Today (NØ) shares with you some of her embroidery secrets… Some simple yet effective ways to get a neat and steady work when you decide to hand-embroidered “something” !

The embroidery basic supplies :

Embroidery Tips Material

Dressmaker Carbon Paper : it is used to transfer the pattern onto the fabric. Prefer a white paper if your fabric is dark and a yellow one if your fabric is light (less visible). You can also use a water-erasable pen.
Tracing paper : (NØ) uses it to sketch the patterns and make the required modifications to adapt the drawing to the project.
Plastic film : it serves as a protective layer to avoid accidentally piercing the tracing paper while transfering the drawing onto the fabric.
Metallic Graver : (NØ) uses it to reproduce the patterns with the carbon paper.
Scissors : You should only use them to cut the threads and fabric material to not blunt them.
Embroidery-Frame or Embroidery-Hoop : They are essential elements to keep the fabric average taut and allow a more detailed and faster embroidery.
Embroidery needles : they have an average lenght and a rather long and thin needle eye. The size 22 is adapted for 6 threads of DMC Cottonfloss or Soie d’Alger or similar, the size 24 or 26 would be better if you use only 2 or 3 threads of those floss and the thinner one size 28 will be the best choice for embroidering only 1 thread.

Hoop and Needles, (NØ)’s Embroidery Tips & Tricks :

– Bind your embroidery hoop using a 2cm-wide ecru cotton strip. Start winding the fabric strip slightly angled around the hoop and continue until you completed the diameter. This little tip helps maintain the fabric taut while preventing it from slipping between the two circles.
– The size of the needles plays a critical role. First you will not spend hours in threading them and second, when you pass the needle through the fabric, the little hole formed by the needle will help the thread to pass through too without damaging the fabric or the thread.

Embroidery Tips Threads and Fabrics

DMC Cotton-Floss : 6 ply that you can use separately, the colour range is really beautyful. These threads are easy to find and embroider. Every pack contains 7 meters of thread.
The fabrics: you can embroider on any type of fabrics (leather, plastic, non-woven…) but as a start linen or cotton canvas are the best way to practice your skills, easy to punch, washable, soft, those canvas are also very affordable.

Threads and Fabrics, (NØ)’s Embroidery Tips & Tricks :

– Cotton thread is very easy to use but you can also shift to the Soie d’Alger, a wonderful silk floss from “Au Ver à Soie” (6 ply silk….), harder to find, but the beautiful glow and vibrance of the colours and the matter are one-of-a-kind! Or look after the Appletons’ wool thread (originally used for Crewel embroidery) or threads for tapestry such as wool thread from Aubusson.
– To avoid the work to deform, don’t forget to wash the fabric before using it.

Sketching for Embroidery Pattern :

Embroidery Tips Drawing

Draw the pattern on the tracing paper (size it according to your final project), place the inked-in side of your carbon paper against the fabric, the tracing paper with the pattern on top and then the plastic paper on it. Pin carefully so that everything stays together during the drawing phase. Mark the pattern edge using your mettalic graver.

For this particular project, I (largely) took inspiration from patterns created by the embroidery artist Yumiko Higuchi who produce a delicate, amusing and poetic work. You can visit her website or follow her Instagram account to get new ideas. Of simply buy one of her many books for getting access to colourfull embroidery patterns .

Yumiko Higuchi Book

Pattern Drawing, (NØ)’s Embroidery Tips & Tricks :

– Adapt the shape and the size of your pattern to the final project. You can remove a leaf or change the angle of the flowers stem… The tracing paper is perfect when you want to make modifications.

Needle-Embroidery time !!

Keep the fabric taut on the embroidery frame or on the hoop, using the embroidery hoop screw …

Embroidery Tips Motif on the Fabric

Before getting started, think of the order in which you will embroider your pattern. For instance, start with the leaves, then the stems, the flower petals and the calyx, or the opposite depending on the pattern …

Embroidery Tips Step by Step
Embroidery Tips Step by Step
Embroidery Tips Step by Step

The stitches that I have used in these examples are :
To learn how to do those embroidery stitches, have a look at this previous article, ( Stich by Stitch #01 ). you will find detailed explanations and illustrated tutorials to perform your embroidery !

Needle Embroidery, (NØ)’s Embroidery Tips & Tricks :

– Prepare the thread splitting the ply one by one. Take the necessary plies, even if you need 6 plies, splitting then beforehand will help keep your work smooth and steady .
– Cut between 50 to 60 cm of thread, no more ! If the thread is too long, you will lose much more time passing the thread through the fabric and most critically, you will fray your thread.

Summer Flowers Embroidery

Embroidery Tips Flowers

Embroidery final preparation, (NØ)’s Tips & Tricks :

– Turn your work up-side-down and cut your threads 5 mm above the knot or slip them underneath the embroidered threads.
– In Haute-Couture workshops, we gently steam the wrong side of the work without touching the embroidery about 20cm distant from the fabric. Then we let it dry before applying a “glaze” .
– To finish an embroidery which is not designed to be water-washed, we apply a thin layer of special mix or diluted white glue on the threads and the knots, using your fingertips, which requires some experience to avoid stains, or alternatively, using a toothpick .
In the Haute-Couture Workshops, it is said, that the quality of a good embroiderer can be recognize, between others, at the clean wrong-sides of her work… A word to the Wise…

Following (NØ)’s embroidery Tips & Tricks the result is beautiful, isn’t it ? What about you, any tips to share with us ? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment……

Find out now what (NØ) will do with those beautiful flowers…

Exotic Flower

Any Idea ? Surprise-Surprise…


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