Unicorn Kit

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This Unicorn kit is my personal favorite.  The bright colors, combined with the braided chain stitch makes it look so complicated and fancy, and yet it can easily be completed in just a weekend.  Here I will show you step-by-step photo instructions for completing this Unicorn kit and will also show you any tips and tricks I think you might find helpful along the way.  Let’s get stitching!

When you first get your kit and remove your supplies from the package you will find:

  • Clear carrying case
  • 6″ Wooden Embroidery Hoop
  • Size 8 embroidery needle
  • 10″ x 9″ piece of cotton broadcloth with patter pre-printed on it
  • 6 strand DMC Embroidery floss in these colors
    • light purple
    • yellow
    • Pink
    • Blue
    • Green
  • Stitch Guide
  • Stitching Instructions
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This kit does not come with a needle minder, but if you like to use one, go get it now.

To get started you will unfold the fabric and center the pattern in the hoop.  Loosen the screw on the hoop, without fully removing the screw.  Then separate the inner and outer hoops.  Lay your fabric over the inner, smaller hoop (the circle outline on the pattern will help you get it centered as much as possible).  Lay the outer hoop over the top and sandwich the fabric between the two wooden frame pieces.  Re-tighten the screw and pull the fabric in every which direction until it is taught.

Next you will unwind one length of the light purple floss which has been pre cut for you into an 18” piece.  Embroidery traditionally uses only 3 threads of the 6 included in each length of floss so separate the strand into two, each section containing 3 strands each.  Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end.

*Click on any of the photo’s in this post to make them larger and see more detail.  Also, I created this kit & post in the winter time, please forgive the darker images until I can re-do this post when there is daytime sunlight!*

You will now stem stitch around the Unicorn’s neck and face.  Stem stitching creates a rope like, solid line that is also great for text and/or outlining a design.  If you love the look of it you can also use stem stitch as a filler stitch (although we don’t do that in this kit).  Start by pulling the needle and floss up through from the back of the fabric and do one stitch forward.  Your needle and floss will now be at the back of your design.  From underneath, bring your needle up half way through the stitch you just created, on the left hand side.  pull up through the fabric at that point, and bring the needle and floss back to where your previous stitch ended pushing down through the fabric.

Continue this stitch around the face.  As you come to 90 degree angles, simply end one stitch right on the corner of the angle, and then start the new stitch on the other side of the angle.

When you are finished stem stitching the face and neck you will want to finish off your thread before moving to the unicorn’s ear with the purple thread. To end a thread, turn your design over and run your needle and remaining thread under a few stitches on the back.  At this point you can tie a knot around some of the existing threads if you are concerned it is not being held tight enough but this is not necessary.  Clip off any excess thread.

Complete the same stem stitch around the Unicorn’s ear, and then end your tread again.  You are now down with the purple thread.

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Next you will be working a padded satin stitch on the Unicorn’s horn. You will first back stitch around the outline of the horn.  I did my back stitching just inside the blue line of the pattern.  The back stitch creates a solid line and is great for text and/or outlining a design.  It is also a quick way to add padding to an area that will be satin stitched.  Start by pulling the needle and floss up through from the back of the fabric and do one stitch forward.  Your needle and floss will now be at the back of your design.  From underneath, move forward on your pattern to the length of your desired stitch, pull up through the fabric at that point, and bring the needle and floss back to where your previous stitch ended pushing down through the fabric.  Continue working in this way.

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Now you are ready to satin stitch over the padding you have just created.  Satin stitch is a good filler stitch that adds color while creating a smooth appearance.  An excellent tip to help your satin stitch look more professional is to take a pen or pencil and draw the direction of the satin stitch in before you actually stitch it.  This is extremely helpful if you are satin stitching a curved area but will also help you as you try to keep your stitching level on the unicorn’s horn.  (as you can see below they don’t have to be perfect, just the general idea is good enough).

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To stitch a satin stitch, bring the needle up from the back of your design and down through the front of the design, then bring the needle up from the back again and down from the front again just next to the first stitch.  Repeat as many times as needed to fill the area with thread, keeping the stitches very close to one another and stay as much on top of the pattern design as you can.  Keep your stitching fairly loose when you satin stitch and don’t try to conserve thread, it will alter the look too much.  If need, feel free to go over the area twice to get the kind of coverage you want.

The next and last stitch you will use in this kit is the Hungarian braided chain stitch, or just braided chain stitch.  This Stitch might be my all time favorite decorative stitch!  It looks extremely complicated and is extremely impressive to show people, but is actually quite simple to stitch.    To set up the stitch you will make a lazy daisy stitch (a regular stitch, then move forward under the fabric one stitch length and come up through the fabric, without going into the fabric again, slide the needle under the stitch you just made, and bring the needle and thread back down into the hole the thread is currently coming out of.  On this stitch you will pull the thread taught.

Repeating your last step, you will move forward under the fabric one stitch length, and come up through the fabric, without going into the fabric again, slide the needle under the stitch you just made, and bring the needle and thread back down into the hole the thread is currently coming out of.  Be sure to leave long wings and not pull your thread tight as you create this second stitch.  You have now created your first “braided chain”.

To finish off this stitch and get to the point where you can pull the wings tight, complete the following steps:  Underneath the fabric move forward the length of one stitch and bring the needle up from the bottom of the fabric.  Between the long wings you left is a small, tight stitch.  Bring your over the right wing, under the small stitch, and back over the left wing….. like you are weaving.

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Don’t pull the needle through!  Just leave it there for a second.  Go ahead…. let go of it.  While your needle is stilling there, pull on the tail that is sticking out of the fabric.  Pulling on this tail will tighten the wings around the needle (don’t go crazy here, you don’t want it pulled super tight)..

You have now finished “starting” the braided chain stitch start and are to the point where you will stitch all the remaining stitches in the following manner:

Move forward under the fabric one stitch length, and come up through the fabric, without going into the fabric again, slide the needle under the stitch you just made, and bring the needle and thread back down into the hole the thread is currently coming out of.  Be sure to leave long wings and not pull your thread tight as you create this second stitch.  Underneath the fabric move forward the length of one stitch and bring the needle up from the bottom of the fabric.  Between the long wings you left is a small, tight stitch.  Bring your over the right wing, under the small stitch, and back over the left wing….. like you are weaving. Don’t pull the needle through. While your needle is stilling there, pull on the tail that is sticking out of the fabric.  Pulling on this tail will tighten the wings around the needle.  Repeat.

To end a braided chain stitch, continue stitching right up to the point where you started.  On your last stitch after you pull the wings tight, bring your needle back IMG_6351

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