Old Navy Twill (or stitching when stressed)

I am a tense individual.  I tend to joke that I’ll relax when I’m dead, which although technically true, isn’t much help on a daily basis.  The few times I attempted to learn how to knit, I had to cut the work off the knitting needles with an exacto knife – that is how tightly I knit.  I was no longer able to move the links around, much less try to insert two needles into one link to knit.

When I started embroidery, I worked on lots of different fabrics, but mostly quilter’s 100% cotton.  I mostly stuck to backstitch and stem stitch, because if I tried to use any filling stitches or any stitches that pierced the fabric too much, I tore it.  I would do a block of satin or long and short stitch and end up seeing daylight through the fabric around the filled in area.  Sometimes, like above, my stitches would bunch up the fabric and no hooping could fix it. (Pretty deer pattern by UrbanThreads)  My French knots would rip right through the piece to the back of the fabric (and those are absolutely the worst to try and fix afterwards!).

As I was browsing at my local big box fabric store with my mother, my eye landed on Old Navy Twill, and I fell in love.  It’s typically used to make uniforms and blazers.  It has a great weight to it, and different textures on either side of the fabric.  One side is more even, and one has small lines across it.  I left the above file pretty large, so if you click through you should be able to see the difference between the first fold, which is the even side, and the lined ones below it.  I have found it in about 10-15 colours, though my favourites to work with are the slightly off-whites.  EDIT: I have also seen it once called Galaxy Twill, which may be a brand name for it, but may help you find it/ask for it in fabric stores!

It’s not normal fabric for embroidery.  It’s probably not really recommended.  What it does for me is allow me to use whatever stitch I want and whatever technique I want without worrying about being as gentle as possible in order to not rip French knots through the piece or pull the fabric part at the figurative seams.  It takes pencil and chacopaper marks well which is always fabulous.  It lets me play with my work instead of stressing about it.

What shortcuts/tricks do you use to make embroidery fun and less stressful?  I’m also totally guilty of using quilter’s knots to start my threads (click the link for an awesome tutorial).  Aren’t I a rebel?  😉


4 thoughts on “Old Navy Twill (or stitching when stressed)

  1. I always wondered how they do that knot – thanks for a really super view of how it’s done. From another thread/needle dork, Denise


  2. I use heavier fabrics for my embroidery, especially when I’m making pillows or quilt blocks because I want something that will be durable.

    My attitude about any craft or hobby is that it should be relaxing and fun. If a twill fabric is what allows you to express yourself through your needlework, then that’s what you should use. I guess my tip is that use whatever materials you like best and allows you to enjoy your craft or hobby.


  3. Okay, you call it Old Navy Twill, but I did a search and couldn’t find any fabric like that. Can you tell us what store you got it at, or anything else about it?


    1. I’ll try! I’ve gotten it both at Fabricland in Ontario and Fabricville on the Quebec side of the border, both of these in Canada. It comes in standard bolt length. I have seen it once labelled as Galaxy Twill, which seems to be a brand name that matches up with the colours I saw in store. Here is a link (don’t know anything about the store, but at least it gives you a better idea) http://www.bluedesertco.com/twill-fabrics.htm I really hope this helps, I’ll amend the blog post to include the Galaxy Twill to help other people find it.


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