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Introduction to Whitework

Blue Alphabet

Here are the necessary explanations for the realization of this alphabet in Whitework. You will find boards containing all the letters that you can download HERE.

For my part, I chose to embroider a letter of a height of 8 cm but of course, you have the possibility to adapt the size of the characters according to your desires.

List of used threads

  • stranded cotton House of Embroidery 21 Forget-me-not

  • floss cotton DMC B5200, 930 and 932

  • Cotton spécial à broder DMC n°25 B5200

Of course, my choice of threads is only a suggestion and, as usual, I encourage you to use your own.

Embroider a split backstitch with # 25 ” DMC special à broder” thread all around the letter.


Fill (so-called “padding”) the entire letter with long straight stitches and 2 stranded DMC B5200. Be attentive to the direction of the stitches that must fit the contours of the drawing. Make sure the padding is dense and even.

For the floral motif, embroider the stems with Portuguese stem stitch and 3 strands of mouliné 930. Also, embroider the contours of the petals and small leaves with split backstitch  1 thread and the color 932.


Finish filling the pattern with satin stitch 1 thread and the color 932 for the flowers and the color House of Embroidery 21 (dark) for the leaves.


The large leaves are embroidered with fishbone stitch 1 thread also with the color 21 from House of Embroidery.


Here is an example showing you the direction you need to give to your stitches by embroidering the satin stitch that covers the padding. If it makes your job easier, you can use a water-erasable pencil to mark the direction of the stitches.


Here is a picture of the beginning of the satin stitch. It is made with “special à broder” DMC thread n ° 25.

I advise you to use a very fine needle, for example, # 10 for maximum accuracy when aligning your stitches. These must be perfectly aligned without overlapping. For my part, I work vertically and I pull the needle from the backside at the top of the part to embroider, I put the thread on the padding possibly helping me with the thumb of the other hand to place the thread in the right direction and I push the needle to the backside at the bottom of the pattern.

Personally, I never begin to embroider at an extremity of a part. I start at the center to be able to install my stitches and then I finish one side to return to the center and finish the other one.


Here is a close-up of the upper part of the letter. You will notice that the direction of the stitches does not change even when you embroider the bulged parts.

This way of embroidering is characteristic of Whitework and it is important to respect it.