the pigeon letters blog

Celebrate Pride Month with a Satin Stitch Flag

diy Jun 09, 2021
How to stitch a Gay Pride flag

Pride Month celebrates love without boundaries and reminds all of us that love is just that: love. Whether you're a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally, there are many ways you can show your solidarity and celebrate love. So why not do it with a fun, hand-stitched Pride Flag?

Hi there, I’m Dana from Peacock & Fig! In this tutorial I’m going to help you get your Pride on and learn how to stitch up this cute little Pride Flag. You'll learn some basic hand embroidery stitches, backstitch and satin stitch to create this project.

Of course, once you learn the basics, you can run wild and stitch up Pride flags on clothing and other objects, at any size you like. This pattern is replicating the traditional Gay Pride Flag, but there are many other variations out there. If you want to stitch a different flag, such as  the Pansexual Pride Flag of hot pink, yellow, and light blue stripes, that’s totally doable, too. Just divide your flag into the right number of stripes before starting stitching. You could also do this with a different shape, like a heart, but this tutorial is using a rectangular flag shape so it's easier to learn the basics of satin stitch.

First up, grab your pattern here. What are you waiting for, let's jump in and get started!

If you prefer watching the tutorial instead, here's a video walkthrough for you

 

Preparing your design

  • There are several options for getting your pattern onto the fabric. You can either draw the design by hand (and handwrite the hashtag), or trace it from the pattern. The easiest way to get this done is to trace it by printing off your pattern and using a lightbox or a window to hold your fabric over the pattern, carefully tracing it with a fabric or Frixion pen. I’m using a Frixion pen in the tutorial, you can erase it with heat (from an iron or hair dryer) when you’ve finished your project. Of course, you can make this pattern bigger if you want. When you’re drawing out your pattern (whether by hand or tracing), make sure to draw the dividing lines of each stripe, and the outline of the flag to make doing the satin stitch easier.
  • For more information and options for transferring the design to the fabric, go to this tutorial on the Peacock & Fig site 

 


Want to add a fancy quote under your flag or learn how to embroider flowers? Give it a shot and mix them in with your design!


 

 

The colours I’m using for this tutorial are red (DMC 666), orange (DMC 946), yellow (DMC 762), green (DMC 701), blue (DMC 517) and purple (DMC 208). Of course, you can choose any shades that you like, or that you already have in your floss stash.

 


  

Once you're done with the project, make sure to take some photos of it and share with everyone! And since we all know product photography can be tricky, here are some Pigeon Presets that will help make your life waaaay easier.


 

Step 1: Start Sating Stitching

Start your project with the satin stitch, going either left to right or right to left, whatever is easiest for you. Come up with your needle on one side of your flag, on the drawn line, and go down on the other side of your flag.

   

 

I started on the yellow section as that’s close to the middle of the flag. Keep your stitches parallel to the dividing lines of each stripe, that will make the satin stitch look nicer. Make sure to keep going in the same direction (left to right or right to left), and your floss will loop across the back. More thread strands will mean your project will stitch up faster, but the strands won’t lay as neatly and the effect might look chunkier (which might be what you're going for). In this tutorial I'm using three strands of DMC floss for the satin stitch.

 

Step 2: Add Another Colour

For wider sections, it’s best to start in the centre of your area, then work out both sides, to prevent your stitches from starting to slope as you fill up the area. It's OK to draw guiding lines onto your fabric if that will help you maintain the same direction of your stitches.

 

 

You can go back and fill in gaps later (either between strands or at the edges if you missed your outer line), just try and get the needle as close to the previous row as possible for a neater finish.

Tie off your floss on the back when you fill one section, and then start on the next.

 

Note that if you make this again on something you’re going to wear, change the direction of your stitches to perpendicular to the stripe dividing lines (aka vertical rather than horizontal stitches), then your stitches are shorter and won’t get caught on anything.

 

Step 3: Stitch the Lettering

 

Do the lettering in backstitch. For the straight letters and hashtag symbol you can just use a simple straight stitch for each section, unless you’ve made your project bigger. In which case, use several backstitches per line segment, so the stitches don’t get caught on anything or sag.

 

 

For curved letters, use smaller backstitches as needed to create nice smooth curves.

 

Step 4: Finish the Back

 

If you're not sure how to finish the back, pop over here for a tutorial. 

If you’d like to do the full Skillshare class for the Hand Embroidery Fundamentals project that’s shown in the tutorial, you can get to that here — https://skl.sh/2UkDIJQ

Please do tag @peacockandfig if you share your projects online, I really do love to see them. Happy stitching, and Happy Pride! ❤️

 


Hi there, I’m Dana Batho, the owner and designer at Peacock & Fig! As well as having fun with surface pattern design and illustration, I specialize in designing cross stitch and hand embroidery patterns (many featuring a fair whack of sass). I also enjoy helping people learn to up their stitching skills with free tutorials and Skillshare classes.


 

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