Beginning stitching - Gather your materials
beginning stitching - stitching

Beginning stitching - transfer your pattern

Transferring patterns main

This post answers the question I am asked the most - how do I transfer the pattern onto my fabric.

The photos in this post are a little dull I'm afraid, no pretty colours.  Not helped by a grey wet summery August day!!

If you buy a pdf embroidery pattern from me you receive a file that you print out onto paper consisting of pattern notes (stitch guide and colour guide) and the pattern itself. You can just print the pattern and keep the notes on your computer if you prefer (some of the notes have a lot of photographs that you may not want to print out).  

Transferring patterns 1

The pattern will be printed on A4 or letter size paper and look like the picture above.

If you would like the pattern to be bigger (or smaller) then simply photocopy it at a larger or smaller size, eg. 150% for it to be one and a half times bigger or 75% for it to be three quarters the size.

Once you have the pattern the size that you would like it you will need:

a removable pen

a light source (a window or a lightbox)

masking tape


The pen I use is a pilot frixion heat removable pen.  I use this because it is really a ballpoint pen and so much easier to trace the details with.  At the end it irons away.  Always test your pen to make sure it does remove cleanly from the fabric!  

There are other methods and pens available and I will be doing a post on those in a couple of weeks but today I wanted to focus on the method that I find works best for me.

Transferring patterns 2

This is the fabric placed over the pattern.  As you can see, if you are using a white fabric you can just about see the pattern even without a light source.  

Transferring patterns 3

If you don't have a light box then you will need to tape the pattern to a window.  I usually say a bright sunny window but as you can see, from this murky picture, today is not a bright sunny kind of day!

Transferring patterns 4

Next tape your fabric over the pattern, placing it carefully where you want the pattern to be.

You can see the design a whole lot better even though it is definitely not a sunny window!

Transferring patterns 5

And now the achy arm bit, you trace the design onto your fabric using the pen.  I use quite light short strokes so it doesn't pull the fabric too much.  If your arms are very achy I would recommend missing out the lines on the legs and winging it later!

Transferring patterns 6

but this is what you end up with, a fine tracing of the pattern all ready to be stitched up.

It is easier to see the design using white fabric if you are using a window on a dull grey day.

The fabric I used here was Robert Kauffman essex linen in white.

Transferring patterns 7

This leads to the best bit of all (and a little bit of colour).  You get to choose the colours!  

The pattern comes with a colour and stitch guide to the colours and stitches that I used to create the picture in the photo.  But you might want red hair instead of black hair, and your favourite colours might be very different to mine.  Choosing the colours is without doubt my favourite part.  This girl's dress could be stitched over and again in a rainbow of colours!

(The pattern for this girl and her pumpkin holding friend will be in my shop later this week hopefully!)

Next week beginning stitching and finishing off