Transferring embroidery patterns to fabric


Hi there, this is Dana here. In this video I’m gonna be teaching you how to start off with an embroidery project, and the first part of that is obviously getting your design, I’ve got a couple here, on to your actual fabric. So the first thing to be aware of is there’s actually quite a few different ways of doing this and how you do it depends on your personal preference, what materials you might have lying around and also what kind of fabric you have. Like these are both light color fabrics, so they’re pretty amenable to anything, but I mean if you’re transferring on to denim or something that’s stiff or heavy and isn’t translucent, and I’ll talk about why that’s important in a few minutes, then that might determine which of these methods you’re going to be using. Like this is a nice patterned fabric, this is just a plain white cotton, this is actually an old pillowcase that I had lying around that I was using actually for craft projects, and I had some leftover, so that’s an old pillowcase sample. So you can that’s a good thing about embroidery, you don’t need any special fabric. You can get all kinds of really beautiful fabrics, but you can pick up pretty much anything you can stitch onto, you can do a hand embroidery on. Alright so first I’m going to be talking about the tracing method of getting your design onto your fabric. One thing to note, too, I will be talking about this as well is when your design, when you’re depending on which method you choose, you may end up requiring that you flip the image first. Like if you’re doing text and then you do a method where you’re transferring it down on like that, that’s gonna obviously reverse your text. So that is something to be aware of and I will talk about that with the various transfer methods I’ll go over in just a moment. Alright, so I’m going to show you the different methods that you can use for drawing your design onto your fabric. I’ve got this little sampler here, so I’m gonna fill this out for you. The first things I’m gonna show you are these iron-on pens and pencils. These are kind of cool I’ve got the packages here, so here’s a pencil and the pen. I actually got these pencils in a set with this special tracing paper from Amazon, sorry the camera. so it’s designed for embroidery and such, but I mean I’m pretty sure normal tracing paper would work as well. But these pens and pencils are quite neat. So what you would do is you would, so you would print off your pattern, as I showed you before onto paper, and then you would put it up against a window or use a lightbox and you trace your design. Obviously it’s a little bit wonky, but that’s fine for this sample. So for the pencil what I’m gonna do is, so you’ve traced so your design is facing this way. You’ve traced it front ways, so we’re actually gonna flip it and this actually prevents your design from being reversed when you transfer it to your fabric. So you’re gonna draw not super super hard, but hard enough that it gets enough of the pencil on there. And you can put this in a in a freezer or whatever and sharpen it up, it makes it harder and then it’s easier to sharpen, so you get a nice sharp tip on it. So that’s the pencil. And then we’ll do the same with the pen. So again you’re gonna flip it do this on the back of your design, so that’s why the tracing paper is handy. You can do this with normal paper as well, you’re just gonna have to do it against the light box or against a window. All right, so that’s that done. So first up, pencils dropping everywhere, is the pencil so I’ve trace my pencil is on the back and you’re gonna need an iron for this. It’s best to have an iron that doesn’t have steam on it because the steam will kind of screw it up. So you’re just gonna press it down, if you need to pin this to your fabric then do that to make sure it doesn’t move. You want to give it enough pressure without actually moving the design. I’m just wiggling it a little bit, but I’m not actually moving the design, to give it enough pressure. Whoops, you can see that I’ve just erased all this. I tell you why in a minute. There you go, there’s your design there. You can see it’s a little bit smudged, but the pencils a little bit thick, too. All right, the next one is going to be the pen. So again you’ve drawn your pen on the back of your piece. It’s good idea to write something on the front to know which way is which, so you’re not trying to transfer like magic marker or something onto your fabric because that won’t work so well. So I’m just gonna move this there. All right same thing again, just trying to give it enough heat, you try not to move it too much but obviously don’t want to scorch your fabric or your paper. What you can do is if you’re not sure is you can just peel it up a little bit. See, you can see it’s transferred. There you go, so there is that. All right, I’ve just rewritten these on in a permanent marker. So you can see them, so got the iron-on pencil here, the iron-on pen. One thing to know with these is they might wash out, but they’re not guaranteed to wash out. So do make sure if you’re doing a design, that’s gonna be like sort of quite