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.

Linking to Tatertots & Jello

40 comments:

  1. love this! thanks!!!

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  2. That's really cute. I have a random, novice-sewer question =) Will the embroidery floss bleed when you wash it?

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  3. This is very, very cute!

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  4. LOVE IT!! So simple and sweet! Thanks for the ideas :)

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  5. A very sweet little outfit. Is that the skirt from A Lemon Squeezy Home? I was thinking about making my little girl one too.

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  6. This may sound silly, but I embroidery for my business (machine embridery). I never knew how to hand embroidery. THANKS!

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  7. You rock! It is so nice that you are always offering great ideas, I really appreciate it :)

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  8. very cute! she will love it

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  9. cuuuute! I just bought a few plain shirts from The Childrens Place that had nice details to begin with at the neckline, with the intention of dressing them up on the bottom like you have here. I'm thinking an applique/embroidery combo. Since I have a small fortune in embroidery floss and all. May as well.

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  10. That is sooo cute!

    ~Hannah Rebekah

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  11. That is the cutest bird!!! Love that cute outfit:).

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  12. When you put it this way...it's so simple and so lovely at the same time. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I have always suspected this was simple, but I never tried it. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Cute. I wish I would think to embroider on more things. My mom taught me when I was a kid how to do some simple stitches, but I forgot how. This is a nice reminder. Thanks! (Also, if you don't have stabilizer around, you can use a used dryer sheet! See here - http://lettiebee.blogspot.com/2011/02/steelers-girl.html)

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  15. A little embroidery does a lot for an outfit! Hmmm... my mind is starting to roll with the possibilities.

    Moe
    www.moethesoutherngal.blogspot.com

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  16. That's really cute! Thanks for the great 101, I'll be linking.

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  17. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

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  18. OMG! I LOVE birds! This is so cute and easy! :)

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  19. Thank you for sharing this. I definitely needed a refresher course on this and it couldn't have come at a better time.

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  20. AHHHHH....this brought back memories of my mother trying to teach me to backstitch. I don't think I was very good at it. I should probably try again, as an adult...yes?

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  21. aww the birdies is soo adorable!

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  22. That's so cute! I've always loved the idea of embroidering, but I was too intimidated, especially when it came to back-stitching like that. I knew the idea, I just wasn't sure how to fully carry it out. And the french knot bit is very helpful as well! Love it!

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  23. That is so cute! And your directions made it sound so simple. I've been too intimidated to try it before, but it doesn't look difficult at all.

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  24. That is so cute! And your directions made it sound so simple. I've been too intimidated to try it before, but it doesn't look difficult at all.

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  25. Soo cute! I have wanted to learn how to do this and I can, thanks! My son gave me a picture and I want to do this and put it in a frame. Thanks for sharing this!!

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  26. Ahhh... takes me back. :)
    Great photos.

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  27. Super cute! I can't wait to try this. I used to do cross stitch and needle point when I was a kid but I don't think I've done it for at least 15 years. I'm inspired now!

    recreationstation.blogspot.com

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  28. Thanks so much for this I wanted to try this on a quilt for my godson!

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  29. Oh you so totally ROCK! I have one of those plain-Walmart-great price-no design-shirts left to embellish for my daughter (Already did flowers, ruffles, & cut out/sew ons of old shirts already) when my brain was struggling to come up with what else to do for the last one. Thanks so much for this AH HA! moment :) I love your blog!!!

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  30. This is positively A-DOR-ABLE!!! I so want to do one, and I think I might now that you shared with us how to do it. You make it look so simple:) Thanks so much!

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  31. Thank you for the great tutorial. I've wanted to add little bits of embroidery but wasn't sure how to do it. You made it look so clear. I can't wait to give it a try!

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  32. I am a self proclaimed non-sewing person. You made this look easy. I think I can. thanks!

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  33. This is so adorable that I just might have to do the same on my little girls' plain shirts!

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  34. This is the cutest thing I've ever seen!!

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  35. Thanks for the tutorial. I learned this forever ago at a super saturday, but had completely forgotten. I can think of some fun things to embroider. Thanks! Love the ric rac skirt too.

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  36. Such a cute little outfit. come link up here:

    http://makinitdomestic.blogspot.com/2011/04/its-time-to-party.html

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  37. Thanks for the embroidery directions. I love the simplicity and minimalism of this project. It is one of those less-is-more moments.

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  38. Hi !! your blog is very nice ! cheers from Italy !

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  39. very nice thank you so much
    http://sewingbreakdown.blogspot.com/

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