Mirror work, also known as Sheesha work is a beautiful surface embellishment technique for fabric in which small mirrors in different shapes and sizes are affixed on fabric and embroidery work is done around the mirror. The shimmer of the mirrors ( or the thin metal discs used instead) can give a beautiful luxurious look to the fabric and things made with them.
If you are wondering what to make with the fabric you have embellished with mirrors, that is only limited to your imagination – bags, purses, skirts, cushion covers, curtains, even shoes can look beautiful with mirror work embroidery.
Mirror work embroidery designs
1 Mirror anchoring stitch
The mirror anchoring stitch, used to attach the mirror to fabric, itself can be a fancy embroidery design around your plain little mirror.
How to do this – You will have to keep the mirror secure on the fabric with some stitches – 4 straight stitches made along the 4 sides – this is the foundation. Now make more (2 ) stitches across the corners of the first four stitches to make the mirror more secure.
One thing you have to ensure is that the stitches you make do not end up along the edges – you will have to start from almost the middle of the mirror for the straight stitches to secure the mirror- otherwise, the stitches will slip from the edges of the mirror. Do not worry if the stitches look ugly along the face of the mirror. Further stitches you make will keep them away from the mirror surface.
Now inserting the needle under the stitches you have made, start making blanket stitches. These stitches will be done over/around the framing stitches you have made, along the edge of the mirror ( as you make the stitches the mirror surface should clear and in the end there will be no thread on the face of the mirror except along the edge- You will be making the blanket stitches over the framing stitches)
Alternatively, you can simply use a store-bought mirror frame over the mirror and proceed with decorative stitches around it. You can learn more about this and also how to make a simple standalone frame for the mirror here in the post – 9 ways to attach mirror on to fabric.
2 With Basque stitch
Start making a frame for the mirror.
Mark a circle around the mirror, so that a uniform stitching can be done around the mirror.
You can alternatively use a ready-made frame for the mirror as well. Make the decorative basque stitch around the mirror along the mark you have made.
3 With fly stitch
Simple fly stitch made around your mirror is one of the simplest ways that you can embroider around a mirror. Learn how to do fly stitch here
4 With lazy daisy stitch
Here, I have made a thread frame for the mirror. Mark a circle around your mirror and then do lazy daisy stitches along this circle. After the flower stitch is done, attach the mirror with glue and keep the frame on top and stitch in place with small stitches made with the same colored thread.
If you do not know how to do a lazy daisy stitch check it out here
5 Threaded running stitch
To make this mirror work design, make running stitches around the mirror. Thread embroidery thread through these circles to look like flower petals.
6 Blanket stitch
To make this mirror work embroidery design, first anchor the mirror with straight stitches across the mirror as done earlier.
Then make blanket stitches around the mirror- this one is slightly different – you will be bringing the needle under the anchoring stitches and taking up some fabric around the mirror with the needle – continue making blanket stitches this way and you will have a simple frame of blanket stitch around the mirror.
Make more layers of blanket stitches if you want a bigger mirror work design.
7 Woven frame
Make straight stitches around the mirror. Weave thread through these straight stitches, with under over motion. Use the back of the needle to weave so that it is easy.
8 Pointed petal frame
9 Pistil stitch frame
Beautiful pistil stitches are made around the mirror. Check out the post on pistil stitch to learn how to do it. Basically, it is a french knot done with a leg.
10 Beading stitches
If you cannot be bothered to do any of these, simply attach the mirror with a ready-made frame and stitch beads around. Easy mirror work embroidery design