As the summer rolls around (took your sweet time there, Son) it is only natural that the roster of Summer Weddings begins.
Some dear friends of mine got married on a gloriously sunny day over the weekend.
I like weddings as it is a chance to see all your friends dressed up to the nines, but, I have to say, I don’t envy the chaps when a warm summer wedding comes around and the worries of heavy woollen suits and sweat stains might overshadow the enjoyment of the glitter ball from the mobile disco…saying that lots of the wedding-y dresses available for the lassies are made from non breathable fabrics, so it’s warm business for us too!
I haven’t done any wedding related crafts since my Mum’s big bash last year, but I wanted to make my friends a token of their wonderful day.
I love to look on Pinterest, instagram and Etsy to see the ways that craftspeople are using traditional techniques, to cater for modern tastes and thought I’d do something similar myself.
***SIDEBAR: I have read some articles about how the resurgence of crafting, is a step backwards for feminism and a reappropriation of domesticity and assumed gender roles. Well FUCK that- ROYALLY FUCK THAT. I don’t understand how a pastime that is centred on creativity and expression is a backwards step. All the while, we continue to create inclusive communities of skill sharing and support and opportunities of flexible business models, that allows not only women, but artists, a chance to profit from their abilities, but hey, there are lots of things I don’t understand. ***
I had an embroidery hoop waiting for a project, so got that into action and started working on a design for a sampler, to note the date of the wedding- handy anniversary reminder for all.
I briefly thought about doing a cross stitch design, as there are some amazing tools online, to turn any designs into cross stitch charts- like these guys
I started with some plain heavy canvas. You can use lighter weight cottons and back with stabiliser, like this one , but I find the stabilisers can slow down my stitching a little so I prefer to work without them. Using the heavier canvas meant the backing fabric didn’t bruise as easily as I worked it, but was still prone to some puckering, so be sure to keep pulling your work tight once on the hoop.
I traced my design onto my fabric just by holding it up to the window, but if you are wanting to be more technologically advanced then, these transfer pens are great from Sublime Stitching.
I wanted a design that was sweet, but not overly chintzy or or scmultzy. So I went for a Pizza love heart, because I don’t there’s anything that can’t be said with pizza!
Once traced, I placed my fabric in the hoop. I find that doing a combination of tugging and tightening of the nut gives the most taught surface (someone please quote me out of context on that one!)
I often don’t tighten the nut to it’s fullest at the start, to give some extra room when working for tightening.
Also don’t trim your fabric here, you’ll be surprised how much movement comes from working in the hoop, so having the excess to grip and pull around. Also I like to have the excess so I can hold the hoop and save my work and the fabric my grubby paw prints.
Once you are ready to start I recommend that you plan your design colour wise. Matching threads from different brands or batches is a total bitch (I have learnt from experience, though it took me a long time to learn) so make sure you have enough to cover your needs.
My threads were a combination of left overs from my tangled stash and a little treat of some lovely silky skeins from Anchor, for the larger parts of the design- because as a busy, city dwelling, young-ish, professional you need to treat yo’self, right?!
To start the design I did the outline work in black. I reduced the thread to 3/6 from the skein as I thought the full 6 would be too bulky. I just used backstitch here and did my darndest to keep the stitch length the same.
Next came to filling in the colours. I thought about using satin stitch for this, but… I just don’t like it very much and wanted more to emulate the look of an embroidered patch, a’la biker gang.
So instead of satin stitch I just used back stitch again, still using 3/6 strands even thought using 4,5, or 6 strands would have meant I covered ground more quickly and watched less Silicon Valley
I tired to stitching directionally so at least all the teeny stitches had some kind of uniformity. Here’s a gif because we all need more gifs.
Lastly I added text with the date of the wedding, but didn’t take a photo, because I am a twerp AND one of the recipients came to my house just as I was finishing, so put me in a very brief moment of blind panic. At the time my best tactic to cover my tracks, was to throw six or seven or my boyfriend’s niche guitar magazines over the embroidery hoop, which would have made anyone think I was running a Rock and Roll doctor’s surgery as opposed to hiding a 5″ hoop.
When I finished, I did one last shuggle to ensure my design was centred and the fabric was as taught as it could be. At this stage I tightened the top nut with pliers for an extra strong grip. Then I trimmed the excess fabric, as close the the hoop as I could and then covered the seam in a layer of glue to keep hold.
To the happy couple, may you continue to split pizzas, for many years to come xxx