Join BUST’s Online Stitchalong and Learn to Make this Easy, Broad City-Inspired Sampler! #buststitchalong

by Debbie Stoller

To celebrate the release of Julie Jackson’s updated tome, Subversive Cross Stitch: 50 F*cking Clever Designs for Your Sassy Side, we’re going to be running a “stitchalong” here on And Julie’s even designed a special pattern just for us. Cool, right?

If you’ve never heard of a stitchalong, don’t worry. Basically we will all be working on this sampler at the same time, and can share progress shots and ask questions (and have them answered) on the site. And since I’m the HSIC (Head Stitcher in Charge) here at BUST, I’ll be leading this thang.

You DO NOT need to already know how to do cross stitch to join this stitchalong. Imma teach you all that. Besides, it’s really simple; I used to do this when I was a kid.

Julie Jackson has been one of our favorite stitchers for a long time now. By taking this old-fashioned technique, and even some old-fashioned designs, but adding in updated sayings, her designs balance precariously on that line between awful and awesome. There are no “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” kinds of sayings. Instead, Julie’s samplers sport sayings like “Fuck the Dumb Shit,” “Irony is Not Dead,” and “Homo Sweet Homo.” They’ve been crowd pleasers for a long time, and we even sell her stitching kits on the BUST Boobtique.


For this stitchalong, however, we’ll be working on the above sampler, inspired by Ilana from Broad City’s problem with “FOMO,” or “fear of missing out,” which leads to the girls frantically hopping from party to party to make sure they aren’t missing something better. We say no mo to that! Stay home, do some cross stitch, and you’ll have no mo FOMO.




If you want to stitchalong, you have a week to get your materials. They are easy to find at most craft stores or online, and Julie has even put together a special kit with all the materials you need for this project n her site, which you can order for a measly $5.

But if you want to get the stuff yourself, here’s what you’ll need. Don’t let this list scare you; I’m going to explain all of it right below.

  • 10″ x 14″ piece of 14-count Aida cloth
  • Size 24 tapestry needle
  • Red, Blue, Brown, Tan, and Black embroidery floss (DMC 310, 817, 518, 738, & 801)
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Embroidery hoop

14-count AIDA cloth. What the hell’s Aida, you say? No, it’s not a shitty musical starring Madonna. Instead, it’s just cloth that is woven in such a way that you can see the little holes at the places where the warp and weft intersect. And it’s made just for cross stitching projects. 

Here’s an actual-size picture of what AIDA cloth looks like. Do you see the little holes?


Okay, I don’t blame you if you didn’t see them. But what if I blow up a small bit of it. Now do you see the holes? 


Okay, just in case you still don’t see ’em, I’ve colored a bunch of them in here. I know for sure you’re seeing them now. 


The holes are very important: that’s where you’re going to be sticking your needle into and out of (that’s what she said) to make those cute little cross stitches. And that’s also why you need to do this project with that special Aida cloth and not some old jeans or a t-shirt or something else you were thinking of. You need the holes. We all do.

14-count Aida just means that there are 14 holes per inch. You can get Aida cloth that has more space between the holes (10-count Aida) and ones that have them tinier and closer together (18-Count). We’ll be using 14 count because that’s a really great middle size to do this on.

You’ll need a piece around 10″ x 14″.

Next, you need some needles. Size 24 tapestry needles are what Julie recommends in her book, but you could use any old needle, as long as it has a BLUNT and not SHARP point at the end. You’re going to want to be sticking that needle into those holes, and if the end is sharp it’s really likely to stab into the fabric instead.

There’s only one other necessary item: Some embroidery floss. That stuff is sold in tiny little skeins that usually cost less than 50 cents each, and you’ll only need five different colors: Black, brown, tan, red, and blue. If you want to use the exact ones you see here, you can get 1 skein each of the following DMC colors: 310, 817, 518, 738, 801.

Finally, not necessary but fun is to have an embroidery hoop. It should be no larger than 8″ in diameter, smaller is fine, too. 

And of course, a pair of scissors, unless you’re into cutting thread with your teeth (I’ve been there).

I bought enough supplies to make a buttload (8!) of these, including embroidery hoops, for less than $30. You can probably get what you need for less than $10, or just grab Julie’s kit.

Next Tuesday I’ll be showing you how to do the actual stitches, so go get your supplies and I’ll meet you back here next week. Let me know in the comments below if you’re planning to stitch along with us. Also, please any questions you might have in the comments; I’ll be monitoring them and answering what I can. If you’ve got your supplies, feel free to share them on Insta, and tag them with #buststitchalong. 

Now, where my stitches at?

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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