How to Embroider Long Hair and Ponytails.
I have been asked to show how to make this little girl’s hair, so I have written this short step-by-step tutorial. This lovely piece was embroidered for me by the talented Emma Kriegler.
Hint: You may find it easier to work on the pre-printed fabric panel titled NR02 Fluffy Friends and Spring Blossoms.
If you would like the complete kit with all the treads and ribbons, have a look here.
- a) Thread up with two strands of Rajmahal no. 171 Art. Silk thread, normal length (12 to 18 inches or 30 to 45 cm) and start at the parting on the top of her head. Make the short part of the hair on the other side of the parting (closest to the edge of the fabric) in a short straight/stab stitch, working from the fringe towards the back of her head. Refer to the colour photo above and below as a guide.
- b) Form the hair above the plait/ponytail. Use two strands of thread and long and short stitch to make the shorter, curved strands at the back of her head. Do the same for the padding stitches that lie under the hair of her plait/ponytail. The stitches are about 6mm to 1 cm in length (1/4 to 3/8 inch). Use gentle tension whilst you stitch for a realistic effect. Go back between the stitches of the first row to fill in the hair as you did above. Two, three or four rows of long and short stitch are ideal.
Hint: Use a spare tapestry needle to gently lift the stitches up off the surface of the design.
The hair that is falling over her eyes is made with long, loose stem stitches worked with a gentle tension over a spare tapestry needle so that the hair is quite loose. Make one long stitch that is 1 cm (3/8 in.) in length and take the needle to the back of your work. Come up above the previous stitch about ¼ of the way back. Work another long stitch and come up above the stitch about ¼ of the way back. Form the next stitch.
Start at the fringe again and repeat the process, working over the spare tapestry needle, stitch forwards and a little way back, forwards and a little way back, ending off where the plait begins.
- c) Make the plait: Use two threads as before, but this time, use a longer (50cm or 20 inches) length of thread. Refer to the colour photo above and note how the hair of the plait starts about 6mm (1/4 in) below her parting.
- Make a long single-knotted stitch, allowing the stitch to end on the bottom edge of her arm. This will allow enough length to plait the hair later. Keep going back between the long and short stitches made in step b) and make long single-knotted stitches, enough stitches to make a decent size plait. Cut each loop and divide the hair into three sections. Plait the hair and use a matching thread to secure the plait onto the design. The ribbon will be added a little later. Cut off the excess thread so that the plait reaches the edge of her dress.
- d) Make the fringe in single-knotted stitch as you did for the plait and cut each loop, gently combing the fringe with your finger for a realistic finish.
- e) Make the short, fluffy hair at the base of her neck as you did for the fringe. Trim and fluff with the sharp point of your scissors or chenille needle. Go back and make long straight stitches to fill any gaps on her head. Work over a spare tapestry needle so that the hair is raised up off the surface of the design. Fill in the small plait on her right shoulder in stem stitch as you did for the loose hair falling over her eyes in step b. Refer to the colour photo as a guide.
- f) Finally, use Di van Niekerk ribbon, 7mm no. 75 and make a bow on the end of her plait. Secure in place with matching thread and tiny stab/straight stitches so that the bow does not pull loose later.
I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial and happy stitching!