hand stitches

I am very happy to welcome the Kirsten and Cath, the girls from Prints Charming to Whipup today. They are sharing a tutorial for embellishing fabric with hand stitches.

Crafted is a great word- it means it was made by hand, it means it was made for someone special and that is a wonderful thing. We print and stitch our own designs because we love them and would love to craft with them. Our book Sew Charming has been written with “handmade” in mind, we want to introduce you to the Prints Charming world of colour and embellishment.

And it’s embellishment that we have written this tutorial for Whip Up. We love the use of basic stitches over and over with simple thread types and colours you can create wonderful effects. Perle 8 and six stranded threads are our favourites of the moment, sometimes doubled some times single just depends on the look you need! At our classes we hold in our studio one of the points we often make with embroidery is don’t worry when you start just keep adding colour and stitches you’ll know when you are finished. The other point is watch out it’s addictive!

We made this video about our work and making philosophy for our US Sew Charmingbook launch – take a peak at our studio here and our making processes here too…

Stitch guide to some basic stitches you can use to embellish:


Running Stitch: We call this the up and down stitch and use it all the time. It can be worked along a line that is straight or curved. It is as simple as guiding your needle up and down through the fabric. Running stitch done row after row can create a great effect.


Backstitch: This simple stitch makes a great outline and combined with other stitches is another favourite of ours. As the name suggests you bring the needle up and then go “back”. Bring the needle up and then behind the stitch take the needle down and then come up in front of the first point. Continue to create an unbroken line of stitching.


Chain Stitch. What a wonderful stitch, once you’ve learnt this you will use it over and over. Bring the needle up through the fabric, hold a loop with your thumb and insert your needle again just next to the place where you just bought it through. Bring the needle up a short distance away, in the direction your chain is going, with the thread looped under the needle. Repeat.


French Knot. Go dotty with these “knots”. Bring your thread up through the fabric. Wrap the thread over and under the needle then insert the needle close to where it came up. Make thicker knots by using thicker threads.

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