How to use a digital embroidery pattern
What is it?
A digital embroidery pattern is a file you download from the website as a PDF (Portable Document Format) file type. You will need Adobe Reader to open this file which you can download here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
If you have trouble accessing your files please message me and I’d be happy to email them directly to you: Jessica@JessicaLongEmbroidery.com
Once you’ve downloaded and opened your file you can read the contents from your screen or you may choose to print one or all of the included pages. If you’d like hard copies of the file sent to you in the mail please reach out with your mailing address and I would be happy to help.
What does it include?
A digital embroidery pattern will contain all of the information you need to recreate the photographed sample embroidery piece. These instructions will generally include:
- A list of supplies you will need to complete the project. I include the fabric color, hoop size and DMC color codes used for the sample hoop. You will also need a few other items for any embroidery project: embroidery needles, scissors and tools needed to transfer the design to your fabric (more on this below). I'm always happy to offer supplies suggestions for my designs!
- A color and stitch key. This key will give you an overview of what stitches to use, what color of thread to use, how many plies of thread to use, and stitch direction diagrams if relevant.
- A black and white line drawing of the embroidery design. This is the pattern you will transfer to your fabric.
Some embroidery patterns include additional information:
- More complicated designs will also include a suggested stitch order with step-by-step instructions and sometimes step-by-step photos.
- A link to an online video tutorial if available.
All of my embroidery patterns also include a copy of the Beginner Guide. This guide includes details about picking out embroidery supplies, tips on how to get started including pattern transfer suggestions, plus diagrams of embroidery stitches.
What should I think about before I get started?
- Please check out the Beginner Guide for more detailed information about embroidery supplies. You can find many of these items in the online shop and your local craft store. There are many different brands and variations of hoops, fabric, floss, needles and scissors. You may need to do some trial and error to figure out your favorites.
- Keep it simple if this is your first project! Start with a small beginner design. You can change the size of a pattern using your printer (see below) or even crop the design and only transfer a segment of it to your fabric. Completing a small project will give you the confidence to keep stitching and try larger and more complicated designs.
- Decide what you will do with the finished embroidery work. Will you frame it in the hoop or maybe wrap it on a wood frame? Plan ahead and be sure to use a large enough cut of fabric and center your design.
- The most important thing to consider is how you will transfer your design to fabric. There are dozens of different ways to do this and you may find that you want to use a different method depending on the type of fabric you are using and the complexity of the design. Be sure to always test your pattern transfer method before beginning your project. You can find a directory of pattern transfer tutorials here: Transfer Tutorials
What are the benefits of buying a PDF over a kit?
There are many benefits to grabbing a digital embroidery pattern over an embroidery kit:
- A great opportunity to use up embroidery supplies you already have at home
- You can customize the design! Change the fabric color, thread color and design size. You can even decide to use different stitches or different quantities of thread strands. You can also just use specific parts of the design rather than stitching the full pattern by cropping or even duplicating elements.
- You are not confined to the hoop! Use a PDF pattern to create jewelry or a patch, or stitch the design directly onto you clothing, shoes, bags, and more.
Get creative and have fun! And I’m always available to help if you have any questions.