After talking how fun it is to do hand stitching (rather than using sewing machine) I thought I will share what I know about embroidery (hand stitching and hand sewing kind of go hand in hand). You might find that some of the hand stitches that you learned with hand sewing are very similar to embroidery stitches. In fact majority of embroidery stitches are based on regular hand stitches, but are more creative and freestyle. For instance, lets take the running stitch, it is identical to basic/ straight stitch! Or a button hole stitch, it’s like blanket stitch that comes in many pretty variations. My favourite is basic/straight stitch that I used to create pretty cross or dash patterns on these hanging bird decorations.
The straight/basic stitch hardly requires an explanation, because it is as simple as bringing the needle up through the fabric and then going back down. But it’s worth exploring the many uses for this building block embroidery stitch.
Use the straight stitch to form crosses, zigzags, scattered fills, textures and more. Practice length and placement so you can work this versatile stitch into your work.
Split stitch is very similar to the straight stitch, except it makes a continuous line.
To make a split stitch take a single stitch along the line you are working. Come up again, bringing the needle through the first stitch, splitting the fibers.
My other favourite is chain stitch. I used chain stitch to “draw” those advent date numbers on these hanging felt stars. Chain stitch is so useful for outlining and filling!
To work the basic chain stitch, complete the following:
- Bring the needle up through the fabric at your starting point and insert it back down again close by.
- Bring the tip up through the fabric a short distance away and place the working thread behind the needle, and pull the needle through the loop.
Once you mastered straight chain stitch then you should try other variations such as flower chain stitch, circular chain stitch or filling.
I must admit I don’t use much of button hole stitch myself, but it can be a very useful stitch for things like borders, as an edge for applique or a filling with a nice smooth edge.
Start button hole stitch 5mm or so below the edge desired and bring the needle up to the edge. Notice that the thread should be under the needle!
French knot stitch is new to me and I am falling with it already!
To work a french knot stitch, do the following:
- Wrap the tread around the needle (at least three times).
- Direct the needle back down into the fabric as close as possible to the starting point.
And when it comes to slightly more complicated stitches I do loooove fly stitch! It’s so pretty isn’t it?
To work a fly stitch, complete the following:
- Bring the needle up through the fabric and then down a short distance away (width of the fly), leaving a loop on the surface of the fabric.
- Bring the needle up through the fabric again, just below (or above) the center of the loop you just made. As you bring the needle up through the loop, pull the thread until the loop becomes taut, forming a V.
And last but not least, there is always satin stitch for all those filling works.
To work the basic satin stitch, bring the needle up through the fabric at your starting point. Insert the needle again across from your original entry point, on the opposite side of the shape you are filling. Continue till the shape is filled.
I hope you find this inspiring!