You have your pattern at hand and all the right threads are ready. All you have to do now is start stitching. Wrong! You have to start by preparing the fabric!
There are a few things to do before stitching in order to make sure you won’t find a problem at your hands half way though.
Find Out How Much Fabric You Need
Look at your pattern. How many stitches vertically and horizontally will it need? Write those number down. Now we talked about how the fabric count number indicates how many threads per inch you have. Using a simple division, you can estimate the size of your stitched area.
Let’s say the pattern is 50 stitches wide by 100 stitches high and we’re using a 14 count Aida cloth. Your stitched area will be 3.57 inches wide (50/14) and 7.14 inches high (100/7.14).
Since we won’t be cutting exactly that size in order to stitch, we will need to leave some extra space. It’s best to leave at least 3 inches. However, you should leave as much as necessary depending on the finishing you have in mind.
Now that you have your canvas area ready, you still can’t start stitching. Move on the next step!
Find the Center of your Fabric
Fold your fabric in half and then in half again in order to find the center of your fabric. Almost everyone recommends starting to stitch from the center of your piece and go all the way up.
Personally, I find the center point and from there find the top left corner of my stitchable area. I prefer working from top to bottom but I’m pretty sure I’m one of the very few who do so.
Secure the edges
After cutting the fabric area you need, with time you might notice some fraying around the edges. If you ignore it, the fraying will come closer and closer to your stitchable area. We don’t want that! So, we better secure the edges of the fabric. There are several methods you can try such as taping or hemming the edges. I do the latter.
If your project is small and fits inside the hoop, even better as this will create less fraying.
Now that you finished preparing the fabric, you can start stitching. These steps do not take much time to do but trust me when I say they will save you a lot of headaches further down your project.