Thursday, February 26, 2009

Motif Satin Stitching Tutorial

Satin stitching a motif without an embroidery machine can be a challenge. I personally cannot justify the purchase of a fancy embroidery machine and the software to digitize more than what I already have with my Janome 350E and Embird. To embroider motifs like these, which exceed my hoop size, I use a technique that makes it fairly simple.
The base fabrics are rough cut to size about 3/4" larger than needed all around. Depending on the fabric, they are either fused with a cotton interfacing or spray glued to satin which has been fused. In these examples a cotton velvet was glued to an interfaced satin underlining.
The motif is drawn to size on the pattern in marker then traced onto the rough side of a sticky backed tearaway stabiliser. Instead of using the tearaway as a backing, it creates a topper and design guide for the stitching.
Here you can see the layers of fabrics with interfacing and the motif stuck on the velvet. Velvet has a napped surface and therefore a tendency for any applique to shift, so I have quickly basted the motif down.

The motif is then satin stitched all around, filling in the design and covering up the tearaway topping. I have used two layers of a tearaway beneath as well, spray glued to the fabric. The glue helps since here is no hoop to hold things in place and the fabric gets a lot of turning. You need to be careful not to push or pull too much or the fabric will distort and pucker.

Here you can see that the right side has been stitched twice, while the left has received a third run down the centre, which blends the stitches in. I use an Omnisew machine, which is an industrial zig zag head that has been adjusted to do a compact satin stitch. The width can go up to 13mm. I have used about a 7 or 8mm width, so achievable on many domestic machines. I used about a 4 on the gold stitching below. The stitches will sink into a napped fabric to some degree, so you need a slightly wider stitch than you might think.
The white stitching has all been done.

I added some gold as an accent. A second color can give a more definite edge and correct any whiskering or shaky edges.
Here the top cuff is done, while the bottom cuff has yet to receive the gold.

This is the first time I have used the sticky stabiliser by itself. I usually use a satin applique and fill over it completely. I haven't done much of this for a while, but when I am in practise, the motifs really turn out well and makes it hard to rationalise the time and expense of buying and learning digitising.
Doesn't stop me from turning green with envy when I see the embroidery work done on those machines though.


Liana said...

Beautiful, MaryPat! I've done a little satin stitching, but nothing like yours, and certainly nothing like your perfect results! Thanks for the information. I think it's so generous of you to share all your hard-earned knowledge.

laura said...

wonderful tutorial! You make it sound so easy. I'm going to have to try this one day. Beautiful work!


Anonymous said...

Wow,I didn`t know one could do such a wonderful embroidery with a "regular" machine!!! Thanks a lot for this information and how-to, very helpfull.

Claudine said...

Great technique. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is truly gorgeous, Mary Pat. I have printed, saved, and added this tutorial to my favorites. Do you think I'll lose this info. when I'm ready to try? I certainly hope not. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this info. with the rest of us; the results are dynamic. You are truly an artist with so much ability in all areas of the sewing craft. Thanks again for this tutorial.


kbenco said...

Your work is fabulous. I would not have thought this was possible on an regular machine!

Gorgeous Things said...

Wow!!! That is stunning! I really love the satin stitching. It makes the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.