My sister just had her first baby this week! 😀 In honor of this exciting occasion in my family, I’m gonna do a simple tutorial on how to embroider baby clothes. I’ve used a onesie/bodysuit in this tutorial, but the method can easily be applied to any fabric clothing. For this project you will need: Waste Canvas, Sewing Pins, Embroidery Floss, Tweezers, Embroidery Hoop, Baby Onesie, and a Sharp Pointed Sewing Needle (I was a gauge 14, but use the size that fits best for you.)
First thing you’ll want to do is decide what you will stitch and gather your materials. the pattern I’ve decided to make is a nice happy Kirby. I made this pattern in a free program called KG-Chart, but you can also use PC Stitch for a some enhanced color accuracy. If pattern making is not your thing, your lovely friends over on the sprite stitch forums are always happy to help make patterns for those in need. 🙂
Now that we have our pattern, we can see that it needs to be at least 26×26 stitches. I recommend adding another 4 stitches on as you’ll need this area to pin your waste canvas to your material.
Where you place your embroidery is completely up to you, but make sure to leave at minimum an inch (3cm) between your design and edge. You’ll need this space free so you can place your embroidery hoop around the area. This will keep your design wrinkle free and somewhat tight while you work. I say somewhat because clothing will typically have some stretch/give -especially baby clothes- and if you pull it too tight, it will make the fabric pucker and keep your design from laying flat.
Everything is set up and we are ready to stitch! Just like any other cross stitch project, you want to work from the inside out, and light colors to dark colors. This will keep your design at an even tension, while also making sure your dark strands don’t show through your light colors from behind. Unlike most other cross stitch projects, you’ll want to use 3 strands of floss as you work instead of 2. The extra strand assists in keeping the background material from showing through as it makes your design nice and dense. My last recommendation is for those who still use knots to start their strands. You cannot do that with baby clothes. Knots in general aren’t recommend, but if you try to use them on baby clothing it will make the back side bumpy and possibly irritable for infants. You’ll have to practice holing the starting tail underneath your work and then stitch over it, using the stitch tension to keep it in place.
Once you’ve got your piece all stitched up, it’s time to remove the waste canvas! I forgot to take a picture of this step, but the beauty of waste canvas is that it’s designed to come apart. Thoroughly wet your design and then take your tweezers to pull out each strand one by one. Tedious, I know, but the results are worth it. 🙂
Wash and dry your finished piece like normal and, ta da! You now have a custom piece of baby clothing for that special infant in your life. 😀