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My friend loves marine animals, so for her birthday I made her a circle skirt and embroidered a few aquatic critters on it.

After I made the skirt, I drew the animals straight onto the fabric with a #2 pencil (very lightly). I used basic embroidery thread--just two strands at a time--and almost exclusively used a backstitch. I also used a cross-stitch for the starfish's bumps and a satin stitch for the jellyfish's lines.

I kept it simple to add just a subtle flare to her outfit, and so it wouldn't be uncomfortable to sit down in!
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