What a dilemma! I have tried many a suggestion for the best way to hand embroider a pattern on to dark or thick fabric and many have ended up with some choice words being thrown around and telling myself it would look better on white anyway!
Basically, if its a lot of work or involves a lot of delay in the actual stitching part then its already on my suspicious list. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not lazy and I like things to be done right but transferring for me has to be 2 things…
I’ve tried Prick and Pounce (don’t get me started on that one!), chalk pens, white gel pens, carbon paper, stitch n tear…. this list could go on! (If you use any of these, like them and are successful then all well and good but for me, they just didn’t hit the spot!)
Many of you will have heard of the wonderful ‘sticky fabri solvy’ (SFS) and the many fabulous reviews from fellow stitchers. I am one of those converts and love this stuff!
It transformed my stitching on to felt as it was just a case of tracing, sticking and stitching, washing off and wohoo – fabulous result every time.
BUT (there is always a but!) I found I still had issues using SFS with dark fabric. You print your wonderful design on to the SFS, stick it on to your black fabric and you can’t see the design even with the best light.
So, I realised I had to draw over the design (boring but necessary), if I wanted to stitch without ruining my eye sight and sanity! This sounds straightforward until you trace over and stitch and then realise the pen you used stains your lovely threads when you wash the SFS off. I did this and was so upset after all my hard work!
So, to save future projects, I did a little experiment using different pens on SFS using white thread to see which ones stained the least…
Example 1: Triplus Fineliner (3 vertical lines on left) , Gel Pen (3 vertical lines on right), Fine Sharpie (4 horizontal lines top and bottom)…
Of those 3 the Gel Pen was the winner!
Example 2: From Left to right there are 3 vertical rows of each of the following fine line black pens… Biro, Staedler Lumicolour, Frixion Pen, Pilot Drawing Pen
From these 4 lines, the photo makes it look like they all came out great but the winner was the Frixion Pen (the biro was the worst, followed by the Staedler and then the Pilot).
My overall opinion and trust from doing that was to go with the Frixion Pen.
So, for me, the best way to transfer a pattern on to a dark fabric is using SFS and a red Frixion Pen- either print the design on and then trace over this with the Frixion Pen or trace directly with the Frixion.
Here’s my design ready to be stitched with this method… Easy to see and stitch – yay!
Take a look at the design finished above (top picture) and you can see there has been no transfer of the red pen to the threads when it was soaked.
Hopefully this will save you some stress and heartache if you want to hand embroider on Black fabric!
I love coming across bits and bobs I have made over the years, expecially when I haven’t seen them for a while. One of the things you tend to accumulate when you design patterns are many versions of something – I find I have to make one for another photo or forgot to document a certain process or had a birthday present to find in a hurry!
These little ‘extras’ then get put away and forgotten about until, like recently, I was looking for something entirely different and stumbled across them once again. They always make me stop, think and smile and it just reaffirms how special handmade is.
Here’s some of my latest finds…
Visit my Etsy Shop if you want to give someone the joy of handmade this Christmas. Seemed a shame to have them sat in a drawer when they could be enjoyed by someone else. Have you come across something you made and had forgot all about?
Running Stitch is probably one of the most basic of stitches and it is amazing the variety of effects you can create with just this one stitch…
Forget those boring lines you learnt to stitch at school when you first tried out running stitch and go back and try out the possibilities this stitch has to offer.
These samples I stitched were great fun and just the tip of the iceburg as far as the effects you could create. I stitched them on to an evenweave fabric so you could see the way the stitch is used to create the effect. Here’s some closer pictures…
You run the needle in and out of the fabric creating a series of stitches.
All the stitches on the right side of your work should be the same size but you can be creative with small or large gaps in between, small or large stitches, different types and thickness of thread.
This can be used for straight and curved lines as well as a great filler for large areas.
Work several rows of even length and space and then alternate them to make a brick pattern like this… this would make a really fun border pattern.
Interlaced running stitch is so easy yet the result is stunning…
Work 3 rows of running stitch with the lines exactly above each other and then use a blunt needle to weave a thread vertically through the stitches to create a laced effect.
How about doing a double running stitch to create these fun lines… Stitch the first row with a normal running stitch and then come back on yourself filling in the gaps.
Heres some more ideas for zig zags, columns, arrows, wiggly lines, chains, and waves to name but a few!!!
So the one thing you should remember not to do is under estimate the abilities of the running stitch, it is fabulous!!!
Many Many (!) years ago I came across the Dear Jane Quilt and was immediately smitten with the intricacy and amount of work that went in to this masterpiece. It was created in 1863 by Jane A Stickle and most quilters know of this legendary quilt.
Quilting was how I first fell in love with fiber and thread and I had every hope of giving this a go one day! I came across my tattered and neglected Dear Jane Book a few weeks ago and since then have had a niggling desire to give it another go!
So, I set myself the challenge to try and replicate the 169 square blocks with Embroidery! I am strangely excited as this is going to be a project just for me. No need to think about thread colours and pattern writing, just replicate a block and stitch away.
It will be great to document this process and see if it actually gets finished!
I am going to complete the top row first – may need quite a bit of graph paper along the way!
Loving it so far. These mini blocks are so cute and actually stitch really nicely.
So, lets see how far along I get – could be a labour of love with who knows how many years in the making!!!