Threading Her Needle for Citizens of Humanity x FP

Embroidery is nothing new to Jenny Hart; in fact, she’s one of the forerunners of using needle and thread (and hair) in modern art. Meet her here.

Zodiac sign:


Do you remember your first embroidery? Describe it to us?

I didn’t begin embroidering until the summer of 2000, so I remember it really well! It was a portrait of my mother. I knew that I wanted to apply traditional, American hobby embroidery to portraiture, which was a non-traditional approach, so I started with her. It was definitely a learning experience, but it’s how I learned that I was instantly obsessed with embroidering.

Does embroidery run in the family? 

One of the reasons I became so interested in embroidery was the realization that my mother and my grandmothers all knew a little bit of how to do it all: sew, knit, embroider…but I didn’t. I was the first generation of women in my family that wasn’t raised as though there were going to be “essential domestic skills”. So, at a time when i we began re-embracing them.

Why was it portraits that first captivated you? 

Well, I love people’s faces and I love portraits. But, also I wanted a very straightforward format to show what I was doing with embroidery by taking a familiar subject worked in a recognizable, medium, but in a way each had not been seen before.

If your work became a song, what would it be? 

What an interesting question. Hm. I guess when I think about a song that would “sound” like my work, at least to me, I’d say Ship of Fools by John Cale.

You’ve lived quite a few places: Illinois, Kansas, France, Texas, Los Angeles. What drew you to these places? 

I grew up in rural Illinois and I still love the midwest. But, I was just dying to get out of my hometown see bigger places. I never imagined I’d end up in Los Angeles, and I actually live in an area just outside the city that has a very midwestern feel. It’s the best of both worlds that I love.

What’s your favorite city in the world, and why? 

Paris. I have friends and family there, and French is my second language. It feels like a second home. So many important things in my life have taken place there, and it’s a city that requires you to “just go with it”. I like that very much. I love being in Paris without a plan.

Your mantra: 

Set ’em up and knock ’em down. 

Advice on pursuing your dreams: 

I think it’s important to realize that your dream may not be as you envisioned it. My dream was always to live my life as an artist, but I had no idea that I would fall in love with embroidery. I had absolutely no interest in needlework growing up. So, you have to remain open to trying new things and “finding your dream”.

Favorite non-conventional medium to embroider with: 

My own hair.


Tell us about your collab with Citizens of Humanity X FP. What has the experience meant to you? 

Working with Citizens has been wonderful. They are a rare company of exceptional people and their enthusiasm for collaborating with artists is really special. I love that Free People incorporates so much embroidery into their garments, so this was a perfect fit. I love the results. I’m especially excited about the limited edition embroidery kit we did together.

Anything we can look forward to at your upcoming in-store events? 

I’m very excited to have some of my artwork on hand and show how I work up close to anyone who’s interested! 


Look for Jenny in mid-November as she hosts workshops in three of our FP stores:

Studio City, CA – 11/15

Austin Domain, TX – 11/17

West Broadway, NY – 11/18

And get our free limited edition embroidery kit for participating! While supplies last. 

+ Shop Citizens of Humanity here.


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4 years ago

Great post! :)

4 years ago

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4 years ago

Great Post. Thanks for sharing