Getting Started With Embroidery

Hi everyone, welcome back to my hobbies and leisure blog.  After my recent blog post on hunting gear I wanted to get a bit more in touch with my creative side.  So today I wanted to talk about one of my favourite rainy day hobbies, embroidery.

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Embroidery

Embroidery can be a fairly cheap hobby, and especially amongst other crafts it can be a great starter craft.  You can be as creative as you like with embroidery, from tracing a simple pattern to creating your own.

Things you need to get started:

Needles

A fairly obvious place to start  I like to use multi packs and variety packs, having different sizes of needle is great especially if you like to mix up the amount of embroidery strands you're using.

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Embroidery floss

To start with, I’d highly recommend using DMC Embroidery threads, they’re widely recognised as the best for embroidery and cross stitch threads globally.  You can normally purchase them for less than $0.50 a skein, although you can find some great second hand deals for sale with people selling bulk bargain deals.  So even though each project requires multiple colours, you can normally complete a project for less than a fiver's worth of thread.

I’ve found used embroidery floss thread for sale at cheap prices on http://www.for-sale.ie/embroidery-thread-dmc.

Embroidery hoops

There are many different types of hoops - plastic ones or wooden ones, squares or circles or ovals.  No matter what type of hoop you want you’ll be able to find it. My favourite style of hoops are the wooden effect flexi hoops, although I’ve found some great plastic embroidery flexi hoops for sale online here; http://www.for-sale.ie/embroidery-flexi-hoop

Fabric

Next up you will need some fabric or material to sew onto. Whilst the basic recommendation for material is an even weave fabric and a high thread count, the exact material you chose is dependent on what you want to do with the fabric, your budget and your personal preference.  I like to use linen or polycotton which are both commonly recommended fabrics for embroidery.  Using fabric that is too thin or cheap will often have a lower thread count which can lead to holes in the fabric upon washing.

Embroidery scissors

Although not an absolute must for an embroidery beginner, a pair of small but good and sharp scissors can really help.  Not only are they great for cutting threads in hard to reach places, but they’ll be a god send for pulling out tiny stitches  

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Patterns

There are many different ways to get patterns and designs for embroidery.  I personally like to create my own designs and then trace them onto fabric.  Other ways to get patterns include; iron on patterns, free or paid pdf patterns, books, stencils.  You can find so many free patterns online.  My favourite place to get free patterns is to sign up at www.brother-usa.com

Water soluble marker

If like me you like to create your own patterns, or trace others onto fabric then a water soluble marker might be the way forward for you.  Use a lightbox, or a window and tape the pattern, with the fabric up against it, to the window.  Use the light and this marker to trace over it and voila.  At the end of sewing simply dab water against the marker lines and watch them disappear.

Next up for me?  An embroidery machine.  I’ve wanted one of these bad boys for forever.  And I’ve finally found some second hand used embroidery machines for sale, at great bargain prices. Check them out here; www.for-sale.ie.

Embroidery not for you? Then why not check out my latest blog post on making your own candles.