In this lesson I’ll go over how to print and assemble the 15x15 inch PDF patterns, how to adjust the scale and size of the pattern, so you can get creative, and alternatives to printing the full pattern.
Using the program Adobe Acrobat, a PDF reader, which is available for PC & Mac, is very helpful to print the PDF patterns. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (document cloud) is a free version of this program. This may look different than what is shown in the lesson, since it’s a free version, but you will still be able to access and print the pattern.
This lesson is designed to be a resource for not only the Pattern Club, but all your future embroidery projects. Applying patterns to fabric allows you complete creative control, so it’s helpful to have several method to choose from depending on your fabric and project. The lesson covers four transfer methods, my favorite fabrics to work with, and lots of tools and materials to assist in the process. Below is a breakdown of each methods pros & cons.
Assignment: Test out transferring patterns onto light and dark colored fabric scraps. Have you tried all the methods mentioned here? Which are your favorite? I’ve listed some alternatives in the Materials List so you can try these out even if you don’t have the specific materials mentioned.
- Light Box or Window Method
Best for: loose pieces of fabric, dark or light fabrics
Pros: windows are free, need minimal materials,
Cons: not as useful for heavy, large or bulky material
- Transfer Paper
Best for dark fabrics.
Pros- Trace complex patterns to dark fabrics.
Cons- The chalk rubs off easily, so you may have to redraw the lines if they start to be difficult to see. Hard to line up the pattern again if you miss a line or need to retrace.
- Heat transfer pen or pencil
Best for light to medium colored fabrics, and clothing.
Pros: simple, quick
Cons: The marks are permanent. A specialty item is needed. Not good for the running stitch, because the lines will be visible. Sometimes the pencil option bleeds a bit & hard to cover the lines. Pattern needs to be symmetrical or in reverse (for text or orientation specific patterns).
- Specialty Papers
Best for dark or light fabrics, light and heavy weight fabrics, clothing.
Pros- Can trace directly on or run through a home printer to avoid tracing. Stabilizes the fabrics (making it easier to stitch on tricky, thin or stretchy fabrics). Can make a pattern piece for defined areas on a garment.
Cons- Feels awkward to stitch through something on top of your fabric. You need to remove the stabilizer afterwards either by ripping away, which can take some time or by washing in water.
My favorite part! Let’s stitch together. First I’ll talk about threads and needles to prep us for stitching, and share some examples using these stitches for inspiration. Then we’ll dive into three essential stitches that can be used in all kinds of applications like mending and embellishment. These stitches are my go to! There are a gajillion different stitches and stitch variations, but really you could use one stitch and make any embroidery pattern beautifully, and enjoyably. For me it’s all about flow and falling into a rhythmic practice. I challenge you to explore all the possibilities of these stitches through practice and experimentation.
Assignment: Make a sampler using any of the club patterns. Transfer the pattern onto fabric, or use your transfer tests from Lesson 2's assignment. Practice using the running, back and chain stitch on alternating lines of the pattern. Experiment with stitch lengths (and gaps for the running stitch). You can also try experimenting with different threads.
After you've had time to practice, set a timer for 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted (if possible. I know, life!) stitch time. See if you can get into a flow finding that meditative space. Here's one of my samplers:
How you prep sashiko thread.
For reference, here is a simple how-to for prepping traditional sashiko thread.
- Remove the paper sleeve. The paper sleeve has a number on the back indicating the color number.
- Unfold the thread and cut through all the threads on one end of the looped skein.
- Separate the threads into three sections and loosely braid the threads together.
Pull single threads from the looped end of the braid.
Click here to view and download the class Materials List.
Anything I missed or you'd like me to add? Drop me a line miniaturerhino@gmail or leave a comment in the Comment Box at the bottom of the page.