I've just finished a new embroidery pattern! It's Alice in Wonderland inspired and was lots of fun to stitch up. And just for fun (and maybe for some educational and inspirational value as well) I'm going to use this pattern to give you a peek into my step by step process of how I create patterns.
All of my patterns start with a sketch. I usually have some idea in my head of what I want to create (though sometimes patterns come from random doodles too!) so I start by making some tiny thumbnails just to look at layouts. From there I make a little bit larger drawing that's a bit more finished. This sketch is about 6 inches tall in my sketchbook. From there I scan it into Photoshop, clean it up a bit and resize it to the size I want to stitch at.
Next I print it out and transfer the pattern to fabric. My favorite transfer method is simply to place the drawing behind fabric and trace it on with a pencil. If you're using white fabric, you can usually see the lines right through it. This is a medium weight fabric and they are still clear enough to trace.
If you can't see through the fabric, use a light table or tape it up to a sunny window.
You can tape everything down so it doesn't move, or just carefully hold the fabric in place with two fingers on either side of where you're drawing. It helps if there's an outline like in this design to keep your paper and fabric lined up.
Next, start stitching!
You can stitch up your pattern any way you like, I tend to skip around, for instance, I'll do everything red on the design, then move onto another color.
This pattern is mostly linework, and my favorite outline stitch is the Split Stitch:
Just make a tiny stitch then come up through the center of it and make another tiny stitch, continuing down the line. The split stitch is quick and easy, and great for lots of linework. On this pattern I used 3 of the 6 threads of embroidery floss since it is fairly small.
When the embroidery is finished, I scan it and begin to trace the pattern in Adobe Illustrator using the pen tool. I tend to change or add small details as I'm stitching, so I create my patterns off of the finished piece.
Here's what the finished pattern looks like:
And that's it! The pattern is saved as a PDF and listed in my etsy shop, waiting for happy stitchers to come snatch it up and create their own embroidery art!
Oh and one more peek behind the scenes in case you're interested:
Here's what the back looks like! I don't worry too much about what my backs look like, they're usually pretty messy. :)
I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of my work process! You can get this Alice pattern in my etsy shop:
and make one of your own!