Hand embroidery – gardens and nature in stumpwork with Fleur Oakes

Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Ref: SWE11465

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About this course

Explore how to adapt traditional techniques to contemporary stumpwork. Learn the basic stitches for needlelace and some three-dimensional embroidery, to create leaves, flowers and insects for a raised garden or countryside design.

Course Description

Gain an introduction to stumpwork or three-dimensional embroidery, and discover techniques on how to adapt it to contemporary practice.

You will learn the basic hand stitching techniques of needlelace and some three-dimensional embroidery stitches. This will include looking at how to make leaves, flowers, insects and even buildings for a raised garden or countryside design. As you gain confidence, Fleur will give advice on artistic interpretation, using colour and how to structure and plan projects.

A personal approach is always encouraged, so you should bring your own inspiration material to base your embroidery on (photographs and magazines are suitable). You are invited to bring your own choices of fabric to use (plain or neutral cotton or linen is recommended).


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Bring some research/images on a garden theme you wish to explore during the course.
  • Basic embroidery kit: pins, needles, embroidery scissors, tweezers, embroidery hoop, etc.
  • Your research/inspirational material
  • A range of hand embroidery threads
  • Plain fabric scraps for embroidery practice
  • Fabric for finished piece if required
  • Reading glasses, if worn

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Hand sewing needles
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Fleur Oakes

Fleur has worked in the fashion and textiles industry for twenty five years and is now a practicing textiles artist. With both a fine art and design background she has designed textiles for couture houses as well as producing her own corset range. Her current work is concerned with raised embroidery and is shown regularly at the Knit and Stitch Show. She also has work in the permanent collection of the V&A. She is a member of the Art Workers' Guild which was established in 1882 and is the home of the Art and Crafts movement.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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