Tutorials

Scroll down the page to find the following tutorials:

~ Stitching with DMC Satin Floss 
~ Embroidery Hoop Framing 

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Stitching with DMC Satin Floss

The tips and advice below are provided especially for those who have bought a homestitchness Christmas Ornament pattern and want to cross stitch using the specialty threads suggested instead of regular DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss.

While browsing the DMC thread selection at one of my local craft stores earlier this year, I discovered the gorgeous range of DMC Satin Floss. With a couple of Christmas designs in mind, I was looking for festive thread colours to compliment the linen I'd already chosen for my ornaments that featured silver thread running through the fabric. The glossy shine of the DMC Satin Floss was perfect! I couldn't wait to get home and start stitching...

Stitching with DMC Satin Floss - tips and advice from homestitchness
The beginning of my Flowering Pohutukawa Christmas Ornament model...
However, despite my enthusiasm, it turned out to be quite an adjustment learning to stitch with these rayon threads. They are definitely more time consuming to stitch with than regular DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss but even though it took a bit of getting used to, the finished result was totally worth it! If you are interested in stitching with these threads, I want to share a few tricks that I figured out along the way and some helpful tips on how you can get the best result possible if you have never stitched with DMC SatinFloss before.

First of all... there are a few ESSENTIAL supplies you will need when stitching with DMC Satin Floss:

A {very} sharp pair of scissors.
An embroidery hoop.
A small cup of water.
Scotch tape.

Stitching with DMC Satin Floss - tips and advice from homestitchness
The essential supplies...
When you begin... you will need to cut a long strand of thread with your scissors. Because each strand is made up of multiple rayon fibres, the sharper the scissors the better! You'll want a clean cut thread when getting started because otherwise the ends will fray quickly, meaning less use out of the thread before you have to replace it.

It sounds surprising... but you will use your little cup of water a LOT when stitching with these rayon threads. I read that some people use both water as well as a thread conditioner, and I did too, at first, but after a while I found that the conditioner didn't make a lot of difference and that water alone is sufficient. After you cut your strand of thread, you will need to dip your thumb and forefinger into the water and then run the thread between them until it is quite wet, adding more water as needed. Allow the thread to air dry for a minute but feel free to begin stitching while it is still damp. You'll want to continue to reapply water as you work because it helps the fibres stay together as you stitch. 

Definitely... fasten your thread to the fabric using the 'loop' method. Fold your single strand of floss in half and thread the ends through the eye of the needle. As you draw the floss up through your fabric to begin, bring it just far enough to leave a small loop underneath. As you push the needle back down through the fabric to create your first stitch, make sure it threads through the loop so that when you pull it tight, the thread anchors itself and you won't have to worry about any loose ends. This is very important because it takes a bit of practice to learn how to control the tension of Satin Floss and the last thing you need is to worry about weaving a tail underneath subsequent stitches as you go along. Also, when it is time to change thread, you'll want to weave the remaining thread along underneath several stitches at the back, then turn your needle around and start weaving underneath several more stitches in the opposite direction and on a different row before cutting. This will prevent the tail from working itself loose too easily.

Making progress and becoming confident while stitching with DMC Satin Floss...
I had difficulty... keeping even tension initially. Some of my stitches would look raised compared to others and because I am a perfectionist with my stitching, it frustrated me a bit. Make sure you use a hoop or frame to keep your fabric taut for working on. It really is a case of practice makes perfect. Gradually you'll get used to the different texture of the DMC Satin Floss and keeping it a little damp as you go along will keep the thread from sliding too much and creating an uneven look. Please be aware that the fibres WILL separate to some degree as you stitch - there is no avoiding it completely! Some separation is a good thing, when it happens you will notice your thread resembles a silky 'band' and I found it gave my stitches a smooth appearance overall.

If you make a mistake... you will not be able to re-use your thread! In fact, the downside to this floss is that it's a bit of a nightmare to un-do if you've gone wrong somewhere and you'll do a lot of snipping with those sharp scissors! The photograph below shows an example of when I had to un-pick some golden yellow floss... all that remained was a pile of frayed, messy fibre! If you have any 'thread shadow' after removing some stitches, this is where the Scotch tape comes in handy. Simply use a piece of Scotch tape to lightly press down on the fabric (both sides) to pick up any loose fibres. This will clean the surface of your fabric and prevent any stray fibres affecting the look of your new stitches.

