Also, a note: people often ask if I provide my own tutorials, videos, or patterns. This is not something I offer, as my focus is on creating my own original designs. Please remember that my original embroidery designs are my own, protected by copyright, and should not be recreated.
For someone just beginning, you usually have two options: purchase a kit (where materials are often provided) or pick out everything yourself. I myself did not use kits or patterns, but they are great as teaching guides. Here are a few good ones I've come across:
A Basic Materials Checklist
Hoop - When I was starting, I tried out both wooden hoops and plastic ones. Either are fine when you are learning; it really depends on personal preference. Get a few different sizes to experiment with.
Needles - The easiest way to go is to get a pack of embroidery needles (sizes 3 - 9). Clover is my preferred brand.
Needle case - There's a wide variety of types out there, just pick one that you like!
Needle threader - I use this Clover one, but there are many different types out there. Again, it's up to your personal preference.
Embroidery scissors - These small snippers are for cutting threads. There are a lot of cute ones out there, but I really love these basic Fiskars ones.
Thread (aka embroidery floss) - Start with 6-strand cotton embroidery floss. DMC is the best out there. Many other brands are of inferior quality, which makes creating nice stitches tough! Pick colors you like or buy a set. I buy my thread in large quantities from 123stitch.com.
Water soluble fabric pen - This pen is great for transferring a pattern onto your fabric or drawing out what you want to stitch. The pen marks disappear with water. My favorite is the DMC Embroidery Transfer Pen. Learn more about how I use it here.
Fabric - When I was starting out, I practiced on muslin (a lightweight cotton cloth). You want something that isn't too thin and isn't too thick. I recommend visiting a local fabric shop or craft store and finding something inexpensive, but decent to practice on. You can also scoop up fabric from sale/remnant bins or get some basic cotton tea towels.
How to Learn
There are so many options these days for learning, both online and in-person, that it's really up to you! Here's some different ideas:
- See if your local craft or fabric store offers in-house embroidery 101 classes.
- Use a kit (see above). These will usually offer basic instruction, but may be more limited in detail.
- Purchase books. Here are my favorites that offer descriptions and images of how to create stitches:
- Watch videos. I loved watching short YouTube videos to see how a stitch was created. For example, it was much easier for me to visually see how to do a French knot via a video than a book description.
Hope this is helpful! You can read earlier posts I've written with my embroidery tips and tricks here.
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