Hand embroidery is a nice skill to learn for anyone who enjoys sewing. I particularly like being able to pick up a project that I can do as I watch television or on train journeys, which keep my hands busy and my creative juices flowing as I learn new skills.
As I am very much a novice embroiderer, today we welcome Martha Moger, our resident hand embroidery expert, to share with us all her insights into some basic hand embroidery techniques. Martha makes sweet hand embroidered characters for her toys and gifts company Gidsy & Jo and will be teaching workshops at Crafty Sew & So in the autumn term.
Satin stitch is great for ﬁlling in an area of hand embroidery. Once you’ve learned the basic version, there are some fancier versions of it you can also try. This stitch has got a long history and you’ll ﬁnd variations of it from all around the world, especially China and Japan.
It’s very easy to do, but can be tricky to do well! If you draw an outline with an erasable pen of the area you are trying to ﬁll this really helps. Deﬁnitely get yourself an embroidery hoop too and work on a close-weave fabric that doesn’t stretch to get the best results.
Things to watch out for!
• Don’t make your stitch too long – it’s just harder to do a good job. If the area you want to ﬁll is bigger than 1 cm, I would split it into smaller sections and work a smaller satin stitch in more places.
• Watch your tension! If you pull your stitch too tight, it will crumple up your work. If you don’t pull it tightly enough, it will sag and look naff. You need the thread to be pulled just tightly enough to be sitting on top of the fabric perfectly.
Check out some of these incredible hand embroiderers around at the moment who are using satin stitch.
- Sarah Benning – for amazing illustrated embroideries of interiors and jungle plants.
- Cinder and Honey – for delicious ﬂorals in a gorgeous, pretty colour palette.
Martha has created a free downloadable pattern on her website, just sign up to her mailing list and start stitching this adorable ice-cream cone today. Perfect for the summer!
Meet Martha in person and learn embroidery skills from our expert in our hands on Introduction to embroidery Class coming up this Autumn- click here for dates and details. You’ll spend time honing your hand stitching skills with Martha before making a sweet little embellished bunny toy.