Preparing the Fabric Before Stitching

You have your pattern and all the right threads. All you have to do now is start stitching. Wrong. You have to start by preparing the fabric.

There are a few things to do before stitching to reduce problems half way though.

Find Out How Much Fabric You Need

Look at your pattern. How many stitches vertically and horizontally will it need? Write that number down. Now we talked about how the fabric count number indicates how many threads per inch you have. Using simple division, you can estimate the size of your stitched area.

Let’s say the pattern is 50 stitches wide by 100 stitches high and we’re using a 14 count Aida cloth. Your stitched area will be 3.57 inches wide (50/14) and 7.14 inches high (100/7.14).

Since we won’t be cutting exactly that size to stitch, we’ll need to leave some extra space. It’s best to leave at least 3 inches on all sides. However, you should leave as much as necessary for the finishing you have in mind.

Now that you have your canvas area ready, you still can’t start stitching. Move on the next step.

Find the Center of Your Fabric

Fold your fabric in half and then in half again to find the center of your fabric. Almost everyone recommends starting to stitch from the center of your piece.

Personally, I find the center point and from there find the top left corner of my stitchable area. I prefer working from top to bottom but I’m pretty sure I’m one of the few who do so.

Secure the Edges

After cutting the fabric you need, you may notice some fraying around the edges. If you ignore it, the fraying will come closer and closer to your stitchable area. We don’t want that! So, we secure the edges of the fabric. There are several methods you can try such as taping or hemming the edges.

If your project is small and fits inside a hoop, even better as this will create less fraying.

Now that you’ve finished preparing the fabric, you can start stitching. These steps don’t take much time to do but will save a lot of headaches further into your project.

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