How To Stitch Dandelions – A Step By Step Tutorial
Love them or hate them. As a child, I was fascinated with dandelions and the memories flooded back when my daughter became fascinated with them as a toddler. She called them Tinkerbell flowers.
So when I set up polkadots & bloom in autumn 2009, dandelions were one of the first designs I stitched. And they have become one of my most loved designs.
Starting my new blog I thought it fitting to look at dandelions again. So I have added some variations for you to try out.
Things You’ll Need
- Needles – Embroidery/Crewel Needle size 8
- Fabric – any plain coloured fabric. I used my own vintage linen which is available from my Etsy shop
- Needles – Embroidery/Crewel Needle size 8
- Embroidery thread – for my dandelions I used:
- Filaments and colonial knot – DMC 3866 (Anchor #2 is also a great for a lighter shade but not all white).
- Olive green flower centre and flower stem – Flax Flower embroidery thread in olive green 922 from linladan
- Centre and bottom filament of flower on the right – DMC 4145
- Air-erasable fabric marker, sharp embroidery scissors, embroidery hoop, small round cup or glass to outline the shape
If you need help with finding suppliers have a look at my resources page.
Step 1 – Drawing The Design
The design is easy to draw with a fabric marker.
First take a glass or circular object to help you draw the outline of your dandelion head.
I mark a dot for the long filaments only as the dandelion filaments have different length.
I then place a shorter filament between the two marked dots when I stitch.
After I have marked the dots around the edge, I draw a little circle in the centre of the dandelion and finally the Dandelion stems.
TIP: If you use an air soluble pen, you might want to draw the stems when you are ready to stitch, as the lines might vanish before you get to stitch them.
Step 2 – Stitching The Dandelion Centres
I have described all stitches I use in detail in my stitch library. If you need extra help, click on the highlighted stitch names and the relevant page with a detailed description will open in a new window.
The dandelions on the left and right have padded satin stitched centres and the dandelion in the middle has a colonial knot stitched centre.
Satin Stitched Centre
I used 2 strands of embroidery thread for the split stitch and the satin stitch.
To begin I use holding stitches to secure the embroidery thread. I place the holding stitches inside the circle, which will hide them later.
I then outline the circle with a split stitch to keep the edges of the satin stitched shape smooth.
To give a satin stitched shape a little lift and support, I usually add some padding. To do this add one, two or more layers of satin stitch within the split stitch circle.
TIP: If you are using padding, make sure that the next layer of padding is always stitched at a right angle to the previous layer. If you use more than one supporting layer start your first layer a few millimeters in from the inner edge of the split stitch circle. Then cover the first layer with the next layer completely, stitching closer to the edge of the circle.
To stitch the top layer start the stitching in the middle and outside of your split stitched circle and work your way to the outside.
Once you have finished
Colonial Knot Stitched Centre
I prefer stitching colonial knots instead of French knots, as I like the stitch technique. But there is nothing to stop you from using French knots instead.
Start with a few holding stitches to secure your thread. Fill the centre with colonial knots.
You can either pack the colonial knots tight together or leave a little space between the knots.
In this example, I have packed the colonial knot really tightly.
Play around and see what you prefer.
TIP: Set up a second hoop with some scrap fabric to test your stitches. I often do this with new designs.
Step 3 – Stitching The Dandelion Filaments (White Dandelion)
Bring your needle up to the surface at the outside of your dandelion centre.
Place your stitch directly opposite a dot you have drawn at the beginning.
Then bring the needle down in the centre of the dot directly opposite.
TIP: Try to keep a right angle between your filament thread and the dandelion
Next stitch the shorter filament.
Bring the needle up between the previous stitch and the next dot and about 5 mm lower.
Then bring the needle down close to the first filament just outside the dandelion centre.
Bring the needle up to the surface next to the previous stitch and down in the middle of the dot on the opposite site.
Continue stitching until you have completed the circle.
Step 4 – Stitching The Filaments (Middle and Right Flower)
The filaments for the flower in the middle and on the right are stitched in two parts. As the bottom part of the filament loops around the upper half of the filament. But one step at the time.
