Are you enjoying the Summer Nights Stitch-Along? Julie and Chris, the creative mother-daughter team behind Little Dorrit & Co., designed the Summer Nights embroidery pattern for you to sew this season. The project is perfect for beginners as you are guided through each step of the embroidery process. It’s also a fun project for experienced stitchers to take on the road, poolside or wherever your summer adventures take you. Part One showed you how to gather supplies and start your first stitches (running stitch, back stitch and straight stitch). Part Two focused on all of the stitches, and Part Three now covers finishing and framing your Summer Nights embroidery.

Show us your progress (#SummerNightStitch), and don’t miss the Little Dorrit & Co. Alice’s Garden Embroidery Pattern from earlier this year. Julie and Chris also have a wide selection of beautiful embroidery designs inspired by great literature in the Little Dorrit & Co. shop!

Part Three: Finishing + Hoop Framing Embroidery Pieces

Welcome to the final part of our Summer Sitch-along with Sew Mama Sew! If you’ve been working with us, you’ll now have a finished Summer Nights embroidery, which we stitched our way through in Parts One and Two. Now we’ll transform it into a finished, hoop-framed item that you can hang up to enjoy all summer long!

First, we’ll need to care for our finished piece. Follow the directions for your transfer pen to remove the markings on your fabric. (Ours only needed a light spraying with water to remove the marks, then about an hour to dry in the sunshine.) Once your marks are out, carefully press it from the backside, with a scrap piece of fabric over it to protect the stitches. Now we’re ready to hoop frame.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5” embroidery hoop for framing
  • Sewing needle
  • Embroidery scissors
  • Larger fabric scissors
  • 5.5” square of white felt
  • 5.5” square of felt to match (or contrast) your embroidery’s fabric
  • Embroidery floss to match your colored felt
  • Sewing thread to match your embroidery’s fabric
  • Pencil

First, separate your embroidery hoop and using the inner ring, trace around the inside on your white felt, then around the outside on your other piece. Cut out these circles.

Hoop your embroidery with the stitching nicely placed and the fabric smooth and taut (tighten that screw as much as you can!), then trim the fabric all around to about 1.5” larger than the hoop. (Don’t worry too much about the circle being perfect, these edges will be hidden later.)

Flip your hoop over and place the white felt inside the hoop, against the back of your embroidery.

If you’ve ever made a yo-yo, the next step will be simple. Thread your needle with sewing thread and tie a large knot in the end. Stitch running stitch all around the edge, then pull it tight, stitching a knot to close it up. Again, this will be covered up, so perfection isn’t required, you’re just going for a fairly flat back.

Now we’ll blanket stitch our remaining circle of felt over the back, covering up all thread ends and raw edges in the process. This will work in the same way as blanket stitch appliqué, which I’m sure some of you have done before.

Thread your needle with two strands of embroidery floss, then take a small stitch across your gathered fabric, coming out right at the edge.

Place your felt circle down and start blanket stitching it to the hooped fabric by stitching through both layers, making your first stitch about a quarter-inch away from where you started. Be sure to catch your thread under your needle on the way out! Continue this way all the way around.

When you get back to the beginning, meet up with your first stitch to create a continuous circle, stitch a knot and then bury the thread end under the felt.

And there you are! Now just sit back and admire your work!

Thanks so much for stitching along with Little Dorrit & Co. this summer and we hope you’ll share links to your finished embroideries. We’d love to see them!