Monday, March 17, 2014

Practical embroidery tips

This month we have been looking at practical stitching. We have been sharing practical advice so I had a look at what helpful resources I could find online. Here are some of my favourites;

using prick and pounce- Ruth O'Leary
Ruth O'Leary has a brilliant tutorial on how to transfer designs for embroidery. She explains several different techniques which is soooo helpful as you might need different methods for different projects.For example, I find that carbon paper only works on smooth fabric like cotton and iron-on transfer techniques can leave too thick a line for certain patterns. The basting from the back is perfect for dark fabrics- I often cheat this by drawing my design on tissue paper (the sort you would use for wrapping gifts, not the type for blowing your nose). I lay this on top of the fabric and stitch the basic outline of the  design through, you can  then tear the paper away and go on to stitch all the detailed parts. If you want to stitch a very fine outline using this method it is a good idea to roughly stitch your outline with a bright contrasting cotton (I use sewing thread for this) and then use this just as a guide and unpick it later.
Try it- it really works!!

If you want to achieve fine lines you will need to split the floss into separate strands, this can be easier said than done. It really can be a knotty task so there are two methods I tend to use; the sensible way
 and the mega glamourous hold it with your mouth way- we all do this sometimes don't we?

 Floss and Mischief share how to present your finished embroidery in a hoop. This is a great technique, I love the look of hooped embroidery but the back can look a bit scruffy. With this technique your back will look almost as great as the front and the tutorial will guide you through it, step-by-step.

store your needles in style - Wild Olive
We have talked about floss organisation and storage here before but your needles need a special place to rest too (and no, I'm not talking about the armrest of your armchair). I am in love with this beautiful needle case tutorial from Wild Olive. Needlebooks are the most practical way to store you needles and you can easily customise this project to suit you- they make fab gifts for stitchy friends too!

Last but certainly not least Mary Corbett has the answer to almost any practical problem here. It is a great resource of hints and tips. I always find the tutorials on this site really easy to follow, it's not just problem solving you will find loads of inspiration in the form of different techniques too.

Do you have any useful sources of practical information for stitchers? Please share them in the comments!

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!


  1. I have some tips mixed in among my tidbits (they cover a lot of different areas in my stitching and crafting life)

  2. Awesome tips and resources! Thank you! ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic


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