Stitching with DMC Satin Floss - tips and advice from homestitchness
Uh-oh... if you're like me you're bound to have to unpick some stitching somewhere along the way!
You will find... that the floss threaded through the eye of the needle gets fuzzy over time and water won't fix it. Instead of having to finish with your thread early, as you get closer to the damaged thread, weave it under a few stitches several rows away on the back side and then go back to where you were and continue stitching. This will hide the fuzz and you can go back to work without shortening the life of your thread!

Finishing up... a good idea to tidy up any stitches that appear a little uneven is to 'comb' over the stitch several times (in the same direction) with the blunt tip of your cross stitch needle. This works wonders in smoothing out the rayon fibres. One advantage I noticed when using DMC Satin Floss was that I didn't have to worry about the look of twisted threads too much because, for the most part, the fibres naturally fall into place side by side.

Stitching with DMC Satin Floss - tips and advice from homestitchness
 The glossy finish of DMC Satin Floss is stunning!
Overall... I think DMC Satin Floss is a wonderful option if you want to enhance the look of your cross stitch project. They are the shiniest threads available in the DMC range and are perfect for festive designs - they add that extra bit of sparkle to your work! However, I would recommend them for experienced stitchers rather than beginners as they may prove a little too challenging for people starting out. They definitely take some practice but once you get a good feel for these rayon threads, they are enjoyable to work with! I hope you have found this review helpful and if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask! I'd love to hear from you if you decide to give DMC Satin Floss a try! 

Jenny x

Disclaimer: This review is not sponsored in any way, I simply like the DMC Satin Floss range very much and because I used it for two of my design models, I want to encourage people to give the option of these threads a try! I hope that the information I've shared here will help other stitchers get the best result possible when stitching with these vibrant rayon threads. 



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Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial

This simple, step by step tutorial has been put together especially for those who have bought a homestitchness pattern or kit from 'The Home Collection' range and want to frame their finished cross stitch in a wooden embroidery hoop. When creating this tutorial, I avoided using any glue, just in case I want to remove my cross stitch at a later date or use the same hoop to frame another finish.

I have tried to condense this tutorial into 5 easy steps along with photos to illustrate the instructions. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me - I am always happy to help!

Jenny x

What you will need:


Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial by homestitchness

♥ Your finished cross stitch
♥ An embroidery hoop that fits your finished piece (all 'Home Collection' kits come with a high quality 6"/15cm Hardwicke Manor hoop for this purpose)
♥ Felt (either in white or a similar colour to the embroidery fabric you used)
♥ Heavy cardstock
♥ Pen
♥ Scissors
♥ Needle and thread (either in white or a similar colour to the embroidery fabric you used)
♥ Iron

Before you begin: 

First of all, it is recommended that you iron your finished cross stitch on the appropriate heat setting. It is then a good idea to place your finished cross stitch on top of the inner hoop and move it around as needed until you feel it is perfectly positioned in the centre. Slide the outer hoop over top and tighten the hardware temporarily to make a circular imprint in the fabric, then take it apart again. This simple preparation will come in handy as you go along!

Instructions:

Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial by homestitchness

1. Using the inner hoop, trace closely around the OUTSIDE* edge onto the felt, then trace closely around INSIDE edge onto the cardstock and carefully cut both circles out.

*Cutting the felt slightly bigger may be a little different to most tutorials but I do this because the inside hoop can sometimes create a bit of an outline/shadow behind your finished embroidery once it is all framed up and I wanted to avoid that with these designs.


Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial by homestitchness

2. Flip your finished cross stitch over and place the felt circle inside the circular imprint to cover the back of your stitching, then place the inner hoop on top of the felt circle. Slip the ensemble into the outer hoop and tighten the hardware, stretching/pulling the surrounding fabric as you go to get the fabric evenly taut and straightening any areas of stitching that might need it. 


Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial by homestitchness

3. Your cloth should have a couple of inches of 'excess' fabric around the entire hoop. Trim the corners off so that it it is now a large circle of fabric around the outside of the hoop.


Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial by homestitchness

4. Thread your needle with a long length of thread and tie a large knot at the end of it, leaving a 'tail' to work with at the end. Begin an even running stitch around the outside of the fabric, gently gathering it together as you go. Your stitches should be quite close together to ensure a neat and tidy finish. When you get back to the point you started, pull the thread and tail end tight and and knot together so that the gathered fabric stays firmly in place.

Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial by homestitchness


Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial by homestitchness

5. You are now ready to push your cardstock circle in place, covering the gathered fabric. It should be a nice, tight fit so that it sits firmly in place and won't require any adhesive.


Embroidery Hoop Framing Tutorial by homestitchness

And with that... you are all done! Your pretty hoop art is ready to hang on a wall in your home.


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