Floral and denim are two timeless design trends. Combine them with embroidery, and it creates a beautiful and artistic element to your clothing. Jeans come in many different washes and styles, so choose the jeans you want to embroider, then continue reading to find out how to add an embroidered floral design.
Once you've chosen the style of jeans and the floral design you want, follow these steps to embroider the design onto your jeans.
- Gather your materials.
- Choose the placement of your design.
- Transfer the pattern onto denim.
- Choose your needle and thread.
- Stitch the design onto the denim.
There are a few options for both the method used to transfer the design and the type of stitching you will want to use to embroider your design, as well as the best kind of needle and thread. Keep reading to find out more.
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Gather your materials
One of the many unique elements of embroidery is that the materials aren't expensive. The most expensive item will be whatever you are choosing to embroider. All of the embroidery materials can be purchased online or at any craft store. Here is a list of the materials you'll need:
- Fabric of choice
- Transfer materials (carbon paper, tracing paper, or water-soluble stabilizer)
- A strong needle
- Thick embroidery thread
- An embroidery hoop (optional)
Choose the placement of your design
Once you've gotten your materials, you need to decide where you want your design's location to be. When choosing the placement of your design, you have a few options. Common places for embroidery on jeans are:
On the back pockets
For beginners to embroidery, back pockets work well for stitching because they provide both a thinner and flatter surface to work on, but it can be challenging to get the needle under the pocket without stitching through the jeans. Some people also choose to create the design on both back pockets of the jeans, but you will need to create a mirror image of the design to do that.
On the front of the jeans
Suppose you choose to place the embroidery under the front pockets. In that case, it is easier to stitch through just the top layer of fabric because you have a larger opening to reach through. Still, you will want to make sure your design's placement is just right to avoid stitching through the pocket, or else your pocket won't be able to open.
Transfer the design onto denim
Before you can begin embroidering, the first thing you need to do is to transfer your design onto the denim. The problem is that transferring the design can be difficult because denim is a thick fabric. Depending on the wash of the denim you chose, the material could also be too dark to see the marks made from tracing.
There are a few methods that you could use that work better for denim than tracing the design right onto the fabric. We will look at these more in-depth so that you can decide which will work best for you. The transfer methods are:
- Carbon transfer paper
- Tracing paper
- Water-soluble stabilizer
How to use carbon transfer paper
Carbon transfer paper is coated with colored ink on one side of it. It works by placing the paper face down with the ink side touching the jeans. The design is placed on the side that is face-up and then traced using a stylus so that the design transfers to the fabric. A light-colored transfer paper is typically used for dark wash jeans, and dark-colored paper used for light wash jeans.
How to use tracing paper
This method works well on denim washes that are too dark to trace directly on to. You trace your design onto the transfer paper, place it onto the jeans, and brush enough water on it so that it sticks to the fabric. Stitch your design through the paper and then gently tear the tracing paper away from the stitching.
How to use water-soluble stabilizer
A water-soluble stabilizer works similarly to the tracing paper method, but it requires you to soak the fabric after stitching. It works by printing your design onto the stabilizer, placing it onto the jeans, and sewing through it. Then you soak the design in warm water, and the stabilizer dissolves, leaving just your design behind.
Choose your needle and thread.
Because denim is such a thick fabric, you will need to choose a strong and thick needle. There are needles made especially for working with denim that are sharper and have a larger eye than regular needles to fit thicker thread through. While most threads will work on denim, the thicker the thread, the more durable it is, and you will want to choose threads that will withstand many trips through the washing machine.
Stitch the design onto denim.
Now that you've transferred your design and chosen your needle and thread, you're ready to stitch your design. Whether or not to use an embroidery hoop is your choice, but denim can be embroidered without a hoop. (We will cover this more in another section.)
Embroidering on jeans is a challenge because depending on your embroidery location, you may have to sew at an angle. This can cause hand cramps, so you may have to take a few breaks while stitching. Remember that if your design is near the front pockets, be careful not to sew through the pocket. It helps to turn the pockets inside out before you begin stitching.
There are different types of embroidery stitches you could use for your design, but the ones you choose will depend on what effect you want the design to have. Check out this YouTube video that describes the different types of stitches and demonstrates how to do each one.
Even though the stitches in the video are stitched in a straight line, you can use the same stitching techniques following your design lines. Switching up the stitches and thread colors for different parts of your design will add interest and texture to your flowers, making them more realistic-looking. When switching thread colors or finishing your design, you will need to tie off the thread to keep it from unraveling.
Watch this video on Youtube to learn how to finish an embroidery design.
How difficult is embroidery?
Besides being an inexpensive hobby, embroidery is an easy and fun hobby to learn. There are endless designs you can create that are beautiful and unique. Embroidery kits come with everything you need to get started, and there are basic patterns for beginners that are easy to follow. Read books and watch videos to learn the terminology and techniques, and you will soon be expressing yourself through a fun new hobby.
Can you embroider with standard thread?
You can embroider with normal thread, especially on thin, light-colored fabrics or decorative pieces. Still, for thicker and darker fabrics like denim or other clothing that will be worn, it is best to use embroidery thread because it is stronger and will show up better and hold up through multiple wears and washes.
What size embroidery needle should you use?
Embroidery needles are unique because they have a bigger eye than sewing needles to fit thicker thread through them. They also come in different lengths depending on the type of fabric you are using. The most popular sizes for embroidery needles are sizes 7 and 9 for general embroidery projects. Chenille needles in sizes 18 to 22 work the best for embroidering denim because they are longer and more substantial than standard embroidery needles.
Can you embroider without a hoop?
An embroidery hoop aims to stabilize the fabric by keeping it tight and in one place. If you can keep the material stabilized on your own, you can embroider without an embroidery hoop. Just hold the fabric between your thumb and fingers and stretch it to keep it tight.
Flaunt your floral jeans!
Now that you've learned how to embroider floral patterns on jeans, try different types and embroidery techniques to create designs that will help your clothes express your unique personality so that you can look fabulous no matter where you are!