Classic Monogrammed Banner Embroidery Pattern
Embroidery is a form of intricate needlework, which has been around since the beginning of clothes making. Embroidery has always been practiced by many cultures and classes of people, though it was particularly popular with persons of high society, used as a symbol of wealth. Someone who had the free time for embroidery was wealthy, indeed.
We have created a lightly detailed design, which provides an easy way to achieve an old-fashioned engraved look; whether you’ve embroidered before, or are a complete beginner.
You will need:
Something to embroider onto (cloth, handkerchief or tea towel)
An embroidery transfer pen or pencil
A clothes iron
An embroidery needle
An 8” embroidery hoop
The steps are easy
Download the PDF, and print (inkjet or laser) the design onto a regular sheet of printer paper.
The image is mirrored so that once you’ve transferred the design, everything should be the right way round.
Choose the letters you need, and trace the grey parts with your embroidery transfer pen or pencil.
It is easier to cut the banner and letters free from the sheet, before you transfer them onto your fabric.
Situate the banner where you want it on your fabric, with the side you traced face down on the fabric. Iron the back of the paper sheet on the hottest dry setting (no steam)*, being sure to apply firm pressure to the transfer, for a few seconds.
* This setting works for the pencil we used; please check the instructions for the transfer pencil or pen you’re using for the appropriate setting.
Remove the banner transfer, and place your letters face down within the banner on the fabric. Iron on, just as before.
Avoid ironing too much over the transferred design on the fabric. Over ironing will reduce the sharpness of the image, and make it hard to see.
You should have something like this:
Now you can secure your fabric with an embroidery hoop, and prepare to start embroidering. Cut a length of embroidery floss, and split it into 3 ply instead of the original 6 ply. I worked every bit of this pattern in 3 ply.
Before we embark on our embroidery escapade, I’d like to explain something first. The stitch I used for outlining is sort of a hybrid stitch. If you’ve embroidered before, you’ve probably learned both stitches that make up this stitch, Split Stitch and Backstitch.
I’ll explain it step-by-step, and the photos below will give you a visual idea of what you should be doing.
This stitch is worked in a horizontal manner, making it easy to work along the guidelines.
Bring your threaded needle up through the fabric.
Insert the needle behind (opposite the direction you’re stitching) the hole you just brought the needle up through.
With your needle now on the underside of the work, bring the needle forward (in the direction you’re stitching) past the first hole. Bring the needle up through the fabric about a stitch length away from the first stitch.
The final step is to insert the needle into the previous stitch, splitting the stitch.
Repeat steps 3-4 continuously.
Here’s a photo showing the benefit using Split Backstitch (PINK) has over Split Stitch (RED). The photo on the left is the top, and the photo on the right is the underside.
And here’s a photo of Split Backstitch (TOP) compared to Backstitch (BOTTOM)
When I embroidered this design, I never needed to knot the floss. When you start with a new strand, all you need to do is leave a tail that is long enough to weave in later. Make sure you keep the tail secure in your other hand for the first few stitches, so the tail doesn’t pull through the fabric. When you’ve finished with a strand, weave the end through your work. If you weave in different directions, and in areas it’s tougher to get your needle through, you’ll be less likely to need to knot the end.
No knots, means smoother work! Unless of course, it’s a decorative knot, like a French Knot.
Bring your threaded needle up through the fabric. With your other hand, wrap the floss (toward you) over the needle twice. Keep a firm hold on the floss, as you insert the needle into the fabric next to (not the same hole) the hole you brought the needle up through. Before pulling the needle completely through the fabric, make sure you pull the floss taught with your other hand (the floss should be tight, with no slack against the needle and fabric). Gently pull the floss through the underside.
You should now have a cute little knot on the top of your fabric!
To adjust the size of the knot, try wrapping the needle once to make it smaller, or three times to make the knot larger.
Satin stitch is a beautiful stitch typically used to fill in small areas. Satin stitch should be smooth and even.
To achieve an even looking Satin Stitch, give yourself a simple guideline on either side of where you intend on having the Satin Stitch.
Bring your threaded needle up through the fabric.
Insert the needle adjacent to the hole you just brought the needle up through.
To begin again, bring the needle up through the fabric, right next to the first hole (as in step 1.), and insert the needle adjacent to the hole you just made (as in step 2.). Remember you’re always going to the opposite side, never completing an action on the same side twice.
Embroidering the banner-
I embroidered the banner in a cream color, and used a light tan for shading. It’s up to you how you start, but I decided to start at the upper left corner. This means starting with the deeper shade.
First, I outlined the two points at the end of the banner with Split Backstitch. I started to outline around the curve of the next tier, stopping at the right edge of the point above, to enclose the two points. Because the points of the banner are the farthest back, they are the most heavily shaded. To solidly fill the shapes in, I used Long and Short Stitch (a series of straight, staggered stitches). I also added a French knot at the tip of each point. I then used Split Backstitch for the vertical shaded lines on the second tier. I also used Split Backstitch for the horizontal shaded lines on the third tier. I finished with the tan floss by using Satin Stitch to complete the straight edges, for a smooth feeling where the banner would naturally have a folded edge.
I used the cream floss and Split Backstitch to snake around the third, fourth and fifth tiers. Split Backstitch again, is useful for the vertical shaded lines on the fifth tier, in the lighter shade of floss. Outline the main parts of the banner, and use Satin Stitch on the straight edges.
If you find you need to embroider a different area that’s relatively far from where your floss is, you can carry the floss through existing stitches, rather than crisscrossing on the back which creates an unattractive spider web of floss on the underside.
Use Split Backstitch for the shade lines on the face of the banner. Start from the straight edge, and work your way toward the center. When it’s time to start on the next line, wrap the floss around your stitches on the underside to return to the straight edge before stitching the next line.
Continue to work as you have for the rest of the banner. Make sure you’re consistent with color placement; make it look like a mirrored version of the top.
Embroidering the lettering-
Ah, the lettering is a bit tedious, as I’ve used Satin Stitch for the whole letters. You don’t have to use Satin Stitch for the letters; you could just outline them, and they’d look pretty swanky. However, if you choose Satin Stitch, I strongly advise you outline first, for a smooth finish. The preliminary outlining doesn’t need to be neat, just look at mine!
The most important thing about the Satin Stitch letters is to keep your stitches close together, follow the curves and accentuate sharp points.
You can add any additional designs you'd like.
I wish you the best of luck! Have fun!
I hope this long winded post is sufficient in aiding you to make your own adaption of this timeless design!
-The Grey’s Posy Team