How to Use One Pattern, Three Ways!

comments (5) September 24th, 2008     

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erika_kern Erika Kern, contributor
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The same pattern can be stitched in many ways, from right to left: outline with pen and ink–style shading, full-color fill, and black outline.
The pattern is a simple outline made so that you can add as much or as little detail as youd like.
The pattern looks great just on its own. I stitched it with a stemstitch and splitstitch using all six strands of the floss. This is great for when you want a project done fast because you can easily finish it in one to two days.
The same pattern can be stitched in many ways, from right to left: outline with pen and ink–style shading, full-color fill, and black outline.

The same pattern can be stitched in many ways, from right to left: outline with pen and ink–style shading, full-color fill, and black outline.

Photo: Erika Kern
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Embroidery is like a relationship—it's all about commitment. But unlike most relationships, you get something beautiful even if you only give it a day or two! Give it more time and you get to play with stitches and detail, adding depth and interest to your project. Here's a great example of the same pattern stitched in three different ways. Let's call them "The Summer Fling," "The High School Romance," and "I Do, I Do."

First, you can download the pattern here.

Then decide what you want to embellish. This pattern looks great as a pillow or a piece of wall art but would look smashing as piece of wearable art, too. I decided I wanted to frame my art in oval embroidery hoops, so I chose some white linen I had in my fabric stash. Linen is great to stitch on because it has a nice open weave, and the more open the weave the easier the stitching. That's not to say you can't stitch up something on a fabric with a tight weave, but it just takes a sharper needle. Want to stitch onto a T-shirt or other stretchy fabric? Well, you're a brave soul! If you can wait, I'll be posting about stitching on stretch in a few weeks. Can't wait? You'll need patience, a sharp needle, and some stabilizer (I like water-soluble stabilizer because you can wash it away after you're done). Final tip: Don't stretch your fabric too tight in your hoop because you'll cause your stitches and fabric to pucker.

After you've printed out the pattern and picked your fabric, you have to decide how you want to transfer your pattern onto your fabric. I'm a big fan of the Sulky Iron-on Transfer Pen and tracing paper. It makes a reusable iron-on of any pattern that you can have at the ready in your pattern library. You can find the pen here (in bulk) or here or here, or ask your local craft or fabric store to order one for you. Other options are transfer pencils and transfer paper. Sublime Stitching sells white and gray transfer paper and you get some fun patterns to boot! However you choose to make your pattern, get that thing on the fabric and let's start stitching!

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posted in: vintage, embroidery, embellishment, nautical

Comments (5)

erika_kern writes: Well. . . I have been accused of being an embroidery machine. Hee hee.
Posted: 11:25 pm on September 24th
Average_Jane_Crafter writes: Wow! I love seeing this pattern done three ways, and I have to say ... I can't pick a favorite. They all look amazing in their own ways. I love the hatching on the high school romance, and the french knot froth on the waves in the last one is too.die.for. :)
Posted: 10:44 pm on September 24th
JenniferStern writes: Holy Cow, I thought you did that by's so wonderfully perfect. Great Job!
Posted: 9:54 pm on September 24th
erika_kern writes: You're more than welcome!
The only hint I can give you about the satin stitch is tension, close stitches, and patience. Also, though it uses a lot of floss, I like to have the back match the front on my satin stitch because it helps with that all important tension.
Posted: 5:21 pm on September 24th
Ednarb writes: These are absolutely beautiful! I can't believe how smooth and even your satin stitch is. Still can't get mine to come out that nicely. And I'm so excited to see hand-stitched embroidery articles on this site - usually they're all about machine embroidery. These have inspired me to be more daring in my creations - to move up from the Summer Fling to the High School Romance. Thank you for posting these!
Posted: 3:12 pm on September 24th
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