Where do I start?
You have come across those beautiful embroideries and you know it's time to Do It Yourself. Your crafty soul can't wait to pick up a needle but, where do you start??
Hand Embroidery 101. All you need to know if you are a beginner
There are 5 must have materials that you should have:
1.HOOP: Is a round piece of wood, plastic or metal used to keep fabric taut. There are 3 parts in almost every hoop: outer hoop, inner hoop and a screw.
Unscrew the hoop and separate both parts, then place the fabric between them like a sandwich and make sure is well taut. Tight the screw and you are ready!
2.FABRIC: It can be plain or printed. I recommend to use 100% cotton. You can also use linen, canvas or even muslin.
3.NEEDLE: Embroidery needles have a bigger eye so you can use different combination of threads. There are different sizes, the bigger the number the smaller the needle. They also have a sharp end, to trespass the fabric.
4.THREADS: The most common is mouliné. It's made of 6 strands that you can separate from each other, allowing you to adjust the thickness of your stitching by combining different number of strands. TIP: I always cut threads at a length of my elbow.
5.SCISSORS: There's nothing really special about them, any would do but embroidery scissors are small and sharp, very practical when cutting threads.
BONUS TRACK MATERIALS
1.FABRIC PEN: When you start a new project you may start stitching on the fabric right away or most probably you'll need to draw your design. For that you can use a fabric pen.
2.PATTERN: What do you want to stitch? What's your design? Maybe you aren't that good drawing or your design it's a bit complicated. If that's the case you can use a pattern.
If you've decided to use a pattern, there are many ways to transfer your design onto fabric. Here you have 3 simple ways:
1.TRACING: Place your fabric over the design and using a fabric pen follow the lines. You can use a light box or even a window.
2.CARBON PAPER: Place a carbon paper over the fabric. Then place your design over the carbon paper. Follow the lines with a sharp pen.
3.SATBILIZER PAPER: It has the firmness and feel of fabric. Print your design on it (with your home printer). Stick it on the fabric and once you’ve done stitching wash it away and it will vanish with water contact. I always use Sticky Fabric Solvy
HOW TO STITCH
1. Starting from behind introduce the needle on the fabric
2. Pull until all the thread is out.
3. Re-insert the needle on the fabric creating you first stitch.
There are many kinds of stitches. If you are a beginner I suggest you start with the basic ones.
RUNNING STITCH: for outlining, straight and curved lines, specific designs and to finish the back of a hoop.
-Bring thread up at 1 then down at 2, up at 3 and down at 4 and continue.
BACK STITCH: Similar to running stitch but with no spaces between stitches.
For outlining, straight and curved lines.
-Bring needle up at 1 and back down at 2.
-Bring needle up at 3, then back down at 2. Up at 4, down at 3 and continue.
SATIN STICH: Solid filling for shapes, great for monograms.
-Bring needle up at 1, down at 2, then, back up right next to 1 and down right next to 2.
-Place stitches closely together to fill in area.
FRENCH KNOT: For specific designs.
-Bring needle up at 1. With the other hand wrap the thread three times around the end of the needle.
-Gently pull the thread and while holding it taut, insert the needle in 2. Pull thread through onto the backside until the knot is formed
FISHBONE STITCH: For leaf design or similar shape.
- Create a single straight stitch, which is the top of line Y.
-Bring needle up at Z and bring it down to Y.
-Bring needle up at X and bring it down to Y.
SPIDER WEB ROSE: For rose design or similar shape.
- Create 5 straight stitches from the center out to each of the numbers.
- Without going through the fabric, weave the thread under and over the lines; Under 1, over 2, under 3, over 4 etc.
HOW TO FINISH YOUR HOOP
Once you’ve finished your work, trim around the excess fabric, leaving at least 1” of fabric. Stitch a row of large running stitch around the excess fabric. Make sure that you leave a long tail at the beginning.
Once you’ve stitched the full circle, take the thread ends and pull them together to gather the fabric. Knot the thread.
If you have a glue gun you can also stick a piece of scrapbook paper to cover
the back of the hoop.
Now it's time to embroider!