Guide: Learn to embroider

Our primary goal is to ensure that as many people as possible will experience the same joy as we do when crafting – and embroidery is no exception. Therefore, we have developed a thorough embroidery guide where we go through the essentials you need to know to get started properly on your embroidery project.

Among others, you will get introduced to the overall concept of embroidery and the materials for this purpose. Furthermore, you will find a guide on reading different types of charts, making different types of stitches, and much more.​

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GETTING STARTED EMBROIDERING

An example of an embroidery kit (the Langeland Cushion)

A brief introduction to embroidery

Embroidery has been an important part of traditional crafting for centuries. This type of crafting has been essential for decorative purposes as well as for repairing worn clothes.

Embroidery as a craft is very all-round and exciting with many different variations. You can find many kinds of embroidery, but regardless hereof, embroidery is all about knitting a decorative element on a surface.

Our appraoch
Embroidering following a chart, of which the embroidery covers an entire surface, is our primary focus at Kit Couture.

This kind of embroidery provides the opportunity to create beautiful and contrasting patterns with clear, graphic expressions.

What du you wish to embroider?

It is super easy to commence an embroidery project. All you need to get started is a needle and some thread or yarn. Learning the different stitches is simple, and you can create the most beautiful results!

We offer varying types of kits for embroidery, accomodating both beginners and more experienced embroideresses. You can choose between cushions, clutches, bags, wallets, as well as displays and eye-glasses cases.

Common for all our embroidery kits is that they include everything you need to finish your project successfully.

THE ESSENTIALS

The fabric
You can embroider on many different types of fabric, though if you are following a chart, it is advantageous that you can count the threads of the fabric.

Our embroidery kits are designed for canvas for embroidering or Aida, which is available in two sizes.

Our embroidery kits are designed so that the entire surface is covered; however, one can partially embroider the canvas.

For this purpose, linen is an ideal choice, as the fabric itself can function as a part of the design.

The yarn or thread
You can use many different types of thread and yarn for embroidering. If you embroider by following a chart, we recommend applying a six-threaded cotton yarn or a four-threaded wool yarn.

You can also embroider with metallic embroidery yarn, which can provide a beautiful and elegant effect. However, this type of tapestry yarn can be challenging to work with, why we use it to a smaller extent.

The Stjernøya Bag in process

The needle
We recommend using a needle without a sharp point when embroidering on canvas or Aida, as there are already holes in the fabric. This makes embroidering with the needle easier.

We always rely on the English company John James for needles of the best quality.

Embroidery scissors
Small, good scissors will, undoubtedly, be your new best friend when embroidering, as you will need to cut many threads during the process.

ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR EMBROIDERY

THE PATTERN AND CHART

Our kits always include a pattern as well as a matching chart. Here you will find all the information needed for you to successfully embroidering your project. 

The pattern
The pattern includes a thorough description and images showing the applied embroidery techniques.

Furthermore, a guide on how to finish up your project is included, no matter if it is a cushion, clutch, or another project. With this, we will make sure that you will finish your project successfully.

The chart
Apart from the pattern, the kit includes a chart. The chart shows the entire motif and how to embroider it. Numbers are indicated on the chart, making it simple for you to count the rows.

Usually, the chart includes an overview of the colors for your project.

Finally, the chart is illustrated with colors or symbols. The individual square corresponds to on cross stitch or a half stitch. The colored square – or the symbol – refers to a specific color of yarn or direction of a stitch if half stitches are applied.

 

The Katholm Clutch in process.

CHART WITH COLORED SQUARES

If the motif only includes a few colors, you often embroider by following a grey-toned chart. If you find this challenging, you can color the chart with crayons.

On the contrary, if you have chosen a project with a whole lot of colors, then the chart will represent all the colors

CHART WITH SYMBOLS

If you have chosen to embroider a project with half stitches, the chart will include symbols within each square indicating which direction you must embroider the stitches. 

GETTING STARTED

Broderi

It is a good idea to count the holes before commencing your project to ensure that there is enough space all the way around.

Each color is embroidered separately. On the canvas, you count how many stitches you need to embroider at a time.

The thread is fastened off with the color with which you have embroidered. This is done to ensure that you cannot see the color used for fastening off through the stitches on the front of your work.

You commence your project a couple of centimeters from the edge so that you have something to hold on to.

USEFUL EMBROIDERY TIPS

• Count. Count. Count. This is the golden rule if you want to avoid mistakes.
• Always have clean hands when embroidering – the fabric easily gets dirty.

• It is important to embroider as much as possible with the same color and use as
little embroidery thread as possible.

• Be careful not to tighten the thread too much when embroidering the dark sections –
otherwise, the canvas might be visible through the stitches.

• If the fabric has become distorted whilst embroidering, moisten the finished work
slightly on the wrong side using a damp cloth, stretch into shape and pin onto a piece
of Styrofoam or something similar. Leave to dry completely before removing the pins.

OUR TECHNIQUES FOR EMRBOIDERING

Korrsting

Cross stitches

Korssting

Cross stitches with a split thread

Gobelinsting

Satin stitches

Halve korssting

Half stitches

EMBROIDERING WITH CROSS STITCHES

Many have tried embroidering with cross stitches in school. It is an easy and simple technique that is a great starting point if you wish to start embroidering.

We offer kits with two different sizes of cross stitches.

Korssting

An illustration of cross stitches

The technique
A cross stitch consists of sewing one stitch from left to right and then overlapping this stitch by sewing from right to left.

