Learning How to EmbroiderWhen I was a teenager I would use floss to sew designs on bags, jeans, and just about anything else I could think of.  But I never truly learned how to properly embroider.  I never used a pattern and my masterpieces were not high quality.  Ella, on the other hand, has taught herself how to embroider and she’s getting quite good at it.  I will say that she took two sewing classes before trying embroidery.  She took both a hand sewing class and a machine sewing class, so that gave her a little bit of background knowledge in the area.  I thought I’d share some of the things that helped Ella learn how to embroider with my readers in case anyone is looking for a new project or hobby to work on!

Learning How to Embroider:

Start with an Easy Pattern:  Ella learned how to embroider in 2011, when she was eight.  She started with an embroidery kit from Penguin and Fish that I purchased at Sewn Studio in Oakley.  You can also find these patterns and kits at the Penguin and Fish website.  She has been using the P&F patterns ever since, and has made many gifts for new babies in the family.  We are big fans of the Penguin and Fish patterns, they are sweet and simple!  You can purchase just the patterns and then buy your own cloth, floss and hoop or you can purchase kits that include all you need for the project.

Here’s Ella’s first Penguin and Fish project from 2011:

Penguin and Fish Embroidery Hedgehog

And here are Ella’s most recent Penguin & Fish projects:

Penguin and Fish Embroidery Inchworm

Penguin and Fish Embroidery Fox

Look in a Book (or watch a YouTube video):  There have been a few times where Ella needed help figuring out a stitch, and YouTube is a great place to learn how to do the different stitches, as they have how-to videos for just about anything.  She has also relied heavily on the book Stitched Gifts by Jessica Marquez, not only for the descriptive instructions on making various knots and stitches, but also for cute patterns and ideas for projects.  Embroidery Stitched GiftsThe Stitched Gifts book is where Ella found inspiration for this handmade gift for her grandparents:

P Ella Embroidery Grands

Ask for Help:  If you have a question or need a tutorial reach out and ask around to see if someone you know can embroider.  I find with crocheting that I learn best from watching my Aunt crochet in person rather than watching videos.  Ella hasn’t asked anyone to help her embroider, but she has used her Papa as a human easel when drawing patterns…

Embroidery Ella and Papa

Be Brave: Strike out on your own and try new things with embroidery like Ella did!  Don’t be afraid to try difficult stitches or draw your own patterns.  Use online resources and books from the library to help teach yourself and then just start messing around with floss, cloth and a hoop and see what comes of it!  Here’s Ella’s first free-hand project that she made, and I think it looks great:

Embroidery The Cabin

Ella has even been teaching Sam to embroider (an otter of course).  And as soon as his work is complete I will share a picture of it.  Embroidery is great for young children because it strengthens fine motor skills and encourages creativity.

Do you have any tips on how to embroider or want to share a project of your own?  Feel free to comment below!