Embroidery Tutorial: Transfering a pattern

The Hell Bent group there are many different crafts represented, we knit, crochet, sew, embroider and much much more. In this post I hope to share some tips and tricks when embroidering as well as a pattern. Say hello to Body Bunny.

Body Bunny Download PDF –> Body bunny

 

There are a many different ways of transferring a pattern onto a fabric. This is a list with some of those ways, tips, tricks and techniques.

I’d recommend testing any new pen on a small piece of fabric first to see how it behaves and if it is permanent or if you can wash it off.

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  • Transfer pen

    Easy to use, trace the pattern with the pen on some tracing paper, remember to mirror images with letters, and iron it on the fabric of your choice. Then stitch over the lines.

    These might or might not be permanent depending on the pen. I have heard of ink staining thread and fabric when washed but  I haven’t experienced it myself.

  • Carbon paper

    I find that the carbon lines don’t always wash off completely but the lines are so thin that it doesn’t matter. Tape down the fabric, carbon paper and pattern for more stability and trace the pattern with a pen. Try out some different pens beforehand to know how thick or thin the lines end up and how hard you have to press. I usually go for a ballpoint pen .

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  • Drawing directly on the fabric

    There are permanent fabric markers, water soluble markers, air markers that disappear within 48 hours. You can even fill in the colors using crayons or fabric pens if you want. (There’s a lot of fun to be had there).
    Personally I prefer the water soluble markers since they stay on for whatever amount of time I spend on a project, unlike the air markers I have used. One that disappeared after only 3 hours comes to mind.

    You can of course draw it on using many different ways, for example freehand, using a stencil or a grid.

    -I find that drawing a pattern directly on the fabric makes it more my own style and in the end gives the entire project a “THIS IS MINE I MADE THIS I’M SO AWESOME!” feeling. Even though it might be crooked and a bit off centre and what is up with that one eye?

    -A grid can be good if you’ve got a “complex” pattern, maybe you have a picture in a book but no scanner and you want to enlarge it. I have used it in some fan art embroidery when I’ve had a figure in a dramatic pose with a lot of detail.

    You draw or trace it on a piece of paper then divide it into a grid consisting of 1-2 cm squares. Then you draw the grid on the fabric. Fill in the lines in the fabric squares, copying how they look on the paper.

    Isolating a pattern into smaller shapes and forms can be really good at keeping you from distorting the image.

    As an example maybe you have a pattern that’s too small but no scanner or what have you, so you trace it onto your paper and you make the grid in 1 cm squares but on the fabric you make the squares 2 cm or more.

    -Another way is stencils. You cut out the shapes you want to use and trace around them on the fabric. You won’t have the detail of lets say a carbon transfer but you’ll get to map out the layout with all the big general shapes and fill in the blanks yourself, either as you go with the thread or drawing it on there.

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  • Tracing using a light source

    Good for thin fabrics, tape the pattern on the back of the fabric, find a good window with loads of light and trace using whatever fabric pencil you have at your service. Might not be the best for small details but you get the bigger shapes and you can mark where the smaller things are

  • Don’t have a fabric pen right now but really want to stitch a certain pattern?

    Trace the pattern on some thin paper, tracing paper or baking parchment using a pencil. Pin it on the fabric and stitch the outlines and the “larger” details, then remove the paper and fill in the rest.

    I usually soak the paper with some water so it’s easier to rip it off. I recommend small tight stitches and leave out any details until after you’ve removed the paper.

Then it’s time for stitching! But that is another post entirely. 🙂

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