As we look to expand our collection of fiber arts projects, embroidery is an essential part of that. Once you get the hang of some basic stitches, embroidery can be an easy and fun way to bring custom designs to life. So why not dive in head first! Here you will find all of our embroidery basics to get you started with this fabulous crafting technique. The videos below cover:
- The tools and materials you will need to start embroidery projects
- How to transfer specific designs onto your fabric
- How to set up your fabric in an embroidery hoop
- Beginning and ending your embroidery stitching
- Four of the most basic embroidery stitches, including a stem stitch, French knot, lazy daisy and satin stitch
Getting Ready to Embroider
This video introduces you the the tools and materials you need for mastering embroidery basics. Of course, you will need a needle, embroidery floss and an embroidery hoop. But did you know that embroidery floss is made up of 6 strands, and you can separate the floss to create different weights for your stitches? Or that there are specific embroidery needles with larger eyes to accommodate for all those strands? You will learn all this and more in our first embroidery video!
Transferring Your Design
Generally you will want to start every embroidery project with a specific design in mind. You can easily transfer printed designs onto your fabric so that you can replicate those designs as precisely as possible. There are two main ways that we transfer our designs, either with a transfer pencil or by tracing the design against a light source (like a window or light box). If you are tracing the design, you will want to use a water soluble marker so that the ink can be erased. Note that you can only use this tracing method if you are starting with a relatively transparent fabric that light can shine through.
Hooping It Up
The first step to any embroidery project is setting up your fabric. Learn how to easily insert your fiber of choice into your hoop with this video! There are lots of different hoop sizes to choose from. We generally use smaller hoops to make them easier to hold while stitching.
To Knot or Not
When you are beginning and finishing any embroidery pattern, you will need to decide how you want to knot the thread to secure it. You do not want the knots to show through if you are using more transparent fabric, so you can easily create a hidden knot instead.
Stem Stitch Tutorial
This basic stitch is great for outlining designs. It is often used for edging and flower stems.
French Knot Tutorial
French knots are a way to create accents and dotted detailing to your designs.
Lazy Daisy Tutorial
Lazy daisy stitches are perfect for making flower petals.
Satin Stitch Tutorial
Satin stitches are filler stitches that you can use to cover a background.
Run With It!
Once you choose your stitches for your design, you can also decide the weight of your stitches. Play around with the number of strands of floss you want to embroider with – create delicate stitches with fewer strands or bulkier stitches by using all 6 strands of floss. Another important element of embroidery basics is your stitch length. If you want tighter corners, it is better to make tighter stitches. Above all, the main thing to remember when venturing into the world of embroidery is that YOU are the creator, and you have the freedom to create whatever designs you want!
Our first embroidery project on the site is our homemade linen tea towels with a pretty Scandinavian floral design. Head over to that post to test out your newfound skills, or stay tuned as we add new embroidery projects! This embroidery basics guide only covers 4 simple stitches, but there are quite a few more to explore. Did you find this post helpful? Do you have requests for stitches you would like us to cover in the future? Types of patterns that you want to download? Let us know in the comments below! Browse our membership options to join in on the crafty fun, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for daily doses of DIY inspiration. Enjoy! ~ Lia & Team