Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Doodle Embroidery Bag

In October I took a class at The Crafter's Studio in downtown Santa Cruz, CA.  It was a three-part class, with three classes each lasting three hours on Friday nights.  It turned out that there were only two of us who signed up:  me and my derby sister, Barbarian Librarian.

We started by doodling some ideas on paper and then transferring those doodles onto the front of our canvas bags with pencil.  I chose to do butterflies, because I am not an artist of any sort, and butterflies seemed like a pretty easy thing to sketch out.  Once I had two butterflies on my bag, I decided to add a dragon fly and a bumble bee.   As it turns out, I only ended up with the dragon fly.

Our instructor taught us a lot of simple stitches:  back stitch, stem stitch, split stitch, chain stitch, and the French knot.  I absolutely detested the chain stitch, because it just would not look like it was supposed to, so I ripped it out and gave up.  Our instructor also had a lot of books with samples of embroidery designs and stitches.  My favorite book, and the one I am considering adding to my collection of craft books, was called Stitch Sampler: The Ultimate Visual Dictionary to Over 200 Classic Stitches by Lucinda Ganderton.  The instructor also taught me the bullion stitch and the couching stitch, both of which were used to embellish my butterflies.

Along with the embroidery, the class also focused on how to construct an applique, which is something that I have been thinking of learning how to do for a while.  I chose to do a daisy that spanned both the front and back of the bag and attached it using the classic blanket stitch. After finishing up with the embroidery and the applique, we put a lining into the bag.  They had a serger at the Studio, so I actually serged the ends of my lining!  That was super exciting and it's too bad those sergers cost upwards of $1000!

So here is the final product:

And here are some close-ups of my butterflies.  The orange worm-looking stitch was the bullion stitch and the purple butterfly was made using a spiral couching stitch.

And finally, here is the back of the bag with the the other half of the daisy and the awesome snail fabric lining that they had at the Crafter's Studio:

I had a good time at this class and am considering some different classes for the future, but they don't involve sewing.  There's a jewelry making class where you learn soldering techniques...I hope we get one of those giant welding masks!  I am also considering a screen printing class and hopefully I can use those skills to make favors for next year's wedding.


Susan N. said...

So super cute!

meli said...

this is adorable! maybe i'll post my one and only true sewage experience, my recent halloween costume. it's a very VERY amateur attempt at thread and fabric. :)

Rachel Eloise said...

I would love to see your sewing project, Meli!

Daima said...

It is so cute! And on the topic of your embroidery - I love the bag you made for SN! Adorable!