Garden Jars Embroidered Tote
Welcome to our step by step guide for your Garden Jars embroidered tote kit! I'm so grateful that you've chosen to try embroidery with one of our kits.
This step-by-step guide can be used in addition to or instead of your paper instructions. The benefit of this guide is that each stitch tutorial is listed below, making it even easier to complete your piece without stress!
If you find yourself having any trouble with stitches, reach out to me at email@example.com to book a one-on-one 'help me!' session.
Without further ado, LETS GET STITCHING!
Prepping Your Hoop & Thread
Before beginning your kit, you'll be setting up your hoop and threading your needle.
Setting Up Your Hoop
- To use your hoop, separate the inner and outer hoop by loosening the metal screw at the top.
- Place your inner hoop (the one without the metal piece) inside your tote, roughly centering around the area you'd like to work on.
- Place the outer hoop on top of the inner hoop, over your tote bag. Make sure you're doing this on a flat hard surface as it ill make it much easier to push the outer hoop down.
- Use the screw to tighten the hoop until the fabric as much as you can. With regular embroidery you'll want your fabric taut like a drum, but for your canvas tote you'll just want it as tight as is comfortable. The cotton canvas has more structure than linen, meaning that your hoop can be a little bit looser and not cause the stitches to wrinkle.
- Adjusting the hoop can take a bit of time. Start by screwing it a little tighter, then adjust the fabric, then screw again. You want the hoop to feel secure on your tote, so that it won't move about or fall off.
- You may need to move your hoop around as you stitch your design - this is totally normal! You can put your hoop over previously stitched areas, so don't be afraid to move your hoop as needed.
- Canvas can even be stitched without an embroidery hoop! If you're really not liking how it feels to use a hoop - give that a try too. You might prefer it!
Threading Your Needle
- Your thread comes as six individual strands combined to make one string. When stitching we will often split the string and used the desired number of strands for the stitch.
- Cut approximately 60cm (or roughly an arms length) of thread then separate the number of strands you'll need for the following stitch.
- This tote uses 6 strands of thread for each of your designs, meaning you won't need to split your thread for this project. But it's still handy to know for any future embroidery projects you might do!
- Use one of your pink needle threaders to thread your needle, pulling the thread partially through the needle. Don't pull the thread all the way through to the middle, just enough so it feels secure and your needle won't slide away.
- Then tie a knot at the end of your thread. You can do a double knot if you like, but just a single knot is usually enough for the type of linen included in your kit.
Beginning Your Garden Jars
For this piece you'll be using 6x beautiful stitches.
- Back Stitch
- Straight Stitch
- Lazy Daisy Stitch
- French Knots
- Split Stitch
- Whipped Back Stitch (aka. Whip Stitch)
Step 1 - White Jars
You'll begin your tote bag by stitching the white outlines of all four of your jars. Use 3 strands of #B5200 (white) thread and WHIP STITCH. This stitch is a variation of a back stitch, which is a great foundational stitch. If this is your first project, I suggest watching the back stitch video first, followed by the whip stitch video below.
The trick to creating smooth whip stitch outlines is to make your back stitches quite small when you are stitching curved edges. You can make your stitches longer if you're working on straight sections. For any sharp corners, start a new line of whip stitch.
Back Stitch Video Tutorial - by Mary Corbet
Whip Stitch (aka Whipped Back Stitch) Video Tutorial - by Cutesy Craft
French Knot Video Tutorial - by River Birch Threads
Step 2 - Pink Flowers
Next you'll stitch the pink flowers on the right side of your design. These stitches all use 6 strands of thread, making them stand out against your black fabric.
Start with #3815 (teal), use STRAIGHT STITCH to create the stem. Then use LAZY DAISY stitches to fill in the leaves where each straight stitch meets. For your pink petals you will use LAZY DAISY stitch and #224 (blush) thread.
Straight Stitch Video Tutorial - American Quilting
Lazy Daisy Video Tutorial - By Cutesy Crafts
Step 3 - Blossom Stems
Next you're going to fill in the stems of your blossom flower, using 6 strands of #966 (mint) thread. These stems also use STRAIGHT STITCH but each stitch is shorter than the previous flower. Take care when stitching near the rim of your bottle shape, you want your stem to cover the back line but not cover the front line, so it looks like the stem is sitting in the bottle. We'll come back to stitch the blossoms later.
See step 2 for Straight Stitch tutorials.
Step 4 - White Daisy & Yellow Pollen
Now onto your white daisy flower. Stitch the stem using a BACK STITCH and 6 strands of #3815 (teal) thread. For your flower make sure your back stitchers are shorter so that the curved lines look neat.
