Monday, 17 October 2011

I Have A Cunning Plan ......

.... that involves this photo of our son, James ..... and will mean the Tiger will slip back into being a UFO for a while :)

I have seen on various blogs around the Internet where people have used photos and turned them into sketches that they have then embroidered. It will be James' 21st Birthday at the end of November and so I thought trying to do this would make an interesting surprise present for him. He doesn't do anything quite so boring as reading his Mum's blog, so I think I'll be safe by blogging about it!

So, since John is my expert as far as Photoshop is concerned, I asked him if he would convert this into a sketch.




I then asked John to print it in reverse so I could then trace the resulting image onto tracing paper using an iron-on transfer pencil. In this way, I would create my own iron-on embroidery transfer. I might add that I did test this out first to make sure it would work!

As for the materials to use, I initially thought I would use a piece of linen I already had and use black embroidery cotton thread. However, when Mum and I went to the Alexandra Palace Knitting and Stitching Show a couple of weeks ago, I found someone selling Silk Dupion fabric and Pearsall silk thread and just immediately knew I had to use these luxurious materials. I've never embroidered on silk or used silk thread ...... but I guess you have to start somewhere!

Here's my initial progress after mounting the silk onto a frame and a little bit of sewing last Thursday.

And here's my progress after a sewing session last Saturday evening.

What stitches am I using? Well, the name is whipped back stitch using two strands of silk. I think the lettering is just a little bit too small for this as the letters look a little cramped. I didn't want to un-pick it as I didn't want to damage the silk dupion but it is just about clear. For the rest of the letters, I think I will just use back stitch. For the hair done so far and the face outline, I have used stem stitch with two strands of thread. I've done the same for the eye brows. For the other facial features, I have used just one strand of silk and back stitch. The hand is also back stitch with two strands of silk.

The effect I am after is to produce a 'sketch' but done in silk. By the way, what the photograph doesn't show is the lovely sheen of the silk dupion fabric. I'm so glad I decided to try it. So far, I'm pleased with how it looks.

3 comments:

joy said...

what a lovely idea, certainly something he'll treasure. well done xx

Elaine said...

Thank you Joy.

I've been really enjoying doing this! The first time I've ever done sewing without using someone else's pattern. Although initially, I must say I deeply pondered what stitches I aught to use to the point of procrastination! In the end, I just went for it.

Florence (Flossie Teacakes) said...

Gosh, what an absolutely amazing gift - it looks wonderful.

Thank you so much for the comment that you left on my blog - what an awful day. Sending you warmest wishes for tomorrow - I hope that in a year's time you have found your feet and look back on redundancy as a liberation.

Florence x

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