Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How to Design and Hand Embroider a Logo for Your Business

A logo is part of your brand. It's what helps people recognize your business when you're out in the marketplace. So, I'm working on improving mine today, and I detailed how I did it in a YouTube video on Sewing Lessons from Stitching it Right.

(If you check out the video channel, and want to learn more about sewing, please like and subscribe so you'll be notified when new video is uploaded.)
Hand Embroidering Company Logo
Hand Embroidering Company Logo image by Laure Justice

Designing a Simple Company Logo

The first step of creating a hand embroidered logo for your business is designing it. For the simple one I'm creating here, I used my computer's Paint program.

I knew I wanted my logo to reflect the fact that I love sewing, so I really wanted it to be a heart themed design.

It didn't take me long to create a dual heart logo, because I loved its simplicity as soon as I saw the pink heart surrounding the red heart.

I had actually planned to create something intricate and detailed, but when I hit on the look that resonated with me so easily, It didn't make sense to add more.

Using Hand Embroidery to Enhance the Appearance of a Company Logo

I used the stem stitch to create the borders, which are the drawn lines on the fabric.

I used a fabric marking pencil to mark out the shapes, as shown in video, so they will wash out if needed.

To add texture to the white strip between the two hearts, I added satin stitching.

(This isn't shown in the video because I didn't want to keep anyone sitting at the computer watching the same stitch over and over.)

Video Showing How to Hand Embroider a Self-Drafted Logo

Some other ways to come up with a logo are having a design company create one for you or visiting a site that has extra tools so you can add more to your own self-drafted logo designs.

It's a great idea to experiment with colors and shapes until you come up with something that really speaks to you and your vision for your business.

Like I mentioned, I wanted my logo to reflect my passion for sewing, so I picked hearts, and of course, for me, the logo needs to be sewn to really reflect what my business is about.

By: Laure Justice

Comments are always welcome here, on the above-mentioned Sewing Lessons from Stitching it Right video channel, or on the Stitching it Right Facebook page.

Monday, August 13, 2018

How to Use Fabric Adhesive to Mend a Small Hole in Clothes

While sewing is an ideal way to fix a hole torn in pants, or any other garment, iron-on patches and patches glued on with fabric adhesive are also worthwhile parts of the garment mending process.

Fabric Adhesive to Mend a Hole
Fabric Adhesive to Mend a Hole in Clothes image by Laure Justice

Tips for Using Fabric Adhesive to Mend a Hole in Clothes

Unless the support patch you're applying is a perfect match for the fabric that has a torn spot you're covering, it's ideal to put the support patch on the wrong side of the fabric.

A support patch is just a patch of fabric that's used to strengthen damaged fabric, and if you're using fabric glue, to catch loose fibers around the hole.

The patch in the image below is a bit hard to see, but I'll give you some details...

I applied Fabric Fusion permanent fabric adhesive to a small silk square. I applied a thin layer because the fabric is thin, BUT - it didn't adhere - it needed a thicker layer of fabric glue.

(By the way: That's an affiliate link, which means, if you click it and buy Fabric Fusion through it, I'll earn a few cents from the purchase - BUT - it doesn't EVER affect the price you would pay.)

Glued-on Fabric Patch
Glued-on Fabric Patch image by Laure Justice

I kept the amount of glue used to a minimum because I didn't want it to soak through the thin fabric of the pants.

Since a few frayed spots still show, once the glue dried, I used a fine back thread to gently weave around the hole and stitch the patch in place for extra security.

Video Showing How to Apply Fabric Glue to a Patch for Mending Pants

Thank you for visiting Stitching it Right. Comments are welcome here, on our Facebook page, or under any of the posts on our YouTube channel. Oh, and while you're checking out our videos, if you are interested in learning to sew or just picking up some tips on different techniques, please subscribe to our Sewing Lessons from Stitching it Right YouTube channel.

By: Laure Justice

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Why You Should Iron While Sewing

If I were asked to choose which part of sewing is the most important to creating a successful project, I don't think I could choose between cutting, sewing, and ironing, because they're all key parts. I would even add that preshrinking the fabric is pretty vital with some fabrics, but that's another story for another day.

Iron When Sewing
Why You Need to Iron When Sewing image by Laure Justice

The Importance of Ironing When Sewing

It's fairly common for people who are new to sewing to underestimate the importance of ironing when sewing. I know, for me, I spent a lot of time on projects that just came out... well... lousy.

It was always disappointing, and such a waste of time and fabric. My lesson in this came fairly early in my sewing 'career' - though I have on occasion forgotten and was always quickly reminded by wrinkles and puckered seams.

Always check the care information on the fabric, or test in a small spot if you don't have the information handy, before pressing your fabric with a hot iron. 

If you don't want to prewash your fabric, you can press it with a steam iron or damp pressing cloth to successfully preshrink it.

Why Preshrinking Is So Important

If you're making clothes or anything to a specific size but you don't preshrink the fabric, when you end up laundering the completed item, it could shrink and all your work could be lost because it won't maintain its size.

If you're making things to sell, you may not want to launder the fabric in order to maintain its crispness and unwashed, new feeling - and that's a great time to use your iron to prepare the fabric.

The dampness of the steam or damp pressing cloth provides enough moisture to let the iron's heat shrink the fabric fibers.

