Indie Interview with Sonia Lyne

11:35 PM

Another month has flown by. I've been so excited for this month's Indie Interview, which features the work of Sonia Lyne of Dandelyne. For new readers, this monthly Q & A session creates an opportunity for independent embroidery artists to connect, share stories of their creative ventures, and to promote their amazing art work.

I have been following Sonia on Instagram for several months and have enjoyed witnessing the excitement as her business begins to take off. Although Sonia hails from Melbourne, Victoria in Australia, her work has been a topic of admiration within my circle of local embroidery friends.

Teeny tiny, itty bitty wearable embroidery pieces. 


1. How long have you been doing embroidery and who taught you this skill?

My love for embroidery began when I was in Year 2 at Uranquinty Public school. It was a small school of approximately 70 children. On Friday afternoon the boys would head to the oval for “boy stuff” and the girls would head to the library for sewing classes with Mrs. Mulrooney. This makes me giggle now, but I do have the fondest memories of this time. We would learn and practice every stitch on a piece of gingham fabric. It was here that I learned that the back should always look as good as the front. Thinking about it now warms every inch of my body. After this time, I did little pieces here and there, but I really took it up again in July of 2011. It was like riding a bike and felt so right! I also used/use the fantastic videos of Mary Corbet’s Needle’n’Thread website which has comprehensive tips and techniques for anyone wanting to pick up a hoop. 

2. There are so many details about your pieces that make them stand out. In particular, the hoops that you display your pieces in are extremely unique. Can you elaborate more on these? 

My miniature hoops were born from my love of all things embroidered and all things miniature. It seemed almost silly not to put the two things together? I asked my husband if he would help make my little dream a reality, and this he did! We now have them laser cut especially, we order the screws and bolts from the U.K. and then spend our nights drilling, gluing and constructing them together. It is quite a process but definitely a labour of love. As a result I now create my designs in 2 sizes of hoops. The first is teeny tiny and measures 4cm/1.5” in diameter and the second measures a tiny 5.5cm/2.125”. You can choose to have it as a brooch or necklace. (SECRET: even smaller sizes to come!)

3. Tell me a little bit about the custom family portraits that you are selling in your shop. 

These are a big hit. It is the design most requested in either wall art or necklace form and I absolutely love doing them. They are a simple, fun representation of each person. They capture you, right now, in all your appliquéd/embroidered glory. They are very fun and something a little different. Dandelyne actually evolved from an embroidered/appliquéd family portrait that I designed and made in July, 2011. My husband and I wanted something a little different from your large, family photographic portrait. So I thought, I should stitch us up,(so to speak). I was so pleased with the result and Dandelyne began!

4. Do you have a studio or a particular room in your home where you prefer to stitch? If so, please describe the space. Are you a mobile stitcher that carriers a project around at all times? 

My space is a little, side area off our lounge-room. It opens out onto a balcony and has big windows that let lots of sunlight in. I am surrounded by lots of colour. I feel having a space that is a part of the house is terrific as it allows me to be with my 3 young boys. I can sew and still be a part of the action.It is in this space that I do all of my sewing. It really is a great space to be. My youngest, Austin, is 2 and loves his sleep thankfully, so I find it is the most convenient place to be. Being mobile with my work is not an option yet as his little fingers would love to play and pull it apart. “Sharp scissors” were two of the first words that he learned.

5. Do you have a favorite stitch?

Oh, great question. I do get really excited by every stitch but I would have to say chain stitch is probably my favourite. Oh so delicious! It can be small, big, broad, reversed, elongated, threaded, filled with a french knot … the possibilities are endless. YUMMY! Yes I think it is that good I could eat it!

6. What are your goals for your Etsy shop and your embroidery work?

I have so many dreams and goals for “Dandelyne”. As it is early days for all things Dandelyne I am extremely excited about the tangents that are possible. My head spins when I think about all the things I want to do and where I could end up. I honestly want to stitch up a storm. Etsy is such an amazing and supportive platform so I hope to be able to create big sales via this avenue. I would also love to reach brick and mortar stores around Australia. I am particularly interested in hitting rural country towns. I think these places are forgotten sometimes and I want to reach them. If I could hit international stores, yes siree, that would be rather nice too! I want to be everywhere I can possibly be or as much as my little hands can manage to sew. Other big goals include heading overseas and embroidering with women from other cultures, publishing a book and creating work for others through embroidery. I LOVE to dream BIG!

7. Where do you go or what do you do when you are in need of inspiration? (i.e.: A favorite spot outdoors, antique store, etc)? 

When I’m in need of inspiration I tend to seek out anything colourful, in any form. I love to peruse fabric shops and op shops, people watching is always fun. Simply slowing down and being in the moment is a good thing to do. It is in these times I find I can be surprised with inspiration. I also frequent various social media avenues, particularly Instagram. I absolutely love Instagram – it is a continual source of inspiration and it is also a wonderful supportive community to keep you motivated. I also love to enter book shops, take a seat on the floor and sift through the MANY books in the art/crafts section. 

8. Is there anything else that you would like to mention about your awesome embroidery art?

I simply hope that my designs bring as much happiness to everyone who comes across them, as I get making each and every one. I sew, create, embroider and appliqué because it lights my internal fire. I finally know exactly where I am supposed to be. It is the best feeling ever and I really hope I will be sitting in a very comfy nana chair in 50 years time sewing and smiling knowing I made MANY people happy with my designs. I dream of being a very cuddly nana.

How to connect with Sonia:

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  1. Gorgeous! You are a star Miss Dandelyne. So happy to know you. Instagam has led me to so many wonderful new friends.


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