5 Embroidery Tips & Techniques

If you have been embroidering for quite some time, you may have already discovered some embroidery tips and techniques yourself. Here are some ‘hacks’ that I have discovered myself and love – hopefully they are useful for you too. These work whether you are hand stitching or using an embroidery machine.

You might be interested in our guide on how to choose an embroidery machine if you want to take your embroidery to the next level.

Prepare some color cover-ups

When I was still starting, and even for several times recently, I find myself facing some malfunctions in my patterns. At times, it can be an obvious tearaway stabilizer along the edges, or a simple malfunction that reveals too much background.

Most of the time, these malfunctions happen when I am about to finish. During my earlier days of embroidery, I find these things annoying, and would always end up throwing the project and starting all over again. I was that impatient back then.

However, through the years, I have learned a vital trick. I learned that it pays to prepare permanent markets with the stash. In one particular project, I slid the edge of a blue market on the edge of a heart design. After that, the tearaway stabilizer just disappeared.

In other patterns I made, I just color the splotchy areas. This does not mean that the mistake has already gone away, but they were just less noticeable. You may also want to invest in actual textile markers, though permanent, office markers would work just fine for any project.

Create a ‘bandage’

This happened to me a lot of times already. I have finished working on an embroidery design on a fabric, say a shirt, just working on clipping the excess stabilizer away, when suddenly, I accidentally clipped the shirt, leaving a hole.

Again, the perfectionist side of me wanted to just throw the project right away, but discovered that the project can still be saved. I tried using my editing software in order to copy a different pompom, stitching it on the cut area. I was amazed with the output because I did not expect that it would actually turn out fine.

Make an organza window

While cutwork is a standard technique which is often used in decorative stitching, it can also prove to be quite valuable when used with sheer organza. For example, if you are creating a gift bag using the cutwork technique, you can use a piece of organza, putting it on top, running the cutwork stitches again.

Afterwards, you can cut the fabric away, similar to that when doing applique, and trip your organza near the stitch line. You can then finish this using satin stitches in order to create a glistening, sheer window.

Create some reminders

When I say reminders, these are actual reminders that I put in my editing software pattern. One time when I was stitching a zippered bag in a hoop, it was unfortunate enough that I forgot to move the zipper tab towards the middle before I attached the other side of the bag.

As it turned out, when I turned the bag with the right side out, its zipper is located in its seam allowance, thus the bag cannot be unzipped. I know this can be redone, but it can take time on my end. As such, I inputted the words “open the zipper” to my pattern using the editing software as a reminder for me.

Cleaning up the sticky hoops

Sticky hoops seemed to be a part of some patterns. In order to avoid them, I have learned not spraying adhesive on the hoop, rather spraying on the fabric back. Yet, they can still be gummed up when using stick adhesives and adhesive stabilizers. If this is the case, a good solution that you can use is a non-acetone based nail polish remover. Make sure that it is non-acetone based so that it will
not discolor the plastic hoops.

Wrapping up

Whether embroidered by hand or by a machine, there is no doubt that embroidery is an amazing way of incorporating interesting details to any fabric.  Different styles such as punch-needle, with a magic embroidery pen, can give your textile projects that individual flair. With the above mentioned 5 embroidery tips and techniques at hand, you can bring your embroidery project to the next level.

The tips and techniques mentioned are basically to save any project from getting thrown away. Beginners, most of the time, would want to achieve a perfect output. However, starting over again can prove not just time consuming, but a test of patience which could otherwise be controlled using the right techniques. Check out this video for more tips and techniques:

Most especially if you are not after commercial selling of your products, you can simply get away with some minor mistakes using the techniques mentioned above. As you hone your skills further, you learn more and more techniques along the way as well.