One of my favorite crafts is hand stitching-- it's fun, addictive, expressive and relaxing :) Over the next few weeks, I'm going to share easy ways to make your own patterns for hand stitching along with some tips and ideas :)
These are some samples of my past projects-- I like to draw patterns freehand and use my handwriting. However, sometimes I adapt clipart type images to make a more complicated pattern, like the sewing machine or I just stitch the outline of an image I love, like the Goonies "Hey You Guys" silhouette :) I use a Back Stitch for all my hand stitching because it's very versatile and I like the look but you can use any combination of stitches for your projects... there's lots of fun ones!
Today, we're going to start with handwriting & transferring your pattern :)
You will Need:
- Card-stock or Thick Paper (I cut a piece of 6x8" card-stock & folded it in half to create a greeting card)
- Needle & Scissors
- Embroidery Thread
- Scrap Paper & Pen
- Thumbtack or Piercing Tool
1> On a scrap paper, write your word at least 10 times. When writing your word, size the font to be at least 2 inches tall at it's highest points, 3 inches is even better for your first project. Pick the best version and cut it out with space around the word.
2> To create your template, use a tack or piercing tool to poke tiny holes along the word.
- As you poke the holes, follow the lines of your word as your guide.
- Space the holes about 1/4 inch apart. At the tighter curves (like the tops of my h), put the holes a little closer together so that the stitches take the curve & don't look jagged.
- When you reach a crossover on the word (like the first loop on my h), poke the hole right where the two lines overlap/intersect, this will help the stitched version look it's best.
* Protect the surface under your paper with a self healing mat or phonebook.
When stitching onto paper, gently tape the template onto your cardstock before piercing the holes-- then poke the holes through both layers. You can also reuse the word template in the future (or set-up the template in 2 stages) by re-poking holes with your project paper below.
If you are transferring a template onto fabric, you will need to mark your fabric rather than pierce it.
- After poking the holes in your template (step 2 above), secure your pattern onto the fabric with tape or a straight pin.
- Then, with the fabric on a firm surface, use a pen to poke a dot onto the fabric through each hole in the template.
* Test the pen on a corner of the fabric before applying your template, just incase the ink bleeds a lot.
* No need to worry about a special pen or disappearing ink, your pen dots will be hidden by the stitches along the way.
* When choosing everyday fabric to stitch on, I suggest linen, muslin & thick cottons. It is easiest to stitch on fabrics where you can distinguish the horizontal and vertical 'grain' of the fabric.
3> From the back of your project, secure your first stitch with my #1 Stitching Technique.
4> Begin stitching your word using the Back Stitch method (a continuous straight stitch with no gaps).
- Stitch the same path/flow as you do when writing the word (do not jump ahead in your pattern. ie. cross your t's after the base of the letter).
- The poked holes are the perfect guide for your stitches and make it easy to see the next step. Refer back to your template to see the big picture when you are at a crossroads.
- Pull each stitch evenly to create a smooth look in your project but be gentle with your paper, if you pull too hard or rapidly-- it will tear.
- If you tear your paper: undo your last two stitches, tape the torn paper on the back with a tiny piece of masking tape. Press the papers torn edges onto the mask tape and carry on (it will hardly show once the stitches cover it).
5> Attach any embellishments if you'd like. I like using buttons to dot the i's & j's sometimes :)
6> To complete your project, tie it off on the back, see #1 Stitching Technique.
* If you run out of thread as you're stitching, use step #6 to end the remainder. Then, use Step #3 to start the next thread.