Once again health got in the way of keeping this updated. We’ve also been really busy with commissions and birthday presents. It’s time to start posting some of the projects we’ve finished in the past month or so.
My big project for a while has been an embroidered jacket for our friend’s birthday. I got a black hoodie from K-Mart and embroidered wings on the back. I picked this design from Urban Threads as my friend loves butterflies. I love the design, it’s really pretty.
This was my first time embroidering on clothing and on fabric that was stretchy. I bought some dissolveable stabiliser. It was a fairly open design without any large areas of solid stitching and as I was hand stitching it rather than machine stitching (one day I may own an embroidery machine but it will have to be when we’ve moved somewhere bigger, there’s not even enough room for a printer here) I figured that dissolveable stabiliser would be enough.
The jacket was black so it was much easier to draw the design on to the stabiliser so I attached the stabiliser on to the outside of the jacket rather than the inside. The dissolveable stabiliser doesn’t fuse on with heat so I pined it down and then tacked it on with thread. Getting the stabiliser to stay in the right place and getting the design centred was probably the hardest part of the project.
Once I had the stabiliser in place I used baking paper to trace the pattern off my netbook. It wouldn’t all fit on the screen at the size I wanted it so I drew the part that was on the screen, moved the paper up and traced the rest of it. If you turn the brightness up as far as it will go and press really lightly with a soft pencil this is a great way to transfer designs.
With the design drawn on paper I slipped the paper underneath the stabiliser and got Ruth to put the jacket on so I could make sure I got the wings in the right place. Once I did, I just traced the design on to the stabiliser. Then it was just a matter of choosing my colours, hooping it up and stitching it.
I didn’t have a sharp needle that would fit all 6 strands of thread through the eye so I stitched 3 strands in a purple. This didn’t show up as much as I’d have liked it to against the black so I added a darker blue and an aqua. I wanted a really bright teal but couldn’t find one.
I tried adding a metallic silver thread but it was really difficult to work with and didn’t look as good as I wanted it to.
If I did this again I’d probably find a colour that stood out well against the black on it’s own. I love the look of the three different colours but it took so long. I had to stitch the whole design three times.
Once I had finished stitching the design I cut away all the excess stabiliser as my test piece had shown that although the stabiliser dissolves completely it leaves the fabric stiff like starch. I wanted to cut out the bits between the lines of stitching too but with the scissors I had it would have been too easy to cut the fabric so it just wasn’t worth it.
I definitely stitch better with a hoop than just trying to hold the jacket by hand. I have a lot of issues with my hands, they often shake, they sometimes spasm, I get a lot of pain in them and I can sublax or dislocate the joints in my fingers easily so I have to be careful how I stitch but this was an enjoyable project and I’m very happy with how it turned out. I have about 3 other jackets planned for me now. I’d be happy to take commissions for embroidered jackets but it takes so long and is a lot of work so they jackets would cost between $85 and $100 depending on the complexity of the design.