Start your stitching project with our Mandala Free Pattern for Color Variation (DMC Art. 417).
- Wooden Pieces
- Embroidery Thread Art.117
- A pair of scissors
Let's get started!
Choose a design and then pick a spot to begin stitching. We recommend starting from one of the edges to make counting your stitches easier.
Select a length of thread. Notice that each piece of thread is made up of six individual strands. Gently ply the thread to separate out two strands. Go slowly so the floss doesn’t get all tangled up.
Line up the ends of the two strands and fold them in half. Thread all four ends through the needle. This will create a loop at the other end of the thread. You’ll use this loop to help secure the thread when you start stitching.
Bring your needle up through a hole from the back to the front. Do not pull the thread all the way through, but leave the loop at the back. Next slip your needle through a hole diagonally across from where you started. As you do so, pass your needle through the loop of thread at the back of the piece. Tug gently to secure.
Work your way across the row, continuing to make half cross stitches.
When you reach the end of the row, or when specified by your design, return in the other direction to complete the cross stitches. Try to keep the tension on your stitches even. Don’t make them slack, but don’t pull too tight either.
When you run out of thread or need to change colours, slip the needle under three or four stitches on the back of the work to secure your thread, and then clip. Some of the designs contain layered stitches. Complete the stitches on the bottom before moving on to ones layered over the top, using pliers if needed to help pull the needle through small holes.
What you'll need:
- Chalk pencil or Tracing Paper & Tracing Tools
- DMC embroidery Thread
- Fabric for stitching
Begin by drawing your design onto fabric or transfer a pattern using chalk paper and a tracing tool.When all of the pattern lines have been transferred, you are ready to stitch.
Cut a length of sashiko yarn and thread your needle. For bold stitches double the yarn, for smaller details and a dainty line, use a single thread. Knot the end.
The pattern has been marked onto the “right” side of your fabric, so you will stitch right over the top of the chalk lines. Pull your needle through the fabric at the start of your first marked line and allow the knot to rest neatly on the back, or “wrong” side.
Leave 1/8” (3 mm) of yarn between the knot and your first stitch—this allows for some “give” when stitching and will help prevent your fabric from puckering.
Work your needle from right to left (or left to right if you’re left- handed) along the marked line, making consistent 1/8” to 1/4” (3-5 mm) stitches.
Work several stitches onto your needle, then pull your yarn through the fabric.
Pull the yarn but not tight. Try not to let your fabric pucker. Your stitches should look similar to a running stitch, although slightly longer than the spaces between them. The stitch-to-space ratio for sashiko is 3:2, but no one is counting, just do your best!
If you notice your fabric is puckering, then your stitches are too tight. To fix this pinch the fabric between your thumb and index finger and run them along your line of stitches to smooth the fabric. Try holding the knotted end steady with one hand while you smooth with the other.
When you reach the end of a line, make a small knot on the backside of your fabric and trim any excess yarn. Remember, the chalk-marked side of your fabric is the “right” side, and should be facing you.
Leave a little extra yarn before you tie off your row of stitches with a knot. This allows for some “give” in the case that your fabric shrinks a bit during washing, or you discover later that some of your stitches in that row were too tight.
When turning a corner, leave an extra 1/8” to 1/4” (3-5 mm) of yarn looped on the wrong side of the fabric, again, to help prevent puckering.
Work the lines that cross the center of your pattern first, going in one direction and then the reverse.
Tip: If you finish a row and arenʼt happy with the result, donʼt worry! Snip the knot and pull your yarn out. Re-knot and try again.
WHAT IS CROSS STITCH?
Cross Stitch is one of the easiest stitches to learn. It starts with a simple X shaped stitch that is commonly embroidered with floss on an evenweave fabric. The cross stitch is repeated numerous times to create a design. Counted cross stitch designs are made by following a grid or chart where each square that contains a symbol represents 1 stitch.
FABRIC - Aida Cloth
•even weave to create proportional designs
ie. fabric in 10 counts should have 10 squares in 1in horizontally as well as vertically
•the higher the count, the smaller the squares, the smaller the final design
•has a blunt edge to avoid needle pricks and to go through the right hole in the fabric
•has a wide eye for easy threading
•the higher the size, the smaller the needle
•has a wide range of colors (400+)
•should be cut into 18inches when used to avoid fraying
•consists of symbols and its corresponding DMC thread color
•includes the stitch count and the finished size
•find center of the pattern – this corresponds to the center of the pattern which is marked by arrows
•find center of the fabric by folding fabric in four
•count from center of fabric to the corresponding place where you wish to begin on the pattern
Len owns the fashion line called Filip+Inna, where her clothes are designed with traditional Filipino patterns from indigenous tribes which are cross stitched onto the clothes. Her brand gained global recognition as featured in Elle magazine and worn by Tory Burch and Amanda Hearts. Recently, she collaborated with Bayo, another clothing brand, and her collection was exhibited in Ayala Museum as part of indigenous textiles exhibition, "Art and the Order of Nature".