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table of contents » chapter 16 (of 29)

16: Embroidery or Decoration (cont.)

Following is an example of the difference between embroidering a square graph design without allowing for the rectangular knitting stitch shape, and then working from the same design, adding repeat rows as marked at the side of the graph. The proportion of the second flower shows how just a few added rows can have a huge influence on the result [pic 4,5,6].

4: This pansy, worked from a square graph, is short and squat.

5: To compensate for the stitch shape when using a square graph design, repeat every 4th row as shown by the dots.

6: Only 5 extra rows have been added to this pansy, but the end result is much closer to the real proportions of the flower.

If you are working repeated motifs, try to do them all at the one time. If you do repeated designs in small bursts, some will be tight and some will be loose and the whole thing will look messy. At least try to do all the separate areas of one colour in one session.

Whatever embroidery stitch you use, make sure that the stitches underneath still have their original stretch, or the fabric will buckle.


There’s no way to describe the endless variations of other decorations that can be added to a garment. You can use buttons, you can use feathers, you can use beads, sequins, knitted shapes, ribbons, spangles and sparkles. Because you are working on a grid of stitches, you have a wonderful base that allows your imagination to run wild whilst making your designs easy to place.

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