Charisma by Susan O’Connor

14th July 2023

charisma /kəˈrɪzmə/ noun: a special charm or appeal that causes people to feel attracted and excited by someone.

It’s not often that you think of an inanimate object having charisma. After all, charisma is typically a magnetic quality that embodies a certain energy or a way of being that is generated by the way one conducts themself.

Well ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to propose to you that these same qualities can not only exist within an embroidery project, but we’re also going to introduce you to that very piece.

Charisma is a stunning silk evening bag adorned with fruits and flowers in the most vibrant of threads.

One of the first things you notice about Charisma is that is has presence. Put it anywhere in a room and it’s hard to ignore. It is bold, confident and striking.

The black silk dupion is the perfect ground fabric to set the scene. After all, this has all the hallmark characteristics of a sophisticated evening bag with a classic metallic purse frame, a sleek shoulder strap, stately brass feet and a refined silhouette that hides its generous proportions. Don’t worry, it’s small enough to blend in with ease, yet large enough to carry all the essentials – including a mobile phone.

Then there is the embroidery. The finest of detail has been captured in each of the design elements thanks to Au Ver à Soie, soie d’Alger stranded silk threads and the exquisite shading that gives each petal and each leaf a rich, deep, dimensional quality.

And now for the Charisma.

By choosing fantasy flora as the motifs and working from a vivacious colour palette, you end up with a riot of excitement bursting forth. It’s present, but not in your face. It’s bright and engaging, but not over the top. It draws you in.

Note how the golden double split stitch outline helps to dial the stark contrast between the background and the flowers back a little and provides uniformity to the stitching. Look closer and you’ll observe the lines on the interior elements are restricted to single lines of outline stitching with the double lines reserved for the outside perimeters, all of which adds further perspective.

For a final act of charisma that no-one saw coming… turn the bag around to reveal the back and behold – dots!

Instead of repeating the design or carrying forward the same style onto the reverse panel, Charisma gives you a cheeky little smirk with a flirty wink and says, ‘whatever mood you’re in, floral or dotty, I’m ready.’

Personality, beauty, sophistication and yes, charisma in spades. It’s the complete package.

Ready-to-Stitch kits for this project, complete with the purse frame and brass feet as pictured, are available and considering it also includes over 50 different Au Ver à Soie, soie d’Alger threads, it represents amazing value for money.

Instructions appear in the book in which it is featured, A Passion for Needlework 4 | The Whitehouse Daylesford. Many people purchase this book for the project Charisma alone, it’s that good!

Finally, Susan O’Connor, take a bow. C’est magnifique.

Make Your Own Charisma

Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Charisma by Susan O’Connor is a silk evening bag with fruits and flowers in glorious colours.

Printed Books

A Passion for Needlework 4 | The Whitehouse Daylesford

Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Charisma includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful evening bag: Fabrics (unprinted), interfacing, interlining, purse frame, bag feet, sewing thread, embroidery threads and needle.


Charisma – APFN4 Kit

*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the book.

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