Thursday, December 20, 2012

the never ending embroidery project - part 1

first of all: I didn't finished the sweater yet.
however I will start to post the first steps of my work. if you want to know how you do this check out my entry about embroidery. I listed the things you will need and explain how it is done :)
but now enjoy the pictures


Thursday, December 13, 2012

how to cross stitch - translate the picture onto your fabric

this entry shall explain how I prepare images for cross stitch embroidery. for the basics check out this cross stitch entry.

first thing is to choose a image. I recommend an easy image with few different colours for beginners. the more colours, the trickier the image. for the sweater I started with some tetris-stones. to be able to explain a little bit more, I will go for this link sprite. 
enlarge the picture till you can see the pixel clearly. pick the tweezers-option in your image editor and select each colour and mark it. I took this picture with me to buy the correct yarn.
if you have a working printer (lucky you) print it out and mark everything onto your sheet. if your printer is broken like mine transfer the image onto squared paper. make out how wide and tall your reference is. this link has a height of 28 and a with of 20 pixel. it is helpful to know this to prepare your soluvlies pattern, you save time by not drawing useless dots.

you may also mark your soluvlies mesh pattern, it makes things easier. especially with complicated patterns 

 here you can see that I marked the soluvlies with some green fine liner. if you are working with a soluvlies mesh pattern make sure that the soluvlies piece is big enough to fit into your embroidery hoop. if you forget this you will have to redo the mesh (I forgot this twice T_T )

then start the embroidery :D

here see the progress of my jumping link

the reference and my helpsheet. make sure to trace ALL the outlines. don't forget anything. here you can see how I failed : I forgot the last line of links head.

start to stitch. start with the outlines. finish one colour then continue with the second and so on. if you finished one colour doublecheck your reference. make sure every cross is at the right place. it is very annoying to find mistakes later and mostly impossible to fix them easily
continue with all the other colours. and don't underestimate embroidery. it takes a lot of time. your progress depends on many circumstances: the kind of your fabric, personal skill and on how complicated your pattern is. 

to give you a grip of time: it took me about 3 hours to get to this point. and I only managed the outlines of the important colours. the whole link took me about 6 hours I think.

the finished link :D
he is jumping from the L-shaped tetris piece. I think this sprite comes out very well :3

thanks for reading and have a crafty day

Saturday, December 1, 2012

embroidery yarn shelf

this is no cosplay crafting entry.

since I started the embroidery thing. all the yarns are half used and its always a big mess. I am a messy person but I love well organized places. therefore I decided to make a depository for all my embroidery yarn.

I simply took a long piece a foam board, which was a leftover from an other crafting thing. foam board is a very thin plate of styropor sealed with paper on each surface. it is often used for signboards and presentation posters, because it is stable like thick cardboad but much lighter. 
the size of my piece is about 60x8 cm.

I first marked little triangles onto the foam board then cut them out with a cardboard cutter. use a new blade - the foam board tends to fray if not cut with a new, sharp blade. place the small triangles across each other. and leave enough space between them. I decided to go for a gap about 2 cm

so you end with a piece that looks a little bit like a chainsaw. add a piece with an hoop so you can put in on a nail in your wall.

here you can see the hoop I made  and the rounded edges. somehow I like this style better.

at this point you can get your yarn onto it. but I realized that it is too big to put the yarn on and off conveniently. so I decided to cut it into two pieces and add a connector.

it is simply glued with my precious contact glue (check my glue entry to get more information of the contact glue). of course the ugly connectors are on the left side of the piece!

to fix the end of each yarnstring I made a small cut above each triangle on the left side. so you can simply pinch the end of the yarn into it. so next time there are no difficulties to find the string.

here is the finished piece. it is super useful! you see all the colours at one peek and it prevents strings from tangling up.

and this is how it blends into my sewing-workspace. I really like it and it is really comfortable to work with.

hope you liked this entry
have a tidy, organized day, a good time and

Saturday, November 24, 2012

sewing no 1 - embroidery, the mighty cross stitch

this is the first sewing entry.
actually it is not about sewing but about embroidery.
but I will label it with the sewing tag, this shall prevent more and more uploading categories ;)

why embroidery? I wanted to make a sweater for my boyfriend, with some really cool sprites of his favourite games. and I didn't want to print or paint it on. so I decided to cross stitch it on there.
if I had known how long this would take, I maybe would have thought of something else. BUT I didn't.
and now I will share all my fails and errors with you.

what you need for embroidery:

there are different yarns but these are the most common:
embroidery floss and pearl cotton. embroidery floss is in most cases made of 6 strings and you can separate them depending on the thickness of the needed yarn.
on the other hand you can not seperate pearl cotton and its texture is more smooth and shinier.
for my project I bought 17 different colours of embroidery floss. one string cost something like 1,5€

these are special embroidery needles. there are many different typis but I will only explain these two.
there are needles with a sharp tip (on the middle and on the left) and with a round tip (on the right). sorry I don't know the technical term for these (and wiki didn't help).
you can use normal needles but these special embroidery have huge needle eyes so you can easily put more or thicker yarns through.
the ones with round tips are for evenweave (special fabric with a specific weave) or to put knitted fabric pieces together. these with the sharp tips are for all the other embroidery fabrics.
so remember depending on the fabric and yarn you might need a special needle.

embroidery hoop.
here you can see two different sizes.
they come in different materials and sizes. depending on your project you will need at least one.

it is some kind of interfacing which will dissolve with water. I needed it for the mesh pattern. elastic fabric is not meant to be cross stitched but you can do it If you apply a mesh pattern to stitch on.
(not guarantee, this is something my cranky brain come up with. I really don't know if anybody with decent knowledge about embroidery would do the same)

for my project I needed a mesh pattern. the normal graph paper was to big squared for my opinion so I drew a smaller pattern (with 3mm gaps). I layered the soluvlies on top and made a point on every square corner. ( a super boring, stupid work!)

a reference.
I chose to go for some pixel art characters. because it is easy to translate them into the cross stitch pattern. one pixel is one cross stitch. easy. but depending on your picture it is difficult to count how many pixel one area contains. therefore I translate it onto squared paper.
so you can also make out how wide and tall your reference is. this link has a height of 28 and a with of 20 pixel. it is helpful to know this to prepare your soluvlies pattern, you save time by not drawing  useless dots.

and of course piece of fabric you want to apply your piece.

this is how you cross stitch:

first of all get your fabric between the pieces of the embroidery hoop. if you don't use linen or evenweave you will need this soluvilies mesh pattern thing.

I took these photos only for the sake of demonstrating how to do it, but if you are working on an actual piece you have to iron the fabric first. pull the fabric tight, and fix the desired tension with the screw. the more tension the easier to work with the needle. maximum tension depends on the kind of fabric you are working with. keep in mind that you should not overstretch elastic fabric. the result will be a crinkeling and bumpy embroidery.

start from the left side of the fabric and bring the needle up, at an cornermark.

stitch in at the other side of the cube and create the first angled stitch from the cross stitch. you can bring the needle up and down separately but this is the smartest way to cross stitch:  put in the needle for the first angled stitch and bring it up right at the same work step. it saves a lot of time.

repeat till your line is finished. then make your way back with the same stitching technique.

but this time it starts from the other side. try to hit the holes which are already where created for the first row of angled stitches.

in the end it should look like this. then get the yarn on the left side of the fabric to neaten the leftover yarn.

this is how it looks like on the left side. pretty neat and clean huh?

the make of the sweater shall be shown at an other entry. this is already long enough ^^"

hope this entry is useful.
thanks for reading and have a stitchy day.