A Sweeney Todd Embroidery Pattern and How to do a Wagon Wheel Rose

Pastel Halloween embroidery pattern and how to do wagon wheel rose stitch embroidery

With Autumn and Halloween approaching, my brain is absolutely tending toward the Gothic these days! Never one to shy from dark humor, I've had the idea to make a Sweeney Todd themed embroidery pattern for ages, but have just sat down to stitch it out!

Along with Sleepy Hollow, The Addams Family, and Practical Magic --Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is one of my favorite creepy films to watch around this time of year. A Gothic Victorian penny dreadful tale of a barber who uses his talents to secure sinister ingredients for the meat pie emporium below his shop, the Sondheim musical brought to life by Tim Burton is a visually beautiful and musically intelligent film.

Where as most of the musical numbers are equally horrific and hilarious--there is one number that is sugary sweet--set to a most tense scene of almost-murder. "Pretty Women" illuminates the beginnings of the story, I won't spoil it for those who have yet to see the movie, but suffice to say tries to highlight both the perceived fragilities of women by the two men singing it--and also the intoxicating pull of love, desire, and fuel for vengeance that drives the tale.

Pastel Halloween embroidery pattern and how to do wagon wheel rose stitch embroidery
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Almost ironic in this reverie about all the things a woman is to these men, is the fact that the most intelligent, most cunning, and most steely character of the story is, in fact, a woman--I wanted to create a portrait of this character and representation for all women who may be sweet, beautiful, and the apple of their partner's eye--but who are also cut-throat in their resolve.

I like things to be pretty and carnal.

Blood and roses.

Sweet and vengeful.

Dark and twisty with a wisp of a giggle.

The duality of a woman--in my experience--runs far deeper than the duality of man.

Perhaps in actuality it doesn't--but it's certainly far less expected in our culture. This is what I wanted to illustrate in this pattern. I like female characters who seem to be a rose--beautiful, sweet, a pleasure to behold, healing and nurturing in many ways--only to reveal her sharp thorns when someone tries to pluck her.

You can download this new pattern from my 5-star rated shop here and the video tutorial for the wagon wheel rose that features heavily in the pattern on my YouTube channel here

If you're a total beginner with embroidery, this is actually a great pattern with which to start! Leaf stitches, stem stitches, and wagon wheel roses are the only stitches you need. Honestly, the hardest part of this pattern is sewing with metallic thread! 

Keeping your stitches longer and a little loose (not to mention stitching very slowly) is the secret to working with that--plus you could always use grey cotton thread, but I just really liked the sparkle and shine of the metallic thread on the razor.

The other supplies you'll need will be DMC thread (you can find the colors specific to the pattern on Amazon), an embroidery hoop, your choice of fabric, and a small sewing kit! I, personally, love magnetic needle minders for needlework too, since I have kids and have to put down my project a million times 😂 You can find those in my shop as well.

Victorian Gothic Embroidery Pattern and wagon rose wheel stitch tutorial

I love wagon wheel roses! They use a good amount of thread, but look so pretty and dimensional in the finished projects.

What are you stitching for Halloween? I'll have a new free pattern in my next post, so make sure to subscribe to my newsletter to be notified when it's out!

Happy stitching,


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