Dissolvable fabric is quite fragile and hence needs to be doubled up before being stitched upon, therefore the stitch speed needs to be relatively slow and steady. The machine teeth need to be down, stitch length not applicable/relevant. Continuous straight stitch to build the design up/foundation. The zig-zag stitch will be employed to bind the straight stitch design together, it strengthens the design and stops it from falling to pieces. The bobbin needs to be threaded with colour/width relevant thread; nothing worse than constructing a magnificent design that is marred by an unsightly bobbin stitch showing through at the surface.
Take out relevant sized embroidery hoop and place dissolvable fabric within. Make sure the fabric is stretched taught, but not too tight to cause damage. Mark design on fabric with biro; don’t use sharpie or sharp crystal-tip pen, marks made could affect colour of thread or even cause damage.
MAKE SURE FOOT IS DOWN WHILST STITCHING!! I made the mistake of leaving the foot up when finish off the design. This mistake generated loose thread, causing unsightly loops on an otherwise decent first attempt at dissolvable fabric.
As you can see, the second design is far more uncluttered and trim. I used 3 unalike colour threads to give the overall depiction more visual interest, not to mention the variety of colours found in each independent Sycamore ‘Helicopter’ seed pod.
For a first attempt I can say that I am neither excited nor displeased. The stitch, especially that of the black design, is rather untidy and loose.
Aspects I am happy with:
- Designs retained most of their shape.
- Did not fall apart.
- Colour relevant/good
- Detail on 2 out of 3 good.
Aspects I am unhappy with:
- Slightly misshapen. Possibly due to size?
- Uncertainty of fabric dissolution.
- Whilst drying, designs stuck to paper towel (unsightly). How do I know if all the ‘glue’ has been removed? Should I leave the fabric in the water for a time first?
- Detail not as sharp and crisp as I had hoped.
What did I learn?
I actually really enjoyed utilising the dissolvable fabric, although due to it’s adhesive quality I found that it stuck regular to the surface of the sewing machine. This was remedied by putting a small stitch in the 4 corners of the fabric and connecting these stitches to the innermost circle of the hoop, it worked a treat. Size can be a major factor when looking at detail, structural strength and end results. Think I will dry the end stitch designs on glass/perspex to avoid sticking to paper. Experiment, experiment, experiment. Mind the stitches; stitches have to go right to the edge, if falling short the stitch will become loose and fray.
One last little experiment of mine, due to the lacklustre contrast between the stitched designs and white paper, I decided to play around with the colour of the background. I absolutely love the blue and red/orange paper, it energises the stitch and overall image. I look forward to the up and coming Colour Theory week.