Here’s a fantastic project to craft as a gift for your bestie – or simply an awesome piece of home decor for your own home. Check out Rebecca Cole’s tutorial below, and learn exactly how you can create a 3D embroidery design like this one! Personalise it with the hairstyles of yourself and your best friend, or perhaps your parents, or children. Whoever you choose to include, we think this would make a fab handcrafted keepsake!
Skill Level: Adventurous Beginner – Intermediate
You Will Need:
3d Best Friends Embroidery Design
Print off the template and use the ScanNCut to transfer the design. If you don’t own a ScanNCut, you can transfer the design using a light box and thin pen.
Adhere some bondaweb to the reverse side of your scrap fabric pieces.
Trace the clothing shapes from the template onto a separate piece of paper and cut them out.
Turn them over and mark the reverse side with a ‘b’ for back. Lay the pieces onto the paper side of the bonded fabric with the ‘b’ side facing up and trace around them. Cut them out and peel off the paper.
Using an iron, fix the shapes in place onto the design.
Thread up some white sewing cotton and turn under one end of the scrap of lace.
Position it in place on the fabric and stitch in place, trimming to length if needed. Using the white thread and a beading needle, sew some seed beads in place along the lace edge.
Using double strand black embroidery floss, mark the outline with a split backstitch around the arms, necks, and heart. Leave the heads clear.
Using triple thread embroidery floss, fill in the t-shirt with satin stitch.
Using single strand embroidery floss, mark stripes and outline the t-shirt.
Next, using single strand embroidery floss, mark the pockets, seams, and any additional details to the dungarees.
Using single strand embroidery floss, stitch some haphazardly placed vertical lines of differing lengths over the dress to create the illusion of fabric folds. Use a pale and a dark colour for texture.
To create the short, bobbed hair:
For the hair, I recommend using three strands of embroidery floss at a time from three different tonal colours to create texture in the hair.
Thread up your needle and, starting from the front to back, feed the needle through the left-most point of the head about halfway down. Leave a long tail just a little longer than the length you want the hair to be. Hold the tail in place and bring the needle back through to the front just a tiny bit to the right of the first stitch. Pull the thread all the way through and, forming a loop the same length as the first tail, pass the needle back through to the back just a tiny bit to the right again.
Keep the loops clamped tightly with your other hand as you stitch, to hold them in place. Repeat until you have gone all the way across in a straight line to the other side of the head. Repeat the process to create a second line of loops just a fraction of a mm above the first line.
Next, take the stitch up around the top curve of the head, in the same thread looping manner, until you reach the opposite side of the head to meet the original lines of thread. Snip all of the loops and ‘brush’ the hair straight with a needle.
Lift the strands from the curve part of the stitching up and away from the strands from the horizontal stitching.
Place a length of coloured embroidery thread down and lay the curved threads over the top. Use the coloured thread to loop around the strands and tie a tight knot and then a bow, and trim to length.
Trim the hair to the desired length.
To create the long, curly hair:
As with the bobbed hair, use three strands of tonally similar thread.
Using the same close stitched looping method, stitch all the way around the outside of the second head.
This time, make sure the loops are slightly longer than the desired final length of hair. Once you have gone all the way around the outside, cut the loops and smooth into place with a needle.
Lift the strands so that they are standing up in the centre of the head and tie some embroidery thread around the middle, tying a tight knot.
Wrap the thread around the strands a few times and knot again, trimming off the ends.
To create the curls:
Lift the main bulk of the hair strands up and away from the base of the head.
Cut some plastic straws into 3-4cm pieces. Take a few strands of hair thread, and twist them around the straw. Using some slightly watered decoupage glue (or more watered down PVA), brush the hair with glue so that it sticks curving around the straw.
Place a scrap piece of cellophane underneath so that the glue doesn’t touch the rest of your embroidery, and rest the straw down. Repeat until you have done the whole bottom layer of hair. Place a second piece of cellophane on top and repeat to create a second row of straw-glue curls. Continue until all of the hair strands are curled. Leave to dry overnight.
Once dry, remove the straws and cellophane. Using a needle, very, very gently pull the glued strands apart.
Trim any that are too long so that your curls are at your desired length.
To finish, trim away any excess of fabric around your hooping, leaving about 3cm all the way around. Using a glue gun, stick the fabric to the inside of the hoop to keep it secure and taut. Next, cut a piece of felt slightly larger than your hoop and glue it to the back of your hoop. Trim it to shape.
Now your stunning best friends 3d embroidery design is complete, it’s time to gift it to that special someone, or find the perfect spot to display it in your home!
Looking for more sewing and embroidery ideas to keep you busy? Dive into the rest of our projects and tutorials right here.