“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’” - George Bernard Shaw
Creativity is beneficial to everyone. A lot of people choose to creative hobbies to relax and more and more people are choosing arts and crafts.
So get your fabric and scissors ready and get started with embroidery. With embroidery, needlepoint, or cross-stitch, you can improve garments and textiles with just a needle and thread.
In this article, we're looking at the different ways you can learn how to embroider.
Getting Embroidery Lessons
If you want to learn how to embroider, you need to be passionate about it. You may have decided to make your friend a present or learn a new skill. Whatever your reasons for learning how to embroider, you’ll learn much more quickly if you’re driven.
So how do you get started?
Start by finding out more about the arts and crafts that you can get involved in. There are lots of groups and associations that will welcome new members with open arms. These lessons will help you learn your way around the equipment (embroidery thread, Aida cloth if you’re doing cross-stitch, different needles, embroidery hoops, erasable markers, etc.) and more about the different techniques. You’ll learn how to do the most important stitches like a cross-stitch or stem stitch, for example.
In an embroidery lesson, you’ll learn how to embroider onto clothes, cushions, textiles, etc. The advantage of these lessons is that you’ll get advice from professionals or an experienced embroiderer. You can ask them questions about embroidery in general or a particular project you’re struggling with. You’ll benefit from their help all year round.
Regular lessons are also a great way to add structure to your learning. In your everyday life, it can be difficult to set aside some time to focus on creative endeavours such as embroidery; lessons will help you to make quicker progress.
Look for workshops and lessons in haberdasheries and arts and crafts shops. Specialised shops where you can buy sewing, knitting, crochet, or embroidery supplies, etc. may also offer courses or workshops on specific techniques or an introduction to embroidery, for example.
Private tutorials are also worth considering. These are especially useful if there aren’t any nearby arts and crafts shops. A private embroidery tutor will not only give you useful advice on how to embroider and cross-stitch, but you'll also have a teacher to yourself. Since you’ll be their only focus, you’ll learn more quickly than you would in a group lesson or workshop. Private tutorials are also great if you’ve been struggling to get started. This person may help you to choose the right embroidery patterns or help you put together your own. Furthermore, private tutorials can work around your schedule. You can choose where and when you want them as long as your tutor is available. This is great for people with busy schedules.
Learning to Embroider through Online Private Tutorials
If you don’t fancy group lessons or private tutorials, you could always opt for online private tutorials.
Learning online doesn’t mean that you don’t have a teacher; you can get online private tutorials via webcam. In this case, you can see your tutor through video conferencing and learn how to embroider. You just have to find a free hour. You can find online tutors on Superprof, for example.
Once you’ve found the tutor you’re looking for, you just need to get in touch with them and organise your tutorials. Another advantage is that you can decide what aspects you want to learn about.
It can be easier to schedule an online tutorial than a face-to-face tutorial. You just need to have a decent internet connection and get in touch with an available private tutor. If you don’t have much space at home, you won’t need to worry about clearing a space for your tutor. You just need to sit down at your desk or table, for example.
Are online tutorials as effective as face-to-face tutorials, though?
As long as the tutor can see what you’re doing. It might be a good idea to prepare some questions ahead of time about problems you’ve been having so that you can get the most out of your lesson. The tutor won’t be able to guess where you’re struggling, after all, so make sure you’re as clear as possible.
Once you get the hang of the basics, they'll be able to help you with different styles of embroidery like Blackwork, monogramming, embellishment, etc.
Teaching Yourself How to Embroider with Tutorials
A lot of people choose to teach themselves how to embroider.
There are plenty of resources online so why not make the most of them?
On YouTube, for example, it’s very easy to find tutorials explaining how to do a chain stitch, get started with embroidery, set up your embroidery hoop, etc. There are also tutorials for all levels so think about adding words like “beginner” to your search.
It’s also a good idea to subscribe to YouTube embroidery channels. There are plenty of sewing YouTubers offering advice and explaining different techniques online. Getting most of your information regularly from the same YouTuber will help a lot. After all, you’ll be familiar with how they explain things and the format of their videos. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t follow several channels.
Be it patchwork, knitting, sewing, or embroidery, you can find every craft you can imagine.
Why not get creative?
It’s not just on YouTube where you can find tutorials, either. There are plenty of embroidery blogs offering tutorials, patterns, and advice for those wanting to learn how to embroider.
Finally, you can also follow guides and patterns from embroidery books. To make things even easier, you can get beginners’ embroidery kits. In addition to the equipment you need to embroider, many of these also come with a book or guide with patterns and instructions.
Discover some of the best embroidery websites.
Asking Friends and Family about Embroidery
Learning to embroidery needn’t be that difficult. However, if you want to get better, you need to be motivated. The excitement of learning something new can quickly give way to boredom. You’ll need to learn new embroidery stitches but also improve your technique.
Don’t hesitate to ask your friends’ and family’s advice. It’s not always easy taking on criticism, but this is a useful way to improve. Make sure you ask for constructive criticism. “I don’t like it” is not going to help you get any better. Ask them about particular aspects and why they don’t like it.
It’s even better asking a professional. This is especially true if you’re not taking lessons. A professional opinion will be essential for helping you to progress. Haberdasheries and arts and crafts shops are great for finding experienced embroiderers so show them your work and ask if they can give you some advice.
Easy Ways to Learn How to Embroider
So where should you start?
If you’ve decided to teach yourself, here are a few steps you should take to get embroidering.
Get the Right Equipment
It’s very difficult to learn how to embroider without a hoop, embroidery needles, or thread. The first thing you’ll need to do is get the necessary embroidery equipment. If you don’t, you’ll waste a lot of time. You can get embroidery supplies from an arts and crafts shop, haberdasheries, and online retailers. Similarly, these places can help you with ideas for embroidery projects.
Learning the Essential Stitches
When you first learn how to embroider, you’ll want to learn everything at once. You must prioritise. You can start with a cross-stitch and then a stem stitch before moving onto more complicated stitches like the French knot, running stitch, backstitch, satin stitch, blanket stitch, etc.
Practise with Patterns
Using an embroidery pattern, whether it’s printed onto the fabric or not, is a great way to progress. You don’t need to design it yourself, you can just copy the lines and colours from the pattern. You can focus on picking out the thread and making the stitches.
Embroidery patterns are effectively embroidery designs that show you where needs to be stitched, the type of stitch you need, and the colour of thread you'll need to use.
If you need more help with hand embroidery, needlework, or cross-stitch, you can get help from private tutors on Superprof. Many of them offer free tutoring for the first hour so try a few different ones out before settling on one.