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In Stitches Week 2: Let’s Get Stitch-ical!

Are you ready to get stitching? This week, you will learn how to transfer a pattern, put your fabric in the embroidery hoop, and make your first stitches!

Your first step is to gather your supplies. You can either purchase a Persephone Stitching Starter kit from my etsy store, or buy some muslin (a 1/2 yard will be more than enough), an embroidery hoop, thread in green, pink, and yellow, and needles. Make sure the eye of the needle is large enough to fit the thread! The starter kit features all that’s listed above, plus an iron-on pattern for the picture that we will be using in this project, all for $10 plus shipping.

If you prefer not to purchase the kit, then there is an easy way to transfer the pattern to your fabric. All you need to do is open the image, which can be found here, zoom your browser window to make the image the size that you want, then tape your fabric over your computer screen. Simply trace the image on to the fabric with a fine-tip marker or pencil. It’s that easy!

Now, we are ready to put the fabric in the hoop. Embroidery hoops keep the fabric tight enough to keep the stitches even and prevent puckering. Take the hoop apart by loosening the screw at the top, then removing the larger outside hoop. Lay the smaller hoop on a flat surface, then place the fabric over the hoop, centering the image in the circle.

Push the larger hoop over the smaller one, then pull the fabric taught before tightening the screw again to keep the fabric in place.

You are now ready to get stitching! Thread your needle with your pink thread (or whatever color you want to use for the flower petals). Tie a knot at the end of the thread, and get ready to learn your first stitch: the Split Stitch.

Starting from the back of the fabric, put the needle through, then put it through again on the line about 1/4 inch away to make your first stitch.

From the back of the fabric, bring the needle through in the middle of the previous stitch, splitting the threads in the previous stitch. Pull it taught (but not too tight!) then put the needle through again, about 1/4 inch down the line.

Continue with the split stitch until you reach the end of the line on the pattern. If you need a video to show you the split stitch, look at this one. There are tons of youtube videos about embroidery that help to teach techniques to visual people.

Uh-oh! What do I do if I put my needle through the fabric in the wrong place! Should I throw it away and start over? Of course not! Stitches are very easy to undo. First, unthread the needle, then put the needle between the stitch and the fabric.

Use the needle to pull the loose end of the thread up until you can grasp it, then pull the stitch out.

Re-thread the needle, and you’re ready to get back on track!

When you reach the end of the line, tie a knot on the wrong side of the fabric by running the needle through the last visible stitch.

Tie a knot in that loop, then cut the excess thread.

You now have one petal done! Continue until you have the entire outline of the flower finished.

If you have any questions or issues, please let me know in the comments. A picture of the issue would be especially helpful for me to be able to resolve it.

Next week, we will learn two new stitches: The stem stitch, and the satin stitch. We will complete the stem of the flower and the bud.

Happy stitching!

2 replies on “In Stitches Week 2: Let’s Get Stitch-ical!”

Yes, I used all six strands in this example. Reducing the number of strands is fine, but it won’t work for the split stitch unless you use an even number of threads. It also depends on the thickness of the line you trace. You want to make sure your stitches are substantial enough to cover the line.

Freehand embroidery is SO HARD. My first project ever was a bird I did on dark purple felt. I didn’t know how to transfer patterns, so I stared at a picture while I did it. It ended up looking weird but not terrible, but it took forever. Following printed lines is so much easier!

I don’t know why it never occurred to me that embroidery involved sewing over a traced pattern. I’m used to doing counted cross-stitch because I can’t handle printed patterns with those (too hard to tell the colors apart and they never align properly with the holes). There’s no way I’m coordinated enough to freehand a pattern like this, but I can totally trace! I’m so freaking excited!!

Also, I assume you thread the needle with all six strands of the embroidery floss? I’m used to just one or two, but I’m guessing this needs the extra volume.

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