Have Courage and Be Kind Embroidery Pattern
“I love sewing. Sewing’s my favorite!” Channeling my inner Buddy the Elf, I feel about sewing and embroidery how he feels about Christmas. A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram a photo of an embroidery patch on which I was working. Having been so consumed with learning new skills and projects, I’ve neglected my favorite “gateway” craft! This “Have Courage and Be Kind” embroidery pattern is a simple design that can be printed and ironed-onto fabric or traced and sewn.
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If you’ve been following my blog for long or have browsed my fan art Pinterest board, you may have noticed that I love Cinderella. The Disney cartoon growing up was so full of visual style, sweet music, one of my favorite pastimes (sewing) and a young woman who, even though abused and ostracized, continued to be kind, brave, and have dreams of her own.
Reading every book available in the local library to me, my mother definitely read the original Perrault and Grimm versions when I was young. Both of which I also quite enjoyed (being a huntress means blood and gore didn’t bother me from a young age).
With all of this love of lore woven into my childhood, you can imagine my excitement when one of my Downton Abbey favorite actresses and Game of Thrones heart throb came together in the recent live-action adaptation.
Being in my first trimester of my second pregnancy around the time Cinderella came to theaters, my husband and I couldn’t go see it. The smells of the theater would have meant constant vomiting during the showing, which would have spoiled everything!
We waited until it came out in rental form, and both thoroughly enjoyed it. After debuting in theaters, I read sparing reviews to keep myself from being too sad about having to wait to see it, but that wouldn’t spoil it for me. You can imagine my frustration when the first few articles I dared read, did little but lament and bad-mouth Lily James’ tiny waistline.
As someone who’s had an incredibly small waist most of her life, thanks to a naturally willowy frame and participation in intensive sports as a young adult, I rolled my eyes and decided to make judgments myself when the time came.
Cinderella is now one of my all-time favorite movies! The visual aesthetics are exactly as beautiful as I wanted them to be, the performances were stellar, it wasn’t a musical (and the one “Lavender’s Blue” lullaby is a precious addition to our family’s repertoire), and the updated content made this my favorite live-action Disney re-telling to date.
“Have Courage and Be kind” is a mantra Cinderella uses to soothe herself in times of trial or angst, as it is something taught to her by her mother. This idea of making the best of what you have, pushing through tough times, while still dreaming of better things to come is such a wonderful message.
Choosing to be kind in the face of evil and horrible things done to you takes some inner strength I would venture most people do not possess.
It is easy in an abusive situation (which is most certainly Cinderella’s case) to turn hard, cold, and inflict your pain on others, but in choosing to remain kind, Cinderella moves through the film as a teacher and spirit of goodness who helps guide other characters through decisions and difficulties, acting as almost a fairy godmother to everyone around her.
The actual Fairy Godmother, played by the lovely Helena Bonham Carter, is a whimsical, slightly ditzy, goofy version of the matriarchal character in the animated film.
As far as Cinderella’s waistline? Lily James has a naturally slim figure, and as someone who’s worn many a corset through theater classes, medieval cosplay, and renaissance faires—-they make everyone’s waist tiny! The broad shoulders and extremely voluminous skirt of Cinderella’s ball gown also add to the optical illusion of a thinner waist, so let’s stop commenting on female characters’ body types, and start paying attention to what they are actually saying!
Cinderella is an incredibly strong character who perfectly embodies one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quotes:
Inspired by my favorite character and her mantra that I’ve used many times myself, I made a cute, little embroidery pattern for making into hoop art or a patch for a child’s backpack, hat, or sewing bag.
The Free Patterns (both mirrored for iron-on transfer and non-mirrored for tracing) can be found in my “Subscriber’s Goodies” FREE library. You’ll receive an email containing a special password for gaining free access to the download library. I won’t spam you! One email per week, just to let you know what’s happening around the Nest!
There are a few ways to transfer these patterns to your fabric: iron-on appliqué (mirrored), tracing, or tissue paper pattern.
I personally used the iron-on style in my sample photos. This way also allows you to only embroider the parts you feel comfortable sewing. The spool of thread is a hand-painted watercolor design that you may want to leave like it is, only sewing along the letters, but it is up to you.
To make the design iron-on, follow the printer setting guidelines on your transfer instruction sheet, download and print the mirrored image on your sheet, let the ink dry, then iron your design onto your desired fabric—-again, according to your transfer sheet instructions.
Once it is cooled, place your fabric in an embroidery hoop and fetch your needle and thread!
I used a back-stitch for the letters, then filler stitches for the spool components. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know in the comments if you have any other phrases or designs you’d like to see 😁
Have courage and be kind friends,