One of the best parts about embroidery is the ability to personalise and create pieces that are so treasured by their recipient. Adding names or initials to your creation will often give it the perfect finishing touch. So I wanted to include some tips on stitching letters and words onto your designs:
Draw or trace your words onto the fabric first, just like you would a normal design, rather than trying to freehand stitch as you go.
If you are drawing freehand letters to stitch, I suggest you add a guideline to keep your letters straight.
In general, I find my words drawn in freehand never look as nice as I want. So instead, I like to type out the words online in a font that I like, then trace that onto the fabric. This will definitely get you a slicker result, and means you can experiment with different fonts. You can either print out and trace on your design, or simply hold your fabric up to the screen and trace over it.
As you stitch, try not to trail the thread between each letter underneath (unless its script where the letters actually join up). This means you won’t be left with lines of thread underneath which might be visible through the fabric later.
When you stitch each letter, don’t stitch paths as if you’re writing them by hand (e.g. don’t double up your path strokes like with handwriting). You’re better off constructing one single-lane path that covers the shape of the letter. You can either stop and start new thread where needed, or sneakily weave back on the underside to get to the point where you want to start again.
You will find that as you go around curves, smaller stitches look best and are easier to use. As you go around sharp corners, either use super short stitches, or treat it as two lines where you finish at the pointy end of the curve, and then start afresh.
These are some ideal stitches to use:
BACK STITCH: super easy and quite quick to work with.
SPLIT STITCH: creates a nice even line, good for corners, and can also be used for filling in thicker shaped letters with a textured effect.
STEM STITCH: this is quite elegant, also great for navigating around corners and for filling in thicker shapes with a smoother look.
In this video, I’ve shared my top tips for lettering, which you will hopefully find really helpful.
Examples of embroidered words
Embroidered words add a lovely personalised touch to your embroidery creations. I've used embroidered words to add that special touch to these Personalised Baubles.