I love wearable embroidery! It celebrates the everyday and makes it special. For this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to hand embroider a necklace perfect for spring.
Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project:
Miniature embroidery hoop
6×6 inch square of cotton fabric
4-inch embroidery hoop
Hand embroidery needle
Your choice of embroidery thread
Necklace chain to the length of your choice
Let’s get started
1. Place the fabric in the embroidery hoop.
To do this, unscrew the top of the embroidery hoop so that the inner ring easily pops out.
Slide the inner ring inside the tote bag.
The design being stitched should be centered on the inner ring.
Then sandwich the outer ring on top of the inner ring and tote bag.
Gently tug the fabric along the outside of the hoop while tightening the top screw. It is important to make sure the fabric is taught, like a drum.
2. Using the transfer pen, trace the inner plate of the miniature embroidery hoop onto the front of the fabric.
3. Continue to use the transfer pen to draw your design onto the fabric. Be sure to keep the pattern within the traced circle. The pattern can go over the edge, however, additional bulk around the outer edge can make it harder to finish the embroidery later.
4. With the pattern drawn, choose your thread colors. I used DMC thread for this project. You’ll see the colors noted below as we stitch this design.
5. When embroidering I like to split the thread apart into different weights. This allows for thick and thin lines. Stitching with all 6 strands of thread can also be hard to work with and is a little bulky.
How to split your thread:
Start by cutting an arm’s length away from the skein.
Next, pinch the thread between your fingers and gently pull one piece out of the bunch at a time.
Pull straight up, so that the thread bunches underneath your fingertips.
Pulling more than one strand of thread from the bunch at a time usually leads to the thread tangling and knotting on itself.
6. With your thread split apart, now it’s time to thread the needle.
How to thread the embroidery needle:
Wet the ends of the strands of embroidery thread so that they stick together.
Hold the end of the thread bunch as close as you can to the end of your fingertips.
Now gently glide the thread through the needle’s eye.
Once threaded, leave one side of the thread longer than the other.
If you’re having trouble threading your needle, you might try a needle threader or a needle with a larger eye.
7. Before we can start stitching, we need to knot the thread end. The easiest way I have found to knot my thread is with a quilter’s knot.
How to make the quilter’s knot:
To do this, hold your needle pointy side up in your dominant hand.
Then take the very end of the longer side of your thread and cross the tail in front of your needle.
This will make a plus sign or cross. Hold the long tail with the thumb that is holding the needle. (Keep this in your dominant hand).
In your other hand you will have a loop of thread. Wrap the top part of the loop around the needle 3 times.
Pinch the wrapped thread between your thumb and finger that is holding the needle.
Then let go of the loop of thread in your other hand.
Next gently pull the wrapped thread tight and push it down, over the needle’s eye and down the strand of thread until it knots at the end of the longer side of the thread. When pushing the wrapped part of the thread down to the end of the long end of the thread, be sure to pinch the eye of the needle so that it doesn’t come unthreaded in the process.
8. Now let’s start stitching! For this pattern, I use 6 strands of DMC 341 and the raised stem stitch to create the fluffy cylindrical flowers.
How to make the raised stem stitch: The raised stem stitch elevates the stem stitch to create a padded stitch that’s great for filling in spaces.
Start by adding evenly spaced straight stitches horizontally across the space that is being filled.
Then, bring the needle up at the bottom left of the shape.
Slide the needle backwards, underneath the first straight stitch, towards where the needle is coming up through the fabric.
Pull the thread all the way through so that it’s tightly wrapped around the first straight stitch.
Move on to the next straight stitch, repeating until the first row is created. Bring the needle down through the fabric to end the first row.
To start the next row, bring the needle up through the fabric slightly above where the first row started.
Then repeat until the shape is filled
9. Next, I used 4 strands of DMC 900 and the detached buttonhole fill stitch to create the tops of the cone flowers.
Here’s how to embroider the detached buttonhole fill stitch: This stitch looks similar to a knit sweater.
To start outline your shape with the back stitch.
Next, bring the needle up in the bottom left corner of the back stitched shape.
Slide the needle vertically underneath the first back stitch in the shape and over the working thread.
Gently tug so the thread made a knit-like stitch on the front of the fabric.
Repeat at the next back stitch, by sliding the needle underneath it and over the working thread.
When you reach the end of the row, slide the needle underneath the first vertical back stitch on either side of the shape, making a flat line above the row that was just stitched.
