Want to learn the basics of hand embroidery with an easy online workshop – totally free?
Sign up for Embroidery 101 here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, the four most basic stitches, how to transfer your pattern and how to display your work.
If you already know the basics – sign up for Embroidery 201. It’s also free! You’ll learn how to stitch on specialty fabrics like felt and stretchy T-shirts. Plus you’ll learn lots and lots and LOTS more stitches – all my favorites!
Turkey work is an unusual embroidery stitch that gives you a special effect. If you make long loops you can get a hairy or fringy look. Shorter loops can be trimmed to look like the pile of a rug or shorter hair.
Turkey work stitching isn’t difficult, but it does require a bit of focus so you don’t lose track of what you’re doing. I tend to mumble to myself while I do it. . . flat stitch, loopy stitch, flat stitch, loopy stitch. . .
Here’s what I’m talking about.
See what I mean?
You can work this stitch on flat embroidery – you’ll often see it as the center of flowers, for example.
But I use Turkey work most often on little felt softies. It opens up a whole range of possibilities for hair, manes, tails, bushy eyebrows and more. 🙂
I used it here for the mane on Zoey Zebra.
In the video you saw me working on Leon Lion’s mane. Here he is all finished.
Want to see another way to add longer hair to a softie? This tutorial shows how to add yarn hair to a crocheted amigurumi, but you could use the same method with embroidery thread on a smaller felt softie.
Play with some felt! Try the Oddballs – a fun pattern for silly monsters.