HOW TO TRANSFER A PATTERN ONTO DARK FABRIC: TWO SIMPLE CHEATS!

Ever wondered how to transfer an embroidery pattern onto a dark fabric? I like to embroider on jeans. When you are working with a dark fabric that is not transparent, using a window or light box to trace over is out of the question. There is carbon paper that is white. That is certainly a good option. There is a special paper that dissolves with water after you stitch it. Lastly, is a more complicated method of punching little holes around the pattern and then dumping chalk on it. If you are looking for a something a little simpler then I have the perfect little hack for you.

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Here is what you will need for the first method:

1. Tracing Paper

2. Your Embroidery Pattern

3. Embroidery Scissors

4. Embroidery Thread - Light colored works best since it really stands out on the dark fabric.

5. A Needle - If your are sewing on denim make sure to get a large sturdy needle appropriate for thick fabric (sharp but also a little thick). I used a sashiko gold eye needle which was so perfect for this.

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Start by tracing your pattern. I am using one of my watercolor paintings of an arrow.  I lay the tracing paper over my painting and use a pencil to trace a line drawing.

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Trim the tracing paper around your drawing.  Take some time to figure out where you want your design to be.

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Once you have decided on the placement of your design, secure it with pins so it does not shift when you are sewing. Now begin to stitch over your pencil drawing going right over the tracing paper.

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When you are done stitching your design, pull out your pins. 

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Now begin to gently tear the tracing paper. You want a really light touch here so that you do not yank out any of your stitches. I start with the bigger edge pieces.

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Once I finish the larger exterior pieces, I work on some of the smaller pieces inside the arrow. I use my small embroidery scissors to carefully work on the smaller pieces. A tweezer would be great here.  That's it! Pretty simple, right?

If you are good with freehand here is another simple method:

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Pictured above is a white gel pen. These are great to have to write on black paper. I often use them to add highlights to my watercolor art. Just an all-around fun thing to have around.

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Just take your gel pen and draw right on the denim. See the nice white line it makes? Perfect for stitching over. Fabulous for making monograms on dark fabric, too. If you like to doodle or freehand sketch this is a great option for you!

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Stitch right over your lines. I use the backstitch for this whole tutorial. If you want to learn how to make this useful stitch you can click HERE for a simple how-to.

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Really, it's just that simple!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Warmly,

Pam