Video Showing How Much Difference Pressing Fabric Makes

This video shows the difference when your fabric is un-ironed and after it's been ironed. (I'll be back with another video to show how to press seams when you're sewing.)

Thank you for visiting Stitching it Right. Comments are always welcomed both here and on Facebook, and if you're interested, it would mean so much to me if you would like and subscribe to my Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right Video Channel on YouTube.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Embroidery Embellishments to Cover Stains

Clothing takes up a big part of a family's budget, so if something gets a stain that won't wash out, finding a way to embellish it can keep your garment looking nice.

Video Showing Flower Embroidery to Cover a Stain

This short video tutorial shows how to make a textured and embroidered rose to cover a stain, but any design or even an applique could be used for someone who doesn't want a rose embroidered on their clothing.

I've used this technique to turn stains into flowers on garments and a quilt I had made that caught a nasty spill and stains wouldn't come out.

Tips for Disguising Stains on a Quilt

On the quilt, it had stains all over it and looked really awful.

I had obviously spent hours and hours making this quilt, so I was really upset when it got stained, but life goes on, and I wanted to save it.

I started looking at options, and considered using fabric paint to make a design over the stains, but I wanted to maintain the classic quilt look as much as possible.

Using this hand embroidery technique saved it and actually added a unique look to it, almost like someone had scattered a handful of colorful flowers across it.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right! Comments are welcome here or on Facebook, and if you're interested in learning new sewing techniques, please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

How to Fix a Hole in Pants or Shorts

This post covers how to fix a hole in pants with an iron-on patch and how to sew a cargo pocket back on after it rips.

Hole in Shorts
Hole in Shorts image by Laure Justice

Fix a Hole in Pants or Shorts With a  Cargo Pocket

If the fabric is frayed and weakened, it's best to put some kind of stabilizing support on the fabric.

I used an iron-on patch for this tutorial, though with some types of fabric you have to just stitch the patch in place to strengthen the fabric.

Iron-on patches are great for some types of repairs, and if you're in a hurry, you can apply an iron-on patch and go where you need to go, but you'll want to sew it in place later because they don't always stay put.

Be sure to check the care tag on the garment you're fixing to make sure it can withstand the wool setting on your iron - synthetics can melt if you try to put iron-on patches on them.

iron-on patches
Iron-on patches image by Laure Justice

Turn the garment inside-out and apply the patch on the back of the fabric for the best result if there's any color variation between the patch and the garment.

Video Showing How to Apply an Iron-On Patch

Iron-on Patches are one of my favorite sewing hacks when I need to mend clothing, but like I mentioned, they won't work in every situation. 

In addition to not working on synthetic fibers, they aren't very effective on stretchy fabrics because the patches aren't stretchy. 

Video Showing How to Stitch the Pocket Back On

This video has some sound problems and cuts out - so I want to mention that the closed captioning can be turned on by clicking the (CC) icon so you can follow along with the text until I figure out how to do a voiceover or re-record this episode (with a  different pair of pants.)

With the patch in place to strengthen the fabric, turn the garment right-side-out, then follow the original stitch lines wherever possible.

If you need to sew off the original seams, try to sew parallel to the original lines to make it look like the stitching belongs there.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right. Comments are always welcome, and it would be great if you visit us on Facebook and Subscribe to the Sewing Lessons from Stitching it Right YouTube channel. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

When and How to Change Your Sewing Machine Needle

The needle in your sewing machine is an important part of how your sewing machine functions. If it gets dull, gets a burr, or breaks, then you need to change your sewing machine needle, and this article explains a bit more about the why and how of performing this simple sewing machine maintenance task.

Sewing Machine Needles image by Laure Justice

Reasons to Change a Sewing Machine Needle

A bad needle can cause a variety of problems when you're sewing. Things like skipped stitches and loose stitches are a problem, and sometimes a little thing like a problem with your sewing machine needle can even damage your sewing machine. Some reasons to put a new needle in your sewing machine include: 
  • Broken needles: A broken needle in your machine is usually fairly obvious, the tip and eye will be gone if the needle breaks. 
    • If your vision is like mine, though, you may need magnifying glasses to be sure if the break is only on the tip.
  • Dull needles: A dull needle can damage the fabric as it cuts the fibers in your fabric instead of pushing through properly. 
    • It can also cause the needle to make a heavy, thud sound as it hits the fabric.
  • Bent needles: A bent needle can damage your sewing machine and even send shards of sharp metal flying around you if it hits your machine's presser foot or face plate and breaks. 
    • This is why you should ALWAYS wear glasses of some kind when you sew and keep young children at a safe distance.
    • I had a needle break on my industrial machine once and it shattered a light bulb! 
  • Burred needles: A burred needle can cause skipped stitches.
    • A burr on a needle feels like a tiny hook if you slide your finger over it.
    • If you suspect a burred hook you should change the needle even if you can't actually feel a rough spot on your needle. 
  • Sewing different types of fabric: Needles are made for different types of fabric, such as a ballpoint for knit, sharps for woven, and a universal point if you frequently switch fabrics.
    • Needles also come in different gauges to accommodate different fabric thicknesses.
  • It's just time: Experts recommend changing your sewing machine needle after every eight hours of sewing time, even if it's still working okay. 
    • Friction and the constant impact of the needle tip hitting the fabric weakens the metal and dulls the tip, so it's really ideal to change needles frequently. 

