Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Embroidery, Part I

I started to do this post almost a week and a half ago, and then my computer battery died and I lost it and I've been much preoccupied ever since.  But the costume is ready for Dragon Con, people! I need to start making posts about the many wonderful days of culmination.

We will begin with the embroidery.  I have two posts on the subject.  The first will describe my general embroidery process.  The second will talk about my experiences with a couple of more fine-tuned embroidery techniques.

So, without further ado...

How to do the Embroidery in the words of a Newbie: Part I

First, we begin with one of the transfers that I uploaded and posted here.

Step 1: Trace the design onto tissue paper.

Step 2: Pin and otherwise affix the tissue paper into place where you want the design to go on your fabric.

Step 3: Using an easy running stitch, trace the design onto the fabric with thread. You can see I have begun this process on the top-most petal of the design shown above.

I know you can use tracing paper to accomplish the same thing.  There were four reasons I decided to go this route:
(1) On the night I was ready to get started, I didn't feel like running to the store to get tracing paper.
(2) I wasn't really sure how well tracing paper would work on slippery satin anyway.
(3) I didn't want Yet Another Obscure Sewing Tool that I had way more leftover than I really needed, which I would probably never use after this project, and which I then would move from nook to cranny to cubby in my bedroom for the next ten years, before finally deciding to throw it away, and end up needing it the following month.
(4) The back side of the long stitching left a very tidy way to finish off the loose end of a thread, both in the tracing thread, and in the embroidery threads themselves when I got to that step (see below).

(But let's not kid ourselves.  While all of these are very good reasons,  the first reason was the real one)

Step 4: Carefully tear away tissue paper from the long-stitching.

Step 5: Fill in the lines with embroidery floss (two strands). It's really kind of just like coloring at that point. OH! And put on your Patience cap.  And don't cut your threads too long.  Believe me, you'll spend more time un-tangling a long thread than you will just cutting another short one.

My next post will be about a couple of more fine-tuned techniques that I discovered along the way.

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