April 12, 2011

Embroidery 101 - simple backstitching

I thought it might be nice to show you a basic embroidery stitch today.  The great thing about embroidery is that it can spice up a shirt (or anything else made of fabric) and you DON'T need a sewing machine to do it.  Some of you have probably been embroidering since birth, but for those of you who have never tried it, I'm going to show you how easy it is today.

I needed a shirt to go with this skirt for my niece, so I bought a plain white one and embroidered this little bird on it.  Simple, cute, and not too hard.


Now I should state right off the bat that it's a good idea to use a stabilizer or interfacing when embroidering clothing.  It's like a backing that goes on the underside of the fabric to keep the shirt from stretching and pulling as you stitch.  (I didn't have any and since I was doing something fairly small and went without.)

I began by sketching the bird with my disappearing ink marker.  (It disappears when washed.)


This basic stitch I used is called backstitching and it's not too hard.  I wanted the bird to be thick so I used  the full floss and I doubled it up.  See?  There's a knot at the bottom tied by both ends of the strand.  (For something more delicate you can use less.)


Start from underneath and poke through at your starting point.  Decide how long you stitch will be and put your needle through, creating your first stitch.


Now this is where the backstitching begins.  Poke the needle up at the end of your next stitch....


....and then put it through right where you pulled the previous stitch through.  This will give you a consistent line without breaks.


Keep doing this until you're done.


For the eye I did a french knot.  Pull the floss through where you want the eye, wrap the floss around the needle twice, and then push the needle through right next to where you came in.  You must hold those loops with your thumb as you pull the needle through.  As you pull it through you will create a little knot.


Now if I would have used a stabilizer or interfacing, the shirt would be a little less rippled around the bird.  It's not bad, but the stabilizer helps a little.  If you're embroidering something much larger, you'd want to get out a hoop as well to hold everything together.


Just a simple, sweet touch for a little tee.


Tomorrow is Wake Up Wednesday.  See you then.

Thanks for reading.

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