Video Showing How to Change a Sewing Machine Needle

If you enjoy the video and would like to see more sewing lessons, please like the video and subscribe to my channel. Questions and comments are welcome here, on the Facebook page, or in the comments section under the video on YouTube.
Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right,

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Complete Freehand Flower Embroidery Project

I wanted to show the entire process of how to make a freehand flower embroidery design in my videos, so I filmed each section of the process as a shorter segment, then I put all the segments together in one longer video.

Freehand Embroidery Flower Design Project image and article by Laure Justice

Freehand Embroidery Flower Design

If you want to make your own embroidery flower design using these directions, you'll notice in the video everything is shown in the order I did it.

I originally started this embroidery project thinking I would make it into a quilt square, but I decided I am going to make it into a small wall-hanging to display with some of my other stitched creations behind my comfortable sewing chair.

(That way, when I film episodes of Sewing Lessons from Stitching it Right, some of my small sewing projects will be displayed right behind me - and if you want to make them yourself, you can simply look for matching video sewing lessons.)

Video of Complete Flower Embroidery Project from Beginning to End

If you just want to refresh your skills on a specific embroidery stitch instead of watching the full length film, there are short episodes available on the channel that are designed to help you master each type of stitch.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right, comments are welcome and it would be so great if you join the conversation on Facebook or visit the YouTube channel so you can subscribe and leave a comment.


Monday, August 6, 2018

How to Make a Freehand Embroidery Flower

Making a freehand embroidery flower is so easy, and it really only requires knowing a couple of stitches, the straight stitch and either the back stitch or the stem stitch are enough to get you through the entire process if you want to keep it simple.

Flower Embroidery image by Laure Justice

Tips for Hand Sewing an Embroidered Flower

When you're doing freehand embroidery, simple designs like the flower shown here and in the video let you make an eye-catching piece without investing a lot of time into the project.

One thing I especially love about doing freehand embroidery is, it's so relaxing and even if a stitch lands in the wrong spot, you can just keep stitching and still end up with a nice embroidery design.

These types of embroidered flowers can be as big or as small as you like, and you can make a single embroidered flower or a field of them.

Freehand Embroidery to Cover Stains

Freehand Flower Embroidery 
image by Laure Justice
You can also use these freehand flower embroidery designs to cover small stains on clothes in addition to making home décor items like pillows, quilts, and wall-hangings.

(If you do attempt to cover a stain on a good garment, however, do embroider a practice flower on a fabric scrap to make sure it looks the way you want so you don't ruin your garment if it doesn't look how you expect it to look.)

Video Lesson Showing How to Stitch an Embroidery Flower

This a freehand flower embroidery I put together as part of a series to show how to make this quilt square.

The videos are posted in short segments to make it easy to follow along and so you can watch only the parts you need for making your own freehand embroidery designs.

Thanks for checking out this article, questions are welcome here, on Facebook, or in the comments under the videos in our YouTube channel.

If you visit the channel, please consider subscribing - I'm trying to grow the channel and it would really help me out if you subscribe.


Friday, August 3, 2018

How to Do the Chain Stitch Hand Embroidery

I like to use the chain stitch as a textured border in my hand embroidery work, and it's so easy to do as long as you go through the process step by step.

In the video below, I show how to do the chain stitch, but I'm not sure I detailed each step carefully enough.

So, I want to add a written tutorial here to help if you're trying to learn how to make the chain stitch.

Hand Embroidery Chain Stitch
Hand Embroidery Chain Stitch image by Christie, Grace [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

About the Hand Embroidery Chain Stitch

To get started, stretch the fabric in the embroidery hoop so it's fairly snug, with just a small amount of play.

If the fabric is stretched too tightly, it's harder to work the needle through the fabric.

  1. Thread the needle and knot the end of the embroidery floss.
  2. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the desired starting point.
  3. Move the needle tip over just a fiber or two in the fabric, then poke the tip down through and bring the tip back up through the fabric about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch forward on the line of chain stitching you are creating. 
  4. Loop the embroidery floss forward and under the tip of the needle before pulling the needle through.
    1. Tug slowly on the needle to prevent knotting, and hold the floss down gently if it starts to twist or it can form a knot that's hard to get out.
  5. Move the needle's tip just over the embroidery floss and poke it down through the fabric, then work it back through the fabric's surface to form the next stitch in the chain. 
  6. Keep going until you reach the end of your chain or embroidery floss (whichever comes first) then anchor the chain stitches with a couple tiny stitches on the fabric's back.

Video of Hand Embroidery Chain Stitch

I'm considering reshooting this hand embroidery chain stitch video, so if you need more help with the chain stitch, or any kind of embroidery stitch, feel free to leave a request in the comments here, on my YouTube channel, or in the Facebook group associated with this site.

I'm trying to get more Likes and subscribers on my YouTube channel, so if you're interested in seeing more sewing lessons, it would really help me out if you visit my sewing tutorial channel and click the thumbs-up icon and the Subscribe button.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right,

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Info About Fabric Marking Pencils, Fabric Marking Pens, and Tailor's Chalk

Fabric marking pencils, fabric marking pens, and tailor's chalk have a variety of uses in sewing and crafting, and the main advantage of all these fabric marking supplies is that none of them leave a permanent mark on your sewing projects.

