I just had to warm the machine up a little ...

26 April 2012

This City and Guilds course is all about surface pattern and design - the final outcome is a meter of fabric that could be put into production.

So it is mostly about printing, pattern research, dying etc.

But I was just itching to get the machine out and give it a good whirl and cook up something with it.

So, I put together my ingredients:

  • Soluble fabric - I prefer the 'film'.  It looks like clingfilm, you can draw on it with a waterproof pen, but the pen disappears along with the 'film' when it gets wet
  • Scraps of organza (all cut into rough squares and rectangles)
  • Multi colour sewing thread plus green for the bobbin
  • Waterproof marker pen (to write on the soluble film)
I traced the design I had used on the PVA fabric experiement and the subsequent print block I made onto one piece of the soluble film.

I then laid another piece of film the same size down on the table, and began to build up layers of organza a square at a time (this should ideally be 2-3 layers thick across the whole sheet but I skimped a bit and put only 1 layer down in places).

I then laid the drawn piece of film on top and pinned the whole lot together to keep the organza pieces in place (you can just about make out the design in the photo below.  The film is tricky to photograph as it reflects the light).

I then set up my machine for free hand machine embroidery - in my case I can drop the feed dogs and I have a very neat embroidery foot.  I used the multi colour thread on top and a plain green in the bobbin.

And then I 'sketched in' the shapes I had drawn on the film.  I just wiggled the machine back and forwards to 'colour in' the shapes.

the 'right' side with the multi coloured thread

The 'wrong side' with the green thread.  The 'plastic' is the soluble film.

When it was all done, I washed away the film and snipped around the leaf shapes.

And there you have it.


  1. Brilliant! You've inspired me...

  2. Looks delicious, I want to do some embroidery too. I wish I had more hours in the day.

    1. I know how you feel. More hours in the day would be a real benefit! Or the need for less sleep - that appeals as well. All that time wasted snoozing!

  3. Great experiment - really effective!

    1. Thanks - yes I was very pleased with the result. Definitely something to repeat.


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