Bring out the gingham prints and practise cross-stitching on them.

Cross-stitching is a popular craft, but there are still many who don’t know what it means. Basically, it’s sewing X-shaped stitches into rows to form an image. I learned how to do this in school, but never had the patience to finish a project because the ones I chose were always big images and I struggled with changing the embroidery thread colours at every row.

In this tutorial, I’m sharing an alternative to cross-stitching on conventional grid-like fabric. Start with smaller projects and sew on gingham prints instead. Finished images can then be cut out and sewn onto pouches or on your favourite denim trousers. Have fun!

Fox cross-stitch

Skill: Easy

Time: 15 minutes

Stuff: Gingham-print fabric, embroidery hoops, embroidery floss in brown, black and cream, needle, graph paper, pencil, erasable fabric marker and scissors.

1. Sandwich the fabric between the embroidery hoops.

2. Plan your design out on graph paper. Using coloured pencils will help you visualise the image better.

3. With an erasable fabric marker, copy the design to the centre of the fabric in the hoop.

4. Cut a strand of brown embroidery floss to a manageable length. Many types of floss are six-stranded – separate two strands out. For cross-stitching, you normally stitch between two strands at a time. Thread the two-strand floss through your needle.

5. Using the small boxes in the gingham print as a guide, sew going row by row. Make diagonal stitches, starting from the leftmost stitch and work your way to the right.

6. When you reach the end of each row, double back to finish the crosses.

7. Complete the stitches needed for one colour and go to the next. Keep referring to your planned graph to ensure that you’re stitching the right colour in the right boxes.

8. Finish with the black embroidery floss.

9. Trim the fabric to length.