Free Pattern: Crescent Moon

Today marks one week until Halloween and if you want to add a little handmade flair to your costume, consider stitching on a crescent moon. This free pattern includes crescent moons with two fills – one with dots and one with a grid – if you want guides to help evenly fill your moon in with seed stitch, trellis stitch, etc. If you simply want to outline, then there are various sizes of moons to fit the look you’re trying to achieve.

Free Page from Fall Leaves Bundle #1 Now Available

This week I opened an Etsy shop and placed my first hand embroidery pattern up for sale: Fall Leaves Bundle #1. It includes three leaves: maple, beech, and ash in a pattern with all three plus pages of the individual leaves in varying sizes.

Today I’m releasing one of the individual pages for free – the beech leaf. I plan on releasing many free hand embroidery patterns in addition to the ones I sell on my Etsy shop.

You can check out the free beech leaf page on the Hand Embroidery Patterns – Free page or click the link below:

Nat Johnson Embroidery – Beech Leaf

Etsy Shop Now Open with First Pattern For Sale

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the opening of my new Etsy shop. I will be selling downloadable, printable PDF hand embroidery patterns. The first pattern is already on the shop: Fall Leaves Bundle #1.

The pattern is a display of three leaves: maple, beech and ash. I include six and four inch pattern sizes as well as three pages of individual leaves in various sizes. I wanted to offer people the option of going beyond the pattern if they so choose.

Additionally, I include pattern instructions, stitch tutorials and pattern transfer suggestions. The instructions and tutorials are related to how I stitched the leaves pattern shown in the photograph. But I do not mind if people use different outline stitches, fills, colors, etc.

I can’t wait to add more patterns in the shop. But for now, I’m celebrating getting this first one done.

Stitch Sampler T-Shirt

Learning to embroider made me curious about all things embroidery, which turned into a greater appreciation for embroidery and other embellishments incorporated into apparel design.

I wanted to try it for myself, but I wasn’t sure how it would go. So I decided to start with a basic white t-shirt I bought at Michael’s craft store. I had seen enough examples of others stitching their clothes (primarily on Instagram) to know that I needed to back the stretchy fabric with a stabilizer to help keep it sturdy in the hoop. Unlike a woven fabric, you shouldn’t pull a stretchy knit taut in the hoop. You will permanently stretch the garment and that’s just not desirable.

I also didn’t want to stress over the design in case my first attempt wasn’t great. So I settled on stitching lines of basic stitches around the V-neckline.

From closest to the neckline out: running stitch, back stitch, chain stitch, arrowhead stitch, fly stitch with tails connected, feather stitch

When I finished stitching, it was time to wash the washable stabilizer away. I tossed it in a mesh bag and threw it in the washing machine. Unfortunately, there were stains. I had forgotten to test the floss to see if it would bleed. I took a chance and put some Shout on the stain and tossed it back in the mesh bag and into the wash. The stain came out!

Here’s the finished look:

Hand embroidered Captain Marvel barrettes

In early 2019, barrettes started coming back in fashion, according to magazines. (I’d been wearing them for many years, but okay). Some of the barrettes featured in the mags had large letters and I thought it would be fun to adapt the concept to an embroidered barrett.

embroidered higher further faster barrettes
embroidered higher further faster barrettes

Around the same time, Captain Marvel movie tickets went on sale and marketing for the film was ratcheted up. The Captain Marvel movie poster featured the words “Higher Further Faster.” I thought this was the perfect inspiration for hand embroidered barrettes.

The color palette presented a new problem – transferring onto dark fabric. If I had to do it now, I would simply transfer the pattern to a stabilizer and then remove the stabilizer after stitching. But I hadn’t learned that yet, so I printed out the words onto paper, painstakingly turned that into a stencil and used chalk to mark the letters on the fabric.

Working with DMC’s metallic thread was another challenge. It is quite unruly compared to the cotton thread and I did not enjoy working with it at all. I used straight, horizontal stitches instead of horizontal satin stitches which would have looked a lot better. If I had to do it over again, I would simply go with a dark yellow thread and use small satin stitches.

