How To…

In this edition of How To… I’m responding to a question about my recent video stitching a Converse selfie from Instagram. You can view the video on YouTube.

“How do you transfer your design onto fabric?”

There are a few different answers to this question as it depends on the fabric I’m using for a project. Today, I’ll be sharing the most common way to transfer a design when I’m stitching. You can take a look at my blog post from a few years ago on marking tools to find out more.

I like to create my design on paper first, this might be drawing a completely new design or printing a photograph out. I find this helps me to get the design right before I start adding it to fabric.

Once I’m happy with my design, I place my fabric in the embroidery hoop to keep it nice and flat. I then place the paper underneath the fabric and trace the lines using a Pilot Frixion Pen. If my design uses straight lines, I always use a ruler to keep them straight.

If you want a design to grow organically, you can draw straight onto the fabric with the pen too, I often do this when I’m working on a stitchscape and want a guideline to stitch to. The design you create on paper doesn’t have to be followed exactly either, it can change as you start to stitch and want to make changes.

Pilot Frixion Pens are heat erasable, this means when you have completed the embroidery you can remove them with the heat from a dry iron or a hairdryer. Make sure that you test the pen on the edge of the fabric first, it doesn’t always fully disappear on vintage fabrics and can come back if the fabric gets very cold.

You can find out more about other ways to transfer your design in a previous blog post where I cover a few different methods.

If you would like to create your own embroidered portrait, I’m running a workshop at Leeds Central Library in September. You can book your ticket here