Intro to Embroidery
Need-to-Know Basics
As with most crafts, getting started on hand embroidery can seem daunting when you consider the huge array of available hoops, frames, needles, thread cutters ... whew, you get the picture. But don't be fooled! The list of actual hand embroidery essentials is refreshingly short. In fact, all you technically need is a needle (if you're cool cutting thread with your teeth ... no comment). I recommend the handful of tools below to get you started.
by Mary Corbet
I first tackled embroidery in middle school — I mean, who DIDN’T want an embellished denim shirt in the mid-70s? Unfortunately, I was teaching myself, using random supplies I found in my mom’s sewing stash. That little brown puppy design definitely didn't turn out as cute as I’d envisioned. Luckily, nothing could kill my budding textile obsession.
Hand embroidery is all about those stitches. But those stitches are all about that floss. Not sure what to use for your next project? Let's take a look at your choices. Really, it comes down to the big three: cotton, silk, and wool. Sure, there are other specialty fibers you can use, but these three will be your heavy hitters (and the easiest to find).
by Mary Corbet
We're on a mission to get you stitching! From picking floss and needles, to making your first stitches, we have everything you need right here.
Turn your inspiration into action. We'll show you how.
Watch + Learn
Here, Kat introduces stitch families. Find out how to use them in the class sampler as she demonstrates five easy stitches that allow you to outline any shape and make lines or expressive marks on your embroidery.
Find out how to add all-over texture and color to your sampler, plus all of your embroidery with simple spot stitches! Then Kat demystifies the French knot, a popular stitch that'll be your new favorite with just a little practice.
Curvy looped stitches are so much fun to make! See how to add five of them to your sampler, one by one.
Complete your sampler by coloring in the shapes with fill stitches, including the seed, satin, long and short stitches. Learn how to use other stitches as fill stitches to expand your possibilities!
...will make all your stitching dreams come true!
Startup Projects
Start your first project, a tropical floral wreath, by reviewing key stitches such as the backstitch, satin stitch and stem stitch. Practice the fishbone stitch, before exploring color shading and gradations with the long and short stitch.
Needle (or thread) painting is a truly artful way to embroider. Here, Jessica shows you how to use this technique to create furlike stitching for your second project, a bear cub design. She also shares tips for making expressive animal features including eyes, ears, a snout and couched mouth.
Your Next Project Is Here!
Where some people see a plain sweatshirt, we see a blank canvas for our needle and thread! This time, we transformed an everyday layer into a top that lets us wear our hearts on our sleeves.
by Bluprint
Start your fourth and final project, a cluster scarf, as you learn to work a complex specialty stitch, the cluster stitch. Afterwards, Salena shows you how to make color changes in rows and read more complex patterns, including a crochet diagram, to complete your scarf.
Jessica  Long
with Jessica Long
Maybe you've embroidered a sweatshirt or jacket — and that's great. But we've discovered an amazing off-of-the-T-shirt way to showcase our stitching. Meet the embroidered pendant necklace!
by Bluprint
DO MORE IN EMBROIDERY
Build on basic stitches to create exquisite crewel embroidery that blossoms with color and texture!
Kristin Nicholas
with Kristin Nicholas
Build a foundation of essential skills every embroiderer should know, so you can conquer each step of machine embroidery with the utmost confidence!
Lindee Goodall
with Lindee Goodall
Discover the joys of hand embroidery alongside slow fashion pioneer Natalie Chanin.
Natalie Chanin
with Natalie Chanin
Use your sewing machine to add charming designs that look handmade! Terry White teaches you how to duplicate a wide variety of hand-embroidered stitches.
Terry White
with Terry White
Add gorgeous dimension to any embroidery project! Expand your needlework repertoire by learning how to create stunning, nature-inspired stumpwork designs.
Celeste Chalasani
with Celeste Chalasani
Embroider with beads for eye-catching results! Create sparkling flowers, leaves and other stunning embellishments by hand.
Myra Wood
with Myra Wood
Learn how to hand embroider over 25 types of stitches with decorative flair!
Jessica  Marquez
with Jessica Marquez
Learn the ins and outs of your multi-needle machine. Get techniques for setting up, stitching your first design and embroidering faster than ever.
Deborah Jones
with Deborah Jones
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