Guide Review of the Vintage Birdcage Embroidery Kit by Dimensions
The kit consists of a pre-printed fabric square with a beautiful bird in a cage against a backdrop of faded vintage lettering. Elements of the design are over-stitched with embroidery floss in basic embroidery stitches, and the kit looks easy enough for even a beginner to complete with success.
I thought this piece would make a nice framed piece for my future granddaughter's room. Our two daughters and their hubbies are both expecting at the same time - one a boy and the other a girl - so my time to stitch for their nurseries is limited to say the least. I thought this kit might be the perfect solution to our tight time frame.
At first glance, everything looked great in this $14 embroidery kit. The kit was complete and included the preprinted fabric, embroidery floss and a needle. Basic instructions in English, French and Spanish, and stitch diagrams were also included.
But upon inspection I noticed an issue. It's one of my pet peeves, so I really need to mention this. The printing on the fabric is not on grain. This can be a real issue when it comes to finishing or framing the piece.
My past experience with kits has not been good, so I was leery about the thread. I tend to swap out the embroidery floss that comes with most kits, as it is usually of inferior quality. However, replacing the thread that came with the kit would defeat the purpose of this exercise. Since the off-grain fabric and the floss is something that others may not notice, I decided to go ahead and stitch the kit with the included floss to see how it would perform.
Working the Embroidery
However, the areas where chain stitch is worked are shown as a chained line on the diagram, but are printed as double lines on the printed fabric base. My first thought was, "Do I work two lines of chain stitch, or one, right up the middle?" The stitching was difficult to see in the color photo featured on the packaging material, but appeared to be a single line of chain stitch, so I went with it and it filled the gap between the two lines nicely.
The stitching for the project uses some really thick thread bundles, which can make the chain stitch seem not much different from the stem stitching when viewed from a distance. You can see my progress on the project below. Notice that the bottom left corner remains unstitched so you can see the difference between the stitched and unstitched areas.
The project worked up quickly and looks nice but I can't help but wish there were suggested options for the bird itself. I'm thinking of working the bird in bright blue using a stem stith filling to give the design a pop of color.
Overall, I feel the project was easy enough for a beginner to stitch, and is a good first-time stitching project. Here are my Pros and Cons:
• Pretty and timely subject matter
• Project works up quickly
• Inked lines were clear, with no smudges or errors
• All materials, with the exception of scissors and embroidery hoop, were included in the kit
• The amount of thread supplied was more than adequate to complete the project
• Beginning stitchers have the opportunity to learn four different stitches
• At a price point of around $14 USD, the kit is a good value
• Fabric was cut slightly off-grain, and the printing was off-grain as well
• The project has a strange odor that became stronger during handling or when dampened when ironing out the fold creases
• Instructions for the satin stitched areas should have been more detailed
• Lines for working the chain stitch was somewhat confusing
• The un-stitched bird in the cage looks awkward and almost greenish-gray compared to the charcoal floss used for the stitching lines
• Short lengths of thread needed to be used to avoid fuzzing due to the large number of strands used on the rough, natural osnaburg type of fabric
• Directions for an optional pop of color would have been nice.