Sewaholic Renfrew with Hungarian embroidery: free pattern+tutorial

To start the new PDF embroidery pattern releases off with a bang, here is a free pattern for you, and a tutorial for how to stitch a t-shirt like the Sewaholic Renfrew with Hungarian embroidery. Or any other t-shirt, really.

The pattern is called Little Berry Burst, and it also works for the front of the Roza blouse, of course. I’m really getting into the Northern-Hungarian-village-scenery mindset… can you tell? I mean: Faraway Garden, Cabbage Rose Fancy – and now Little Berry Burst!

So, here’s the design on my Renfrew:

Embroidered Renfrew

 

You can see that I also gave the Renfrew puffed sleeves but I’ll talk about that another time. The Little Berry Burst design is also inspired by Matyó embroidery, like the Faraway Garden and Cabbage Rose Fancy designs, as well as the last installment of the Hungarian Sampler.

Read on to find out how I stitched it up!First, grab a t-shirt (or make one, like I did). Then download and print the embroidery pattern. It’s formatted to print correctly on either US letter or A4 paper, and I included two handy nested test squares (1″ by 1″ and 2cm by 2cm) to double-check the size. So, go print it!

Now, get yourself some stabilizer. Some good ones are Sulky’s Totally Stable Iron-On Tear-Away Stabilizer, or Sublime Stitching’s T-Shirt Stabilizer, also iron-on and tear-away, basically the same thing as the Sulky, but if you’re like me, you’ll get sucked in by Sublime Stitching’s much prettier packaging:

smLittleBerryBurst-Renfrew10

Cut off a piece of stabilizer an inch or two (3-5 cm) larger than the embroidery design:

smLittleBerryBurst-Renfrew3

Figure out how you want to position the embroidery on the t-shirt, and iron the stabilizer onto that area, on the OUTSIDE of the t-shirt, like this:

smLittleBerryBurst-Renfrew4

Use a medium-hot iron but NO STEAM. You may need to pass the iron over the stabilizer multiple times to really get it to adhere to the t-shirt. Oh, and make sure the side of the stabilizer with the adhesive faces down towards the t-shirt and not up towards your iron. You will curse heavily if that’s not how you do it. Ask me how I know.

When you’re done, it’s time to copy the pattern onto the stabilizer. You’ll need your favorite transfer method – I’m using carbon paper and a pencil. Also, take a small board, like a small rotary cutting mat or kitchen cutting board, and place it inside the t-shirt to give yourself a nice firm surface to trace the embroidery pattern over. Kind of like this:

 

smLittleBerryBurst-Renfrew5

 

You can’t see the stabilizer in the photo because the carbon paper is much larger. I always use a pencil to trace that actually makes a mark on the pattern I’m tracing because otherwise I can’t always remember which lines I’ve already traced off, and which ones I still need to trace.

Then, get some thread in really bright colors and start stitching! I used #8 perle cotton. If you want to do a fairly traditional take on this design, use satin stitch for the petals, leaves, and berries, and stem stitch for the stems and vines. I think this design would also look really nice just outlined with a split stitch, stem stitch, back stitch, chain stitch… anything you can think of.

 

smLittleBerryBurst-Renfrew6

 

You can see that in Hungarian embroidery the satin stitch is never outlined or padded. You might find you don’t need to use an embroidery hoop because the stabilizer will keep your stitching plenty stable enough. But if you prefer to use one, there’s nothing wrong with that! Here it is once I was done stitching:

smLittleBerryBurst-Renfrew7

It came out quite nicely, don’t you think?

Now it’s time to remove the stabilizer. Peel off as much as you can, pulling the fabric away from the stabilizer to loosen it:

smLittleBerryBurst-Renfrew8

There will be some bits of stabilizer left inside your motifs and in corners and crevices. Use tweezers to pull these out:

smLittleBerryBurst-Renfrew9

 

Then, if you prefer, give the embroidery a quick press. This is completely the opposite of what embroiderers in the US will tell you to do, but Hungarians prefer to press their embroidery flat. Put your iron right on those stitches, don’t be scared! Here’s my finished embroidery:

Renfrew with Matyo embroidery

 

Isn’t it pretty?

Oh, and the Faraway Garden or Cabbage Rose Fancy patterns would work very nicely on the Renfrew too! 😉

 

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3 Responses to Sewaholic Renfrew with Hungarian embroidery: free pattern+tutorial

  1. TinaD says:

    Love the design, particularly on the black background. Reminds me of a hat I had in Prague. Are there “better” (more traditional, more correct, more effective) colourways for this kind of multicolor motif? Brights rather than shades or pastels?

    • kata says:

      Thank you, Tina! The more traditional colors are indeed brights rather than pastels.

      Here’s a quick google search for Matyó embroidery that will give you some ideas of the types of colors most often used – mostly primary colors, as you can see.

      My personal preference is a slightly more muted color palette, which can be seen on older designs, but the bright ones are really lovely too.

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