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Stitch Along: Singer Featherweight in Cross-Stitch - Part 2
by April Henry
Singer Featherweight in Cross Stitch – Faster Stitching & Fixing Mistakes
by Kristen Clay from Verity Vintage Studio
Time for a progress update on the lovely Singer Featherweight cross stitch kit! As you can see, it has started to definitely look like a sewing machine...
- Featherweight Cross-Stitch Kit (with 14 count Aida Cloth) - If it is sold out, you can sign up for the in stock notification at product link, and you will be notified as soon as we have more kits available. Also available in 28 count & 32 count.
- 4-inch or 6-incch Embroidery Hoop
- Embroidery Scissors
- Hand-sewing needles in various sizes
- Already have the supplies on hand? Printed Pattern only is available here.
Advanced in Cross-Stitch Skill?
The 28-count Cashel Kit is available here or the
Belfast Linen 32-count Kit is available here.
- The Beekeeper Thread Minder by Lori Holt
- Need more floss colors for your Cross-Stitch repertoire? This Bee Basics 20 Spool Set is super handy to have for many cross-stitch and embroidery occasions.
I worked in vertical rows from the needle over to the thicker part of the machine. Once I had worked the hand wheel, I switched to doing horizontal rows, which is what I will do for the rest of it. There are many different ways you could break it up – no right or wrong way - but that's just what made sense to me.
All those long horizontal rows yet to come for the machine base remind me to show you a faster way to work your rows. Instead of always stabbing up and down, moving your hand above and then below the fabric, you can also use the sewing method, which is worked just from the top. It saves a lot of hand motion and is much faster, though it does use a bit more thread.
Because I am right handed it is much easier for me to work these rows from right to left, but it can be done for rows heading back the other direction, with some extra care with your needle direction. I still use the stab method on small areas where I just need a few stitches, short rows, or scattered stitches.
It is simply worked similar to a running stitch in regular fabric. Come up at the bottom left hole of your next stitch... And down at the top right hole opposite.
Bring your needle back up at the top left corner to work the final half of the cross, but instead of passing the needle straight down, keep it horizontal, and bring the point up in the bottom left hole to start the next cross as you finish this one.
Now that you are already up in the bottom left hole, do the same thing at the top of this stitch.
Once you pull the needle through, the first cross half is finished, so you can stick the needle back in the bottom right hole and pass it to the bottom left hole for the next stitch.
Keep on doing these two things for your row. Super easy and quick – but it has a few cons to keep in mind. The stitches can look less tidy, since often you catch threads on the side or from previous crosses. This problem can be helped a lot if you don't use a hoop, since a limper fabric is much more malleable, and you can manipulate it with your fingers to bring the needle squarely into the hole without catching anything.
The other difficulty that can occur is if you make a mistake (especially if you don't catch it for a few stitches) it is much harder to undo, because you have already passed the needle through multiple places in the fabric, and through layers of thread on the underside. So be careful to check your chart before you start!
Speaking of mistakes, I had a lot of trouble with all the half cross stitches around the tension knob. Those things are tricky, so always double check you are in the right place before you make your half stitches!
Which leads me to share a few tips about fixing mistakes – because they will happen! If you make a stitch in the wrong place, especially if you are using the stab method, often it works to simply go back through the holes and undo what you did. Be careful to pass the needle back exactly through the same spot, however, or you will make things worse.
I tend to try that first, since I dislike unthreading my needle unless absolutely necessary, but of course the best and most foolproof way to do it is to take your needle off the thread, and use the blunt end to pick out each half cross in the order you have done them.
If your mistake is more major, like doing a bit of work a few squares off, you have two choices. You can leave it alone, and adjust the pattern around it to incorporate that mistake. This often works because no one except you knows exactly where everything was supposed to be. But if that will be too noticeable, or not work with your design, you may have to get your scissors and actually cut through your floss on the underside, picking it back out in small pieces.
This is tedious, hard on your fingers, and not fun, especially as thread often leaves a little residue on the fabric and you can still see your mistake until you stitch over it. So I only pick out if really necessary.
Sometimes if you miscount and use the wrong color to make a stitch, you can just stitch over it with the right color. That is what happened here – I didn't catch the mistake until I had done another row. Instead of picking it out, I just used the correct color and stitched over top. It can be noticed if you look closely, but honestly, in a framed piece and surrounded by all those other stitches, unless you know it's there, it really won't be obvious.
Hopefully these tips will make your stitching even more fun and professional-looking! Meanwhile, I will be back again in a few weeks with another update, as I watch my Featherweight grow.