Sunday, May 8, 2022

Weekend Review: 3 Cross Stitch Collections


Today's review is a brief one, even if it does cover 3 different books. These are ebooks that I purchased from BoutiqueHobby on Etsy, a store based in Ukraine that sells primarily older ebooks like this. They are very affordable, and a great way to support Ukrainian sellers directly. If you're not into cross-stitch, you can also find many older sewing and fibre arts books in her store as well! 

But now for a quick survey of these three titles. I bought them all and have enjoyed looking through them, even though I don't do cross stitch myself. (yet, anyhow). I am thinking of printing a couple of the borders and using them in my bullet journal though! ;) 

Each book is a collection of various charted patterns, not much commentary or text in any of the books. They are pattern books that share a variety of the styles of charted embroidery from across the different regional styles of Ukraine, even if they aren't always notated with that information. You can see the different geometric and floral styles on the covers, and the various colour schemes as well. 

250 Ukrainian Ornaments is the one with the largest, clearest charts, and some of them even include thread guides with DMC & Anchor equivalencies. There are many full page charts and lots of options for design choices for home decor or clothing. It's 144 pages, and has a mix of traditional and some more modern designs as well. Here's an small example of part of one I really loved.

Ukrainian Vyshyvanka is what it states: a collection of designs for shirts. This means that the designs include collar and cuff sized charts alongside the ones for the front of a top, or they may have a set of small motifs that are often placed singly on sleeves as well. 

I liked how this collection has variety - from quite simple geometrics to elaborate all over designs and busy florals, there is a lot to choose from. Many of them also include thread guides. This book also includes a few small inset photos alongside some of the charts so that you can see how the pattern looks when it is made up. This is quite helpful, and it shows both women's and men's shirts. For example:

There are even some suggestions for non-traditional clothing to embroider on - one example is a longer dress, another is a halter top and high-waisted skirt. I think that it's interesting to see these more traditional motifs used in new and current ways, as well as for the traditional vyshyvanka. 

And the final title in the trio, 3000 Ukrainian Old Patterns for Cross Stitching, also gives you a wide variety of choice in its charts and designs. This one is a bit less glossy; it's more like someone's scrapbook of patterns, in a way. There are different levels of clarity to the images and some are clearly from magazines, with a real variety of styles and colours in particular. There are some more unusual designs here due to the vast number of small motifs and borders included. Although it's more of a hodge-podge of design, I enjoyed looking through it and seeing the patterns that were in circulation in the past. This magazine image has a chart behind the image of a girl wearing a blouse with the motifs on it; you'd have to be an accomplished stitcher to figure out all of the chart and get the results, I think! (you can see a lot more of the chart in the book) 

It was fun to note some more unusual popular designs that aren't traditional but were included as things found in use at some point - there was a full page horse head medallion (?) and my favourite, a little row of cats that was tucked onto the edge of one page.

If you are into cross stitch or even just into looking at these kind of cool charted designs for other purposes, I recommend picking up these books. They are useful, full of great images, and you'll be directly supporting a Ukrainian crafter. Win win! And, as I mentioned earlier, this shop also has a bunch of historical Victorian, Edwardian and even 30s/40s sewing books, as well as a collection of macrame, tatting, drawn work and other fibre arts books. Lots to explore.


  1. This looks a really lovely book. In the 1980's I did a great deal of cross stitch. What I really like about these designs are the very colourful, symmetrical, repeating patterns, plus the floral designs. I could certainly do this now.
    .... Sara

    1. I've never really done cross-stitch before, preferring freestyle embroidery. But these books are tempting me to learn how to cross-stitch so I can try some of these designs.


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