Sometimes when you write delicate text onto your fabric from an embroidery pattern, your lines may look “wobbly”, especially if the letters are quite small and delicate (like a single line of backstitch). So, to ensure your text stitches up nicely, one solution is to redraw the letters by hand so they stitch up more evenly. This technique is best for fonts that have a lot of vertical and horizontal aspects, you may not need to align very swoopy calligraphic fonts.
In the video tutorial below I’m showing this technique using two different colours of Frixion pens, the lines disappear under heat (see the how to transfer tutorial). You can use an iron, or also give your projects a blast with a hot hairdryer, and the hair dryer doesn’t disturb your stitches. It’s best to wash your projects after using the Frixion pens, to help ensure any residue of the ink is gone and the lines don’t reappear later.
- To refine your lettering lines, you’ll need to be able to see the grain in your fabric (you might need a magnifying glass or reader glasses if really close work is hard for you to see).
- Choose a top and bottom line for your letters, and mark those rows with your marker. Obviously for this technique to work, your fabric must be perfectly aligned in your frame or hoop, it won’t work if the grain of your fabric is off on some random tangent. The lettering must also have vertical and horizontal aspects — calligraphic or cursive letters you may not need to do this, but you could still overdraw them to make the letters look smoother.
- Using your secondary colour, sketch out the tops and bottoms of the letters along the demarcated rows. Then work on the vertical aspects, keeping the lines running along one column of fabric. It’s ok if the shape of the letters changes slightly, it’s your project so you can do what you like.
- Keep working carefully along your text, and when you’re done you’ll see it’s aligned “better” along the grain of the fabric.
- When stitching, make sure to keep following those same guidelines, and your stitches will come up nice and even. Also make sure to use a stitch length appropriate for the bends in the letters — smaller letters will need shorter stitches to maintain smooth curves. 🙂
Links mentioned in video