Embroidery for beginners: How to transfer the pattern to fabric
To get your embroidery pattern on the fabric there are a couple of methods. Below is a list of markers and pens you can use and my preferred method of transferring a pattern.
Which pens can you use?
• Pencils can leave a nasty grey shade. If you cover the lines completely it can be ok, but use a harder pen, not the soft ones which smother easily.
• Water-soluble fabric pens can be washed out later.
• Frixion ball pens disappear when you apply heat (like a hair dryer or ironing).
• Tailor’s chalk is also available as a chalk pen. It disappears quite quickly because it’s only attached to the surface. Chalk is the easiest to remove permanently.
• Fabric marker is permanent so use it only for patterns that you’ll cover completely.
• An iron-on transfer is permanent so use it only for patterns that you’ll cover with stitches completely.
I LIKE TO USE THE TAILOR’S CHALK FOR DARK AND THE FRIXION FOR LIGHT FABRICS.
The Window Method
Now on to tracing your design on the fabric. I like to use the window method as most people have one and it’s easy to do. However, it does not work for dark fabrics.
• tape the printed pattern to a window with masking tape
• tape the fabric over the pattern with masking tape
• trace the lines with a pen of your choice
BONUS TIP: If it‘s dark outside, you can set up a glass pane (e.g. from a picture frame) or large glass bowl/vase with a flat bottom and put a lamp or even your phone’s flashlight underneath it to shine through your pattern and fabric.
The Beginner Route – learn the basics
Step 1 // Tools – Step 2 // Materials – Step 3 // Pattern transfer (you are here) – Step 4 // Dressing the hoop – Step 5 // Start & end threads – Step 6 // first stitches – Step 7 // Framing in the hoop
Don’t know what this ‘route’ thingy means? Start here.
Would you like to get everything in a nicely arranged PDF file to print out?
I have prepared the rookie’s guide to embroidery for you!