Top Half Of Filaments
Use your marker pen and make a little dot about 1 cm away from the centre of the dandelion and in line with your marked dot for the end of the filament.
Make sure you have a straight line with a right angle.
If it is easier use a ruler or pen to make sure you keep a straight line and angle.
Continue doing this for the rest of the circle.
Place 2 or 3 holding stitches in a straight line where you will stitch the bottom half of the filaments.
Starting your filament bring your needle up in the
Bring the needle down at the opposite
Continue with the stitching until you complete the circle.
Bottom Half Of Filaments
For the bottom half of the filaments bring your needle up at the outer edge of your dandelion centre.
Make sure you line your stitch up with the upper part of the filament.
Loop your needle underneath the thread of the upper filament and bring it back to the outer edge of the dandelion centre.
Bring your needle down to the back of the fabric next to the previous stitch.
Continue with these two stitches until you have completed the circle.
Step 5 – Stitching The Colonial Knots At The End Of The Filaments
Bring the needle up at the end of the filament and stitch your colonial knot.
Then move to the next filament and continue along the circle until the circle is stitched.
Bring the needle up at the end of the filament and stitch your colonial knot. Then move to the next filament and continue along the circle until the circle is stitched.
Step 6 – Stitching The Flower Stems
If you have not already done so draw three lines for your stems using your marker pen.
I stitched the flower stems in outline stitch (left dandelion) and stem stitch (middle and right dandelion).
To recap outline stitch and stem stitch only differ in the direction of the loop.
For the stem stitch, you keep the loop on the right of your stitch line (or bottom if you stitch left to right).
For the outline stitch, you keep the loop on the left (or bottom if you stitch right to left).
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial helpful.
I’d love to hear from you whether you have a comment or question. Leave a comment below.
I just love that beautiful flower,thank you the way you explain and also the pictures it was easy to follow thanks .
Hi Ida – Thanks so much for your lovely comment. So pleased you like the flower and could follow the tutorial. Happy Stitching. Heidi x
Thank you for such clear instructions and clear photographs. I’m a beginner embroiderer and need all the help I can get!
Hi Kristene – thanks so much for your comment. So glad you find the post helpful. You’ll get there, just keep practising. Happy Stitching!
I am new to embroidery and love your tutorial. I can’t wait to stitch some dandelions!
Thanks so much for your note and I am glad you find the tutorial helpful. Do let me know if you have any questions! Happy Stitching!
Thank you very much for these great instructions. I was going to look in Youtube for something like this, but seen your picture at Pinterest I just click as I had a good feeling, and here you are with just what I needed. I prefer to read instructions than looking at videos. I think I’m going to try my project with your techniques soon. Thanks again!
Hi Fanny, So glad you find the instructions useful. Also many thanks for your feedback regarding the written instructions, we all in a different way. Please let me know if you have any questions. Happy Stitching!
Excellent tutorial, I have not been confident to do flowers of any sort previous to seeing your tutorial. Now i am doing this right now, it’s fantastic, thanks heaps. ☺
Hi Vienna, So glad you are enjoying it. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Stitching! Heidix
Is a colonial stitch different than a french knot?
Thanks so much for your question. Both stitches are almost identical. The colonial knot rises slightly higher compared with the french knot. If you cluster knots such as is the case with the dandelion centres it does not really matter which technique you use. Colonial knots can potentially be a little more fragile as they protrude more above the fabric, therefore, if you use colonial knots in something like a notebook that you may put in and take out of bags you could potentially damage the knot, especially if it is used for something like dotting an ‘i’. I mainly use colonial knots as I prefer the technique, other people prefer the french knot technique. Happy Stitching, Heidi x
Merci pour ces bons et beaux conseils
Vous êtes si bienvenu, Alhienor
Thank you for sharing this super tutorial. It’s a beautiful design.
Thank you so much Jayne. I am so glad you liked the design! Happy Stitching, Heidi
Thank you I found just what I was looking for.
I want to make an embroidery – Just Breathe – with a dandelion so its perfect.
So glad you found what you were looking for. ‘Just Breathe’ sounds wonderful, what a lovely idea!