Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Linea – Embroidery Simple and Quick


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DMC has recently launched a “new technique” in embroidery, called Linea. What’s new about it, and why has it become so quickly popular?

Linea is basic, simple embroidery used to embellish garments and accessories (household and wearable) using simple line stitches worked in DMC perle cotton. What’s new about it? Nothing really – except that the designs, bold patterns, and colors fit the fashion trends of today.

The stitches used in Linea kits by DMC are basic: the running stitch, the back stitch, the straight stitch, whipped stitches (sometimes), stem stitch, chain stitch, and a few others here and there, now and then, depending on the look you want.

There’s nothing at all new about the stitches. However, the “new” comes into the play in that DMC is packaging Linea kits with pre-made items stamped with the design, perle cotton to embroider the design, a needle, and some simple instructions. Still, as far as kits go, it doesn’t sound so “new.” But most embroidery kits out there, unless you’re shopping for children’s kits, are generally a bit more complex than these. The appeal to popularity falls, in my opinion, on two facts:

  • The kits are fashionable – they fit today’s fashion trends. They aren’t the typical “homey,” “country,” or “vintage” type embroidery that has been around for a while. Most of the Linea projects I’ve seen appeal to trendy people – teenagers, college crowd adults, etc. Silk dupoin and other popular fabrics are commonly used in them. The color schemes worked in DMC perle cotton fit today’s popular color schemes.
  • Linea is EASY and QUICK. If you want to feel the satisfaction of completing a hand-made project, you can’t go wrong. Linea just isn’t the kind of stuff that develops into a UFO (unfinished object). On the contrary, if your creative juices are flowing, if you’re itching to try your hand at embroidery, and if you like the idea of having an accessory you can wear or display in your home – you can’t really go wrong. You can work up any one of the kits in a weekend, if not in an afternoon. The stitching is quick and basic. The tools are minimal. The results are pleasing.

Now, if you like the whole concept behind Linea, but are a little more original in your thought processes, you might indeed like to take a stab at the techniques and create something — but you might be the type who thinks “Ok, if I buy this kit for a silk scarf, how many other people are buying the same kit, and how original is that?” No problem! You don’t need a kit! This is the funny thing about it – packaging is everything, and DMC has succeeded once again in marketing something thanks to packaging.

What do you need to make your own original Linea-type project? Any pre-made item you would like to embellish. A denim shoulder bag, a silk purse, a long flowy scarf, a jacket – whatever. You need a pattern, or you can be really creative and draw up your own. You need a needle comparable to the fabric you’re embellishing, and you need some DMC perle cotton #5 (even more widely available than ever at your local hobby and craft stores). And finally, you need simple stitch directions for line stitches primarily, which you can find here.

Here’s a pattern, if you’re looking for something simple and pretty. Click on it for a larger version, and right click to save it to your computer. You can scale it up or down on your computer or on a photocopy machine. You can also only trace parts of it, depending on how you want to arrange your embellishment.

To transfer the design, I suggest using the wax-free, carbon-free dressmaker’s transfer paper (like Saral or Dritz) that you can find in the fabric section of your local hobby, fabric, or craft store. Use a light colored paper for dark fabric or a dark paper for light fabric. The markings will come out after washing, as long as you don’t iron over them and set them with heat. If your eyes are good, you might use a dark paper on dark fabric and a light paper on light fabric, so that the markings are not so noticeable, if you’re working on something that you don’t plan to wash right away.

You don’t really need a hoop, and you should stitch only from the front of the fabric (in a “sewing” method), especially on pre-made items.

Get creative and have fun with this “new” (not-so-new) concept!



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(10) Comments

  1. ah! stitch from the front only! that would change how it’s turning out.

    i have a sale Linea kit for practice (and i get something useful too!) before i head on to bigger things.

  2. Hi Mary and all of your readers too! I am looking for ready to stitch item – such as runners, table toppers, guest towels and so forth. I just made a purchase and was a little disappointed in the weight of the fabric – it seems so light! Do you know of some good sources of quality items like these? Thank you so much! I am off to explore your site some more!

  3. i am making a lampshade and need some flower designs for it. It is a white 100 percent cotton fabric have you any any suggestions

  4. Sorry if this is a silly question, but when you say “stitch only from the front…” what “exactly” does that mean? I am assuming you mean you just run stitches from right to left on the top of the fabric, like you would if you were quilting a design, rather than going front to back, like you do in cross-stitch. Is this correct? Just trying to get a visual in my mind.

    (still learning.. ) Thanks so much for your helpful articles.

    1. Yes, you’re right – just from the front, picking up a bit of the fabric with the needle, but not taking the needle all the way to the back. Hope that helps!

  5. Desde Argentina me gustaría muchísimo aprender la técnica y los patrones este pie de cama es bellísimo

  6. I am just getting started and want to learn all I can. This is such a lovely craft. I am 86 and need to do smaller things than quilting. This is the perfect answer. Thank you for ‘being there’. Barb N

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