Then repeat with the next row. Slide the needle vertically underneath the top thread of the row that was just stitched along with the flat stitch above, then over the working thread. Gently tug to that the thread creates a knit-like knot.
Repeat stitching rows until the shape is filled.
Then bring the needle to the back of the fabric and knot.
10. Next, I used 3 strands of DMC 3341 and the berry stitch to create the flower petals for the cone flowers.
Here’s how to embroider the berry stitch: The berry stitch is two detached chains or lazy daisy stitches around each other.
To start, bring your threaded needle from the back of your fabric to the front.
Hold your thread towards the top of the loop that is being created and bring your needle back down through the fabric in almost the same place you just came up.
Gently pull your thread until you have a small, open loop on the front of your piece.
Next bring your needle up from the back of the fabric to the front, going through your loop. Wherever you bring your needle back up will be where the top of the chain will be formed. Be sure your loop isn’t twisted, otherwise, the stitch will also be twisted.
Then gently tug the thread through so that a small loop is formed on the front of your fabric.
To secure the stitch, bring the needle down, back through the fabric at the top of the loop, on the other side of the looped thread. This creates a single detached chain/lazy daisy stitch.
After one is complete, create another detached chain/lazy daisy stitch that is around the first. This creates the berry stitch.
11. For the last two flowers, use 2 strands of DMC 11 and the pistil stitch.
Here’s how to embroider the pistil stitch: The pistil stitch is a French knot with a line attached to it.
To create the pistil stitch, bring the needle up through the fabric, from the back to the front, at the bottom point of the straight line.
Pinch the thread in your non-dominant hand about 3-4 inches from where the thread comes out of the front of the fabric.
In between where the thread is pinched and it is coming out of the fabric, wrap the thread around the needle. The more times the thread is wrapped, the larger the knot will be.
After the thread is wrapped, bring the needle back down through the fabric at the top point of the pistil stitch.
Before pushing the needle all the way through the fabric, gently tug the thread so that it is tightly wrapped around the needle and flush with the fabric.
12. For the flower stems, use 2 strands of DMC 501 and the stem stitch.
Here’s how to create the stem stitch: The stem stitch looks like a coiled rope and creates a thin outline that is great for plant stems and curved lines.
To start, bring the needle up through the fabric, slightly above the pattern vine line.
Go back down through the fabric one stitch length away from your previous stitch below the pattern line.
Bring your needle back up through the fabric next to and about halfway between your last two stitches.
Then bring your needle back down through the fabric and repeat until the line is complete.
13. Complete the pattern by using 4 strands of DMC 501 and the leaf stitch the fill in the leaf.
Here’s how to embroider the leaf stitch: The leaf stitch name pretty much gives away what this stitch is great for stitching.
To start, bring the needle up through the back of the fabric to the front at the top point of the leaf.
Then go back down through the fabric one stitch length away along the middle line of the leaf.
Next, bring the needle back up through the fabric along the outer edge of the leaf to the right of the first stitch.
Then bring the needle back down slightly below the last stitch along the middle line.
Repeat on the opposite side by bringing the needle up from the back to the front along the left outer edge of the leaf.
Then bring the needle back down slightly below the last stitch along the middle line. Repeat until the leaf is filled in.
14. With the stitching complete, remove the embroidery from the hoop and trim it to about a finger’s width away from the traced outline.
15. Thread the needle with any color and strands of thread. Then sew the running stitch all the way around the circle. Stitch between the traced line and the edge of the fabric.
Here’s how to embroider the running stitch: The running stitch is one of the most basic stitches to create a dashed line.
To start, bring the needle up through the fabric from the back side for the fabric to the front at your starting point.
Go back down through the fabric a short distance from the first point.
Continue this until you go all the way around the back of the embroidery.
Do NOT knot the thread. Leave it hanging loose
16. Lay the embroidery face down on a flat surface. Then place the center plate of the miniature hoop against the back of the embroidery. Tug the running stitch thread so that it tightens around the center plate. Then knot the thread to secure it.
17. Now assemble the miniature hoop. Center the embroidery in the miniature frame, then add the hardware, tightening the top so that everything is secure.
18. To close the back of the embroidery, add a small amount of glue to the back of the center plate, then press the backing piece on top. Wait for the glue to dry.
19. If there are any transfer pen marks, remove them. I used a Pilot Frixion erasable pen which disappears with heat. After I had assembled my necklace, I used a blow dryer to remove any pen marks.
20. Finally, add the necklace chain by looping it through the open section of the hoop frame.
21. Wear and enjoy!