Talk about happy accidents: Seven years ago, Jeannine Lalonde Smith got the notion to learn how to make curtains. She didn’t expect it would go beyond that.
“I never thought of myself as especially crafty,” she says, “but this untapped creative side of me came roaring out when I looked at a combination sewing and embroidery machine!”
She started researching techniques and was drawn to heirloom designs (characterized by their similarity to hand-stitching). Eventually, wedding industry friends caught on to her new hobby and asked her to help with details for photo shoots and weddings. “Then, through the magic of Instagram, I connected with other creatives in the area,” Smith says. Her hobby had blossomed into a business. She named it Beloved Thread.
She’s stitched table linens, robes, pajamas, handkerchiefs, tote bags, and ribbons, but one of Smith’s favorite projects is monogramming wedding gown labels.
“I embroider a small piece of silk or satin with the bride’s monogram and date in blue thread,” she says. “The label can be sewn into the wedding gown as a ‘something blue’ and removed later as a keepsake or left in as a reminder if the dress is passed down in the family.”
The design process starts from scratch with every couple, and Smith says part of the joy for her is hunting down the perfect color to match a wedding palette or creating a handful of mockups to get the design just right.
“Most of the items I embroider for weddings are going to have a life after the big day, so I love thinking that my stitches will remind newlyweds of their happy day in the future,” Smith says.