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6 Common Embroidery Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

You can do so much with embroidery! I'm always impressed when I see new designs and works of art. When you're first starting with this craft, it can feel a little daunting if and when things start to go array. Here's six common mistakes I see with new (and sometimes seasoned) stitchers and how to avoid them.

1. You're using the wrong fabric

While you can embroider on pretty much anything, not all fabrics are created equal. Some are easier to work with that others. If you are just getting started with embroidery, try 100% cotton or a linen fabric with a tight weave. These fabrics tend to have an even weave and stretch making them a great canvas to start a project.

2. Your embroidery hoop has bad tension

There are good and bad embroidery hoops. If your hoop has gaps between the inner and out hoop before using it, this is a bad hoop and will cause your fabric to gape or loose tension. Find an embroidery hoop with the inner and outer hoops hugging each other so that your fabric stays tight as you stitch.

3. Your stitches are too tight or too loose

Your embroidery stitches should be flush with the fabric. If your fabric gets distorted (wrinkled, puckers, or get a hole), around your embroidery, it most likely means you're pulling your thread for your stitches too tightly. If your thread is flopping away from your fabric, that can also mean your stitches are too loose.

4. You're using the wrong kind of transfer materials

It's important to use the right transfer tools when adding your pattern to fabric. Fabric pens, heat transfer pens, water soluble pens, transfer paper, chalk pencils, and carbon paper are all good options. Ball point pens, markers, or anything with ink that will run when wet, is not good for embroidery. These pens will most likely bleed onto your embroidery or fabric and ruin your project.

5. You're rushing or getting impatient

Embroidery is a slow craft and a time to step away from the busyness of your day. If you're rushing to fill in a section of color or getting impatient, it will show in your work. So slow it down and be mindful as you stitch.

6. You're skipping the basics

Basics are important for a reason. While there are hundreds of embroidery stitches, many of them start or build off of the basics. Learning how to split thread, tie a knot, and place fabric in a hoop are just as important as the satin stitch, back stitch, chain stitch, and French knot. Join me for an embroidery workshop to cover the basics or advance your skills.


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