Fabric Marking Pencils, Fabric Marking Pens, and Tailor's Chalk image courtesy of Pixabay

Using Fabric Marking Pencils, Fabric Marking Pens, and Tailor's Chalk

Fabric marking pencils, pens and tailor's chalk are useful when you're creating your own embroidery designs, quilting, when you're sewing from a pattern and need to mark the darts or areas where basting is needed, and when you're doing alterations on garments or home décor items like curtains.

Try to match your fabric marking pen, pencil, or chalk to the fabric you're using and the type of sewing you're doing.

Fabric Marking Pencils

I especially like fabric marking pencils when I'm working with hand sewing and embroidery projects, though they work well with most woven textiles.

Fabric marking pencils make a light line, though by pressing harder you can make the line darker.

Fabric pencils work great on light weight, woven fabrics, and when the tip wears down, all you need to do is sharpen them in a pencil sharpener.

You may want a dedicated sharpener, though, to make sure you don't end up with regular pencil lead on your clothes or projects.

Fabric Marking Pens

Fabric marking pens make a bolder line on fabric that wipes away either with water or an included eraser.

These are great when you have a harder time seeing the markings.

The ink in fabric marking pens can take longer to clean off than the other forms, plus it can be hard to see this type of ink on dark surfaces, so if you're sewing something like black or navy blue fabric, you might find another option more suitable.

(If you use these pens, please let us know what you think.)

Tailor's Chalk

Tailor's chalk, like shown in the image above, has been around for over a hundred years, and it's still an effective way to mark many types of fabric without creating stains.

The original tailor's chalk was a kind of waxy, chalky crayon that first entered the market in 1906.

I've found there are some things I like to use tailor's chalk for, especially garment making to copy marks from patterns onto fabric - and things I don't like it for - like anything that needs handled a lot.

The 'dusty' nature of tailor's chalk means it can flake away if you handle the piece you're working on a lot.

Video Showing How to Use a Fabric Marking Pencil for Embroidery

In the video, I'm marking the line where I plan to put the chain stitch in this freehand embroidery design.

The line for the chain stitch to follow is the only thing I've drawn out on this design, and I added it because I wanted to show you the fabric marking pencil. 

Each type of fabric marking media - fabric marking pencils, pens, and tailor's chalk - serves a different purpose when you're sewing and crafting because of the way each one stays (or flakes off of) the fabric.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right, if you're loking for more information about how to sew, be sure to subscribe to the Sewing Lessons from Stitching it Right YouTube channel and if you 'do' social media, visit us on Facebook, too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

How to Do the Cross Stitch in Hand Embroidery

I really like doing the cross stitch in hand embroidery as a way to add texture and delicate color to things like baskets (to show the weave) and it makes a charming border, too. It's also used in counted cross stitch.

Hand Embroidery Cross Stitch
Hand Embroidery Cross Stitch image courtesy of Pixabay

How to Hand Embroider the Cross Stitch

One popular way to do the cross stitch, especially if you're new to hand embroidery, is by getting an iron-on embroidery pattern to follow.

An iron-on embroidery pattern can actually be a big help when you're first learning this hand sewing technique, because, as you'll see in the video below, it can be challenging to keep your stitches straight when you're doing freehand embroidery.

Steps for Cross Stitching in Embroidery

  • Bring the needle up through the fabric from the back side - at the desired starting point. 
  • Bring the needle's tip to the next point, on the diagonal, and then push it down through the fabric.
  • Pull the embroidery floss until it's snug.
  • Bring the needle's tip over to the spot beside the first spot where you brought it up through the fabric. (That sounds a bit confusing, so if I lost you there, definitely check out the video to see it.)
  • Repeat the stitching until you've formed all the cross stitches you need to add in that color of embroidery floss. 
  • Anchor the stitching with a couple of tiny stitches on the back side of the fabric - positioned so it's under another stitch so it doesn't show. 

Video of Making the Cross Stitch in Hand Embroidery

With this video of the cross stitch, I'm just about through the basic hand embroidery stitches, and I'll be moving into turning the different stitches into a complete design.

If you enjoy the videos, it would be so great if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel. Plus, comments are always welcome here on the website and the Stitching it Right Sewing Talk Facebook group or page are also open for questions, sharing your creations, and just talking about sewing so feel free to join us there anytime.

Monday, July 30, 2018

How to Do the Stem Stitch by Hand in Flower Embroidery

The stem stitch is a  variation of the back stitch, and it's used a lot in flower embroidery as well as many other types of hand embroidery designs.

The stem stitch is a fairly easy stitch to master, and it adds a beautiful effect to your embroidery designs.

Stem Stitch in Flower Embroidery image courtesy of Pixabay

Information About the Hand Embroidery Stem Stitch 

The stem stitch and back stitch are so similar they can almost (but not quite) be used interchangeably in some flower embroidery designs.

While the back stitch forms a line of stitches that look like machine stitching on the surface, the stem stitch adds a touch of width and boldness to the effect.

It's thicker lines enhance the appearance of stems and leaves on flowers, and you can also use it for things like lettering in monograms or borders any time you want to frame something so it really stands out.

