Cross-stitch - part II

Finally, one dress is starting to come together. It took a while until we could get some sort of result, as it was required to try some colour combinations and patterns before actually starting with the real thing. I must say, it was not easy!

You might think that by picking out some matching colours, you would have a perfect dress, but it turns out that these colours do not translate on canvas exactly the way you first see them. I've realised that it takes a real expert to tell you if these colours will make a nice dress or not, and, which colour should dominate and which should be used in very small amounts.

What is so special about having a dress made by one of these Palestinian women is that you really feel that every stitch is made with ultimate sincerity and care. They are all mothers and housewives, gathering every early morning in this special place to work on different embroidered items. They are very underpaid (due to the difficult financial situation), and yet they put their sweat and tears into their work.

The woman working on my dress now is very kind-hearted. She has blue-green eyes, and a smile that never fades. She tries her best to create what I want, and her efforts are so tremendous. I feel very appreciative.

Now back to our progress...

After lengthy discussions about how the dress should be made, the woman in charge told my mother and I that she would call as soon as she had something ready. So, we waited.

Last week, she asked us to go visit. It's still in pieces and the embroidery is not quite done yet, but I can see where it's going now.


Stay with me for more progress in the parts to come.


I should say that if it was not for Leila El Khalidi's book entitled The Art of Palestinian Embroidery, I would not have known what I know now about Palestinian Embroidery. I highly recommend that you read it if you can. In the book, she researches embroidery and reflects on her own personal experience. Inevitably, politics also have their share. It is a very comprehensive book, containing many old pictures and illustrations of old dresses and folk appellations.

For those who don't know her, Leila El Khalidi is a very prominent woman in Palestinian society. She has worked in many establishments dedicated to Palestinian Folklore and is now working in the non-profit field in Amman.


  1. Quelle beauté, cette robe de mariée, une création à la fois traditionelle et originale !
    La broderie, c'est une oeuvre d'art, et ca fait plaisir.

    Je suis sure que le livre est intéressant.
    Moi aussi, je collectionne les livres sur la broderie.

    Passez une bonne soirée, Lina.

  2. Hello Lina,
    How pretty your dress is! I look forward to seeing it when it is finished!
    Olivia is very talented in embroiydery too! I am honored to have some work done by Olivia!
    I love the art of embroiydery, unfortunately I do not know how to do it, though my mom did. she use to do tablecloths and pillow cases with my great aunt.
    The women from your area sound a lot like my mom even though my mom was from Italy she did it all by hand and just had a knack for everything from cooking, sewing, to gardening and raising us kids.
    Wishing you a wonderful day!

  3. Peace be upon you
    We invite you to reform our campaign for the generation of liberation.
    (Campaign, campaign actions not just words)

    We hope you put the logo of the campaign in the Code

    And interaction with the campaign

    God and benefit us and you to Islam and Muslims

  4. Bonjour Olivia,

    Merci beaucoup. Je suis tres contente d'avoir ce resultat. C'est vraiment une oeuvre sans doute. J'adore ca!

    Oui, le livre est tres interessant et en plus c'est facile a lire..

    Les mots de Lydia me rendent impatiente de voir votre broderie!

    Passez une bonne journee!

  5. Hi Lydia,

    Thank you very much. It really is pretty right? I try my best to collect these things, eventhough they are not worn often anymore but I think they're beautiful.

    I look forward to seeing Olivia's work, your words certainly make me want to!

    You know, Italians are very close in nature to arabs. They are warm and caring, even interests are similar. What great efforts our mothers make!

    I will keep you posted with the dress.

    Have a great day!

  6. Bonjour Lina,

    vous pouvez "admirer" ma broderie pour Lydia sur son blog "The Simple Vegan", article du 1er Octobre 2009.

    J'avais brodé un torchon avec le nom "Lydia" et des papillons pour son anniversaire.

    Passez une très belle journée.