How To: Embroidery (+ FREE PATTERNS!)

This is my first DIY in a longgg time and what better than an embroidery tutorial! I recently put a bunch of polls on my instagram to get a feel for what people would like to see, and a bunch of people wanted freebies, behind the scenes, and DIY’s. Today you’re getting all 3!

This is the guide I’ve used when I’ve taught workshops in the past but extended to explain what I would show you in person. At the end of this article there is a link which contains free downloads for 5 patterns of varying difficulty. Some will require 3 different stitches and multiple colors and some you can knock out with one stitch and one color!

I hope this will act as a guide for you to get the basics down and go on to experiment with your own designs! I’m such a huge fan of funny sayings on wall hoops and love to see what people come up with.


Embroidery Basics

IMG_9781.jpg

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

 

SET UP YOUR HOOP

  • FIND GRAIN OF FABRIC

A woven fabric has lines going lengthwise and crosswise. Make sure these are going straight down and across to start.

  • TRACE OR DRAW DESIGN ONTO FABRIC

Lay your fabric flat on top of the design. Most of the time a lightweight fabric will be thin enough you can see the design, but you may need to put light underneath if you can’t see the design well. Hold the fabric taught, and trace the design using a disappearing ink marker.

  • LAY FABRIC OVER INSIDE HOOP

Once your design is transferred, lay the fabric on top of the hoop that doesn’t have the hardware.

INSTRUCTIONS-08.png
  • MAKE SURE DESIGN IS CENTERED

Check that the grain is straight and that the design is centered in the circle.

  • OPEN OUTER HOOP

Take the top hoop and unscrew it as far as possible without the screw coming out.

  • PUSH OVER FABRIC WITH KNOB AT THE TOP CENTER

Push the hoop over the fabric and around the bottom hoop and begin to tighten the screw.

  • GO BACK + FORTH TIGHTENING HOOP PULLING FABRIC TIGHT

You want the screw to be tight and the fabric to be taught. Pull the fabric evenly on all sides and screw the top a little tighter. Repeat until fabric feels smooth and tight.

  • MAKE SURE GRAIN OF FABRIC STAYS STRAIGHT + EVEN

Make sure the fabric was tightened evenly throughout by checking that the grain lines are straight and not wonky.

 

PREPPING THREAD

  • CUT LENGTH ABOUT 2’ LONG

When you start out, keep a shorter thread length, this will make it less likely to tangle.

  • SEPARATE INTO DESIRED THICKNESS

Embroidery floss comes as 6 small strands wrapped together. I usually stitch with 2 strands at a time. Carefully separate 2 or 3 strands from the bunch, making sure not to tangle.

  • PULL THREADS APART SLOWLY AND EVENLY

  • THREAD NEEDLE

You can lick the end of the thread or lick your finger and twist the end of the threads to keep them together. Then thread the needle and pull thread half way through.

INSTRUCTIONS3-08.png
  • ROLL AND KNOT END 1-3 TIMES

Roll thread ends around your finger and twist to form a knot. I like to repeat a few times to make a larger knot. (If you are unsure, google or watch a video!)

TIME TO STITCH!

Choose an area to begin and push needle through the back of the fabric. Follow the pattern using a back stitch, bringing the thread from the back to the front. Pull thread slowly and make sure the thread goes all the way through and doesn’t bunch up on the back.

 

THE STITCHES

  • BACK STITCH

On the front of the fabric do one forward stitch. Bring the needle back up the same length in front of your last stitch and pull through. Push the needle back into the end of the previous stitch.

  • FRENCH KNOT

Pull the thread onto the front of the fabric. Hold the base of the thread by the fabric and using your other hand wrap the needle around the base. Push needle back in to fabric as close to the starting point as possible and pull thread slowly through.

  • LAZY DAISY

Bring the thread to the top through the center of your flower on the pattern. Push the needle back through the same spot but leave a loop still on top. At the edge of the petal on the pattern bring the needle up, catch the loop and finish the small stitch forming a petal. Repeat on each petal.

FINISHING A THREAD

  • Bring thread to the back side of the hoop

  • Loop the needle under an existing stitch

  • Pull the thread through the loop this creates

  • Hold stitch and pull thread slowly through, careful not to bunch thread

  • Give the thread a small tug when knot is complete

  • Repeat 2-3 times

xx-08.png

FINISHING A HOOP

  • When all your stitching is complete, trim fabric leaving about 2” around the hoop (1” for small hoops)

  • Run a small running stitch around the edge of the fabric

  • Pull thread tight to gather the fabric on the back of the hoop

  • Knot the thread

  • Cut out a piece of card stock that is the same circumference as the hoop

  • Place hot glue on the back of the hoop and place the card stock on top

TIPS & TRICKS

  • Press lightly with your tracing marker

  • If ink doesn’t fade use a small amount of water

  • The neater the back of your piece looks, the less likely it is to show on the front

  • Make notes of what color # thread you are using when you start a project

  • The longer the thread, the easier it is to tangle. Keep length shorter when starting out

DOWNLOAD:

To download my free patterns click here! A pdf of these instructions is included!