an open stitch that you’re not gonna actually see some of these lines. So you might want to be more careful if you’re using some of these more slightly more permanent ones. The next one is dressmakers carbon, I picked this stuff up from my local needlework shop. It’s Clover brand It’s Chacopy this one is called. You can see it comes in a bunch of different colors, which is cool because you can do this on different color of fabrics. Obviously these transfer techniques are gonna vary depending on the texture of your fabric and also the color. So I’ve got some blue here that I’ve been using for some other projects, so I’ll show you this one. So I’ll grab this little illustration of a heart and I will show you how that gets transferred. Here’s a scrap of paper here, Bad little heart, but you get the idea. All right, so what you’re gonna be doing is putting your carbon paper Down onto your fabric where you’re wanting your heart to be or where your design to be. Obviously you’re gonna need a big enough sheet to cover your design. If it’s really big you might have to do it in sections and just keep moving the carbon paper. So you’re gonna place it down here, so again your design is face-up, so you’re not gonna get any reversing. So I’m using here a mechanical pencil, but I’ve actually dropped the lead in so it’s not gonna break. And you can just use the tip, so you’re actually gonna be wanting to push quite hard. Not hard enough to tear your paper obviously but hard enough to transfer the carbon paper to the fabric. Now one thing to know is you have to use dressmakers carbon, do not use normal carbon paper from an office supply store ,because that will not come out of your fabric. This stuff I’ve tried, it it does wash out, but do give it a try on the actual fabric you’re using. Tada, you can see that’s transferred just fine. Alright, and next two aren’t necessarily heat, but this one is kind of cool because it is sort of a heat one. So this one, it’s using this friction erasable gel pens. I’ve got my package here, you can see that. So a lot of people have had issues with these in that sometimes if you’re using them for gridding say cross stitch fabric or drawing embroidery designs, that they will end up, the lines come back. But I’m going to show you a trick for that. So these are quite cool because they’re actually meant to be used as normal pens, and then here’s your eraser here. So you could write, and then you can erase it here, but what this is actually doing is generating heat, and so it’s the heat that melts the ink. That’s why when I wrote these with the pen, the titles and I put the iron on it they all disappeared, all the titles. So I’m going to show you this these ones you would put, sorry, these ones I’m actually going to just draw directly on. If you are using a pre-bought pattern like one of the samples, and I’m gonna be putting into my my Peacock Lounge shop for like freebie patterns to help you learn some of these stitches that I’m going to be teaching. You can hold your fabric up to the window as I said or a lightbox or or just sort of wing it basically. You can try and draw it yourself. Alright, so I’m just gonna draw, sorry my hands are covering the camera. These are quite neat because they have a nice fine line so you can get a lot of detail. That’s the nice thing about embroidery, you can get a ton of detail in a small space. You can with cross stitch as well But it usually means you have to use quite small stitches and like a high thread count fabric. Alright, so you can see my little hearts, they’re super cute. All right, I’m gonna move this out of the way and attack it with the iron, and you’ll see what happens, it’s really neat. Ready, magic. Vanished. Cool huh! So you can see there’s a little bit of ghosting here, you can still sort of see the outlines. What I’ve heard works really well, I haven’t tried it yet myself, but is if you iron the lines away, and then you wash your piece as well, and that will help prevent that ghosting from being as visible. But you know as you can see it’s just barely visible and also the washing, what happens with these pens with the marks, if you get your fabric cold, like say you’re putting it in a suitcase and you’re In an airplane, or it’s being shipped somewhere, if it gets cold enough or randomly if you’re putting your stitching in the fridge the lines will come back. And they’ll reappear and they’ll be pretty much permanent, so what you can do is you can iron them away and then wash your piece, and that should get rid of any residual ghosting effects, as well as mostly prevent it from coming back later. Alright, and then another type of pen that you can use. Again, this is if you’re just drawing straight onto the fabric using your lightbox or just by eye is your water-soluble pen. So these vary in quality, definitely check and make sure it is gonna wash out when you’re done. But yeah, these ones are, this one actually does work well. I’ve tried it before and it doesn’t leave any residual lines. So that’s it, that one would rinse out when you’re finished. And last but not least we have good old pencil and some people have said to me “Oh pencils aren’t