Cross stitches are sewn from the bottom and op. Firstly, you sew the entire row from left to right, and secondly, the row overlapping the first stitches.

Korssting

An example of a project applying cross stitches is the Katholm Clutch.

Sew in the direction from left to right.

The back will look like this when embroidering with cross stitches.

When embroidering with more than one color, the work will look like this.

The back of your half stitches will look like this.

INSPIRATION FOR KITS USING CROSS STITCHES

EMBROIDERING WITH SATIN STITCHES

Using satin stitches is a fun technique. The stitches are quick and easy to embroider – and the surface becomes even and beautiful.

When using this embroidery technique, the stitches are sewn looser on the canvas, and thereby it is less firm than, e.g., cross stitches. This means that this technique is less durable than cross stitches.

Illustration: Placing the satin stitches.

The technique
A satin stitch is a vertical stitch covering several squares.

Each square in the chart represents 1 row vertically and horizontally on the canvas. Each switch is sewn across a minimum of 2 rows vertically and 1 row horizontally.

An example of a project applying satin stitches is the Ymer Cushion

The needle is brought to the front from the back. The hole where you commence is not counted. If five squares are stated in the chart, you count five holes from the hole where the thread is, and you put it through the fifth hole.

You fasten off by swing through the vertical switch on the back. You need to sew about two centimeters and then pull so that the thread cannot move. Lastly, you cut the rest of the thread. It looks like this.

Each color is embroidered with the number of stitches mentioned in the chart. The back of your work will look like this.

INSPIRATION FOR KITS USING SATIN STITCHES

EMBROIDERING WITH HALF STITCHES

Half stitches is an exquisite embroidery technique as it creates a stunning surface, which reminds us of a woven surface.

The stitches are always placed in different directions; otherwise, the fabric will get twisted. When embroidering the stitches in different directions, an elegant and herringbone-like pattern is created.

Halve korssting

Illustration: Half stitches are sewn in different directions

The technique
Half stitches alternately lean towards left and right.

The stitch's direction is stated in the chart, indicated by a diagonal line in each square - either leaning towards the left or the right.

Sew in the direction from left to right.

Halve korssting

As opposed to cross stitches where you overlap the first row of stitches you only sew one row of half stitches

The back of your half stitches will look like this.

Your final result using half stitches can look like this.

INSPIRATION FOR KITS USING half STITCHES

MAKING UP

What does making up mean?

Making up your embroidery is almost always a necessity when embroidering following a chart.

We strive that making up is simple and easy for you to ensure that the final result will look both beautiful and professional.

All the materials you need for making up your embroidery project are included in the kit, together with a thorough guide. Suppose you are embroidering a cushion and do not have an inner cushion at home. In that case, you need to order an inner cushion separately, as it is not included in the kit.

The Stjernøya Bag has a belting leather bag strap and gold hardware, which is included in the kit - and making up the bag is simple.

StITCHING TOGETHER A BAG, CLUTCH OG WALLET

With or without af sewing machine?

You can use various techniques for stitching together a bag, clutch, or wallet. The ideal technique depends on the thickness embroidered surface is.

Suppose the embroidered surface is thinner; you can stitch the edges of your project front to the front by hand or by using a sewing machine.

We recommend sewing a row of back stitches around the embroidered surface when sewing together thicker embroidered surfaces – such as cross stitches on canvas 2.6”. The back stitches are ideal for sewing on top off subsequently.

When grafting together two surfaces with an edge of back stitches, using Kitchener stitches can be beneficial. These stitches provide the clutch or wallet with a complete expression.

The Katholm Clutches is grafted by using back and Kitchener stitches.

BACK STITCHES

As shown in the photo, you sew back stitches on the edges of your work. You sew the stitches in those squares in which you have already embroidered. Hereby, you can cover up the canvas.

KITCHENER STITCHES

Fold your work in the middle with the front of the work facing outwards. Then sew using Kitchener stitches from the top and down to the corner.

ATTACHING LINING

A lining is used for bags, clutches, wallets, and eye-glasses cases. A lining is usually made of thin fabric so that it does not take too much room

We always include a lining with a YKK-zipper in the kits for clutches, bags, wallets, and eye-glasses cases, as we from experience know that many find it challenging making a beautiful. Further, not everyone owns a sewing machine.

The fabric used for our linings is 100% cotton, which is durable and looks great with almost any color.

HOW TO ATTACH THE LINING?

When attaching a lining, you must commence by sewing together the embroidered surface as described above.

Place the lining with an open zipper inside the bag, clutch, wallet, or eyeglasses case. Fasten the lining using pins in such a way that the zipper peeks 0.5 cm from the edge.

Use the warmth of your fingers to bring the canvas into place and create sharp edges.

Finally, you attach the lining by hand with a black sewing thread.

ATTACHING A CUSHION BACK

The final guide for making up embroidery projects revolves around attaching a cushion back, which is simple and can be done by hand or using a sewing machine.

Our kits for embroidered cushions always include a backing. The backing is sewn in dark grey woolen fabric and has two to three grey press studs.

HOW TO ATTACH THE BACKING?

After finishing the embroidered surface for your cushion, you attach a backing.

Place your work beneath a tea towel with the back facing upwards, and steam the work by carefully ironing on medium heat until the tea towel is dry.

Carefully sew straight stitches along the edges using a sewing machine or by hand using tiny back stitches.

Now turn the front of the work inside out. Use a thin object to place the corners beautifully.

Finally, put your inner cushion inside – and it is ready for use.

FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR NEXT EMBROIDERY KIT

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