Secrets of Embroidery
Common Embroidery Mistakes and How To Fix Them
Hi everyone! I’m continuing on with embroidery tutorials and this week I’m focusing on quick simple ways to improve your embroidery. I’ve learned a lot of these lessons the hard way, so I hope this helps you and you can use this as a resource so you don’t have to go through the same frustrations!
You’re using the wrong fabric tight evenweave fabrics like linen, canvas, and denim are ideal. Fabrics with an uneven weave make your stitches irregular and uneven. I have beautiful linen I bought from Joanne’s a few years ago when I was still trying to get a feel for what kinds of fabrics work best. The weave is very uneven and somewhat loose, so I would wonder every time I embroidered on it why all my stitches looked so uneven and just not clean!
Your stitches are too tight. This makes the fabric ripple and we all know hoop art looks crisp and clean when the fabric is nice, even, and smooth in the hoop! Focus on even stitches that are snug, but not too tight. You may also be using fabric that is too thin. If you’re using thinner fabric, I recommend using an embroidery stabilizer on the back of the piece. Also, if you’re embroidering on something like clothing, I cannot recommend this enough...use an EMBROIDERY HOOP! I’ve tried to embroider on hats without one, and trust me; you really can tell the difference.
You are using the wrong kinds of markers to stencil your design. I recommend using a water soluble marker to trace out your design, or a water soluble stencil. When I first started out, I would use a micron or fine tip sharpie for my stencil and I thoroughly regretted it because you could see the stencil and a dark shadow around the design. And obviously it doesn’t wash off. Cringe.
Stencil your design on the fabric before you get started stitching. Having a solid design drawn out onto the fabric before you get started is so important. Sometimes I’ll wing it and free hand an embroidery but it never looks as good. It’s important like anything else in life to have somewhat of a blueprint or plan in place before you get started!
Your stitches look uneven. Whenever I start to rush, this happens to me. Slow down and really be mindful of where you’re stitching. If you have fabric with a more visible weave, pay attention to where your stitches start and end and try to make sure the length of your stitches are all the same. Also, you may be rushing because you’re tired or getting impatient. Take a break and come back to the project later!
Are you interested in learning more? I have an article all about getting started with embroidery here!
I have an online class on how to construct your very own floral embroidery and some basic stitches here! Best yet, you can sign up for FREE!