Embroidery perle cottons used in the design…

Jade Dragon Kit from Roseworks

…and these are the specialty threads called for (rayons and metallics).

The design also calls for a little flower shaped bead in iridescent jewel tones, for the eye of the dragon.

Pros and Cons

The pros:

Nicely pre-printed fabric, which is always a pro in my book!

The instructions are clear and understandable, especially for intermediate or advanced embroiderers.

The design is fantastic, and so are the color and stitches choices!

For those who like to choose their own threads and colors, threads are not included, so you aren’t burdened with that extra expense.

The cost is quite reasonable, especially with today’s currency conversion rates.

The cons:

If you’re used to step-by-step instructions, you might find the instructions hard to follow.

For those who like all their threads gathered in one place so they don’t have to hunt them down, threads are not included, so that might be problematic.

Where to Find It

You can find the Jade Dragon kit (with a choice of a silk or a cotton ground fabric) at Roseworks, right on the home page.

The kit, which does not include thread or needles, but does include the pre-printed fabric and all the instructions, is priced in South African Rands, so you’ll need to do the currency conversion for your own country to determine the cost of the kit.

For US readers, with the today’s currency conversion rates, the cost ranges from $11.83 to $13.68, depending on whether you opt for cotton or silk, which is quite reasonable. I’m not sure what the shipping rates are on just the one kit.

For ordering, you submit your information and they contact you via email with the invoice for payment.

So, that’s the Jade Dragon! For all you dragon-lovers out there, it’s a pretty wonderful design!

I can’t help thinking what he might look like in reds… I think I’d like him sort of Welsh-ish!


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(29) Comments

  1. When my brother got married, I stitched two pillow covers for he and his wife, one (fruit bowl) for her and a similar dragon for him in the same color choices and they loved them.

  2. I thought the cost you published must be a misprint, until I looked up the exchange rate: 7 cents per SA rand! The kits are in the range of R105 to R185. That’s incredible!

  3. Ooooooooooooooo! Now this is very tempting, although I doubt I rate high enough on the Embroiderer Scale to tackle it. I’d give it a go anyway! Nice that it’s supplied without threads, I could quite go for trying it in a different colour scheme. As an inhabitant of Wales, red definitely did cross my mind! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing something like this, flowers are all fine and good but this is much more me. πŸ™‚

  4. WOW!!! Beautiful stitch selections and fibers. This is a design worthy of the time spent. Clearly not a weekend project. Love it

  5. A beautiful dragon and so tempting,the exchange rate is amazing. I’ve just finished a Welsh Dragon as part of a much larger (what was I thinking) project I’m designing.

    This could be a delightful, interruption for me πŸ˜‰

  6. Thank you, Mary, he is just gorgeous. I’m assuming he is male but he could be a girl. And I love the idea of doing him in reds as a Welsh dragon. So much so I think I might do it.

  7. Wow! I’m not into kits, but that’s too gorgeous! Affordable, too!
    I may just buy it as an impetus to develop the skill and/or determination to actually do it…

  8. I contacted them to ask about US shipping rates and received the following reply…
    “To post a design (or two, sometimes three) under 300 grams costs R44.00 – about $3.25. To register the envelope is an additional R31.00 – $2.30. To insure anything is 3% of value, so R185.00 (the cost of the design) + R44.00 = R229.00 x 3% = R6.87 – totals R235.87 / $17.54.”
    So reasonable! I’ve placed my order. Thank you, Mary!

  9. WOW. I don’t really do kits but I’m seriously tempted by this one, especially since I can substitute my own threads and work out a colourway that suits me. Hmmm….

  10. When I converted rands to dollars I thought I had made a math mistake when Google told me the price of the kit was $11.05 U.S.! The person who makes these kits is seriously underestimating her talent.

  11. I ordered a kit after reading this review, back in May. I contacted the shop at the end of June when I had yet to see it in my mail. They provided confirmation that it had been put in the mail and said it could take several weeks to be loaded up on the plane to leave the country. I still haven’t received it. Life got busy and I realized the other day that it still hadn’t arrived. I contacted them again today and hope to hear back from them soon. I really would like to get this dragon. Has anyone else who ordered it had trouble receiving it?

    1. Thanks for the reply, I’d does make me feel better knowing you got yours easily. I have ordered other things from overseas, silks from Japan and India, and had no problem. But that was thru Etsy. When I emailed them in June,Timothy, who I guess runs the shop and newsletter sent me a photo of my kit package with a post mark being put in the mail, on the 8th of may. He said it could take 3 weeks to leave South Africa. So I know one was sent. I guess by now, having not received it, that it got lost. I emailed him back last week. And sent a query on their site yesterday. I hope to hear back from them soon.

  12. Hello,

    You may know if Roseworks is still working. I have tried to purchase a pattern for this dragon but get no reply from them.

    Many thanks

    1. I tried several times to order the dragon but never received a reply. I am sad. I really would like to do it. It is beautiful.

  13. Hello Mary,

    I am considering doing The Jade Dragon. Is the list of threads that you came up with available to print out or do they give you a list?

    Thx much, Missy Palmer

  14. I would dearly love to make it. Just gorgeous. Alas, have tried to order it twice, but never received a reply. Sad.

  15. I just completed the Jade Dragon on the cotton fabric. I’ve never used Raj Mahal silk thread before and I’m nervous to hand wash it but don’t dare to entrust it to the dry cleaners. I wanted to ask if anyone has had problems with colors running with hand washing. Any specific delicate washing solutions you recommend? Thank you in advance for any words of wisdom!

  16. Okay , confess , please.Where did you get the cute flower bead? I need one!
    I just ordered the Jade Dragon. It looks so neat especially all the threads in it.

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