To make the stem stitch:

  • Bring the needle up through the fabric from the back at the desired starting point. 
  • Bring it about 1/8-inch forward then poke it back down through the fabric.
  • In the center of the stitch, just to one side, bring the needle back up through the fabric. 
  • Move the needle 1/8-inch forward and poke it back through the fabric. 
  • Repeat this over and over until you reach the end of the line to make your desired shape.
  • Anchor the stitches on the back side of the fabric by making two or three tiny stitches.
The video tutorial below shows how to do the stem stitch if you would like to also watch how to do it.

Video Tutorial Showing How to Make the Stem Stitch in Embroidery Designs

Hand embroidery can be a really enjoyable way to pass the time and make some unique creations.

It does take patience and practice, though, and sometimes it takes a while for designs to take shape - as you can see in the video, where the freehand flower embroidery design I'm creating in this quilt square is only just beginning to take shape after several episodes of Sewing Lessons from Stitching it Right.

Questions and comments are always welcome here, in our new Facebook group or our long-time Facebook page, or on the Stitching it Right video channel

Friday, July 27, 2018

How to Make the Blanket Stitch

The blanket stitch is mainly a decorative stitch used to finish fabric edges, but there are some other things you can do with it, such as adapting it to finish hand sewn buttonholes, or even binding carpet if you don't have a sewing machine that can bind the edges.

Making the Blanket Stitch
Making the Blanket Stitch image courtesy of Pixabay

About the Blanket Stitch

If you're binding fabric that doesn't fray, like polar fleece or felt, you can use a wide blanket stitch and heavy thread to create a dramatic effect.

If the fabric you're stitching is woven and may unravel around the cut edges, make a shorter, tight blanket stitch or roll the cut edge under about 1/8-inch, as if you were making a rolled hem by hand, and use the blanket stitch to sew the rolled edge.

If I'm doing this stitch on something heavy, like a blanket or carpet edge, I like to use a coarse thread or six strand upholstery thread.

The blanket stitch is also the stich used to hand sew buttonholes, you just make the stitches narrow and tight to keep the cut fabric from stretching out of shape or fraying.

When I use the blanket stitch on lighter fabric, I prefer to use either regular sewing thread or split 3-strand embroidery floss.

Blanket Stitch Video Tutorial

This hand sewing a blanket stitch video tutorial on Hand Sewing from Stitching it Right YouTube channel takes you step-by-step through the process of making a blanket stich to finish the edge of your fabric.

Feel free to leave a comment, join us on Facebook, or subscribe to the Sewing Lessons channel for more tips and tricks about sewing or to ask a question anytime.

How to Thread a Needle With a Needle Threader

Threading the needle is typically one of the earliest steps you do in any sewing or mending project, and using a needle threader makes it quicker and easier.

A needle threader is usually faster and easier than threading needles using the "squint and poke method."

How to Thread a Needle With a Needle Threader
How to Thread a Needle With a Needle Threader image courtesy of Pixabay

Why You Use a Needle Threader

The "squint and poke method" is exactly what it sounds like.

You squint up your eyes to try to focus for a clear view of the needle's eye, then poke the thread end through the hole - sometimes it goes the first time - but if your vision isn't perfect and your hands are perfectly steady, it can take several tries.

I actually do often use the "squint and poke" technique when I'm threading needles.

It's how I learned to thread a needle when I was a kid, but my eyes aren't as clear as they were when I was a kid, and sometimes it takes several tries to get it.

But, today I was rushing through, gathering my supplies to prep to film the video episode of Sewing Lesson From Stitching it Right, and I grabbed my needle threader to save some time.

That's when it occurred to me that I should include a quick video about how to thread a needle using a needle threader.

Video Tutorial Showing How to Use a Needle Threader

So, this post isn't very long, and the video is super short too, but knowing how to use a needle threader is really handy, and it can save you a lot of time and frustration when you need to thread a needle.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sewing and Pet Safety

Pets love being close to their people, and when we're sitting down and sewing, they especially like to be close - and that's awesome - but - it increases the need for pet safety when sewing. 

The kitten grabbing your thread or chasing a loose button around on the floor may be super cute, but if your pet accidentally swallows your sewing supplies it can sometimes be fatal. 

This is Squeaky from WoofMeowClic1, 
and she wants to share info about 
pets and sewing safety today!

Sewing Supplies and Pet Safety

This post and the corresponding video were inspired by a post I read on Facebook, about a woman's cat that died after eating sewing thread. I think of sewing as a fairly safe hobby, and as hobbies go, it probably is one of the safest, but that doesn't mean it's 100-percent safe - especially if you're sewing in the same room where your pets play.

Pet safety when sewing starts with awareness and knowing your pet. For example, my dog loves to eat shiny things. I can't leave pins, beads, buttons or anything that catches and reflects the light where he can get it - not even for a moment.

Cats tend to love things they can chase, like thread, yarn, and ribbon - and it's cute as can be - until they eat it... which can lead to choking or even swallowing it completely and ending up with it wrapped in their stomachs - like what happened to the poor cat in the story I read.

As a rule of thumb, if something is small enough for your pet to swallow, take NO chances. If possible, it's best to completely keep pets out of the area where you sew.

This is true of both hand sewing and machine sewing. With hand sewing, there's more dangling to catch a pet's attention. With sewing machine handicrafting, your pet could get its paw or face stuck in the moving parts of the machine. 

