Needle Arts

Sewing with Stitchable Dies


how to use stitch dies

Have you used stitchable die cuts yet? Traditionally used by paper crafters; these wafer thin dies include holes for stitching, ensuring that each creation is sewn evenly and neatly! Perfect for beginners or kids -but fun enough for advanced stitchers too! And we love how wool felt seems to be made for these sort of dies -sew stuffies, ornaments and appliqués super easily! Just roll them through your die cutter and start stitching. If you are new to die cutting we suggest catching up on our tutorial first where we explain the differences between dies and how to use them

Stitch Dies

We are going to introduce you to three different stitches you can use: Whip Stitch, Running Stitch and the Blanket Stitch. But first gather your supplies: favorite stitching die (we love Neat & Tangled!), Benzie wool blend felt, embroidery floss (we love classic DMC floss) and an embroidery needle 1/5. DMC floss is a divisible floss, meaning that it can be split into 6 parts. In this particular cloud die, we liked how all 6 strands pop on the cloud! If you are looking for a more subtle look use just 3 strands. Let's get started on the easiest stitch first, the whip stitch!

How to Whip Stitch

how to easily stitch felt

Whip Stitch
Step 1: Thread your needle and knot the end of your floss. Begin by bringing your needle in between the layers of felt. Stitch through the top layer of felt, the knot will remain hidden between the two layers of felt. 
Step 2: Line your layers of felt together -it will be easy to see the premade holes this way! Bring your needle to the back of the felt and stitch through the next set of holes, bringing up the needle to the front of the design. 
Step 3: Continue stitching, whipping the thread around the edge of the felt, always starting the stitch from the underside and ending on the top. The premade holes help to keep your stitches nice and even! 
Step 4: You will begin to see a succession of angled stitches, finish up the design by hiding the knot in between the layers of felt. 

how to blanket stitch

Blanket stitch for felt

Blanket Stitch
The Blanket Stitch builds on what you learned in the Whip Stitch but in addition to 'whipping' the floss from back to the front you stitch through the previous stitch before you head back around -this adds a more decorative edge to your finished piece.
Step 1: First thread your needle and knot the end of the floss. Start by bringing your needle in between the layers of felt nestling the knot underneath the top layer. 
Step 2: The blanket stitch uses a one time 'start stitch'. Just take your needle and stitch a loop around the felt; come back through the same place the knot is nesting in. It will be easy to locate the prepunched holes when the felt is lined up to each other.
Step 3: To finish the 'start stitch', go back through the floss loop you just made. This will position your thread just right for the blanket stitch!
Step 4: Bring your needle through the back of the felt and stitch through the next set of holes. 
Step 5: Right before tightening up the stitch from step four -run you needle through the loop you just made. You have made your first Blanket Stitch! 
Step 6: Continue to bring your needle from the back to the front.
Step 7: Don't forget to stitch through the previous loop! Gently pull to shape before moving on to the next stitch
Step 8: Continue to stitch, you will see the Blanket Stitch coming together soon! Finish by knotting floss around your first stitch and hiding the thread end between the felt layers.

Running Stitch and Felt

Basic stitches for stitching dies

Running Stitch
Both the Whip Stitch and the Blanket Stitch wrap floss around the edge of your felt  -but the Running Stitch stays on the felt and can end up looking like the more fancy Back Stitch -but simpler for beginners! 
Step 1: First thread your needle and knot the end of the floss. Start your first stitch in between the two layers of felt, hide your knot in the top layer of felt. Then line up your layers of felt so you can easily locate the holes.
Step 2: Stitch down into the the next hole. This completes your first stitch. 
Step 3: Bring your needle back up through the next hole. 
Step 4: Continue to 'run' to the next hole, stitching down then up chasing each hole in succession. You can finish your feltie just like this or go for round 2! See the next step! 

how to stitch felt with stitch dies

Step 5 & 6:
You can also choose to keep on stitching, just continue your up and down motion, this time filling in the spaces that were left. This gives your design a continuous floss border that resembles the Back Stitch but fully finished on both sides of the felt.

Additional Tips:
-Use all six strands of your floss -or just use a few! We like using just one to three strands when stitching on embellishments. If it's easier -just use tacky glue! 
-Line up the layers of felt to clearly identify prepunched holes - if you are still having problems identifying the holes use the eye the needle to clear the holes of any felt that did not come out during the die cut process.
-When making stuffies -don't forget to leave a couple of inches open to fill with polyfil. Once filled, finish stitching. 
-Be gentle with your stitches, if you pull too tightly the felt will ruffle! 
-Embellish! Use variegated floss, glitter floss or add beads and sequins (just make sure to get a beading needle!)