Amazing lacelike embroidery – with just a backstitch! (how-to video)

Inside the artful world of Japanese master artist Reiko Mori, embroidery embodies charm, grace, and true elegance. There’s one motif in particular that we’ve been swooning over from her book Elegant Embroidery—Ms. Mori’s Little Black Dress (LBD for short):

Little Black Dress embroidery
From the Black collection of embroidery designs in
Elegant Embroidery

That DRESS!!! How does she embroider with such detail?

The lacelike embroidery on the skirt seems intricate, but you won’t believe how easy it is to stitch. How do we know? Because we have the video to prove it! The publisher of Stitch Publications, Priscilla Knoble—who, among many other things, translates books from Japanese into English for Reiko Mori and Yoko Saito—recently visited Japan. During her visit she captured Ms. Mori’s assistant embroidering the lace on the dress motif. It’s a winding, wandering backstitch, but when you watch the video, you’ll see why Reiko Mori calls the stitching “squiggles”!


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In Elegant Embroidery, more than 40 embroidery motifs are grouped into enchanting vignettes that you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

Favorite Things vignette
Favorite Things vignette

Eleven start-to-finish projects include totes, fabric-covered boxes, and more.

Embroidered Snowflake Boxes
Snowflake Boxes

Learn 16 embroidery stitches step by step and feature them in designs for holidays, seasons, and everyday occasions. Themed chapters include flower, marine, and Christmas collections, as well as an assortment of Ms. Mori’s signature black-on-linen designs.

Pocket Board embroidery
Pocket Board with climbing roses

Chamomile Tote Bag
Chamomile Tote Bag—look at those pudgy bees!

Hollyhocks Pouch
Hollyhocks Pouch, made up of buttonhole stitches and French knots

Click on a cover to take a closer look at books from Reiko Mori:

Elegant Embroidery Floral Motifs to Embroider

What’s your level of embroidery expertise?

  • I’m an embroidery expert.
  • I love embroidery, and I’m still learning.
  • I want to learn how—now!

Tell us in the comments!


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