Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Bunny - the freehand machine embroidery tutorial

I' ve just listed my new Bella pouch. This time I've adorned it with an embroidered bunny and I wanted to put together a short tutorial - since I didn't have any water soluble film I used a transfer pencil to carry the drawing onto the fabric.

First I looked for a nice picture of a rabbit; I wanted a clear side view to make a simplified silhouette. I didn't want to just copy the image so I outlined the basic shape of the bunny in Photoshop, made its tail a bit more obvious and added another ear for more depth. I printed out the drawing and traced it on a piece of transparent paper - I could have also used a picture from a magazine or some other printed image and traced it directly from there.

Since I wanted my bunny to face right as it did on the original photo, I turned the transparent paper over to get the drawing's mirror image and drew over the lines again, this time with a transfer pencil, the kind that can be washed away later. I carefully placed the drawing on my linen canvas and ironed over it on medium heat. The transfer pencil left a visible enough trace - it was later completely covered with embroidery thread, otherwise I would have gently cold washed the canvas to get rid of the drawing underneath the embroidery.

I then fixed some tear-away stabilizer paper on the back of my drawing - I used tape but could have also used a more fancy self adhesive stabilizer. I adjusted my sewing machine to freehand embroidery (which means I dropped the feed dogs and installed a darning/embroidery presser foot) and slowly followed the drawing with my needle. I'm just starting to get the hang of this freehand embroidery so I like to go over the drawing several times to create a "hand drawn" look rather than trying to create a perfect silhouette. When I was done, I carefully pulled all the cut ends of threads from the front into the back with a don't-ask-me-how-it's-called-in-English tool and tied them firmly together so they don't unravel later. It is a boring task so I try to "draw" my embroidery in one piece (in this case in two, the eye was sewn separately).
In the end I tore the excess stabilizer paper away. Done!

Picture 4 shows how the bunny looked on both sides of the fabric...

...and this is the final result - the Bella zipper pouch.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great tutorial!! Thanks for sharing. I love your bella pouch.
    The cream and brown fabric with the lace is just perfect. And the embroidered bunny is like the cherry on the cake!


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