Are you ready to start embroidering? Guess what? It’s one of the easiest crafts to learn. With just a few tools and the quick lesson below, you’ll be all ready to stitch up something fun.
Whether you want to add a little embellishment to a shirt or pair of jeans, or you’re planning to stitch an art piece to hang on your wall, you’ll find hand embroidery fun, relaxing and very versatile.
Before you begin, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. Chances are you already have some of them, but if not, you can find them easily at your local craft store.
You will need some fabric (I most often use cotton/muslin or linen,) an embroidery needle, an embroidery hoop, floss and scissors.
I mostly use DMC brand embroidery floss that can be found in the big racks at most craft stores and comes in pretty much any color you can think of. Embroidery needles also come in lots of sizes, a pack of various sizes is a good place to start. It’s a good idea to have a small pincushion on hand as well, to hold your needles when you’re not using them. (You can sew one from two pieces of felt with a little stuffing inside, decorate it with embroidery!)
You’ll also want a pair of sharp scissors nearby as you stitch to snip threads with, and an embroidery hoop. A 6-inch hoop is a nice, basic size that can accommodate almost any embroidery project.
Before you begin, be sure your fabric is tightly secured on your hoop. You’ll see that there are two parts of the hoop, a top and a bottom piece that fit together. The metal screw at the top tightens the top hoop and holds your fabric in place. Position the fabric over the bottom hoop, place the top hoop over it, then alternately tighten the screw and gently pull out on the edges of the fabric until you have a tight surface to work on.
Cut a piece of floss about 15 inches (35 cm) long. Look closely at the floss and you’ll see that it is made up of 6 threads twisted together. Gently separate the number of the threads you need and pull them apart from the rest. I usually start with 3 threads for most line work. You can use 2 or even 1 thread for small details, and 4-6 threads for thicker lines or Satin Stitches. If you have various needle sizes, you can use one with a smaller eye for less threads, and a larger eye for more threads.
Thread your needle, tie a knot in one end and pull it up through the fabric from the back.
Now lets learn some basic stitches!
The Straight Stitch is the most basic embroidery stitch. Bring your needle and floss up through the fabric at A and back down again at B. Straight stitches can be stitched individually, to form shapes or patterns, or in a line. A line of Straight Stitches is called a Running Stitch.
The Satin Stitch is way to fill a small area with color, and is really just a bunch of Straight Stitches made close together. Make a Straight Stitch from A to B. Make another Straight Stitch right next to it from C to D. Continue back and forth across the area you want to cover.
You can make some fun embroidery designs with just these easy stitches! Look at this:
Step 1. Pull the needle and floss through the fabric from the back until the knot catches.
Step 2. Now push the needle back down through a little ways away and pull the floss tightly to the fabric. You’ve made a Straight Stitch!
Step 3. Keep making Straight Stitches in a line. You can make them all the same length, short or long, far apart, or very close together to get the effect you want. Now you’ve made a Running Stitch. When you’re done with your line, tie a knot on the back and start with another color.
Step 4. Now make a few Straight Stitches side by side, going back and forth. This is a Satin Stitch and it’s great for small, solid shapes.
Step 5. Use a third color to make a few more Straight Stitches in flower and leaf shapes.
Step 6. Voila! You’ve stitched a sweet little flower vine. Great job!
Cute, right? And easy! Are you ready for more?
CLICK HERE to learn some more easy embroidery stitches.
There is so much you can do with embroidery! Check out my shop, littledear.etsy.com to find lots of unique color printed samplers, kits and PDF pattern downloads.