Embroidery Quick Start

Quick Start

Get the basics! Learn to embroider and create beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces. Warning! Your friends will be extremely jealous of your awesome crafting abilities!

Embroidery Tool Kit

Prep Your Supplies

Separate your Floss – DMC Embroidery Floss is made of six strands that are twisted together and easy to separate. Many cross stitch designs stitched on 14-count aida call for only two strands of floss, so you will need to separate your floss. Refer to your design chart to see how many strands (or plies) of floss the design specifies.

Find the end of the thread on your skein of DMC Floss. Slowly pull the end out from the skein until you have an 18” length of floss and cut it off. To separate the floss into individual strands, pull one strand up and out slowly until it is completely separated from the remaining strands. Continue to pull out the number of strands you need to stitch with. To rejoin the threads, hold them together at one end then gently stroke the lengths to smooth and recombine them.

Prepare Fabric - Place your fabric into an embroidery hoop. Click here for directions on how to use an embroidery hoop.

Transferring a Design to Fabric - The technique to transfer a design onto fabric depends on the color and thickness or weight of the fabric. DMC manufactures Embroidery Tracing Paper to make it easy to trace your design onto your fabric. Click here to see other methods of transferring an embroidery design to your fabric. 

To Use DMC Tracing Paper

Place your fabric on a hard smooth surface and tape it down to secure it. Position the tracing paper over the fabric with the colored side down. Place the design over the transfer paper and tape it into place. Carefully trace the design with a stylus or an empty fine point ball tip pen. To achieve the best results, take your time and use a long continuous line with even pressure rather than a sketching motion. Use the blue-colored paper for light-colored fabrics and the yellow-colored paper for darker fabrics.

Thread your needle – Follow this handy needle threading guide to thread your needle with the DMC Needle Threader. Click here for the DMC Needle Guide to refer to which needle you should use.

 

Start Stitching:

DMC Quick Embroidery Stitch Tips:

  • Perfectly Spaced Stitches – to achieve uniform stitch size when embroidering a line or band, use a ruler or tape measure to mark tiny evenly spaced dots along the stitching line with a water soluble marker. You will learn to gauge stitch distances with experience.
  • Stab “Up and Down” – when working with your fabric in a hoop it is preferable to stab the needle vertically up and down through the fabric to achieve well-formed and even stitches.
  • Keep your Tension Even - to create smooth uniform stitches, pull each stitch with the same amount of tension. If the stitch is too loose the stitch will appear limp and if the stitch is pulled too tightly the fabric will pucker and cause the design to become distorted.

Starting and Stopping

Starting
To create beautiful “bump-free” embroidery, DMC recommends you start your stitching using one of the methods described below.

  • Waste Knot Method - Use when stitching a line and no previous stitching is available to secure your thread. Knot the end of the thread and take your needle from the front to the back about 1” or so from your starting point (and on the line to be stitched).  Bring the needle up to the front at the starting point. Start stitching towards the knot, being sure to cross over the thread on the back with each stitch to secure it. When your stitching reaches the knot, pull it up and snip it close to the fabric. 

 

Stopping
To end a thread, run your threaded needle under the last few stitches on the back of the fabric and clip off the excess thread.  After rethreading the needle to continue, simply run the needle under several stitches on the back to secure the thread and resume stitching.
 

Refer to the DMC Embroidery Stitch Guide to learn how to stitch 27 different embroidery stitches