Sewing a design with satin stitch is like painting with thread, filling areas of a motif so that the fabric beneath does not show through. It's best to use a hoop when working this stitch, to ensure a neat, even result. It is also important not to make stitches too long, especially on items that will be handled frequently, as they have a tendency to snag. This colourful floral motif was created with satin stitch to embellish this Mexican-inspired peasant-style top, which was sewn from linen using View C of New Look pattern 6027. To save time, you could buy a ready-made top – just ensure that it has a similar plain flat panel or yoke.
- White linen or coarsely woven cotton fabric
- Embroidery thread, assorted bright colours
- Crewel needle
- Embroidery hoop
- Broderie Anglaise trimming, 100cm (optional)
- Erasable marker pen
Stitch a summer top
1 If using a blouse pattern, trace around the front yoke and cut a template from card. Place this on white linen and draw around it. Flip the template over and draw around it again, to create two front yoke pieces. Cut these out roughly, allowing a good margin of fabric all round. If you are embellishing a ready-made blouse, simply embroider directly onto your chosen section.
2 Download and print the motif by clicking the button above, and tape it to a light box or a window. Place the fabric on top and trace the design, using an erasable marker pen or pencil. Make sure the design fits well within the seam allowance. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop. As you complete each area of the design, you will need to reposition it in the hoop.
3 Thread a crewel needle with two strands of six stranded embroidery thread and, following the instructions for satin stitch here, fill in the traced design. Begin with the flower centres, then work outwards, embroidering the stems and leaves. Choose as many bright colours as you wish to complete the pattern.
4 When the embroidery is finished, remove the fabric from the hoop and press it lightly on the reverse. Cut out along the outline you have drawn. If using a pattern, follow the instructions inside the envelope to complete your blouse. If you wish, add a length of lace trimming each side of the design to finish.
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