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Work Your First Ribbon Embroidery Project
Learn how to create this beautiful bouquet of stitched flowers using silk ribbon embroidery. The free pattern uses only seven different stitches, most of which you probably already know!
Working embroidery with silk ribbons can look intimidating because the results are so different from standard embroidery, but the process is very similar and intermediate stitchers will find almost immediate success.
If you find that your embroidery doesn't look as full as the sample, add a few more simple flowers. If you're working with wider ribbons, the bouquet may fill in faster, in which case, you can use fewer flowers. This type of embroidery works well for improvising, so make it your own!Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Pattern & Supplies
- Linen or evenweave embroidery fabric - Choose a fabric that is loose enough for your ribbon to pass through while still holding stitches in place.
- Silk ribbon for embroidery - You will want to have a variety of colors in a few sizes. 5mm and 7mm were used for the sample embroidery.
- Needle - Use a sharp needle with a large eye. Chenille needles work well.
- Hoop - This design fits well within a 6-inch hoop
Download and print the pattern so it fits within your embroidery hoop.
Trace the pattern onto the fabric with a disappearing ink pen designed for embroidery. Silk ribbon is washable, but your finished work will look best if you don't soak it unless absolutely necessary.
If you're confident, you can also just refer to the pattern and stitch the design without marking the fabric.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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If this technique is new to you, be sure to follow the basic instructions in the silk ribbon embroidery primer.
Continue to 4 of 4 below.
- Start with the large flowers, then fill in with smaller flowers, leaves, stems and the wrapping on the bouquet, layering the stitches as needed.
- Work the large yellow and orange flowers with woven wheel stitch. Both use narrow ribbon for the spokes, though standard embroidery floss also works. The yellow flower was worked with wider ribbon for a fuller look.
- The large pink flower is worked with loop stitch for the center and surrounded by a ring of stem stitch, all in wider ribbon. Stem stitch also works well for creating stems.
- Use detached chain stitch for all of the teardrop shaped flowers in both wide and narrow ribbons. The difference in width changes the look of the stitches noticeably.
- Narrow ribbon and loosely worked french knots form the tiny dot flowers.
- Add leaves and more flower petals with ribbon stitch, using both widths of ribbon.
- Use straight stitch to make additional small flowers, as well as stems and the wrapping on the bouquet. The sprig of white flowers is entirely made with straight stitch, using a wider ribbon for the stem and small stitches for the flowers.
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Creating Loop Stitches
The center of the large pink flower is filled with loop stitch. This simple stitch is common in ribbon embroidery and is formed similarly to a small straight stitch, but without pulling the ribbon all the way through.
- To work loop stitch with any width of ribbon, bring the ribbon up through the fabric. Go back down a very short distance from where you came up.
- Pull the ribbon slowly, making sure that it isn't twisted. Use a needle to hold the loop at the height you want it and to maintain the shape.
- Repeat this process for each loop stitch. As with all ribbon embroidery, stitch carefully so as not to pull or tug previous stitches as you go.
When forming the loop stitch flower, work the center first, then add the border of stem stitch.