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Embroidery Stitch-a-long. Part 2: a few basics before we start

Welcome back to our “Victorian Hands Sew” Sew along!

You probably have had the time to gather all of your materials now and are excited about starting the embroidery.

If you are not ready, no worries, you still have time and will find more informations about the supplies in our last post

Just a few words and useful basics for the beginners and maybe some tips for the ones of you who have already made some embroidery.

Embroidery Stitch-a-long. Part 2 a few basics before we start.

The Floss

Cotton Embroidery Floss comes in skeins, the floss is made of 6 strands of thread. I hardly ever use more than 3. I will indicate you, for each part of the embroidery, the number of strands that we will use. Please note that for the Metallic Embroidery skeins, the floss is made of 12 strands of thread, which are thinner than the cotton ones.

I recommend to cut a length of floss no longer than 20 inches (50 cm) to avoid knots and un necessary tangling. Even shorter for the dreaded but super sexy metallic thread. 

A simple gesture, such as picking the strands of thread out can be more tricky than it seems and the best way that I have found over the years is this one, recommended by the very talented Mary Corbet.

Starting and Ending

To start the thread, I simply make a double knot at the end of the thread.

To end the thread, you can either make a double knot at the back of the embroidery, either run your needle under the last few stitches at the back of the embroidery. Et voilà!

The Hoop

First of all, I can only recommend a good quality Embroidery Hoop. The ones made by Elbesee in England are my favorite and are the ones that I put in my Embroidery Kits. They are beautifully made with nice quality wood and a brass screw clip.

Their first use is of course to make the embroidery work easier ( by keeping the fabric taut), but they have became more and more part of the modern embroidery objects themselves as they are now hugely used as frames for the finished needlework.

If you are new to embroidery, you might be happy to learn a bit more about the hoop how-to...

First, separate the inner and outer parts of the hoop ( unscrew a bit if necessary).

Then, lay the inner circle on a table and put the fabric over it, centering the design.

Put the outer part of the hoop over the top, press hard!

Be careful to stretch the fabric all around.

You just have now to tighten the screw, READY TO STITCH!


Stay tuned to start our Embroidered Tote Bag Sew-along with our first Embroidery Stitch Tutorial, the Backstitch, this Thursday!

Find all my Embroidery Tote Bag Stitch-a-long posts there:

Part 1: gather supplies
Part 2: a few basics before we start
Part 3: let’s start!
Part 4: let’s embroider the ROSES!!!
Part 5: the Dreaded BUT Sexy Metallic Thread!!!
Part 6: let’s put some nail polish and learn the Satin Stitch!
Part 7: Stitching some Needle and Thread!
Part 8: The French Knots

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