Free machine embroidery and badgers
I’ve been hankering after giving the old free machine embroidery a go for some time and then in my day job, I was asked to design a new website for Little Crab Designs – I’ve since finished her redesign and the new site is now live but you can see she and her business partner do a bit of the old free machine embroidery which inspired me to finally give it a whirl and am getting a bit addicted. Most of the projects I’ve done I haven’t taken photos of. A number of book covers have been whipped up for friend’s birthday presents and finished late at night when the photos all come out too dark.
One method I’ve stumbled on by chance which I quite like is to use several layers of lightweight muslin. This came about really because I bought the muslin to make dress muslins out of – you know the test runs you make of a new dressmaking pattern to test the fit and how it works. Well this is all new to me and I’ll get onto that in future posts but it basically resulted me in buying this lightweight muslin not realising it would be a nightmare to work with to cut accurately or to do accurate seam allowances with. I tried a Collette Ginger skirt with it and it worked to see how the process of the pattern went together but as far as fit was concerned? Total disaster. So I have a few metres of this stuff sitting around and it seemed a good rough fabric to experiment with machine embroidery.
If you fancy having a go, you simply get about three layers of lightweight muslin and use an embroidery hoop to stretch it making sure you stretch it opposite to how you do for normal embroidery – instead of the right side of the fabric being on the top of the hoop, the bit you’re going to embroider on, is what would normally be your wrong side. It’s so that the fabric sits flat against the foot plate of the machine as you work.
Then just draw your image with an air erasable or water erasable fabric marker pen and stitch away. Then when you’ve finished, you cut out your embroidered shape/picture and if you want, you can fluff up the edges a bit more by cutting into them.
I got my youngest to draw a butterfly and we then made this for her summer holiday book using the same method about where we saved a butterfly we found in our back bedroom.
We ended up embroidering the front cover of her book too. She drew it and then I helped her embroider it. We then glued the fabric to card and used it to cover her book.
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