Use 3 strands of #B5200 (white) thread to stitch your petals with a SATIN STITCH.
Finally use 3 strands of #17 (yellow) thread to fill the pollen area with FRENCH KNOTS. Fill as much of the space as you like, if it feels uneven simply add more!
See step 1 for Back Stitch tutorial.
French Knot Video Tutorial - by River Birch Threads
Satin Stitch Video Tutorial - by Cutesy Craft
Step 5 - Pink Jar Label
You're onto your last flower! Before we stitch the stem and petals, we're going to stitch the pink label on the mason jar. Use 3 strands of #224 (blush) thread for the label. Begin by stitching the outline with WHIP STITCH, then create the lines of the lettering with tiny BACK STITCH. Keep your stitches super small to create nice lines!
See step 1 for Back Stitch & Whip Stitch tutorials.
Step 6 - Purple Lavender
Using 6 strands of #966 (mint) thread, stitch your stems using STRAIGHT STITCH. Then use LAZY DAISY stitch to fill in the leaves, just like the first flower you stitched.
For the lavender petals, use 3 strands of #209 (lavender) thread and LAZY DAISY stitch.
See step 2 for Lazy Daisy & Straight Stitch tutorials.
Step 7 - French Knot Blossoms
We're going to go back and fill in all the pink and white blossoms from our second flower. Using FRENCH KNOT stitch, you're going to use 6 strands of your #224 (blush) and #B5200 (white) thread. You can follow the design guide to see which buds should be which colour, but you're welcome to go with your gut and stitch them at random! Our design is approximately 2/3 pink blossoms and 1/3 white blossoms.
See step 4 for French Knot tutorial.
Step 8 - Purple Bow
You're on to the very last step! Finish off your piece by making a bow using 6 strands of #209 (lavender) thread. Use a BACK STITCH to create a line across the neck of the bottle. Then cut a piece of thread approx. 30cm long. Use your needle to loop it under the middle stitch and tie a knot to secure. Using your two 15cm tails, create a bow. You can start with a larger bow and tighten it until you're happy with it's size, then trim the ends. TA-DA!
See step 1 for Back Stitch tutorial.
You've Finished Your Masterpiece!
Washing Your Piece
If there are lines from the pattern still visible when you've finished your piece, it's time to give it a rinse. If you can't see any lines (or they're small enough not to be noticeable) then you can skip this step!
To wash your lines off, take your hoop off your tote and rinse under warm water. You can gently rub the ink with your fingers to remove it. If the ink is being stubborn you can even rinse your fabric with a mild soap.
Once it's clean, leave your tote to dry on a flat on a hand towel away from direct sunlight. You can also press another hand towel gently on top of it to soak up excess water.
Ironing Your Tote
If your tote is very wrinkled, you may want to iron it. Generally, you won't need to do this unless it's very creased because once you start using your tote any wrinkles will go away.
Place your tote inside out on a towel on top of your ironing board. You want the back of your embroidery facing upwards. Next place a tea towel on top of your embroidered tote, to protect it from the direct heat of the iron.
Iron your tote on a medium setting, checking on it as you go. If the creases are stubborn you can increase the setting of your iron, as linen and cotton are okay with higher temperatures. I always suggest doing this gradually, rather than going in straight away with full heat, as the last thing you want to do is burn your piece!
Caring For Your Tote
As with any embroidered piece (even ones that are machine-made) you'll want to take care when using your tote, avoiding excessive wear so that your bag will last as long as possible.
Tips for extending the life of your bag:
- When using your bag, keep the stitched side facing out so that it's less likely to rub on your clothes and wear down.
- Be careful with and metal hardware from a handbag or jacket in case it gets caught on your embroidery. If this happens, don't worry! You'll have enough extra thread in your kit to restitch that flower.
- Don't use it for any wet, greasy or smelly groceries. You don't want your tote getting stained with a BBQ chook!
- Be careful where you put your tote bag. Don't put it on the bathroom floor if there is a mess or sit it on the ground if there could be mud. It's hard to remove dark stains from canvas.
If your tote bag needs a wash, simply follow the same steps listed above for removing the ink design. You can also use a stain remover on the blank areas of the tote, but be careful not to get this on your thread as it could impact the colours on your stitches.
Always let it air dry, as using a dryer could damage your stitches.
And you're done! Congratulations on finishing your Garden Jars tote bag. I hope you had a fantastic experience stitching it and will get lots of use out of your me-made creation.
Craft Club's Founder