Embroidery for Beginners: Halloween Edition
Over the past few months, we’ve covered the basics of embroidery. Firstly we looked at the split stitch and French knot in our Cactus tutorial, and then we looked at backstitch, the lazy-daisy stitch and the satin stitch in our Bloom tutorial. Because Halloween is coming up, we’re dedicating this tutorial to the spookiest time of the year. We’ll be learning how to sew the chain stitch, and we’ll also use a running stitch. Bonus: you’ll make a felt spider, too!
How to Sew the Chain Stitch
To sew chain stitch, bring the needle from the back to the front of the work and then reinsert it right next to where it came up (top left). Bring the needle back up to the front about 3mm away from the starting point, and wrap the thread around the end of the needle (top middle).
Pull the needle and thread through to the front of the work, and you have completed the first stitch (top right). Repeat this process to make each new stitch (bottom left, bottom middle). When you get to the end of your stitching, secure the final stitch by inserting the needle on the outside of the final thread loop (bottom right).
Materials You’ll Need:
- Embroidery Threads
- Embroidery Needles
- 6” Wooden Embroidery Hoop
- Plain Cotton Fabric (I’m using black quilting cotton)
- Chalk Pencil or White Marking Pen
- Black or Dark Grey Felt for the Spider
- Copy of the Design, Printed at 100% [DOWNLOAD HERE!]
First, tape the paper copy of the design to a window and transfer it onto your fabric using a chalk pencil or marking pen. You only need to draw the spokes of the web – don’t worry about the spiral lines for the moment.
Loosen the screw on your embroidery hoop, remove the outer ring, and place the fabric over the inner ring. Replace the outer ring and tighten the screw. You want your fabric to be drum tight in the hoop, so gently pull on the edges all the way around before the screw is fully tightened.
Use a pale grey or white thread to embroider the web, or even glow-in-the-dark thread if you can find it! The spokes of the web are sewn using chain stitch, using three strands of thread. (See ‘How to Sew the Chain Stitch’ above to learn how to complete this.)
When you get to the end of a section or near the end of your piece of thread, bring the needle to the back of the work and sew through one of the stitches on the back (but not the fabric itself). Make a loop in your working thread and sew through that as well. Pull tight to make a knot.
Once you have finished the web spokes, it’s time to stitch the spiral using a simple running stitch. There’s no need to transfer the design onto your fabric, just refer to the picture as a guide.
Next, it’s time to sew your spider. Carefully cut out the spider from the printed design and use a glue stick to hold it in place on your felt. Using a sewing machine, sew carefully all around the outside of the spider and then remove the paper. Embroider the eyes and fangs by hand or on the sewing machine.
Plait three strands of embroidery thread together and sew to the back of your spider. Attach the other end to the back of the embroidery so the spider is dangling from its web. Boo!