13 January 2022
In this step-by-step tutorial Sandra Whitehead of Knight Time Miniatures explains how to cross stitch in miniature, a handy technique sure to brighten any dolls house or miniature scene!
Doing anything in miniature is always more of a challenge, but as many have shown it IS possible and the cross stitching technique is no exception! Sandra shows you how...
Top tip! Measure the size of the design required and add at least an extra 5cm all around when working out the size of fabric you need. Most cross stitch patterns use stranded cotton so choose silks as near as you can to the pattern colours and use only one thread in your needle.
How to cross stitch in miniature
By Sandra Whitehead
You will need
- Evenweave fabric – preferably lightweight. Aida fabrics are brilliant for cross stitch but are very chunky for dolls house and miniatures use. Fine linen is a good choice but it shouldn’t be a slubbed or uneven linen. A fine evenweave will keep the stitches as small as possible
- Sharp, small embroidery needle or fine general sewing needle
- Very thin thread such as a silk thread available from Piper’s Silks – Sandra has used a fine metallic variegated thread. Working over two threads of the fabric is necessary to stop the cross from falling behind the threads of the fabric
- Magnifier (recommended but optional)
Top tip! Tiny pieces of embroidery can be worked without an embroidery hoop.
In order to work the cross stitch you need to work over two threads of the fabric both vertically and horizontally.
This project originally featured in the March 2016 issue of Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine. You’ll find a wealth of projects just like this, plus artisan features, techniques, inspiration from across the eras, all the latest from the world of miniatures and sew much more in every issue – explore the print and digital subscription offers today!
1. Cut a thread about 30cm in length. Put a knot at the end of your thread and pass the needle from front to back of the fabric about 2cm away from where you want to start your stitching. Work towards your knot and in line with it.
2. Follow your pattern and start sewing by making a row of small diagonal stitches as shown. Cross over two of the linen threads as you make each diagonal stitch of the fabric.
Top tip! Work methodically and don’t jump from one area of the fabric to another as you may find that your counting is wrong when you get to that second area.
3. Check that the stitches are falling over the thread on the reverse to secure the stitching.
4. When you reach the knot carefully cut it away from the front of the fabric and continue sewing. Work as many diagonal stitches as you need in the colour shown on the pattern.
Top tip! It doesn’t matter which way you cross the stitches over each other, so long as you work all the stitches the same way as your first stitch. One square on the pattern is equivalent to one cross stitch on your fabric.
5. When you've worked the number of stitches in the colour you need, work a row of diagonal stitches in the opposite direction over the first set of diagonal stitches to form the cross.
6. If the pattern shows more than one adjacent row of stitches in that colour you can go onto a second row or subsequent rows working a colour patch.
7. To finish a thread pass the needle through several adjacent stitches on the reverse of the fabric.
8. Let the needle hang down from the work occasionally to prevent twisting and knotting. If knotting is a problem shorten your thread.