Embroidery is a very meditative hobby. The sewing supplies needed for embroidery such as embroidery thread, needles and special embroidery patterns are fairly cheap (the embroidery hoop can be the most expensive, unless you want to try goldwork) and if you like you can create charmingly naive miniatures with only backstitch or running stitch. But if you want to progress in the craft, learn new stitches or simply find inspiration for embroidery patterns, here are some of the ways to can take learning how to sew to a whole new level.
Embroidery can be explained as a process used for decorating fabrics and garments with a needle and thread. Skills needed include eye-hand coordination, color theory, design knowledge, and planning skills. Embroidery may be a meditative hobby, but it requires an excellent deal of patience. It's mainly a stitching technique, thus requiring sewing supplies. A number of the stitching materials needed include:
Embroidery hoop: This is often a hoop made from two parts. You place the material in between the rings to make it firmer and stable. By using this hoop, you can make the embroidery process simpler. They are available in both plastic and wooden types.
Sharp scissors: You'll need pointy scissors for cutting cotton fabrics and linen fibers.
Embroidery needles: These have more enormous eyes than regular needles to permit the dimensions of the floss.
A water-soluble marker or other marking tools: with this tool, you'll draw your planned designs unto your fabric. It is better to use a water-soluble pen so you'll be ready to rinse out the marks with water once you are done.
Looking to find sewing classes near me? Why not consider online sewing classes too.
Check out these resources to help you learn to embroider.
Read Books That Can Help You Learn Embroidery as a Beginner
Generally, just like every other craft, embroidery can be improved by reading books and putting what you read into practice. You'll get many pictorial illustrations from books that will help you learn better and master the art. When choosing a book, you have to be sure you will have all the resources you need. To help you select the right books, we have decided to provide you with some books that will be of great help to you.
The Embroidery technique is a visual craft, so make sure any books you buy have lots of illustrations in the tutorial parts. Make sure the colours in the pictures are contrasting in your embroidery design - I have come across at least one book with good explanations and nice projects, but where the stitches were photographed with blue thread on a blue background. Some good books to get your started are:
- Ganderton, Lucinda, Embroidery Stitches Step by Step, Doris Kindesley, 2015, ISBN 024120139X. This is more of an encyclopedia than Karen Hemingway’s Encylcopedia of Stitches. The stitches are presented with little fanfare but very clearly. It includes a number of interesting stitches and an overview according to stitch type so you can find what you are looking for at glance.
- Hemingway, Karen, The Encyclopedia of Stitches, New Holland Publishers, 2005, ISBN 1845372034. Despite its name, this book gives not only a variety of stitches from many different embroidery techniques (including crewel and shadow embroidery), it also offers little projects for you to practice on.
- Johns, Susie, Embroidery for the Absolute Beginner, Search Press Ltd., 2016, ISBN 1782212655 Along with the essential embroidery supplies and a few tips for starting out that you will find in the previous books, this one goes one step further and tells you how to transfer patterns, finish your embroidery projects and care for them.
This book is a rich guide for beginners who have little or no idea about embroidery. It provides readers with an overview of what embroidery is and a step-by-step guide for going about it. Here, you will also learn about the best transfer patterns for your projects.
If you are interested in learning more about specific embroidery techniques such as the herringbone stitch the Royal School of Needlework has several Essential Stitch Guides (for Goldwork, Stumpwork, Canvas Work, Blackwork, Silk Shading, Whitework and Crewelwork) as well as “A-Z of…” titles.
- Embroidery: A Makers Guide by Victoria and Albert Museum
Going back to the history of embroidery is the best way to have a firm understanding of it, and that is what you will get from this book. It is the beginners' comprehensive guide to making embroidery that stands out. From this book, you will learn different methods and the significance of embroidery. If you want to improve your sewing skills, then this book is a must-have.
Discover how you can improve your sewing skills by following embroidery patterns.
Books on learning to embroider often have a few beginner projects to get you started. But once you are finished with those, you might want to try out:
- Cargill, Katrin, Traditional Needle Arts: Cross-Stitch. More than 30 Classic Projects, Mitchell Beazly, 1994, ISBN 1857323327. For those who like the more tradition-style embroidery.
