Romanian Blouse Embroidery Stitches

I thought you might like to learn about and see how to do the embroidery stitches used in Folkwear's 103 Romanian Blouse pattern.  These stitches are taught in the pattern itself, and the design is printed on the pattern for you to use, or modify as you wish.  These stitches are fairly simple, and once you learn them, they can be used to decorate lots of your home sewing projects!

You can also watch a video on how to do this on our YouTube channel!

You should use #10 waste canvas (though linen works too if the holes in the weave are large and regular) as the foundation for the embroidery.  This size has larger holes than #12 or #16, so if you want finer embroidery, you can use those sizes.  Do NOT use mono canvas because you will want/need to remove the canvas you are embroidering on for the garment.

When doing embroidery, all blue on white fabric is stunningly authentic, but multi-colored blouses of red, black, blue, with yellow and green touches and in varying combinations are common.  Red and black on white is a strong combination also.  I used three strands of DMC embroidery floss, and an embroidery needle.  

To use waste canvas, you can soak it and air dry it by laying it flat.  It is important not to skew the fabric when washing or letting it dry.  Soaking may shrink the canvas by about 10%.  Once dry (or if not washing), cut the canvas at least 1/2" (13mm) larger than the area you want to embroider, and lay the canvas over the area where you want to embroider.  Then, with long running stitches, baste the canvas to the fabric, as below.   


The most common stitch in this pattern, and most commonly know, is the cross stitch.  Each stitch is worked diagonally one direction, then crossed diagonally the other direction on the way back across the row.  

It does not matter which direction you start, but the most important thing is to keep the first stitches going in the same direction, as well as cross the stitches in the same direction every time.  This gives the work an even and regular look.  You may work the first half of the stitch in vertical or horizontal rows and cross them on the return journey.  In small areas, it is generally easier to cross each stitch individually.  




This stitch is fun and fast but watch the scrim because this is the only stitch given which requires using the small spaces in the double weave; all other embroidery stitches use only the large holes, whereas this one squeezes a line of straight stitches between each of the usual spaces.  Push the scrim aside if necessary with the point of the needle to avoid splitting threads. 

One complete stitch is composed on three parallel threads, worked by taking outside stitches first, then the center advancing stitch.  Follow letters in diagram below. 

This stitch makes a lovely border, and multiple rows can be put together to create a more dramatic border. 

Do the top and bottom stitches first, then go to the small space between those larger squares in the waste canvas to take another stitch between them and offset.


Finished stitches on the waste canvas.  


Triple back Hungarian stitch with waste canvas removed.  

Triple back Hungarian stitch from the backside of the fabric.  It makes a nice cross stitch pattern.




This is a running stitch filled in by return journey.  Each stitch covers one horizontal or vertical mesh unit.  There are ways of putting this stitch together to create more, and interesting, geometric designs.

Here are the basic steps.  Do the horizontal stitches first.



Once you get the horizontal stitches in as far as you want to go, come back and do the vertical stitches.


Once finished, all of the horizontal stitches will be connected by vertical stitches.  And, once the waste canvas is removed, it looks very nice and looks the same from the back side.

Finished row from the front:

Finished row from the back: