Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery


Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Today's post is about how to be lazy and still get something done in your embroidery work :D


Also, today's moral is “A good stitcher is not always the one who stitches perfectly. A good stitcher is also the one who knows how to cover up their mistakes”.

Well, on the more serious note... Before I give any “lazy” advises, let me remind you that stitching done neatly from the beginning will always stand out more than the one that has lots of covered up mistakes in it.

Yes, there are situations where covering up your mistakes rather than redoing the whole thing is more justified. However, if you have the opportunity and powers and strong enough will, usually it is better to redo :)

boho embroidery

The idea of this post came to me when I was working on my new embroidery design. As you see, it has this whimsical motif going on on top of the petals' borders that are already covered in long and short stitch.

The fact that the motif is worked on top of the other stitching makes it a bit difficult to redo stitches when they fail. Because dragging the thread out through another layer of stitches does not only wear down the thread more, it also wears down the first layer of stitches.

You know what I mean?

So, I had to adjust myself and if I did some mistakes I mostly covered them up rather than reworking that bit.

There might be some other situations where covering up some blunders is more preferable than redoing the stitches. However, in the majority of cases, it is still better to redo if there is nothing that prevents you from that. Deal? :)

Okay, now back to our tips for bad girls, haha.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Let's look at the before and after pictures of our example. You can try to identify the “blunders” from the picture on the left and see how they were fixed in the picture on the right.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Today we are going to fix the parts of stem stitch where the curve is extruding outwards and lazy daisy stitches that have too wide of a base.

Fixing lazy daisy stitches


When a lazy daisy stitch has a base that is too wide is gets a more rectangular shape which is not always pretty.

And the thing is, sometimes you notice this mistake only after you complete the whole stitch, which means that to redo it you will have to drag out the thread from the small anchoring stitch first and then from the base loop stitch.

Nevertheless, if you can, of course, it is better to redo. If you are in some limited/restricted conditions, then you can cover it up the following way.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Bring your needle up at one of the base points of the lazy daisy stitch.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Insert it at the same point but only after sliding the needle under the other side of the stitch. When you pull the thread through your fixing stitch becomes like sort of a belt, bringing the two sides closer together.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Be mindful of the tension of the thread, though!

Fixing stem stitching


If you read the crash course in stem stitch, you know why these blunders exist in this example and why the curves look so bony.

However, even if you know how to avoid a mistake, sometimes you can still make one, right? Especially when you are in a hurry or get distracted by something.

Once again, let me remind you that redoing a bit of curve like this will be better for its appearance. So if nothing prevents you from doing that, drag these stitches out and redo the whole thing. Read the last part of the crash course to know how to manage the tight curves in stem stitch.

But since we allegedly are in some restricted conditions, let's see how to cover these blunders up.

And it's actually pretty easy. Just add a couple of stitches in between the existing ones (since the reason that the curve is bony is exactly because the stitches are too long and don't have neat conjunction).

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Bring your needle upwards to the left of (or above, if the line is horizontal) the stitch.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Insert the needle to the right of (or below, if the line is horizontal) the stitch.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Looks better, doesn't it?

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Now we can repeat it with some other parts of the curve.

Also, let's fix the tip because it is not smooth enough.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

Bring the needle up to the left of the stitch and insert it under the last stith, closer to its end.

Covering up your mistakes in hand embroidery

So this is the fixed version.

Looks a bit smoother than the original, but of course, stitching it right from the start would look much better :)

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