I always love a good challenge. I have wanted to experiment using tulle for the wings of a dragonfly, so I decided to make them 3-dimensional using crafting wire. This technique is called stumpwork.
This post will walk you through how to embroider a dragonfly. There isn’t a stencil provided in this tutorial. However, the shape of the dragonfly can be easily drawn onto the fabric. You can easily follow along with the tutorial or use this as a source of inspiration to make your very own design!
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Materials You’ll Need
- embroidery hoop
- embroidery needle
- tapestry needle (for stitching on the tulle)
- tulle fabric
- cotton or linen fabric
- DMC embroidery thread (colors listed below)
- sharp embroidery scissors
- crafting wire – I used this 30g wire available on Amazon
- wire cutter or old throwaway scissors to cut wire with
DMC Embroidery Floss Colors
- Individual colors are available for purchase as DMC.com
How To Embroider Dragonfly Wings
Measure two 5inch long pieces of crafting wire and shape each one into a long teardrop shape. Twist or pinch the ends of the wire together at the base.
In order to secure the wire, place the twisted end into the tulle and make a small stitch to secure the other end of the wing shape on the tulle. (Since the tulle is transparent, you’ll want to make sure the stitch you make isn’t super large or obvious, or you’ll want to have a way to remove it once you have stitched your way around the wire.)
Make blanket stitches close together all the way around the wire.
Once you have stitched around the shape you can very carefully trim the excess fabric away, leaving only the shape you have created!
For the head of the dragonfly, make vertical satin stitches using 2 strands of dark blue thread.
For the thorax, start making long and short stitches at the base using the darker green color and then fill the rest in with the lighter green color.
The tail uses dark blue long and short stitches that gradually blend into long and short lighter blue stitches. Leave the very center alone, because you will add black to fill the rest of the tail in.
Fill in the rest of the tail using long and short stitches of black.
Add little straight stitches along each side of the black stripe as pictured.
Back stitch the legs.
Insert the twisted end of the wire wings down into the fabric. You may need to pierce the fabric with your needle to get these to go through easily.
Secure the twisted wire in the back with thread.
On the front of the embroidery, add a few more stitches at the base of each wing to secure it more. Use 1 strand of the same color you used for the blanket stitches.
Amanda is a hand embroidery artist and teacher. With over 15 years of experience in the craft industry and embroidery, she owns and runs Crewel Ghoul, sharing tutorials and patterns to help inspire fellow crafters to get inspired and creative. In addition to running this website, she teaches on Skillshare and Youtube.