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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Stabilising linen for hand embroidery? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Stabilising linen for hand embroidery?
brissie71
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brissie71
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Date: 1/12/13 9:43 PM

I have a (nearly complete) linen dress to which I would like to add some crewel embroidery. This is the design I want to use (to give you some idea of the density of the stitching):



I'm not sure how to go about stabilising the fabric (or if I even have to). I have a couple of embroidery hoops that I could use. Ironing on freezer paper has also been suggested - but do I use that on its own, or in combination with the hoop? I also have some tearaway stabiliser on hand that I could use, but it seems a little heavy.

Please help! I've been working on this dress for a long time and I'm ready to see it finished!

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Kelley (Brisbane, QLD)
http://simplesewist.blogspot.com.au/

Elona
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In reply to brissie71 <<


Date: 1/12/13 11:07 PM

It's best to do the embroidery before you construct the garment, because it's just a lot easier to position and hoop the fabric without fiddling with the thickness of seams and hems. I manage this by simply tracing the outlines of the pattern piece on the fabric, using a permanent marking pen. After embroidering, I construct the garment.

However, you can certainly add embroidered details such as you're thinking of.

You do not need a stabilizer or freezer paper for hand embroidery. Those are machine embroidery techniques. All you need is a hoop that can contain several design elements. However the entire fabric piece has to be contained within and supported by the hoop. So, if your design would be at the edge of the hem, for example, not filling up a hoop, you will have to sew on a 'blank' piece of scrap to make the area you're working on "part of the fabric," so to speak.



brissie71
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brissie71
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In reply to Elona <<


Date: 1/12/13 11:48 PM

Thanks for replying with so much detail and the advice about doing the embroidery first. I'll certainly do that next time, but for this dress, I'm going to have to suck it up.

I've bound the edge of the hem but haven't yet stitched it up. It's a 2" hem so I've got a bit of extra to play with there in terms of getting it into a hoop anyway. I think I'll mark in the hem and the design, then see how I can fit it into the hoop. My MIL has lent me some hoops of various sizes, one of which is pretty small. I can see that coming in handy for this project.

Would it be considered heresy to embroider without using a hoop at all? I'd imagine it'd be pretty tough to get the stitches the right tension. I guess I'm just trying to avoid having to sew extra bits of fabric onto my garment.

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Kelley (Brisbane, QLD)
http://simplesewist.blogspot.com.au/

Kelly D.
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Kelly D.  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/13/13 0:44 AM

I'd say you'll probably not be happy with the tension of the stitches if you don't use a hoop, but try it on some scraps and see how it goes. Linen has good body and takes embroidery well, so you might get away with stitching in hand, but using a hoop will make everything so much easier and faster, you won't regret the time it takes to baste a strip of fabric to your hem to help it stay in the hoop. Honest.

Another tip if you have not used a hoop before is to remove the hoop after every session of stitching. If you leave the hoop in when you are not actively working on the design, you might get unsightly permanent marks on your garment from where it was clamped in the hoop.

Finally, the hand embroidery police might tell you knots are verboten and the back should be as beautiful as the front, and that's a worthy goal, but when I have embroidered on garments or other items that are going to get a lot of use and laundering, I have used knots on the back and have not regretted it.

Good luck and happy stitching!

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