Crafty Pinup Shop | How to Cross Stitch

by - 3/01/2019


Hi pinups! Today we're talking all about cross stitch to celebrate the launch of my brand new Crafty Pinup Sewing Machine Cross Stitch kit! I've always enjoyed cross stitch and I thought my sewing machine design (seen HERE as an enamel pin) would translate well into a cross stitch design. Mine's hanging up on my peg board in my sewing space, which you've probably already spotted if you follow me over on Instagram!


In this post, I've written my full 'how to' guide on simple cross stitching to make sure you end up with an awesome cross stitch you'll be proud to hang up!

To buy my Sewing Machine Cross Stitch kit, go HERE or to download my PDF pattern go HERE.

Before you start:
  • Each square on the grid represents a single cross stitch.
  • Each symbol indicates a different thread colour, outlined in the table below the pattern.
  • The arrows on the pattern indicates the centre of the design.
  • The thread sorter contains all the thread you need to complete the design. Always put your thread back on the sorter in the correct place, as you may need it at a later point.
  • Each embroidery thread comes in 6 threads. but only 3 strands will be used for each cross stitch. Split each piece of thread by carefully pulling it apart into 3 threads.
  • To ensure you don’t run out of thread, don’t leave a tail longer than 1”.
  • It’s helpful to find the centre of your fabric before you start, to ensure your cross stitch is central. This is indicated on the pattern where the two arrow lines cross.
  • Place your fabric between the hoops & tighten at the top so your fabric is pulled nice and taut, like a drum.
  • Thread the needle with your starting colour. You will secure this thread by keeping your finger pressed on the loose tail at the back of your work and stitching over it whilst you work your first few stitches. Repeat this for each time you thread your needle.
Once you’ve found your centre, it’s time to start stitching! 

Step One:

I’d recommend starting with the the outlines of the design first. Cross stitch is generally worked in rows going from left to right so refer to the pattern to choose where you’d like to start, close to the centre.

Thread your needle with your chosen colour. You will secure this thread by keeping your finger pressed on the loose tail and stitching over it whilst you work your first few stitches.


Step 2:

To make a row of cross stitches, insert the needle from the back side of the fabric, bringing your needle through a hole toward the front, leaving about an inch of thread at the back (your tail).

Next pass your needle through the hole diagonally across from where you started, creating a ‘/‘ or ‘\’ stitch.



Then bring your needle back up through the hole that is directly below the one you last used. Make sure your tail will be trapped by the stitch on the backside of your fabric. Continue stitching along the row to create a series of half cross stitches. 



Next return across the row making a series of half cross stitches in the other direction, creating your finished row of cross stitches.


In some spots, its easier to create individual cross stitches rather than working in rows. Choose whichever you prefer. Just make sure each diagonal stitch goes in the same direction each time so your work is consistent.

When you need to use a new piece of thread leave your tail again about 1” long at the back. Start stitching with your new thread in the same way as before, but make sure to catch both of the loose tails under at least 3 stitches.

You’ll quickly get comfortable with cross stitch and find which method of stitching you prefer. Take your time and just have fun stitching!

Finishing your cross stitch:

Once you've completed your work, you need to show it off and display it! You can simply use your hoop to display your work if you like. Make sure your work is central in your hoop and your screw is tightened. Trim down your excess fabric at the back of your work, leaving enough to glue down. With a hot glue gun, carefully fold your fabric neatly down and glue to the hoop. You can also add a cut out circle of card or paper to hide the back of your stitching.

For my work, the hole at the top of the hoop sits perfectly on my pegboard, but perhaps try adding some ribbon to hang your work too! Or even glue a trim around the edge of the hoop for an extra touch of customisation. 


I hope you've found my how to cross stitch guide helpful. There's lots of resources online about cross stitch but in my post I've broken down my own preferred way to stitch, with what I hope are some clear photographs for you to reference.

If you try out my Sewing Machine Cross Stitch, which is also perfect for beginners, I'd love to see your progress and finished work hanging up in your own sewing space! Please tag me on Instagram @craftypinup and use my hashtag #craftypinupshop so I can see and share your makes.

Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo

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