good for the fabric. It’s PH …, it’s all acidic and all that…” It’s actually not true, pencil is really inert, graphite is really inert. That’s why you’ll see, like you know Michelangelo’s pencil drawings, and da Vinci’s pencil drawings, and they’re still in perfect condition. The paper maybe isn’t doing so good, but the actual pencil is still doing just fine. So pencil is totally fine but again you’re gonna have to make sure you’re doing it in a way that your stitching is gonna cover the lines, because you’re not really gonna be wanting to try and erase your fabric, that’s not gonna be, it’s gonna smudge and be kind of be kind of gross. Yeah, you can see you can get a nice crisp line. That’s good for planning out your designs and things like that too if you’re adding extra stuff to a design. So the ones where you’re drawing it on, and I’m gonna be showing you some other methods in a moment. All right, so we’ve talked about different ways so you can transfer your pattern using, like tracing your design on, like all of these different types of methods here. So now I’m gonna be talking about one that’s actually really really cool, and it’s using a photocopier. And unfortunately, no you cannot put your fabric straight into the photocopier. That would destroy your photocopier, although the results might be hilarious if you’re trying to break your photocopier. So what I’ve got here, there’s a bunch of different versions of this. This is called I’m just going to move the camera, but you can see it’s Sticky Fabri-Solvy, so this one is it’s like a stabilizer. But this particular one is self-adhesive, so it will stick to your fabric and it’s water-soluble. There’s different versions of this you can get you could get. Ones that are water-soluble, you can get ones that are sticky so if they’re just water-soluble you might have to pin or stitch your photocopy down onto your fabric. The ones that are sticky obviously you don’t have to stitch them down or attach them in another way like pin them down. There are some that are tearable-away, so that’s mainly for things like machine embroidery, or you’re doing like really really heavy dense stitching, you can actually print your design onto tearable, it’s almost like a paper, and and then you would tear that away once your design is finished. So this is this stuff here, I got this off of Amazon. It was, well in Canadian it was like $17 for how many, 10, 12 sheets, 12 sheets of letter size paper, so it’s a little bit expensive, but you can get this in rolls as well. So this is, obviously this size is good if you’re using a printer, otherwise you can actually trace this stuff as well. So you can see it’s It’s translucent, so you could use this as tracing paper as well and just draw directly onto the fabric and I actually did a little sample here. So I just drew that directly onto this and then you can stick it on, so you can, what you can do is if you don’t, if you want to get it in a roll and you don’t want to put it through a printer, is you would get your printed design here. So obviously you’re gonna print off the page of your pattern that has the design, you’d overlay it, and then you put it up against a lightbox or against a window, and then you can actually trace it with a permanent marker. It doesn’t matter what marker you use for this because this is actually going to be stitched over and then it’s going to dissolve away. So I’ll show you that in a moment. So that’s really cool stuff. And also with a lightbox, you can get kids like Crayola light boxes. I think they have like these tracing light boxes that are like 20 bucks, and they’re really cheap. And it’s basically this, like a tablet with a light, and you put your paper on it And then you can trace straight through, so that produces a light from behind. Which actually makes tracing a lot easier if you’re tracing on to either the tracing paper I showed you before or on to something like this, or even directly onto your fabric if it’s thin enough. Like this one I actually traced directly onto the fabric becaues it’s quite fine. So there’s a couple options like that. You can use a tablet if you have like a piece of glass to put over your screen, because obviously you’re not gonna want to trace onto your pressure-sensitive screen, that’s not gonna be so good. But you can put it on a white light and then trace over top of that if you put a piece of glass over your tablet, or a window works really well, too. All right what you can see here is just a photograph of me working on an app on my iPad called Tracing Board, there are lots of light pad apps and this one was free. So as you can see I’ve got my tracing paper, or sorry, my photocopy of the pattern, and then I’ve got my fabric over top and that’s all overlaid over top of the iPad. I’m not using a piece of glass, that’s because I’m not actually tracing the design. You could do the same thing with it up against a window. What I would recommend is taping your pattern to the window and then taping your fabric over top, that will help prevent the fabric from shimmying too much. You also will have to actually hold the fabric down to prevent it from shimmying as you’re drawing. But