Safely Sewing With Pets

If you have any other suggestions for pet safety when sewing, please feel free to share them either in the comments here, on our Facebook page, or on our free Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right video channel.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

How to Make the Satin Stitch in Hand Embroidery

In hand embroidery, the satin stitch is used to fill in spaces with color. It's a great way to fill in flower petals or add color to a basket. The satin stitch is an easy hand embroidery stitch, and I also share a way to do a faux satin stitch in the video in case you want to try a satin stitch technique that saves embroidery floss.

Embroidery Floss for Hand Embroidery Satin Stitch image courtesy of Pixabay

Hand Embroidery Satin Stitch Tutorial

To start the satin stitch, prepare your fabric, ideally by stretching it flat in an embroidery hoop.

Also, prepare the needle by threading it with embroidery floss and knotting the end.
  • Poke the tip of the needle through the fabric at your desired starting point, then pull the embroidery floss all the way through.
  • Move the needle tip all the way across the space you're filling, up to an inch or two in width, then poke the needle down through the fabric.
  • Bring the yip up the needle back up through the fabric right beside the first stitch, then back down through the fabric at the other end, making the embroidery thread lines run parallel to one another.
  • Repeat the first steps over and over until you've filled the space you are embellishing with embroidery floss.
The true satin stitch uses quite a bit of embroidery thread, and I've come up with my own faux satin stitch that I use sometimes when I run low on embroidery floss. 

I shared my faux satin stitch technique in the video below after the step-by-step example of the classic satin stitch. 

Video Showing the Satin Stitch in Hand Embroidery

Hand embroidery can be used to add charming touches to home decor, garments, monogramming any textile item, and even the things you make for your pets.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right, comments are always welcome, join us on Facebook, or head over to the Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right YouTube channel to check out our free video sewing tutorials.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How to Make the BackStitch in Hand Embroidery

The back stitch in embroidery is used to create a solid line that resembles a line of machine stitching. It's great for making stems, as shown in the video, and it's handy for outlining things and even monogramming garments with hand embroidery.

Embroidery Floss Case
Embroidery Floss Case

How to Hand Embroider the Back Stitch

 The back stitch is the embroidery stitching shown in green in the video below.

It's an easy stitch to master with just a bit of practice, and you can use it for a lot of different designs in embroidery.

You can also use this stitch any time you need to make a strong seam by hand sewing, so it's useful for mending clothing or making things.

In the video, I'm showing how to combine different embroidery stitches to create an entire design, so be sure to subscribe to the Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right YouTube channel if you want to see how it turns out.

It's also going to be a handy channel to follow if you want to learn how to sew because there's SO much more planned.

Video Showing the Steps to do the Back Stitch in Hand Embroidery Sewing

To hand embroider the back stitch, prepare your fabric and a threaded needle, then:

  • Poke the needle through the fabric and pull the embroidery thread through the fabric at the desired starting point.
  • Move the needle's tip 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch forward then poke it back down through the fabric.
  • Pull the embroidery thread taut, then poke the needle back up through the fabric about in the center of the stitch. 
  • Move the needle's tip forward the same distance, again, then poke it down through the fabric and pull the embroidery thread tight. 
  • Repeat these first steps over and over until you reach the end of the line you are stitching.
  • Anchor the thread on the back side of the fabric with two or three tiny stitches that are hidden behind the embroidery floss on the front of the fabric.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to ask any questions or add comments here, on Facebook, or on the Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right YouTube channel.

Friday, July 20, 2018

What You Need to Know About Embroidery Floss for Hand Embroidery

I love doing hand embroidery, so I'm really excited about bringing you this series of posts and videos about embroidery. Today's 'lesson' is about embroidery floss. My Grandmother taught me to do this type of handiwork at a young age, and that in itself provides a lot of memories that I'll always treasure.

Six-Strand Embroidery Floss
Six-Strand Embroidery Floss

Every time I pick up an embroidery hoop and create something, I think of the time spent with Grandma, and I remember her voice telling me the tips I'm sharing with you in my videos and articles, and hopefully, someday you'll teach this style of creating to someone you care about. 

You can embroider so many things by hand. It's a great way to embellish clothing, textile things around the house, and even plush toys for young children or pets.

Handiwork Embroidery Floss Basics

Embroidery floss for hand sewing is made up a series of fibers. Each strand is made of six strands, and each of the six strands is woven from two fibers twisted into a fine thread.

You can use all six strands at once if you're trying to create a plush, thickly embroidered design, but there are advantages to splitting it.

  • Most hand embroidery involves delicate stitches that can be overwhelmed by thick floss. You can split it into two or three strands, or even a single strand, but for most delicate designs, three strands are ideal. 
  • With three strands, you get enough plushness to give off a dramatic effect without it looking either sparse or overdone.
  • The split fibers are also easier to pull through the fabric if you're embroidering on tightly woven fabric.
  • Cut the embroidery floss into sections about 12-18 inches long before splitting it. If you try to split a section that's too long, it ends up knotted. Longer sections also end up weakening your floss as it pulls through the fabric over and over.

In the video below, I show a line of stitching made from six-strands and another made from three - so you can get an idea of the difference in appearance.

Tips for Choosing Embroidery Floss for Projects

If you're working on a large project, try to get all the embroidery floss you need at once, and stick to the same brand, at least within each color to avoid ending up with unwanted variations in color or texture.

Make a note of the colors you're using, or keep the little band from the skeins of embroidery floss in case you need more floss - to increase your chance fo getting a perfect match.

