Picture the scene, you have learnt a new embroidery skill on the frame, well done! And you’ve got all these ideas about where you want to put that embroidery, how you want to use it but it’s on a base fabric which is really a part of what you had envisoned. If you cut it out, the fabric will fray and all fall apart, but if you dont cut it away then it’s going to look a bit scruffy at best.
The alternative is to tuck the excess base fabric under the embroidery so that it gets finished and hidden, so that your pieces looks like it was freestanding all along!
Click the picture above to see the video in full.
First cut yourself a small boarder around the embroidery in the shape you would like the piece to be when finished, just a bit bigger. How large this boarder is will depend on your base fabric, if it is likely to fray, be a bit more generous, but about 3mm is a good standard. You may want to mark this first on the back with a pencil as a guide, or you can eyeball it if you are feeling lucky.
Once cut, turn you embroidery over to the back side, thread up a needle with a matching coloured thread, single thread, knot in the end (follow the link to our pro tips blog on knots to see how to do a knot like a pro).
Anchor you thread with a few small stitches on top of one another somewhere inconspicuous, then start to fold in the boarder of base fabric and secure with a stitch.
You should be catching the back of the embroidery and then the folded in edge with a small stitch, then move along a few millimetres, fold the boarder in again and stitch.
Every few stitches, you will need to create a little tuck to gather the excess fabric as the boarder is bigger than the finished embroidery, fold it neatly and stitch it down (may require a few stitches), then move on like normal
Repeat to the end and knot off your thread.
You now have a very neat freestanding embroidery which you can apply to whatever your heart desires.
Valentino Rose used as an example for tucking under