this is a really great way to use either the water soluble marker or pencil or anything like that if you don’t want to use any of the other transfer methods. So I’m going to show you this little sample here, so this is one that I just drew on so it’s super cool. So you have to make sure you when you’re printing to make sure it’s face-up so this stuff has a smoother surface, it’s like a slippery surface, and then it’s got the textured surface. So you’re obviously wanting to print on the textured surface, when I printed this one what I did is I did a test so this was facing up in the top right of my printer when I put the page through, because that was that way, so I did a test on this one first to make sure that I knew which way to put the paper up in my printer. So you may have to do a test on your own printer if you’re not sure which side your printer prints on. Alright, so there’s this little one here, I just drew it on with a magic marker. So you just peel it off. It’s like sticky stuff It’s got a little sticky backing But the neat thing is you once you put it on which I will show you, so you just take this off and then you stick it down. So there, so what you would do is you would actually stitch directly over top of this. It’s a little thicker to stitch through obviously than just stitching through your fabric. But you just stitch right through it, and then when you’re done, you just wash this away, like this is water- soluble stabilizer, so it literally just washes away. So that’s super cool, and if you’re doing, so this is one I printed for some sample designs, I’m gonna be putting into my shop for the Peacock Lounge members so they can practice. So I’m gonna I’m gonna be doing some embroidery tutorials shortly with different stitches so all these little designs will be in there for free, so you just have to sign up to my mailing list There will be a little pop-up on the right side of your screen near the end of this video and also in the video description to join up to the Peacock Lounge. And then you’ll have access to these free patterns once I put them on my site with the tutorials that go with them. So this one you can see these are little under three and a half inches wide, this is a four inch hoop. So what you’re gonna be wanting to do when you’re putting this on your fabric is you’re going to want to have your fabric already taught like as if you’re about to start stitching. You don’t want to put this onto your fabric and then stretch it because it’s just going to make this bubble. So again you’re going to peel it and then center it. So for these designs I’ve done it so it’s got like the little hoop around the edge of the actual design, but you don’t have to stitch that if you don’t want to that’s just mainly for placement so you can make sure it’s gonna be centered on your hoop. It’s actually quite sticky yeah, so make sure it’s nice and flat, make sure it’s nice and smoothed out. You don’t want any bubbles or lumps around like that. And there you go so when I start stitching this for the next video I’m going to be doing, which is about a running stitch and back stitch and spoke stitch or straight stitch, sorry, These are the lines that I’ll be following with my stitching. All right, so here’s my finished embroidery. What I’m going to be doing now is rinsing away the the stabilizer, the water-soluble stabilizer. So as I’m rubbing it I can feel it getting sticky. So ideally put this under running water, but because I can’t move the camera I’m just gonna keep rinsing it, but you can see here. It’s coming away, so I’m just gonna keep rinsing that until it’s all disappeared. So I’m gonna keep rinsing it until it’s all disappeared and then what I would do is once it’s finished is you can either let it air dry or you could iron it face down onto some towels. The towels will help protect the shape of the stitches. So yeah, that’s it. If you have any questions about any of these transfer methods, please do let me know. Like I said things to be, to decide on which one you’re gonna use are the texture of the fabric, if it’s bumpy obviously it’s gonna be trickier so something like this might work. For a more textured fabric rather than trying to trace it onto your fabric or a darker fabric this might work better. And also to be aware that when you do certain designs making sure that text and stuff is going to be flipped the right way around, and also that some of the markers like especially the the these friction ones like obviously they’ve disappeared now, but some of them may not wash out 100%, they may come back. Same with the water soluble ones, do test them before you use them on your entire project. I haven’t had any issues with them but that’s just me, it could be the fabric too. And also these type of like the iron-on ones They say they can, that the pencil can wash out. I haven’t tried it. This one I’m pretty sure it’s permanent, so do make sure that you’re doing it in areas where you definitely 100% are covering that line with your stitching, that there’s not going to be any of your line showing through your stitching when you’re finished. And that’s it for now, talk to you later. Bye for now