Embroidered Panda

Embroidery Kit Tips & Tricks

Tips & TricksAmanda Farrell

If you’re working on one of our DIY kits, here are some tips for starting and finishing your piece.

First, embroidery floss is compiled of six strands. You can separate the strands out for thinner lines, or use the whole 6 for thick lines. For these designs, pull two strands from the six. Ideal floss length is up to you, but about arm’s length is usually good. Too short, and you have a lot of stopping and starting with new strands. Too long, and you’ll get tangles and knots while you’re working.

This is how I like to thread a needle with my embroidery floss:

Leave some excess floss near the head or eye of the needle, and at the very end of the length of the floss, tie a knot to act as an anchor for your first stitch. Ideal floss length is up to you, but about arm’s length is usually good. Too short, and you have a lot of stopping and starting with new strands. Too long, and you get tangles and knots while you’re working.

Leave some excess floss near the head or eye of the needle, and at the very end of the length of the floss, tie a knot to act as an anchor for your first stitch. Ideal floss length is up to you, but about arm’s length is usually good. Too short, and you have a lot of stopping and starting with new strands. Too long, and you get tangles and knots while you’re working.

This is how I like to create my basic back stitch:

The back stitch is great for smooth lines and text. (Step 1) To make your first stitch, come up from the back of the fabric, anywhere along the printed design. This will be your starting point. (Step 2) Pull the floss all the way through, until that little knot hits the fabric. Remember, it’s your anchor! (Step 3) Bring the needle back down, approximately 1/8” - 1/4” along the line of the printed design. You can actually make your stitches any length, but it looks nice when you keep your stitches consistent in length. You’ll sometimes need to make shorter stitches to get around a curve and keep it looking smooth. If you don’t like how a stitch looks, just un-stitch it and try again!

The back stitch is great for smooth lines and text. (Step 1) To make your first stitch, come up from the back of the fabric, anywhere along the printed design. This will be your starting point. (Step 2) Pull the floss all the way through, until that little knot hits the fabric. Remember, it’s your anchor! (Step 3) Bring the needle back down, approximately 1/8” - 1/4” along the line of the printed design. You can actually make your stitches any length, but it looks nice when you keep your stitches consistent in length. You’ll sometimes need to make shorter stitches to get around a curve and keep it looking smooth. If you don’t like how a stitch looks, just un-stitch it and try again!

(Step 5) Continue along the pattern line, but come up a space ahead (a stitch length ahead) and (Step 6) bring your needle back down into the same hole at the end of the previous stitch. Bringing your stitch back to the end of the last one makes one continuous line. You’ll keep going until you run the length of that floss, or until you finish the part of the design you’re stitching!

(Step 5) Continue along the pattern line, but come up a space ahead (a stitch length ahead) and (Step 6) bring your needle back down into the same hole at the end of the previous stitch. Bringing your stitch back to the end of the last one makes one continuous line. You’ll keep going until you run the length of that floss, or until you finish the part of the design you’re stitching!

This is how I finish a line of stitches:

When you get to the end of the floss or the design, or you want to switch colors, on the back side of the fabric, run the needle under the previous stitches. Here you can either just leave it secured under the stitches, or you can tie a knot. Trim the excess floss with scissors.

When you get to the end of the floss or the design, or you want to switch colors, on the back side of the fabric, run the needle under the previous stitches. Here you can either just leave it secured under the stitches, or you can tie a knot. Trim the excess floss with scissors.

This is how to make snowflakes / stars:

These are just simple stitches going one over the other until you have a star!

These are just simple stitches going one over the other until you have a star!

When you’ve finished stitching the entire design, and you’ve secured your floss by either threading it under previous stitches on the backside of the fabric, or you’ve tied knots, you can do a couple of things to finish the hoop.

  • You can trim the excess fabric and call it a day! This leaves the back stitching exposed, but if you plan to hang your piece, no one will be able to see the back.

  • You can gather and sew the excess fabric together, behind the piece, pulling it tight and securing it with a knot.

gather and knot
  • You can un-hoop your piece, place another piece of fabric behind it to cover the back, re-hoop it with the extra layer (make sure you center it again), and trim the excess (or leave the small buffer and hot glue the extra down inside the hoop). Some people use a fun printed fabric for the back as a cute, unexpected pop of color.

adding fabric
adding fabric 2

You can sew or hot glue a piece of felt to the back, or even put card stock, cut to size, in the back. Hang your piece on a wall, place it on a bookshelf, or decorate your Christmas tree!

let it snow