Julianne Smith, owner of The Garter Girl, is here sharing her embroidery skills with us for a super sweet tutorial: how to add a little custom embroidery to your wedding day. Whether it’s a memento on the groom’s shirt, or something blue on the wedding dress, we love how simply charming this DIY project is!
If you want to add something sweet and personal to your wedding dress, then consider hand embroidering something on the inside. You could put your new monogram or wedding date, even a heart! Once you master embroidering on the inside of your dress, you can also try embroidering your fiance’s dress shirt cuffs or a ring pillow. Embroidering by hand is simple, I promise, even if you can’t sew or don’t think of yourself as a “crafty” person!
Embroidery also a very affordable wedding DIY project. Most packages of embroidery floss cost less than one dollar and you will only need a very small amount of a package. This is such a simple and small project that anyone can try it! The best part is that if it doesn’t work or you don’t like how it turns out, you can take it out with some scissors and try again!
Embroidery floss in any color
Step 1. Because I embroider so much and have been doing it for years, I do most of it by “eye balling” the design. But, if you are beginner or just doing this once and want to get it just right, I recommend typing out what you want to embroider and printing it out. This print out will be act as a stencil for your embroidery design. You can pick a gorgeous font or something sweet like a clip art heart. Take your print out and place it underneath your fabric. Use the pencil to very lightly trace your design.
Step 2. Cut a length of embroidery floss about 30 inches long. You will notice that one piece of floss is made up of several smaller strands of floss that are twisted together. You’ll want to separate the floss strands and only use two strands of the floss at one time. You can separate it by pulling the strands apart. It helps to place the long piece of floss between your knees as you pull it apart.
Step 3. Hold your two strands of floss together and thread them through the eye of your sewing needle. The “eye” is the loop on the opposite end of the pointy end. It helps to moisten your strands and slightly trim them at an angle to make a point so they are easier to thread through the needle. Pull the strand about half way through the eye and let it hang down. On the long end of the floss hanging from the eye, tie a knot. It helps to moisten your fingers and hold the floss between your pointer finger and thumb. Wrap the end of the floss around your pointer finger and roll the strands through your fingers to make a knot.
Step 4. Hold your fabric in your lap with the right side facing you. (The “right side” is the side that you want to see when it is finished. The “wrong side” is the backside of the side of the fabric that no one will see.) Put your needle underneath your fabric and point the tip of the needle at the spot where the pencil mark starts. Pull the needle through the fabric at this point. The needle should go from the wrong side through to the right side of the fabric. Gently pull your needle with the floss on it through the fabric until the knot catches and you can’t pull it anymore.
Step 5. You will use the pencil marks as a guide and sew right over the pencil marks. If you made the pencil marks light enough, you won’t see the marks when you are done. Place your needle 1/8th an inch past the point where the floss came through from the wrong side. This is your starting point. Push the needle through the fabric slightly and pop it back through the fabric just before the starting point. It helps to use your opposite hand’s thumb as a guide. Gently pull the floss until it catches and you can’t pull anymore. Be soft and don’t pull it too tight. Put your needle 1/8th of an inch father up the pencil mark and pop it through the fabric right at the point where the first stitch started. Repeat these tiny stitches all across the pencil marks until the end. This is called the running stitch. If you need more instructions for how to do the running stitch or are a visual learner, you can search the Internet for tutorials on the running stitch.
Step 6. When you get to a sharp corner, push your needle down through the fabric to the wrong side. (You will be starting again.) Then bring the needle back up through to the right side of the fabric at the point that you want to start a new angle. Continue the running stitch down your new pencile marks.
Step 7. When you are finished, push your needle down through the fabric to the wrong side. Turn the fabric over so that you are looking at the wrong side. Pull your needle off of the floss and set it aside, you are finished with the needle. Gently tie the floss strands into a knot and trim the ends, leaving about a 1-inch tail.
The Garter Girl is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink. If you’re looking for the perfect, custom garter for your wedding day, look no further! Every piece is made by hand, and we especially love the set of 5 ombre garters for you and your bridesmaids.