Textielworkshop @ home: customize your fashion item

In this workshop, we will take you through every step to customize your fashion item with self-made embroideries. Turn a garment of choice into a statement piece by designing your own embroideries!



  • (old) jumper, blouse, jeans or other garments
  • (small) embroidery hoop
  • embroidery floss
  • pair of scissors
  • needles
  • iron
  • water-soluble marker
  • interfacing
  • pins

How to:

Step 1. Sketch 

Just start sketching and create an embroidery of choice. In this workshop, we got our ideas from nature. We turned some images of beetles into an embroidery design. Colour your design to see if the colours match with one another (and your garment).

Step 2. Design

Are you satisfied with your design? Trace your favourite designs with a water-soluble marker on a piece of interfacing. Make this piece of interfacing the same size or bigger than your embroidery hoop to ensure it stays put when you embroider.

Would you rather trace your figure directly on the garment? That is possible too.

Tip: If you trace your insect directly onto the garment, test the water-soluble marker to make sure the markings disappear when in touch with water. 

Step 3. Choose a spot

Cut out your design and see where they would look best on your garment. Secure the design with pins, if necessary.

Tip: try on your garment when positioning the design; this gives a better image of how the end result will look.

Step 4. Don’t forget the interfacing in the back

Place the piece of interfacing (on which you drew the design) in the right position and secure it with a pin. Place a different piece of interfacing of the same size on the inside of your garment. Secure this layer with your embroidery hoop, this way your garment will not move.

In the picture below you can see how the back/inside of your garment should look with the layer of interfacing.

Step 5. Let’s embroider!

Now it is time to embroider! First, we embroider the outlines of the insect. We start with the parts that lie ‘below’ the insect; so first the small legs and the antennae. Use a double thread to embroider the outlines. We embroidered the legs twice, this way they are a bit heavier than for instance the antennae.

Step 6. The French knot

The small knot at the end of the antennae is done by using the French knot. This goes as follows:

  • Put the needle in from the back of your work on the position in which you want the knot.
  • Pull the thread all the way
  • Use your left hand to hold the thread and twist it twice around the needle
  • Insert the needle back into your embroidery at the place where it came out.
  • Pull, while holding the thread taut with your left hand, the needle and thread all the way through your work. You will see a small knot will be formed.

Tip: If you have never used the French knot before, you can practise this on a piece of residual fabric.

Use the same method for the second antennae en embroider the rest of the outlines in the colour in which you will fill the ‘containers’.

Step 7. Removing interfacing

When the outlines are embroidered, loosen the embroidery hoop. We’ll remove the interfacing on the front of your garment. Cut the big pieces with scissors (be careful not to cut into your garment). Carefully tear off the rest of the interfacing following your outline until only the stitches are left. If needed you can remove the small pieces with some tweezers.

Careful: leave the interfacing at the back of your embroidery! This layer will secure your embroidery.

Step 8. Stitching 

Place the embroidery hoop once again. Now we are going to fill in the outlines with threads. De small spaces can be embroidered with 2 threads, we recommend using 3 threads for the bigger spaces. To fill in the areas we use the satin stitch (head of the insect) with a combination of small stitches (the body of the insect).

Be careful to keep your stitches smaller than 1 centimeter. The bigger your stitches, the easier it is for them to get caught on something. It is also possible for your garment to shrink in the laundry (especially new garments), big stitches will loosen if this happens.

When you are finished filling the areas you can focus on details (our favourite part!). Give your insects spots, stripes or a different fun detail. We use the French knot once again for the eyes, only we twist the thread three times to make the knot bigger.

Step 9. Final touches

Finished embroidering? Remove the embroidery hoop and turn your garment inside out. Cut off the interfacing at the back and size it appropriately. Do not cut it off completely to ensure firmness.

Step 10. More embroideries?

Repeat step 4 till 9 for more embroideries.

Step 11. Ready to wear!

Iron your garment at a low temperature. In this way, creases of the embroidery hoop will go away. Your garment is ready to be worn!

Wash your garment in the washing machine at a temperature of 30 degrees Celcius using a hand or delicate washing programme. You could also wash your garment by hand. If you used a water-soluble marker, washing it will make sure the marker disappears.

Tip: If you put away your embroidery for a longer period of time before it is finished, remove the embroidery hoop. This ensures that embroideries that are already finished and may get caught in the hoop cannot distort.


Share your design on Instagram or Facebook!