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How to Embrace Imperfection in Your Embroidery

Embroidery is well-known for detailed, intricate designs that can be brought to life by needle and thread. Because of that, the fear of making mistakes can often hold us back from enjoying the embroidery process to the fullest! I know when I first started out, I would for sure panic about getting every little detail ‘just so’.

Keep reading to explore the concept of embracing the imperfections in our embroidery projects, and find some practical tips and strategies to help you overcome the fear of making mistakes in your projects. By shifting your mindset and adopting a more forgiving and adventurous approach, you can unlock new levels of creativity and find joy rather than frustration in your hobby again.

So, let’s dive right in!

Understand the Learning Process

Embroidery, like any skill, hobby, or anything you do, is a journey of learning and growth. Everybody is a beginner at everything to begin with, and mistakes are an integral part of progress. Embrace the idea that making mistakes in your embroidery is not a sign of failure, or a sign of not being good enough at it to continue, but rather a natural part of becoming a skilled embroiderer! Shift your perspective and instead view mistakes as steppingstones towards improving. I always say that practice makes improvement (because I hate the word ‘perfect)’. Art isn’t supposed to be perfect!

Cultivating a Positive Mindset

Ultimately, the fear of making mistakes stems from the innate desire for things to be perfect. I get it, I always strive for perfectionism too! But, being totally honest, perfection, particularly in embroidery, is an elusive goal that is actually really difficult (near impossible) to reach. Being a handmade craft, everyone has a different perspective of what perfection actually looks like. Instead, take the view that your imperfections are what brings your own unique spin to the project!

Start Small and Practice

Beginners Embroidery Design

Again, like anything, embroidery can require a lot of practice and patience in order to see improvement. Be kind to yourself – you’re still learning, and you can allow yourself to explore, experiment and learn more without the pressure of each stitch being absolutely perfect! Start with smaller projects, practicing a few different stitches or techniques at a time, rather than diving into a really complex project. That way, it’s easier to forgive yourself when mistakes do inevitably happen.

Embrace Creative Solutions

What’s that old saying about mistakes leading to better pastures? Is that a saying? I feel like I’ve heard it somewhere! Anyway, it’s totally true.

Recently I was working on a project and I totally fluffed it – I was trimming my turkey stitch and I accidentally cut right through my fabric… doh! I’m sure we’ve all been there, right? But, I’d already embroidered most of the pattern and I just did not want to start it again! So, instead, I had a mini brainstorm about what I could do to cover up that teeny hole. In the end, I opted for a padded satin stitch. It wasn’t quite the look I’d envisaged, but it still looked great, and as a bonus, it added a little extra texture to the pattern, which is exactly what I was going for!

Embroidery for beginners

So, what I mean to say is, it might start out as a mistake, but it could lead into an opportunity or possibility of something better! If you make a mistake, try and leave it. Embrace that it’s not perfect, but that’s okay, because either way it’s something you made with your two hands!

Be Kind to Yourself!

I touched on this a little already, but it fully deserves its own mini paragraph, so here goes. Be kind to yourself! We often speak pretty horribly to ourselves, and internally say things we’d never dream of saying to somebody else, so bare that thought in mind! Would you scold somebody else because their hobby (that made them happy and gave them a little peace) was ever so slightly imperfect? No! So why do it to yourself?!

Embroidery for beginners

Embrace the imperfections, acknowledge that either way, you made it yourself and actually, you’re proud of it! Flawed and all. Celebrate the little quirks that make it yours, and let your creativity shine through them.

I know, it’s no easy feat, especially if you’re naturally a perfectionist! But, overcoming that notion and allowing yourself to be okay with mistakes allows you to delve into your creativity in a whole new way. By understanding the learning process, cultivating a positive mindset, starting small, encouraging creative solutions and being kind to yourself, you can start to let go of perfectionism and get back to enjoying embroidery to the fullest!

And remember, the beauty and the fun of embroidery is not just in the overall finished piece, but also the actual process of creating it!

Are you looking for your next project to practice embracing imperfection? Take the quiz below for a FREE pattern tailored to your skill level!


 Happy Stitching

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about sophie

Hey there! I'm an artist, mama, author and online educator who is obsessed with helping other women re-claim their time and creativity through modern embroidery.

Kick off your shoes, get cosy, and let's dive in to the world of embroidery, shall we?