Creating Your First Project Using a Crewel Pattern
While the first crewel patterns were created during medieval times, the highly stylized motifs of the Jacobean period made it popular with sewers who used the techniques to decorate many objects around their homes. You only need a few basic supplies and transferable or custom patterns to get started on your crewel project.
What supplies are needed for crewelwork?
You only need a few supplies to begin a crewelwork project, including:
- Crewel pattern - You can find traceable designs, sampler patterns, and many other types of crewel patterns.
- Yarn – Thin, two-ply wool yarn is used to complete crewel patterns.
- Crewel needle – A crewel needle has a large eye and a sharp point.
- Fabric – Linen and linen twill fabric is usually used when working on crewel patterns.
- Embroidery hoop – A hoop helps hold your fabric taut while you are working on it.
What stitches may be used in crewel patterns?
A variety of stitches are used to create different looks in crewel patterns, including:
- Satin stitch – These stitches span across an area. Start by bringing the needle up from underneath the fabric. Pull the two-ply yarn across to the other side, and push the needle back through the material. Return just a little way from your starting point and repeat until you have filled in the desired area.
- Stem stitch - Bring the needle up from the back of the fabric. Pull the yarn through until you have only a little loop where you want to place the stitch. Now, push the needle back through the material, and move over a very short way and push the needle back up to the top of the fabric. Then, your needle is already on top of your material for your next stitch. Vintage patterns often use this stitch to create the entire motif.
- Chain stitch- Bring the needle up from the back of the fabric. After all the yarn is through, wrap a small loop around the end of the needle. Pull the needle up through the middle of the loop. Then, push the needle through the fabric in the center of the loop, and bring it out a short distance away. Repeat by wrapping the needle again and pulling it through to the back and front of the linen cloth.
- Seed stitch - These stitches are small backstitches. Start by pulling the yarn up from the back of the fabric. Move the needle a very short distance, and push it back to the back of the material again. Be sure to keep all your seed stitches the same length.
How do you transfer crewel patterns onto the linen fabric?
There are several ways that you can move traceable designs onto your linen fabric. One of them is to trace the design using a black marker onto a piece of copy paper. Tape the copy paper on to a sunny window. Hold your fabric in front of the design, and trace the lines onto the textile. You can also use iron transfer paper or a water-soluble embroidery transfer paper.