If you are looking to learn about tradition-style embroidery, this book is the perfect purchase. It is one of the most practical books on embroidery that you will come across. Every piece of information provided in it is backed up with the practical steps to follow to make it happen.
- Pearson, Anna, Traditional Needle Arts: Needlepoint. More than 30 Classic Projects, Mitchell Beazly, 1997, ISBN 185732790X From the same series - traditional-style needlepoint projects such as pillows.
Embroidery is a needle art that has evolved over the years. Pearson Anna, through this book, takes you through a firm journey of the many changes that have happened over time. Understanding how these changes happened, as provided by this book, you can better appreciate the embroidery art.
- Ray, Aimée, Doodle Stitching: Fresh and Fun Embroidery for Beginners, Sterling, 2007, ISBN 1600590616. Doodle stitching is a fun, naive stitching style that combines different techniques for cute, often fairly quick projects.
This embroidery book is specially tailored for beginners. It is written in a way that's very easy for an amateur to know quickly. It's an excellent welcome to the fun world of embroidery and its techniques. It starts by teaching you the courses you'll need as a newcomer into the embroidery scene, with creamy color photos and step-by-step directions to make learning unchallenging and comfortable.
Numerous chapters are dedicated to various styles you'll need to know after learning the essential stitching methods. It continues with a beginner knowledge of cloth types, threads, and needles. The book gives you thirty different design patterns to check out using all the techniques you've learned.
The literary genre is adequate for beginners. It teaches you all the essential stitching techniques, a table of content that explains all the terminologies you would like to understand, with succinctly written out instructions. It also gives good inspiration for beginners and even those more knowledgeable in the craft.
- Ray, Aimée, Doodle Stitching: Embroidery and Beyond, Lark 2013, ISBN 1454703636. Doodle stitching is very important when it comes to embroidery. This book by Ray Aimee will help you understand everything you need to know about doodle stitching and how it relates to embroidery.
- Embroidery by DK
This a 160-page book with straightforward instructions on embroidery techniques, needlepoint, and making embroidery stitches. There are up to 200 stitches taught alongside various step-by-step information for users in the least tiers of learning difficulty. It comes with tons of illustrations that are even beginner-friendly and ensure good sewing practice for every project.
The home appliance Embroider's Bible by Liz Keegan. This book explains the differences between its embroidery designs and what you would like to practice. It also contains hacks on stabilizing material, choosing needles and threads, and teaches the user how to make the most out of every project.
- Color Confidence in Embroidery by Trish Burr
Color Confidence by Trish Burr is a book that has gained popularity in the sewing world because of its rich content. It has become the go-to guide for beginners that want to learn embroidery. As a beginner, this book will help you learn sewing hacks and provide you with embroidery tips.
Finally, the Interior design schools website has a great glossary with interior design and architectural terms for those interested in learning more about design.
Embroidery Tutorials Online
If books are too abstract and you need a closer look into the personality of the person teaching you, but don’t have the time or the inclination to take needlework courses, why not check out some embroidery blogs? See the blanket stitch in action, learn how to embellish your designs or the delicate needlework to create the satin stitch.
- The Spruce is a commercial blog but with an amazing amount of different crafts tutorials. Their embroidery blog is chock-full of fun little projects, different traditional and ethnic stitches, and tips and tricks. Definitely worth a look. The Spruce is a popular blog that offers comprehensive content on various topics, including sewing. Here, you will get all the information you need about embroidery, including helpful tips and guides that will help you as a beginner.
- Needle ‘n Thread is a must-follow blog for embroidery enthusiasts. Just like the name implies, this is your go-to place if you want to master how to use needles and threads to create awesome designs. You don't have to wait for a machine to create the beautiful design you have always wanted to create. With the knowledge you will get from here, you can get it done with a needle and thread. It covers basic stitches and advanced techniques - including things such as how to start and finish your embroidery - different styles of stitching and some of the blogger’s current projects.
- Nordic Needle has a nice collection of stitches and tutorials. If you want more than tutorials and are looking to get the best embroidery ideas, then Nordic Needle is the site you should visit. The tutorials that are offered on this platform are simple and easy to understand.
