On my dolls, I love hand embroidering the face and other decorative features. It’s somewhat soothing to me and it adds a personal touch. I get lots of compliments on how clean and simple this look is. The technique itself is so easy and quick that I honestly prefer doing this by hand, rather than using my actual embroidery machine.
For my Cuddle Kokeshi, I back stitch the lines for the eye or mouth. I like to do this part before I even sew together my layers and stuff. But whether you prefer to do your hand embroidering before or after your finished project, it can’t hurt to know how to do it both ways!
If you are working with an unfinished project, technically, you could knot one end of your floss, skip the Knotless Start, and jump right into doing your back stitch. – BUT – If you choose to use a knotless start, you’re going to want your floss to be double the length needed.
For this example, I’m using my own stencil for my Cuddle Kokeshi doll. I’ve already poked through key points with a needle, used water soluble fabric marker to dot them onto the fabric, and then lightly connected the dots for added guidance.
Measure out double the length of what you think you’ll need in thread or floss. Taking both ends together, thread them through your needle and make sure you give yourself enough tail length. It’s annoying when you have to keep rethreading your needle because the ends keep pulling out.
You should have a small loop.
Making a small stitch on the front side, bring you needle to the back through your next point.
<— See, your loop is still there!
Go through your loop…
… And gently pull.
Here’s what your finished knotless start will look like. In this picture, I’ve gone on to start my back stitch. I’ll cover that in my next tutorial.