Noreen has designed these darling little Celtic Interlace
Mermaid dolls for you to embroider, using Caron Collection hand
dyed threads. Noreen has used punch needle embroidery to work
the Mermaids, but satin stitch would also work if you prefer.
There are two sizes of dolls. The more intricate one is approximately
6 inches tall. The smaller, simpler doll is approximately 4 inches
1] Punch needle embroidery is worked from the back of the
piece. The loops, which are the surface of the right side, are
left by the needle on the side that is away from you as you embroider.
2] The thread passes through the needle, and leaves a line
of embroidery behind it, rather like footprints in the snow.
3] If the thread seems to be catching in the needle (it doesn't
leave a stitch) then pull the needle out of the fabric, holding
the last stitch in place, and tug on the thread that is in the
needle. It should flow easily through the needle. If there is
a blockage, check for knots or frayed segments. Snip them out
4] If the embroidery looks thin patchy or skimpy (it should
look as dense as terry toweling), then work another row in the
5] If you are not pleased with a color, just pull it out from
the wrong side. The thread will unravel, and can often be used
6] The needle shouldn't break the threads of the fabric. The
thread is held in place by being pushed between the warp and
weft of the fabric.
7] The fabric must be stretched in the hoop as tight as a
drum. This means that stretch fabrics are never appropriate for
8] If there are long loops or thread ends left on the right
side of the embroidery, snip them flush with the surface.
9] If the fabric is visible through the embroidery on the
turned edges of the finished doll, take a gel pen in a matching
color, and color in the white bits to match the embroidery.
10] If the outline of the face seems out of line or a little
wonky, take the tip of the needle and re-arrange the loops to
make the loops move into the lines that they are meant to be
in. If they are really reluctant to go where you want them to,
you can snip a single loop out.
11] Outlines are always worked before filling in areas of
The Watercolours Thread is separated into 3 single strands
for all 3 of the dolls. To do this easily and without tangles:
1] Untie the skein. You are first going to wind the thread
into a ball. I do this sitting in a wooden rocking chair so that
I can slip the loops of the thread over the right hand arm of
the chair. The other end of the skein goes over my left hand.
Then, I wind a ball
with my right hand. I hold the ball with my left thumb and forefinger
while I wind the thread onto it with my right hand.
2] Now: Pull one strand out of the end of the 3 strands with
your right hand, and allow the other 2 strands to bunch up in
your left hand. It will get hard to pull out the single strand,
so stroke the bunched up strands down toward the ball, releasing
more of the
single strand. Continue until the single strand is completely
released. Wind it onto a floss bobbin. Wind the double strand
onto a floss bobbin and repeat the separating process.
1] Trace doll pattern with a transfer pen or pencil.
2] Iron the doll pattern 2 times onto fabric. (Once for the
front and once for the back). Be sure to leave at least 1/4"
around each piece for the seam allowance, and a couple of inches
around the outside of the doll to allow for the embroidery hoop.
The arms are worked as a single unit, in skin tone, with the
smallest needle set to depth #3.
3] Stretch the fabric in the embroidery hoop, pulling it tight
as a drum.
4] With the medium needle set at depth #4 thread the AT6 Antica
thread into the needle, and work the outline of the face and
the chin line.
5] Outline the heart in AT5 Cedar Green and the Celtic interlace
on the body with AT8 Copper.
6] Normally, rows of embroidery are worked very close together.
The exception to this will be the filling in the Celtic Interlaces.
Set the needle depth to #3, and work only one row of filling
with the Gold in the body knots, and the terra cotta in the heart
7] Change to smallest needle, and set needle to depth #3.
Fill in face and shoulders with skin tone, and body with appropriate
8] Work back of head in hair color.
9] For loops around face, set needle depth to #12. Work 2
rows of long loops around face, imagining that you were working
from the tip of one ear to the tip of the other, with hair color.
10] Small mermaid: When filling in the body color: Work the
rows of embroidery in each diamond so that the rows are perpendicular
to the rows of embroidery in the diamonds that are adjacent to
11] Cut out mermaid, leaving 1/4" seam allowance around
each piece, and 3/4" at the short ends of the arms. Clip
12] Fold the seam allowance in along the long edges of the
arms, and with the wrong sides together, stitch the edges together
by hand, using invisible thread, and making the seam as inconspicuous
13] Pin seam allowances to wrong sides, and holding the wrong
sides together, starting at the tail, sew the doll together.
When you reach the underarm area, insert the arm into the shoulder,
and sew firmly in place. Sew around the doll's shoulder and head,
and insert other end of arms into second shoulder. Just before
the front and back are sewn totally together, stuff the doll.
Sew remaining seam shut.
14] If you wish to sew on beads for eyes, do so, firmly.
15] Rub a little blush onto her cheeks.
16] Finishing the hair: Wrap thread around 2 fingers 10 times.
Sew the loops to the edge of the doll's face with invisible thread.
Repeat on the other side. When using the Antica thread for hair,
it tends to kink up on itself, so you may need to thread a needle
with some more and randomly add loops around face.
17] Put a seashell or other treasure in her arms.