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Finishing Free-Standing Embroidery Frames

Part 4 of Embroidery Frames Tutorial

Turning, Pressing, and Fusing


Now that the frame is constructed it’s time to finish off the edges of it with the facing. The facing is the fusible added to the design in the last color change.

Turn the facing to the back. Use your finger to run along the scallops to push out the seam. I use my blunt ended shears to push out the point of the corners.

Roll the seam between your index and thumb to get the seam out flush with the edge of the frame. But when it is pressed I will roll it back a bit more so tiny bit of the fabric will be on the back. That will keep the facing from showing on the top of you project should you be applying it to a contrasting fabric or in my case the stabilizer color contrasts with the fabric.

Let’s go press this.

First press the 4 seams open. Don’t press the fusible yet.

I use a Point Presser and Clapper, a Wooden Tailoring Tool. My dad made this one for my mom many years ago but they are still available.

My WoodenTailoring Tool

Place the seam on top of the tool and finger press open

Steam the seams down!



Laura's Notions



Using the top of the tool allows you to press the seam open without flattening the embroidery or allowing the outline of the seam allowance to show through to the front.

It also helps prevent pressing the fusible at this point.

Press the 4 seams open. Don’t press the fusible


**Read this before starting**

You will need a thick felted wool mat for pressing the fusible facing to the backside of the frame. I use this much more than I ever thought I would. This will prevent the embroidery being pressed flat. Once it is pressed flat it cannot be undone.

    Now don’t burn or steam your fingers - YIKES!

    Use silicon finger protectors.

    If you steam your finger(s) with the iron, quickly make a small glass of ice water. Put your finger(s) in it. Keep it in there until the cold starts to hurt. Remove about 1 min. Return to the ice water. Repeat until the burn no longer hurts when not in the water. If the burn is more severe, seek medical treatment.

Set the iron to wool setting or the lowest setting that will steam. Poly interfacing will melt at high temperatures.

Work with the embroidery frame face down on the wool mat.

Starting with the outside edge of the embroidery frame (because it’s impossible to miss touching the fusible on the outside edge while fusing the inside edge of the frame).

Starting at the corner point, roll the edge of the frame between your thumb and index to get the edge of the seam out flush. Then roll it a tiny bit more so the you can see the fabric a little bit along the edge of the backside.

Steam press just the edge. I do this along one half of the one side of the frame at a time - including just the one side of the corner point. That’s from the point to the center, then center to the next point, turn to the next side of the frame.

Make sure the edge is rolled back as it should be.

Uh oh!

Cats, it turns out, are even less fond of being dunked in water than Shitsus.

- Penny Junor


Roll that seam.Rolling the seam back a bit more like this will make the fusible facing a bit too big for the back of the frame. So expect some wrinkles in it when you press the rest of the facing.

After all of the edge has been fused on one side of the frame, arrange the rest of the facing on that side in preparation for pressing.

The facing pieces were not sewn together with seams like the fabric was sewn. Therefore the fusible facing can overlap some at the 4 seams. This helps take up some of the slack.  

But still it will not press perfectly flat. There will be a few wrinkles in it but nothing  of consequence.

Pleated corners


At the corners, I made a tiny pleat starting near the point and widening away from the point. This takes up some of the slack at the corners.

Pleated corner close up

Repeat for the other 3 sides of the frame.

After the outside edge of the frame has been finished and fused, repeat the same process with the inside border.

The inside border of course is much easier because it is smaller and mostly straight.

My finished frame

...and a close up.



Part 5 Free-Standing Frames Applying Them to Projects





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