Transform Your Embroidery Mistakes by Changing Your Outlook

comments (0) July 3rd, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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If I could make a home movie of my embroidery adventures, many times it would be a comedy of errors. I have embroidered on the wrong side of the fabric. I have caught the fabric underneath the hoop—firmly embroidering the fabric around the edge of the hoop. I have used the wrong color at the wrong time, creating scary effects. (I could go on and on!) The best is when I have successfully completed all the embroidery and I end up cutting a hole in the fabric while trimming away the stabilizer!

A Designer Detail, as the name suggests, ends up being a very good thing. Many times, a mistake can take your design in a new direction that wouldn’t have occurred to you. If you make a hole in the fabric, you can “hide” the hole by embroidering over it. The results of the “extra” embroidery can be an improvement on the overall design.

Once I was working on an entry for the Bernina Fashion Show, and I was creating brocade out of beautiful rose designs. After completing a good size patch of roses, I realized that the fabric underneath had gotten caught in a way that distorted the shape of the bodice. I couldn’t start over, so I cut right through the fabric (embroidery and all) to release it where it had gotten caught. Now I had a rather large hole in the side front of my bodice. After walking away (sometimes the essential step in successfully fixing a problem) I decided to fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, covering up the hole. Then I embroidered right over the hole. I had to overlap the edges of some of the roses to fix it, but it looked great! I ended up overlapping roses all over the bodice. I think the overall effect was better because of it.

A Character Builder
is a mistake that you cannot recover from and you are forced to start over. If your needle catches on the fabric or embroidery while it’s stitching and the hoop pops right off the fabric (yes, that’s happened to me), it’s very difficult to re-hoop accurately. At that point, it’s a judgment call: can you get it back in the hoop close enough? Or, would it be quicker to start over? Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and start over.

Sometimes, after planning my design, I don’t do my design. For example, I was working on white leather jeans, intending to go from dark to light color wise, and I started embroidering away. When I got to the knee I stood back to examine my progress. Even though I had intended to go dark to light, I was using every color in my palette at the hem. It looked very discombobulated. I had to cut the leg off at the seam and start over. I tell myself that I am a better embroiderer for it.

posted in: embroidery, leather, mistakes

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