I learnt some very important lessons when I began to embroider (FYI, it’s NOT a good idea to draw your design onto your fabric with a biro. Just don’t do it. Ever.) so I thought I would share a few in the hope that you lovely lot experience as few sewing related traumas as possible…
1. Always wash your hands before you start stitching – I like to think I’m quite a clean person, however, garden improvements (a new fence if you’re interested!) + lots of rain + a 9 month old puppy = mud. Lots and lots of MUD! And somehow that mud ended up on a rather lovely floral monogram I was stitching, the kind with tonnes of flowers and leaves and beautiful swirly typography that took FOREVER to stitch! Moral of that story? Buy puppy shoes. Only kidding, (hubs has vetoed that!) always make sure your hands are clean before you start stitching.
2. Take time to choose the right fabric – I ordered some (suspiciously cheap) fabric from eBay and was still rather surprised at how thin it was when it arrived. I was far too excited to get stitching with my neon pink floss (Uh-may-zing!!) so rather than wait and buy some thicker fabric I went ahead and started sewing on my wafer thin eBay ‘bargain’. BIG mistake! The fabric was so thin that when I had finished, a web of neon pink was staring at me from behind my very neatly stiched ampersand. Not ideal.
3. Don’t sew with a mile long piece of floss – This one seems pretty obvious, right? Nope. Not at all. My thinking was… the longer my floss, the less time I would have to spend fiddling with my ends and re threading my needle. Turns out it doesn’t actually work like that! I spent more time untangling floss than I would have done trying to fit 294756843 strands of floss through a needle with the smallest eye ever known to man. Did I learn my lesson? No, I didn’t.
4. Don’t throw away the little bits of paper that keep your floss in it’s neat little parcel BEFORE you have written down the shade – Just don’t do it. There is nothing more annoying than being halfway through a project and running out of floss, especially when you don’t even know the shade of floss you have run out of. Trust me! I now use these handy little cardboard bobbins – they keep my floss all nice and neat AND I can write down that all important number. Disaster adverted.
5. Don’t draw your design onto your fabric using biro – There is a reason that water soluble fabric pens were invented. They are rather handy little things – you just draw your design onto your fabric, stitch over the top and when you’re finished you simply dampen your fabric a little and, unlike a biro, the marks disappear right in front of your eyes! Magic! So, yeah, there’s no reason to EVER use a biro.