One last lesson, when making barrettes, make sure you know which side of your head you want to wear the barrettes while planning your pattern and double check before gluing onto the barrette. I originally had planned to wear these on the left side of my head but switched to my right after gluing the first one.

I bought blank craft barrettes and carefully glued the finished work onto them. They’re holding up very well many months later.

Hand embroidered Christmas ornaments from the 2018 holiday season

The first holiday season after learning to embroider, I, of course, wanted to implement my newly acquired skills to celebrate. I figured ornaments would be a fun and relatively easy way to accomplish this.

The first ornament attempted was a self-drafted cardinal (bird) sitting on an evergreen branch. I was very pleased with how it turned out. But then I learned a tough lesson: I tried to glue the fabric to the cardboard base of the ornament frame and the glue showed through the spaces that weren’t embroidered. I tried to figure out ways to compensate, but haven’t come up with any. Maybe I’ll give it another think during the 2019 holiday season.

embroidered cardinal on an evergreen branch

A more simple ornament was simply cutting out two felt stars and embroidering chain stitched lines onto it. I stuffed it with a little batting and then closed it with a running stitch.

For my in-laws who live in Ohio near Lake Erie, I stitched an image of Kelleys Island, their favorite vacation island on the lake. I simply traced the lake from an internet satellite image, outlined it and filled it in with a trellis stitch and detached chain stitch flowers. I also did my first embroidered lettering. I transferred the letters using a stencil then used small satin stitches to fill in the letters.

For my niece, who was obsessed with the Pixar film Coco at the time, I designed an ornament based on the movie’s marketing. I found a font similar to the movie poster font for the words Feliz Navidad, which is Merry Christmas in Spanish. Then, I traced over the guitar and floral images used in the logo. I used embroidery thread as close to the logo’s colors as I could determine. I used satin stitch to fill in everything. The lettering is uneven here because at the time I was not taping the fabric down to hold it in place when tracing.

embroidered Feliz Nacidad ornament inspired by the movie Coco

For my husband, who is into hot sauces, I returned to felt to create a hot sauce bottle ornament with the words “Josh’s Hot Sauce.” I used little running stitches for the letters and a satin stitch for the cap. I secured the edges with a blanket stitch.

embroidered hot sauce bottle ornament

Last but not least, I embroidered two holly leaves connected by 3 red berries. Each of the leaves had two fills: both had half filled with satin stitch. Then one had a trellis stitch fill and the other had a gradient seed stitch fill. The berries are small woven wheel stitches.

 berries ornament.

My first self-drafted embroidery pattern: a basic pumpkin

As much as I adore the many beautiful and inventive embroidery patterns out there, I started to realize early on that I wanted to design my own embroidery patterns. So in the fall of 2018, I opted to design a basic pumpkin.

hand embroidered pumpkin
hand embroidered pumpkin

I drew the pumpkin on a drawing app on my iPad and then traced it onto fabric. I outlined with black and then filled with long, horizontal satin stitches. I had not yet learned about long and short stitches yet, which would have been more appropriate. Plus, orienting the stitches vertically probably would have given it a better texture.

For the stem, I got creative with the color, alternating yellow and brown and I like the effect that resulted.

Tenth Doctor 3d glasses embroidery

My husband and I love Doctor Who, and one of his favorite things (among many) is Ten wearing 3d glasses. I decided it would be fun to embroider them for him.

I found a printed fabric of Ten’s brown pinstripe suit on Spoonflower. I ordered a swatch because I intended the finished project to only be 4-6″.

Embroidered Tenth Doctor 3D Glasses
Embroidered Tenth Doctor 3D Glasses

I found a basic clip art of 3d glasses and transferred them to the fabric. Then I simply filled with satin stitch. I remember being confused about stitch placement and ended up compensating by filling in A LOT. I ended up with somewhat of a padded effect and uneven stitches. My husband claims to love it. I’ll just have to trust him. 🙂