My toolkit for reverse appliqué and hand embroidery

These are the tools I rely on for reverse appliqué and hand embroidery. 

Sewing machine

A sewing machine

My sewing machine is my workhorse. I use it for seams, finishings, and the outlining for my reverse appliqué. I have a mechanical model which was a deliberate choice over a computerised model. Any computer can get worse with age and a power surge would definitely kill a computerised sewing machine. Buying a sewing machine is difficult because the cheapest ones aren’t worth what you pay for them and never work well even when you first buy them. On the other hand at upper end the skies the limit for what you can pay. Most of these machines are marketed on the extreme number of stitches they have. I have 22 stitches and that’s more than I need. I usually use straight stitch, zig zag, and triple stitch for my reverse appliqué. I replaced my machine in 2013 and spent $500. She serves me well and hasn’t needed a service yet.


Detail on hand embroidery with seed beads

Detail on embroidery with seed beads. There are also bullion knots in there but you have to know what you’re looking for.

There are two types of embroidery needles I use. The crewel needle I prefer for general hand embroidery and hand sewing. The crewel needle has a large eye and a sharp point. I use straws for seed beads and bullion knots. These needles are thin, dead straight with a small eye.


Three types of scissors

I use three types of scissors. Left to right these are fabric scissors aka the good scissors, general purpose scissors, and a pair of embroidery scissors with a sharp point. The fabric scissors do what it sounds like they do. These scissors are for cutting fabric. The general purpose scissors are for cutting paper and plastic. I buy these as cheap as possible because their function is to do things that blunt scissors. The embroidery scissors with a sharp point in addition to cutting threads, I use these scissors to cut back fabric when doing reverse appliqué. I use the sharp point to make the first incision when cutting a new section.

Basic materials

I prefer a neutral weave fabric for the backing of my work. At the moment I’m using exclusively calico because I got a good price on a bolt of it a while back. Threads include black and white sewing thread, cotton embroidery floss, and cotton perle thread.

All content © Copyright 2016 by Anita Morris.
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