Saturday, November 24, 2012

sewing no 1 - embroidery, the mighty cross stitch

this is the first sewing entry.
actually it is not about sewing but about embroidery.
but I will label it with the sewing tag, this shall prevent more and more uploading categories ;)

why embroidery? I wanted to make a sweater for my boyfriend, with some really cool sprites of his favourite games. and I didn't want to print or paint it on. so I decided to cross stitch it on there.
if I had known how long this would take, I maybe would have thought of something else. BUT I didn't.
and now I will share all my fails and errors with you.

what you need for embroidery:

yarn.
there are different yarns but these are the most common:
embroidery floss and pearl cotton. embroidery floss is in most cases made of 6 strings and you can separate them depending on the thickness of the needed yarn.
on the other hand you can not seperate pearl cotton and its texture is more smooth and shinier.
for my project I bought 17 different colours of embroidery floss. one string cost something like 1,5€

needles.
these are special embroidery needles. there are many different typis but I will only explain these two.
there are needles with a sharp tip (on the middle and on the left) and with a round tip (on the right). sorry I don't know the technical term for these (and wiki didn't help).
you can use normal needles but these special embroidery have huge needle eyes so you can easily put more or thicker yarns through.
the ones with round tips are for evenweave (special fabric with a specific weave) or to put knitted fabric pieces together. these with the sharp tips are for all the other embroidery fabrics.
so remember depending on the fabric and yarn you might need a special needle.

embroidery hoop.
here you can see two different sizes.
they come in different materials and sizes. depending on your project you will need at least one.

soluvlies.
it is some kind of interfacing which will dissolve with water. I needed it for the mesh pattern. elastic fabric is not meant to be cross stitched but you can do it If you apply a mesh pattern to stitch on.
(not guarantee, this is something my cranky brain come up with. I really don't know if anybody with decent knowledge about embroidery would do the same)

for my project I needed a mesh pattern. the normal graph paper was to big squared for my opinion so I drew a smaller pattern (with 3mm gaps). I layered the soluvlies on top and made a point on every square corner. ( a super boring, stupid work!)

a reference.
I chose to go for some pixel art characters. because it is easy to translate them into the cross stitch pattern. one pixel is one cross stitch. easy. but depending on your picture it is difficult to count how many pixel one area contains. therefore I translate it onto squared paper.
so you can also make out how wide and tall your reference is. this link has a height of 28 and a with of 20 pixel. it is helpful to know this to prepare your soluvlies pattern, you save time by not drawing  useless dots.


and of course piece of fabric you want to apply your piece.


this is how you cross stitch:

first of all get your fabric between the pieces of the embroidery hoop. if you don't use linen or evenweave you will need this soluvilies mesh pattern thing.

I took these photos only for the sake of demonstrating how to do it, but if you are working on an actual piece you have to iron the fabric first. pull the fabric tight, and fix the desired tension with the screw. the more tension the easier to work with the needle. maximum tension depends on the kind of fabric you are working with. keep in mind that you should not overstretch elastic fabric. the result will be a crinkeling and bumpy embroidery.

start from the left side of the fabric and bring the needle up, at an cornermark.

stitch in at the other side of the cube and create the first angled stitch from the cross stitch. you can bring the needle up and down separately but this is the smartest way to cross stitch:  put in the needle for the first angled stitch and bring it up right at the same work step. it saves a lot of time.

repeat till your line is finished. then make your way back with the same stitching technique.

but this time it starts from the other side. try to hit the holes which are already where created for the first row of angled stitches.

in the end it should look like this. then get the yarn on the left side of the fabric to neaten the leftover yarn.

this is how it looks like on the left side. pretty neat and clean huh?

the make of the sweater shall be shown at an other entry. this is already long enough ^^"

hope this entry is useful.
thanks for reading and have a stitchy day.
chackabäms!

1 comment: