Show off your embroidery stitch repertoire with this super cute ugly Christmas sweater embroidery pattern! With two types of chain stitch, satin stitch, split stitch, stem stitch and French knots, this tiny sweater has it all.

Made using the amazing new Paintbox Stranded Cotton, we love the vibrant colors of this creative design. It makes a great alternative Christmas decoration or handmade gift for someone special.


How to embroider an ugly Christmas sweater step-by-step


If you are going to back your hoop with felt, trace around the outside of the internal hoop and put to one side. This will be your template for your backing.


Prepare the 12cm embroidery hoop and transfer your template onto the fabric using the fabric pen.


Starting with the sleeves fill in the zig-zag shapes with the satin stitch method using 2 strands of Elderberry (154).


Next, fill in the area around the zig-zag shapes you have just competed using 3 strands of Orange Peel (167) in split stitch.


Now add the French knots using 3 strands of Rosewood (132), wrapping the needle once.


Add the body of the sleeves in reverse chain stitch with 6 strands of Stem (25).

Pro Tip

To make the woolly sweater effect, sew in one direction only so all your stitches are facing the same way.


Using 6 strands of Stem (25), work detached chain stitch on the top section of the sweater, stitching vertically to fill the section.


Next, using 3 strands of Lime Wedge (191), fill in the section underneath in reverse chain stitch. Work the thread horizontally to fill the section.


Moving onto the stars, use satin stitch starting in the centre of the star and working your way outwards with 2 stands of Rosewood (132). Next, outline the star using 3 strands of Orange Peel (167).


Now the stars are filled, use 3 strands of Elderberry (154) to fill in the space around the stars in split stitch.


Add the French knots to the section using 2 strands of Lime Wedge (191), wrapping round the needle once.


Move onto the collar, cuffs and the bottom of the sweater. Using 3 stands of Rosewood (132), alternate satin stitch and split stitch until the section is complete. Start and end with split stitch to give a clean edge.


Repeat steps 9-12 to complete the star section at the bottom of the sweater.


Stitch a line on top of the cuffs on the sleeves using 6 strands of Lime Wedge (191).


Finally, fill in the body of the sweater in reverse chain stitch using 6 strands Stem (25). Don’t forget to sew in one direction so you get the woolly sweater effect.


Trim off any excess fabric around the hoop, leaving around 2cm. Use running stitch to gather all the fabric at the back of the embroidery hoop and tie off.


Cut out your felt backing and secure in place using the blanket stitch method

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