Friday, February 13, 2015

Counted cross-stitch embroidery on your handwoven fabric tutorial

Hello, friends. I've been making some bespoke bridal dress hangers for summer weddings. The hangers are decorated either with a handmade satin ribbon rose or with a monogrammed button or other small motif (I've done wee shamrocks and hearts). Anyway, I thought I'd share my method for embroidering on handwoven fabric. Counted cross stitch is generally performed on stiff Aida cloth. Handwoven fabric (at least my handwoven fabric) is far from rigid and I also don't have enough of it to squeeze into an embroidery hoop. What to do? Well, read on!

1. Gather your materials. You'll need the following:

  •  Small piece of handwoven fabric (I used plain weave fabric woven at 30 epi in 10/2 mercerized cotton)
  • embroidery floss
  • embroidery or cross stitch pattern
  • needle
  • waste cloth
  • pins
  • embroidery scissors
  • tweezers (yes, you read that right)
  • button suitable for covering with fabric (I use the Dritz aluminum buttons, available at most craft and fabric stores)
2. Cut the handwoven fabric in a square to fit the fabric requirements of your button. I use the 5/8" button from Dritz on the hangers and find that a 2-3" square is suitable. Then, cut a piece of waste cloth the same size. What is waste cloth, you ask? Here's a link to a really good description. You can find waste cloth (or "canvas") near the embroidery floss at your craft shop.

3. I pin the waste cloth and handwoven fabric together to keep things lined up and tidy. You could also baste the layers together. Find the center of your cloth and start stitching!

.4. Once you're done stitching, you need to remove the waste cloth from the handwoven fabric. NOTE OF CAUTION: DON'T RUSH! You might be able to tear waste cloth from other kinds of manufactured fabric, but if you start yanking on your waste cloth, there is a very good chance that you will rip your handwoven fabric. Snip away as much excess waste cloth as you can from around your embroidered motif. Then, start removing the waste cloth threads slowly, and, if necessary, one at a time. Use tweezers to help facilitate this.

 5. After all of the waste cloth threads have been removed, cut the handwoven fabric for your button using the pattern guide:

6. Follow the button manufacturer's directions for encasing the fabric around the button. (This is easy, really). Looks nice, right?

So, there you are. Happy weaving and sewing and knitting and whatever else you may find yourself doing this weekend.

Be well,


Cindie said...

Very sweet hangers.

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

I have long admired your bespoke bridal hangers, so lovely.