Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day Project Tutorial

I had a request from a friend to show the process of this project, so hopefully it turned out okay.  I'm VERY new to this so I don't think I took enough pictures.  Some moments I was so into doing it, I completely forgot to take pictures of the different steps.  This was a fairly simple craft since I am a beginner, so I don't think anyone will get too lost. If you do get lost, don't feel bad. I had a couple of slip ups along the way and definitely learned some things for next time.

Mother's Day Present

I made my mother a picture of my daughter's hand print using fabric.  You don't have to do a hand, you could do any kind of shape and it would work out the same.  After you know what you want to do, you can go ahead and get started.

Materials for Mother's Day Project

Here are all the materials you'll need:  Embroidery floss, tracing paper, a pen, 2 different colored fabrics, ruler, needle, scissors, embroidery hoop (optional), pins and a frame.  The last two items are not in the picture!

colored floss

I just wanted to take the time during this to point out that I got this giant bag of 150 flosses for 17 bucks at Joann's.  Awesome if you're just starting out with embroidery. 

Here is where I left out a couple of pictures I should have taken.  Haha, sorry! 

Keep in mind the size of your frame so you will not make your shape too big.  I used a 5 x 7, because my daughter's hand is small. 
Trace or draw your shape on the piece of paper and cut it out.  Place the shape on the fabric color you want, trace again and cut.  You can also skip the tracing part and draw right onto the fabric if you are confident you won't mess up!
On your background fabric, I recommend measuring out the dimensions of your frame, so you will not go outside of it, and also, so everything will be in the place that you want it.  If you are using dark fabric you can use a white colored pencil or chalk and for light, a pencil, pen, or sharpie is fine.
(MISTAKE I MADE:  I measured my background fabric to fit the frame and immediately cut it out.  Do not do this...  well, if you're not using a hoop it wouldn't matter I don't think!  It was so hard to keep the fabric tight in the hoop when I was sewing the hand in place!) 
Now you are ready to place your shape in the spot you want.  After you are satisfied with the placement, pin your shape.  Next place the background fabric into your hoop (if you are using one) and make it nice and tight.  Just not too tight.  Now start sewing!

Try to make your stitches as even as possible.  I did an okay job.  Not too bad for one of the first times I've sewn.  Check the back of your fabric every now and then to make sure your thread is going all the way through. 
(MISTAKE I MADE:  I did not check my thread every now and then.  All of a sudden I was sewing and wondered to myself, "why am I already getting close to the end of this thread?  I just reloaded!"  Well, at the beginning stitches a huge section of thread got tangled, and i had to pull each stitch tight until I got to where I left off.  It was incredibly tedious!

Now that you've got your shape sewn on, you can start adding some embroidery! 
Note:  My background in already cut into the frame shape.  I really wish I had not done this when the embroidery comes into play.  It would have been so much easier with the hoop!  If you're not using a hoop, don't worry about it!

For my project I went online and found a cool font to add some personalization to the present.  Yes, I am crazy.  For some reason I still thought it was 2009.  Its really sad how fast time goes by!  If you want to add anything to yours, just draw whatever you want on the tracing paper, keeping in mind the dimensions of your frame.  Cut around the words or design, leaving enough paper to pin it on the fabric.

Now you pin!

Next, start stitching through the fabric and tracing paper following the design pattern.  It might be a little tricky, but it will be worth not having all the lines made by a pencil or something on your fabric.  It would probably be hard to clean after you embroider stuff.  On mine, I used a simple back stitch.  Don't know how to do it?  Watch below:

Once you are done with the first embroidery, if you have anymore, repeat the process. Then you will need to tear the tracing paper away from your design. Be careful not to pull your stitches! If you need extra help for the pieces under the thread, you can use a pair of tweezers or push it out with your needle.

When you're all done, if you used the hoop, you may want to iron a little to get out the creases.  After that, cut the fabric to fit your frame and you're done!  I haven't made my mom a handmade gift in a long time.  We went out to eat on Wednesday for Mother's Day, so I have already seen her reaction.  I'm pretty sure she loved it!!!