This summer I worked on a fun collaborative project with friends and studiomates of POST. We combined our skills and interests and created an embroidery kit based around an illustration of mine, the Fashion Poodle.
Amber and I had been talking about how to combine screen printing (me) and embroidery (her) into one project, and also incorporate our friend Ashley’s hand-dyed fibers. We started talking about this project way back in March, and wanted to have them ready for POST’s Textile Takeover event in September. (Six months would be plenty of time, haha!) I had been seeing examples of people embroidering screen printed imagery on fabric and we figured we could borrow the idea and offer it in a kit.
I have this thing with poodles, and French knots I guess (I like making them/really repetitive activities), so using my illustration of the Fashion Poodle as a base we started to build an embroidery kit. I made some test screen prints using screens with different mesh counts (would it matter for stitching how much ink got pressed onto the fabric?), and different versions of the art (should the hair be filled in with printed ink, or just an outline?), and different fabrics (which fabric would print nicely and also hold a billion French knots?) (We ended up on: 200 mesh/hair outline/unbleached muslin for fabric.)
After printing sample pieces, we started doing some test embroideries on the prints to see what floss and stitches would look best. Here is my first embroidered sample:
I knew I was definitely into variegated floss for the hair but didn’t like the white parts of the floss — it blended in too much with the fabric. I liked the metallic floss (but in gold, please) and bright colors for the jewels. We started to gather materials for the kits. We were able to incorporate some secondhand materials from Arts & Scraps, namely the non-variegated floss and the felt for the backing.
Ashley produced some beautiful hand-dyed floss for us in a small quantity, making it possible to offer the kits in two versions: Standard and Deluxe, the main difference being the Deluxe contains Ashley’s floss (instead of DMC) and thread wax.
For now the kits are available exclusively at POST, but we will be able to offer them in more places as we get closer to the holidays.
Because I’ve been sewing most of my life I have had some experience with embroidery, but not in a pro-style like Amber. See below the difference in the backs of our embroideries (me left — hot mess; Amber right — so neat!):