Making Mistletoe with Jo Saunders

    authored by Jo Saunders of @sewandsaunders

    During the festive season, I love returning home to see my Mum and Dad. I always make sure I pack my biggest embroidery kit, full of goodies, where I know I'll be eager to sit with my family, (eat Chocolate Yule Log, of course) and enjoy some relaxing stitching time in the evenings.

    When it comes to the tools I use for Embroidery, I really do struggle to pick a favorite, but items that I always come back to and are an essential part of my designs would have to include DMC Soft Cotton Threads.I adore a textured, matte finish and love the soft tones of the rope like cotton on rustic and natural fabrics. When creating something for the festive season I am always drawn to the outdoors and the colors and beauty that nature brings, using DMC Soft Cotton threads, lend themselves perfectly to my designs.

    This year, I had my heart set on a simple design that was fun and captured a special element of nature that is celebrated during December, and for me, that’s Mistletoe.

    Mistletoe Pattern by Sew and Saunders
    Download The Pattern

    If this design could speak to you, it would say; “I know, 2020 has been tough and I’m not here to make your life any harder. I am not going to be a complicated craft project that puts pressure on you. I’m simple, I'm fun and I promise you no stress this December”  ... But because it can’t tell you that, let me tell you a bit about the design and why DMC Soft Cottons are perfect for the job.

    My mistletoe sprigs are a simple pattern and are great for beginners or anyone looking to enjoy a no-fuss embroidery pattern. I wanted the Stem and leaves to be raised and detailed but have used a very simple stitch to create fullness and volume in the leaf veins.  Although these Soft Cotton threads can easily be split, I am a fan of using the entire skein. In particular, the thickness of the Soft Cotton when used in Stem Stitch creates a full and rippled edge, which I love.

    Mistletoe Pattern by Sew and Saunders

    Download The Pattern

    If you prefer more muted tones at Christmas and want to embrace a new color scheme, this design also looks lovely done in one color for a monochrome effect, why not try blush pink Soft Cotton threads in Color 2842 on a matching fabric for a subtle hint of Mistletoe.

    Mistletoe Pattern by Sew and Saunders

    Download The Pattern

    Even though there won't be large gatherings over the holiday season this year, I think I’ll start working on some linen napkins for next year to keep forever, with just a touch of mistletoe on each napkin- I adore that type of detail on table linens.

    If you don’t want to commit to the entire pattern, why not just try a sprig on a 4-inch hoop. I think it’s perfect to hang over a doorway and catch your favorite person with a Christmas Kiss- Enjoy!


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    Stitches Used:

    • Stem Stitch: Branches & Leaves
    • Satin stitch : Berries


    1. Begin by inserting your fabric into your hoop - you can also use a wooden frame like I have for my design and use a staple gun to stretch your fabric. You can create this pattern on whatever you’d like; I think this would look beautiful on some Napkins or a Hessian Table runner for a muted festive feel.


    1. To transfer your design over, I would recommend using Blank DMC Magic Paper - you can draw your design and the paper simply washes away after you have finished stitching.

      If you don’t want to use Magic Paper you can use a water-soluble pen, or just a normal pencil to draw your design on to the fabric.


    1. Once you are happy with your pattern, you can begin stitching. I always start with my stems using Stem Stitch and color 2469. Start with your stems using small satin stitches to create a twisted stem, I like to work mine closely together to create volume.


    1. For the leaves I have used more Stem Stitch classic satin stitches to create a textured leaf surface; if you aren’t confident with Stem Stitch, use a scrap piece of fabric and draw shapes and practise - as with everything in life - practise makes perfect! I used two different colours for the leaves, the lighter tone is 2470 and the slightly darker tones are, 2319 and 2320 for the darker leaves.


    1. For the White berries I have used Padded Satin Stitch to create full and dimensional circular berries. Using your Soft Cotton in color 2746, add a few base stitches to pad out the berry shape, before finally coating the entire thing with smooth, flat and silky satin stitches. If you prefer the look of a simple French knot, that is also an option and adds dimension.


    1. If you have used a water-soluble pen or Magic Paper, use warm water to remove the Paper or the Pen marks and leave to dry. If you have used a pencil, there is no need to wet the fabric.


    1. If you have created your design in a hoop, remove your hoop and place the final fabric on top of backing fabric, this will mean that the back of your work will be hidden for a neat and tidy finish. Insert both fabrics back into your hoop and trim the backing fabric to the edge of the hoop. With the front fabric, cut around the edge leaving 1.5 cm to glue to the edge of your hoop. Using fabric glue, dot the glue around the back of the wooden hoop and press your fabric edge firmly against it. Always use a Lint Roller to finish off your project.


    You can create a design like this in any size! Why not try creating a little Sprig in a mini hoop as the perfect gift?


    Top Tip: This pattern looks fantastic in a monochrome style, I love the look of DMC Soft Cotton in color 2166 on a blush background fabric for a muted look.