Tutorial Thursday: Getting Started with Embroidery ♥

detail shot

There is a slight change of plan this week. Emily, who shared her interview with us on Tuesday, couldn’t do a tutorial for us today due to spending some time away. However, I didn’t want to leave you lovely readers without a project.

I can’t say I thought about this project for weeks. It was definitely a last minute idea, but a sweet one at that. Also, how fitting is it, what with Great British Bake Off last night?
As Emilys interview was about her life as an embroidery artist, I thought it only appropriate to carry that theme on this week. Today, I am sharing with you how to do a simple but cute embroidery project. Some people are instantly put off embroidery as its fiddly or time consuming or ‘what do you even stitch?!’. Well, I hope after this today, you will be inspired to pick up a sewing needle, grab some thread and do some sewing!

tutorial supplies 

For this you shall need these following supplies:
Fabric
Embroidery thread (I use Anchor)
Hoop (mine is 6inch)
Needles
A design to sew onto the fabric
Pencil/fabric pen

measuring fabric

Completely lay out your fabric onto a flat surface and place your hoop in the corner. I suggest the corner as you then have the rest of your fabric to use, for other projects. You want to make sure that you have enough fabric for the hoop to work with, as when the fabric is placed in the hoop, the fabric will bunch. Always cut a little more than you think you will need. My fabric is roughly 9 x 8 inches for a 5/6 inch hoop. If unsure, always put the hoop together before you cut your fabric, to give you an idea of how much you need. Also, when you take the hoop off, you’re left with crease marks as a guideline.

tracing design

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Once your fabric is cut, grap the design you wish to use and find the right placement. This really is a ‘should it go here? or should it go there?’ step. Once you are happy, place the design under your fabric and trace. I used a pencil, as my fabric is quite thin and didn’t want it to leak through. If what you are using is nice and thick, go ahead and use a washable fabric pen!

sewing the design

When you’re ready, put your hoop in place. You want the bigger hoop to be at the top of your fabric, and the smaller hoop underneath. However, I have seen it the other way around if that works better for you.
Now, begin stitching! For a neater stitch, I find that a backstitch works best. This way you have no gaps in between the stitches and it follows your work nicely.

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As I finished sewing the delicious looking biscuits, I felt it was lacking something. So, I added some text to go with it. This is freehand, but can always trace another design.

biscuit anyone?

And ta-dah! There you have a one of a kind embroidery project! Something like this would look perfect in the kitchen as a decoration or if you know someone who has a bit of a biscuit addiction, it would make a perfect gift!

Thank you for joining me today and if you wish to see Emilys interview, you can click here. Next Tuesday, we will have Kate Marsden, who is a textile designer and fibre artist.

Until then, happy dunkin’!

Introducing: Emily Nicolet ♥

Emily Nicolet embroidery

When I first stumbled upon Emilys work, I was completely in awe (and still am!). The detail gone into her work and the stitches, are beautiful! I’m super excited to have her here with us today. Meeting people who have the same interests as you, and being able to share that joy is always an exciting moment. Emily really gives us true insight into herself, her life and work in this interview, so go grab a cuppa’, and enjoy a morning (or afternoon) read…

✎  Tell us a little bit about yourself…

My name is Emily, and I’m a student living in Scotland. I just graduated with a degree in English Language at the University of Edinburgh, and next year I’ll be doing a masters in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Glasgow! As you can imagine it’s tough to find time to do as much crafting as I like and having a dedicated ‘work room’ isn’t really possible (if only I could afford a flat with spare rooms!), but I do my best to do as much as I possibly can. When I’m not at school I’m in California with my parents, two cats, and Scottish boyfriend who we love to have come along.

Mulder, its me

✎  Where did your love of hand embroidery begin? and what inspires you for your projects?

This is an interesting question because I’ve actually had to have a hard think about this! I genuinely think that the thing that inspired me to start embroidering was that moment when you walk into a crafting supplies store, and there’s a huge wall or display of all the embroidery thread colours you could possibly imagine. It just looks so tempting! I started embroidering originally as an excuse to buy some pretty thread basically, and immediately took to it. I take inspiration for projects from all around, but specifically I always try to only embroider things that interest me. One of my favourite projects to do was an embroidery based on Scully from The X-Files, which came to me after I marathoned that show pretty hard! I also take ideas from lyrics I love; many of my nature-based pieces are inspired by Joanna Newsom songs. I’m currently working on designing a pattern based on one of my all-time favourite Simpsons jokes too that I hope will come out well.

bitches get stuff done

✎   What made you want to start your own business?

I’ve been a dedicated buyer from Etsy for many years! But I didn’t think to have my own Etsy store until I started posting what I had made on Facebook, and had friends and family telling me that they thought it was very good or that they’d like to buy it. Etsy honestly makes it so easy to start a business, so I put up a few things I’d crocheted and one embroidery and it was done. I mean, no one bought any of that stuff at first, but technically that was Fawn and Peach started! It wasn’t until I started creating more embroidery pieces that I started seeing any sales.

embroidery necklace

Whats your workspace like? Are you an organised sewer, or do you find yourself surrounded by threads and fabrics?

I’m the messiest person in the world. This sounds like it might be hyperbolic, but I don’t think it is! All of my embroidery supplies are vaguely sorted and placed into one of two massive ziploc bags. I truly need a better system, but I never have the time to implement one! One of the things I do like about embroidery though is that it’s fairly portable, so my workspace is wherever I need to be – in my bed, at my table, or even at a cafe if I’m looking for a change of scenery. I can just pack everything I need into a little pouch and go!

home is where the rabbit hole is

✎   You’ve ventured out into the business world of handmade craft. Are there any designers or companies you dream of working or collaborating with?

There are so many designers that I would love to collaborate with that it’s hard to only mention a couple! One of my embroidery friends runs her own embroidery business called Sea of Stars, and I would love to one day be able to work on a collaborative piece with her. I also follow a lot of sewing blogs, specifically independent pattern makers, and it would be an absolute dream to maybe contribute an embroidery pattern for a pattern they release! It would be so amazing to design an embroidered motif for an adorable Tilly and the Buttons pattern.

Fawn and Peach

 And finally, Do you have any tips or advice for someone whose starting out in this industry? 

Hmm, this is a tough one. In terms of people who are just starting out and building an online presence, I’d say that the best thing you can do is really make sure to have your social networking all set up! A lot of the sales or interest in my work or blog I’ve gotten has been via people sharing things I’ve made from my Facebook page, or liking the posts I’ve made on Instagram. I know that’s quite common sense at this point, but it’s easy to let things like this slip from your mind when you’re just starting out! In terms of getting started on Etsy, reading up on how Etsy SEO (that’s search engine optimisation) works is absolutely vital – I found I was getting hardly any hits at all for months, but after tweaking my listing titles to include more keywords my daily hits doubled. Little things like this can make such a big difference, and it adds up!

If you wish to purchase any designs from Emily, you can visit her Etsy shop, Fawn and Peach. Or check out her blog, Facebook and Instagram