If you're trying to create special effects, look at some of the unique types of floss, like metallic, silk, pearlized cotton, or variegated color floss.

Most hand embroidery floss is made of mercerized cotton, which gives it more strength and luster than unmercerized floss would have, and it can also be called stranded embroidery cotton thread, as noted by Sew Guide.

Thanks for reading, and check out my Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right videos on YouTube or visit the Stitching it Right Facebook page to join the conversation there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

How to Do the Straight Stitch in Hand Embroidery

Hand embroidery is one of my first loves when it comes to creative sewing, and I'm so excited to start sharing hand embroidery videos to help other learn this awesome way to make beautiful things. Today's episode teaches the most basic of hand embroidery stitches, the straight stitch.

Straight Stitch in Hand Embroidery
Example of Straight Stitch in Hand Embroidery

Uses for the Hand Embroidery Straight Stitch

In the embroidery tutorial video shared here, I used the straight stitch to create a border for a quilt square.

This stitch is also called the running stitch, and it is the same hand sewing stitch used for hand-basting in garment-making.

You can use this stitch with regular thread instead of embroidery floss to quickly mend ripped seams in garments, too.

The square shown in the video has a button I attached in an earlier episode of Sewing Lesson From Stitching it Right. The button is going to be the center of a flower, and if you like the way this freehand embroidered flower looks when I get to the final episide, how to make it yourself will be shown in videos, and you can follow them through one by one.

Each video is short, so you can do it a step at a time, and you, of course, have the choice to do a step a day or do the entire project in one session if you're excited to get started.

Here's the video, and the written directions are below:

What You Need to Do the Straight Stitch

Embroidery Floss in Storage Case
Embroidery Floss in Storage Case
Embroidery floss: Embroidery floss, like regular thread, should be cut in sections no longer than 18 inches long.
  • This reduces the chance of it tangling while you're working. Embroidery floss is crafted from three strands of fiber twisted together. 
  • When you want a heavy effect, like I did for the border shown in the video, use a fairly large needle and expect it to pull fairly hard as you tug the floss through the fabric. 
  • (You can actually hear it pop a few times in the video because I had to pull so hard.)  
  • For most embroidery, you'll want to split the floss into either two or three strand sections because it still gives off a kind of luxe effect but it's easier to work with and does less damage to the fabric, and I'll put up a quick video to show you how to do that. 

Embroidery needle: You may be able to get by with 'just any hand sewing needle" - there is, however, a difference in embroidery needles tha tmakes them ideally suited to hand embroidery and worth the effort to seek out when shopping for hand embroidery supplies.
  • Embroidery needles are designed with longer, narrower eyes than regular hand sewing needles. 
  • The narrow design makes it easier to pull the needle through tightly woven fabric.
  • The long, narrow eyes in embroidery needles make it easier to feed the embroidery floss through when you're threading them. 

Embroidery hoop: It's possible to work without an embroidery hoop, but using one reduces the soreness and stiffness you expereince in your fingers and hands.
  • When the fabric is properly secured in an embroidery hoop, it's easier to see what you're doing. 
  • It also gives you more control over the fabric and needle so you can make sure you stitches land right where you want them. 

Fabric: Not trying to be facetious here, but you have to have something to embellish or practice sewing on when you're learning to do the straight stitch.
  • If it's your first time trying this stitch, you may want to grab a scrap of fabric or an old garment that's worn out so you can practice as long as you want. 
  • If you're ready to add your straight stitches to a project as an embellishment, make sure the fabric is smooth, ideally in an embroidery hoop, but you can do it by working slowly and carefully even if you don't have one.

Thimble: Thimbles are optional, but can save your fingers some soreness, especially if you're working on a tightly woven fabric and using all six fibers of the embroidery floss.

Steps for Making the Straight Stitch

Prepare the needle: Thread the needle and tie one end of the embroidery floss.
  • Adjust the floss so the loose end is about four inches higher than the knot. 

Start Embroidering: Poke the needle through from the back of the fabric and pull the thread through all the way.
  • Move the tip of the needle between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch, depending on the effect you're trying to create, and poke it down through the fabric. 
  • Repeat the steps over and over until you reach the end of the area you're embellishing.

Anchor the stitches: With the needle on the back side of the fabric, make two or three tiny stitches that are hidden under the previous stitches, then cut off the thread ends.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right, be sure to visit our YouTube Channel, Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right or hop over to our Facebook page for quick answer to any sewing-related questions you may have.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

How to Quickly Reattach a Button in 10 Steps

Sewing a button on is a useful life skill, and it's one almost everyone can use at some point in life. So, if you need to know how to reattach a button, you're in the right place.

How to Sew On a Button image courtesy of Pixabay

10 Steps to Sew On a Button

It happens to almost everybody at some point, you grab your favorite shirt, put it on, only to find a loose or missing button. If you can sew it on yourself, you can get on with your day with no more than a few minutes invested in this simple sewing repair task.

