Transfer your pattern the easy way!

Possibly the most frequent query I receive is “How do I transfer my embroidery design from the printed page to my fabric?” This is one of those questions where there isn’t a single right or wrong answer – it’s all about choosing the method that works best for you.

The easiest method to transfer a design is of course an iron-on transfer, many of which used to be given away free with needlework magazines in the mid-20th century, printed in either blue or silver. My grandmother had a huge collection of these transfers, all carefully stored in a biscuit box with a cute puppy and kitten picture on the lid. There were sunbonnet and crinoline ladies – too many to count – birds, bears and an infinite variety of flower patterns. If you enjoy stitching vintage, it’s still easy to find these old designs in thrift shops, at jumble sales and of course on auction sites such as eBay.



But if you don’t have a transfer and want to transfer a downloaded pattern (like those in Bustle & Sew magazine) there are several different methods available to you, some of which are easier, and so perhaps more popular, than others.

To make it a little bit easier we’ve put together a whole guide on transferring your design. We cover everything from using a transfer pen, tracing your design, tacking through tissue paper, Dressmakers’ Carbon Paper, Prick and Pounce and our favourite method; using Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy. It’s totally free and we do hope you find it helpful!




To get your free guide, just click below!


I did wonder if a lot of people had been put off purchasing Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy by having to buy a pack of 12 sheets all at once – especially as it isn’t a particularly cheap product. I was talking to Rosie about this and we came up with the idea of offering single sheets pre-printed with a Bustle & Sew design for those who’d like to try it for themselves. I’ve chosen nine of our most popular designs to begin with – but if you’d like one that isn’t there then please let me know. Pre-printed sheets are currently listed in our Etsy store only and you can find out more HERE.


Happy Stitching!


Thank you so much for sharing your transferring guide! I’m sure it’ll come in very handy!
Best wishes,
XX Linda B.


Helen, I love your website and patterns. I am just getting back into embroidery after many years. My sweet Aunt Marlene taught me to embroider as a child. Good memories. *** The Sulky website has instructions for using Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch. The instructions say “Since printers and inks vary, always do a test sample to verify that your ink does not bleed, and that it washes out completely along with the Stick ’n Stitch.” Has anyone had a problem with ink bleed? *** Thank you from Moses Lake, Washington, USA.


Thanks so much Terri – I always place mine upside down in the water preferably overnight so the film drops away, changing the water if it becomes very cloudy and for me the key has been to rinse, rinse and then rinse again! I did get bleeding to begin with, but have found being absolutely rigorous with the rinsing has prevented this recurring. Hope this helps xx


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