How to Embellish Fabric with Embroidery

How to Embellish Fabric with Embroidery How to Embellish Fabric with Embroidery

Embellishing fabric with embroidery is super fun, relatively fast, and doesn't take a whole lot of planning. If you aren't patient, don't like working on small things, not a perfectionist, but for some reason still like embroidery than this project is for you! Or if you just want a project that requires spontaneity and does away with all the rules of embroidery than you should do this too. I started my project while on a camping trip. I grabbed some cute fabric, a few skeins of floss, and my embroidery stitch book and I was ready to go. 

Ok, so it takes a little bit of planning but not much. Here are a couple things you should think about before getting started:

Choosing your print

Choose a quilting cotton with a large print. If you are looking at the above picture: don't do what I did. 

Choose a print with only a couple colors. Once again, don't do what I did. 

I chose a print with a ton of tiny detail, and a lot of colors. The problem is that because cotton floss doesn't have much texture my stitches got lost. They ended up looking quite a bit like the detail that was already printed onto the fabric. I partially fixed this problem by choosing floss colors much brighter than the fabric. 

Now, I do love the pattern I chose. I love the moths! If you are alright with the embroidery not standing out, then go ahead and chose any print you like. Just be aware that the stitches won't show up as well. 

How to Embellish Fabric with Embroidery

Choosing your floss

Your primary concern when choosing floss is that it stands out. Your floss should contrast your print. If your print is light; be sure to incorporate dark floss. If your print has dull colors; incorporate bight colored floss etc. 

Don't be afraid use drastically different colors! Take a look at the print I chose and the floss I ended up with. I first chose colors close to those of the print. I started embroidering and could barely make out the stitches. The second time around I tried to keep some unity between the floss colors and the print, but not much. I ended up with saturated jewel colors for the floss. And still, the stitches don't stand out as much as I would have liked them too. 

Grab your print and floss and you will be ready to hoop up and get stitching….

How to Embellish Fabric with Embroidery


Use any stitch you want! This is the fun part. There is no right or wrong here. Experiment. It's not about the stitches being perfect. It's about enhancing the print. 

I used the print as a guide and let the shapes of the print determine what stitch I would use. For example; my print had patterns of dots and circles all over, so I stitched french knots over the top of them. I outlined shapes with chain stitch. Filled in areas with satin stitch. Where I had a grid like pattern I used a trellis stitch etc. It is the perfect project to try out new and unusual stitches on. 

Here are the stitches I personally used:










French Knot


Single straight stitches wherever I felt the urge. 

Finishing up

I made a pillow with my embroidered print.

To Make a pillow:

1. Using a sewing machine with your fabric pinned right sides together, sew three sides of your pillow. 2. Sew the fourth side only half way, turn right side out, stuff you pillow inside. 3. Then use a blind stitch to sew up the hole. 

This project would make fun wall art as well. Leave your print in the hoop, sew a running stitch around the excess fabric hanging out the back of your hoop, pull tight and knot, then hang it on your wall. 

Have fun!


How to Embellish Fabric with Embroidery

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