What You'll Need
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Button
  • Pin (optional)
  • Embroidery hoop (optional)
  • Fabric to sew the button onto
  • Scissors or snips to cut the thread (optional)
  1. Thread the needle with a piece of thread about 18 inches long, and knot the ends of the thread together. 
  2. If you have an embroidery hoop handy, it helps to put the fabric in the embroidery hoop to pull it taut, because it's easier to sew that way. You can do it without the hoop, though, if desired and it still works fine. 
  3. Poke the needle down through the face of the fabric in the spot where you want to put the button.
  4. Then, poke the needle back up through the fabric as close as possible to the knot.
  5. Drop the button with the groove side facing up onto the needle. 
  6. Poke the needle through the other hole in the button and start to pull the thread tight, but slip the pin into the thread loop that forms before pulling it all the way tight. (I forgot to show this in the video, but if you're in a hurry, this step is optional anyway.)
  7. Poke the needle back up the first hole, then repeat the steps until you have at least four or five layers of thread running through the holes in the button. 
  8. Bring the needle through between the button and fabric and wrap the thread around the stitching three or four times to form a button shank.
  9. Poke the needle through the fabric so it comes out on the wrong side.
  10. Do two or three anchor stitches, which are just tiny stitches, on the underside of the fabric and then snip off thread ends. (If you don't have scissors handy, it may be possible to bit the thread apart or carefully cut it with a knife.)

Fast Button Sewing Video Tutorial

This step-by-step tutorial on how to sew a button on a garment in under 3 minutes features a video from our new Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right channel. It shows the entire process so you can see just how quickly this task can be performed, and the text of this article includes a couple pointers I forgot to add in the video.

(I'm sorry for the odd camera angles in the beginning and end of the video when I introduced the video and said goodbye at the end. I was filming by myself and wanted to make sure you could see what my hands were doing - so I didn't want to move the camera once I had it set up and risk messing up the view of the fabric and button.)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and if you're interested in learning to sew, please subscribe to the Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right YouTube channel.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Intro to a Basic Household Sewing Machine

In today's episode of Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right, I went over the basic features of my base model Brother XR-65 household sewing machine, because I wanted to take the time to point out some of the sewing machine's features for new sewists who may have never used a sewing machine before.

Tips to Learn to Sew on a Sewing Machine

The first thing a new sewing artist, or sewist for short, should do is learn about the basic features of their sewing machine.

Using the Brother XR-65 shown in the video as an example, it's important to know things like how to change stitches, adjust the stitch length, and where the bobbin goes.

I can't find a link to the exact machine shown in my video via Amazon to share with you here - probably because it's an older model - so I am sharing an Amazon ad for the closest Brother machine I can find, which has apparently replaced this particular model.

(To check out the specifications and features, if you're looking for an entry-level household sewing machine to make clothes or other handicrafts, just click the image in the ad on the left.)

Reasons to Get a Basic Sewing Machine

There are so many types of sewing machines available, it can get overwhelming trying to choose one, and each kind has some advantages.

Some reasons you may want to pick up a basic model, like the one shown, include a tight budget, being new to sewing, or simply needing a backup machine.

I originally bought my Brother XR-65 as a backup machine in a pinch when my industrial machine broke when I was working on a customer's order.

Disadvantages of Buying Basic Sewing Machines

First, with a basic machine, you don't typically get a lot of extra features.

The brother models shown in my video and in the ad actually have a lot of features for the price point they're offered at - but I have found a drawback with my own machine.

While it started out as a great machine that stitches very nicely and has held up through some heavy use, a lot of its internal parts are made of plastic.

Plastic parts simply don't hold up the way metal parts in some higher priced machines do - and when things started to break on it - it was kind of one thing breaking after another.

I will say, for what I paid, it served me well, and with some tweaks, I've been able to keep it stitching.

So, I wouldn't recommend it as a machine to last a lifetime, but, I would heartily recommend it as a machine to get you through until you can afford a better quality machine, or until you've been sewing for a while and are certain you enjoy the hobby and want to spend a bit more on your craft.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right, and it would be so great if you subscribe to the Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right video channel or join and like us on Facebook to continue the conversation about sewing and to pick up more fun tips on how to sew.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Basic Supplies Needed for Hand Sewing

Hi Everyone!

I just uploaded the second episode of Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right to YouTube, and it's a basic list of things you need for hand sewing.

Short List of Hand Sewing Supplies

Sewing by hand is relaxing and a great way to quickly mend something, and this episode of Sewing Lessons From Stitching it Right gives you a quick overview of some things you may want to pick up for your own hand sewing projects.

The absolute must-haves are something fabric to sew, a needle, and thread, but there are also some things that can make the task easier. (Like scissors to neatly cut the thread, embroidery hoop to hold the fabric taut while you work, and sewing notions like hooks & eyes, buttons, and snaps.

Tips for Saving Money on Hand Sewing Supplies

I would like to add a few tips for saving money on your sewing supplies. One way is to visit sites like eBay, which I added an ad for just above this, if I did it right. Search by lowest price or look for bulk lots of sewing supplies. Just be sure to compare prices to be sure you're getting the best deal.

I also pick up a lot of vintage sewing supplies at yard sales and thrift shops. Buy your thread new, though, if possible. I recommend avoiding buying thread at those types of places simply because you don't know how old it is, and sewing thread gets weaker with age, and I would hate tsomethingehting just to see it come apart.

Also, Craftsy is currently, as of this posting, having a sale on supplies, tools, and kits, up to 40-percent off - so I'll drop an ad to tha tbelow... Up to 40% Off Cake Decorating Tools & Supplies at through 7/15/18. No coupon needed.
If you check out the video and like it, be sure to click the little thumbs up icon and subscribe, and leave a comment if you want to because I would love to hear from you.

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