How to work braid stitch

Get ready to deck the halls with stitching this festive season with Mollie Johanson’s Christmas wreath embroidery design and braid stitch tutorial.

How to work braid stitch

It’s never too early to get ahead with a little festive stitchery! Practise your new favourite embroidery stitch with our step by step guide to how to work braid stitch and sew a sweet embroidered wreath ornament while you’re at it! This lovely little decorations would make sweet stocking fillers for friends this Christmas so why not whip up a batch now and get some me-made gifts in the bag ready for Christmas?

Before you begin

Christmas wreath emnbroidery pattern
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You Will Need

  • Linen fabric (20x20cm (8x8in))
  • Contrasting fabric (16x12cm (7x5in))
  • Wadding (12x12cm (4¾x4¾in))
  • Perle cotton thread (Size 8, for the wreath)
  • Cotton thread (Stranded cotton, for the bow and running stitch)
  • Basic sewing kit

Total time:

How to work braid stitch

Step 1

Work from right to left along two drawn parallel lines. Bring the needle up through the fabric on the bottom line.

Step 2

Make a loop with the working thread, so the thread that just came through the fabric is on top.

Step 3

Insert the needle through the loop then in through the top line, and back out on the bottom line.

How to work braid stitch step 3

Step 4

Pull the working thread taut on the needle and slide it under the point of the needle. Gently pull the needle through to complete the stitch. Work subsequent stitches in the same way. To end a thread, tack the lower loop down and start a new one coming up through the last stitch.

How to work braid stitch step 2

How to embroider the wreath

Step 1

Place the linen fabric right side (RS) up centrally over our downloadable Christmas wreath template and trace over the inner and outer circle.

Step 2

Using perle cotton, work braid stitch around the wreath. The outer circle is the bottom line and the inner circle is the top line so you are stitching from the outside in.

Step 3

Work the braid stitch so it is slightly fanned with tighter spacing on the inside and looser on the outside.

Making the ornament

Step 1

Trim the linen to 12x12cm (4¾x4¾in) with the wreath placed centrally.

How to work braid stitch step 3

Step 2

Cut the contrast fabric as follows:

  • Backing: 12x12cm (4¾x4¾in).
  • Bow: 4x10cm (15/8x4in).

Step 3

Fold and press the two long edges of the bow over to the wrong side (WS) so they overlap by 5mm (1/4in). Fold the short ends to the WS so they overlap by 1cm (3/8in).

How to work braid stitch step 4

Step 4

Hold the folded cotton bow in place at the top of the wreath and satin stitch it into place using stranded cotton. Make the stitches narrower than the bow to pull in the middle.

How to work braid stitch step 5

Step 5

Place the embroidered fabric and backing fabric RS together with the wadding beneath and pin together.

Step 6

Stitch together around the sides using a 1cm (3/8in) seam allowance, leaving a 7cm (23/4in) turning gap in the centre of one side.

Step 7

Trim the corners and turn the ornament RS out carefully as the stitches are quite delicate.

Finishing off

Step 1

Slip stitch the opening closed.

 

Step 2

Work a running stitch around the edge using stranded cotton and add a loop of perle cotton to the back for hanging.

How to work braid stitch step 6
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