- Anna Scott Embroidery is by a woman of mad talent. As she stitches her projects, she gives interesting tips such as how to blend shading when using stem stitch or how to turn a corner.
- Pumora has a series of truly basic tutorials to get started on embroidery.
- Sublime Stitching has a series of tutorials for all the basic embroidery stitches.
Take a Stitching Class to Master Embroidery
Embroidery is something that you can do any time of the day, which could be in the morning or the evening. It could also be your main job where you have a passion for fashion designing or a hobby. Whatever it is, you can improve your skills by taking stitching classes. Several online platforms provide you with detailed lessons on stitching that you will find very useful.
Embroidery is often done in the evenings, in the comfort of your own home. But there is no reason embroidery can’t be a social hobby; and what better way to go out and meet like-minded embroidery enthusiasts than to participate in a beginner embroidery course. You also have the added benefit of getting to use more types of equipment such as an embroidery machine and any other types of equipment you may be missing in your embroidery kit.
Sewing Courses Online for Learning Embroidery
But as nice as it is to connect with the embroidering community, you might not live near anyplace that offers courses, or all the available classes clash with your scheduling. In that case, you might want to consider online emboirdery courses. Some will be at fixed times, but most operate on a module basis and let you work your modules at your own pace, turn in the work (by skype or e-mail attachment) and move on to the next.
You don't have to leave the comfort of your home to learn embroidery. The internet is filled with many options that you can consider to learn and improve your skills. Knowing where to look on the internet is very important, and that is why we have decided to provide you with the best places to take these courses online.
If you are looking to enhance your knowledge on various aspects of sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery, then you should consider SkillShare. They have a lot of helpful materials and resources that will help to improve your sewing skills.
Another place that you can learn sewing online is the Embroiderers guild. They offer a wide range of online courses on sewing that you can choose from. All of these courses and materials made available have been tailored to meet your specific needs.
- The Embroiderer’s Guild has different modular online embroidery courses for you to choose from. If you choose to join the Guild, you can get a discount.
- Thread Therapy by Martha Lundt
This class offers some free online courses if you sign up for her newsletter. If you do not have some extra cash to spare but still wish to learn sewing online, you can consider learning from Thread Therapy by Martha Lundt. It is going to be an amazing sewing experience that you will love.
- Thistle Threads has courses in historical embroidery stitches.
- Open Learning offers some embroidery courses, including one on ribbon embroidery.
Learn With A Private Embroidery Tutor
But what is often missing in online embroidery courses in the one-on-one with the instructor, the ability to have someone look at your embroidered dress hem, pincushion or clutch bag and immediately recognise where you have gone wrong. So why not try and find a private tutor instead?
Learning sewing online is a good option to consider but doesn't come close to learning with a private tutor. A private tutor can offer you personalised teachers, work at your pace, and teach you just when it is convenient for you. Superprof offers private tutors near you that you can contact and create a schedule that works for you. Not only are the private tutors on Superprof the best, but they are always readily available.
If you live near one of the institutes of higher learning that offer sewing courses, try putting up an ad on their board indicating that you are looking for an embroidery teacher. Students are often eager to pass on their knowledge, and since they are still learning themselves, they are very much aware of how to present and demonstrate the various embroidery techniques and stitches.
You can also talk to people in your brick-and-mortar arts and crafts store to see if anyone embroiders and is willing to teach you; look at their flyers to see if someone is advertising embroidery courses near you.
Or why not try a skills exchange? Maybe your Facebook embroidery group or your circle of friends includes someone who would be willing to teach you embroidery if you teach them German - or Pakistani or French or cooking or singing…
Learn all of our tips and tricks for learning embroidery...
And of course here on Superprof you can find a private tutor who will give sewing courses online and off for a variety of sewing techniques, from hand- to machine embroidery. You don’t need to pay to contact a professor, though there will be a small fee if you decide to take him or her. After that, any money you pay goes directly to the teacher you choose. With modern technology, you can choose to look for an embroidery teacher near you or take online classes over Skype.
There are many ways to enter the wonderful world of coloured thread and meditative stitching, so pick a method and join in making beautiful crewelwork, cross-stitch or blackwork embroidery.
Find out what you need to completely outfit your embroidery kit.