Welcome back to another segment of the ‘Sew Basically..’ series!
In this series, I’ll be showing you how to do some basic embroidery stitches and we’ll explore other embroidery related topics like how to transfer your designs, picking the right sort of fabric, and backing your hoops!
All that sounds super amazing and I can’t wait to get to it, but right now let’s start with French Knots! These little guys are a bit tricky to stitch when you’re starting off, but once you get the hang of it they’re a breeze!
For this type of stitch, you’re going to need some thread and a needle (and you know, scissors, fabric…an embroidery hoop..)! As I’ve mentioned before, I really like using these gold plated needles! Something I recently have noticed about these is that they are a tad duller than regular sewing needles. They are still excellent for embroidery and can get through thick fabric, but they’re not excessively sharp and won’t leave your fingers with a ton of little poke marks. Plus, they’re super pretty!
Loop De Loop and Pull
So here’s where we’re at with this stitch. Come up through your fabric and pull your thread tight. Loop your thread around your needle – the more loops you add the bigger your knot will turn out! I’m using three strands of embroidery floss and three loops around my needle. You can use two strands and two loops or all six strands and three loops for a huge knot! I wouldn’t loop around your needle more than three or four times or else your knot might turn out wonky.
After you loop your thread around and are about to put the needle back through the fabric, don’t put it back through the same hole you came up by. You need to stitch back down a teeny bit off from your original entry stitch. That way there’s a teeny bit of fabric for the knot to hang on to. We’re not talking about moving over like a centimeter, we’re talking about like two fibers over!
This is a little hard, but you need to keep your thumb or some other finger in the loop as you pull your knot down tightly. Your thread will pull down through those loops you created and then make beautiful little knot on your fabric.
Another way is to loop your thread as close to the base of your needle as you can. Hold on to your thread and pull it tight to lock in your loops, and then pull your excess thread down through your looped knot to stitch it down. This makes perfect french knots every time! Here’s a clip of me doing what I mentioned above, just loop de loop and pull!
That’s it! These little knots are perfect for so many different things! Florals, accents, lettering, whatever you can imagine. I almost always just use them as floral accents.
Here are some french knots I’ve incorporated into my embroidery work!