The more advanced I’ve become at this whole embroidery thing, the more I’ve strayed from pre-made patterns and started doing original work. My primary obstacle to creating original patterns is my mediocre drawing skills. I can passably copy or modify other images I find online, like I did for this Pokémon series, or dole out a few flowers and leaves like I did for this quote piece. But hand drawing things I see out in nature or the world is a different game entirely. However, I’ve found a few workarounds that I’m having fun deploying.
With the first image in particular, I imagined an intricate, expertly shaded, and largely realistic recreation. But I decided not to go in that direction because I haven’t had much practice with that kind of embroidery, and it would probably be too time consuming to be able to sell them at an affordable price point. (Right now my pieces are at Marche Maman for ~$40 each). So I decided to do an outline version.
Here’s how I made the pattern:
Taking the original image from Instagram, I* put it into Photoshop and boosted the contrast to make the outlines more dominant. Then I drew over that printout with a pen (middle image) to solidify the edges I wanted to follow. Lastly, I used my light box (though it’s not really a box… light tray? Light pad?) to trace that image with just the outlines.
And voilà! That’s my pattern.
*and by I, I mean Vlad, my technical guru/filmmaker husband extraordinaire. I haven’t used Photoshop since high school yearbook, but Vlad is giving me some lessons so I can do more of this myself. Maybe once I’ve mastered it I’ll write a Photoshop tutorial.
I dig the simplicity of the outlines, and I’ve also used blush pink and mint green linen to bring in some more interest/color.
I also used this technique to create these pieces:
Ta da! You can find these and more in person at the Marche Maman café in Soho.