How to turn sketches into embroidery motifs

I love to sketch, and every so often a little doodle of mine wants to hop out of my sketchbook and do something more with its life. Turns out its perfectly possible to turn your sketches into embroidery motifs, and its very easy. Read on to find out how.

You will need:

  • Your original sketch
  • Dressmaker’s carbon paper (in a contrasting colour to the fabric you are using)
  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Pen
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery needle and thread

It’s really important to make a photocopy of your original sketch. You’ll need to draw over the top of the lines to make the transfer to fabric, so you don’t want to ruin the original.

If necessary, cut out the specific part of your drawing you want to use. I was interested in my little white rabbit.

Take a piece of dressmakers carbon paper and lay it down on top of your fabric, carbon-side down (this is often the coloured part).

Lay your picture on top and pin in place.

You now need to trace over the lines of your drawing. You can use any type of pen, but you usually need to press pretty hard for the markings to show through on your fabric. Keep checking as you go along to make sure its working, and adjust your pressure accordingly until the line is clear. It may take a bit of practice, but eventually you’ll have a copy of your sketch marked out on your fabric.

Secure your fabric into an embroidery hoop.

Stitch over your lines in your preferred way – I used small back-stitches to embroider my design.

When you are finished, you should have a beautiful version of your original sketch, re-created in thread on fabric. Lovely stuff, and full of creative potential…

…for instance, I incorporated my motif into a piece of hoop art. This was for my Creative Sewing Challenge; we sew to a different theme each month as a way of generating new ideas and keeping our passion for sewing fresh (this month’s theme was “time is an illusion”).

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Have fun turning your beautiful sketches into beautiful embroidery – now you can turn anything into a sewing motif!

Thanks for dropping by my blog, and here is a handy pin for later…