Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tutorial: padded slip

&Stitches Strawberry Stumpwork

One of my favourite stumpwork techniques is the padded slip. It really makes you stitching stand out - literally!! This technique works best for simple shapes and rounded shapes are much easier although once you have learnt how to do it you could make a padded slip any shape you like.

Stitch the part of your embroidery you want to be padded on a seperate piece of fabric to the background. Leave out any small bits that will stick out, I have left out the tips of the wing, legs and beak.

Cut around your embroidery leaving a border- we are going to applique the stitched piece so you need to leave enough fabric to turn under as you stitch it down. Position it on your background- if it is a large slip you might want to pin or tack it in place. Your background can be stitched, painted or plain.

Now for the fiddly part, carefully stitch the slip down using tiny stitches, turning the bare fabric under as you go. Use sewing thread if you have it but a single strand of embroidery floss will do the job if not. Leave a gap for stuffing- the best place is an area that will be covered with stitches later so I have chosen the end of the wing.(An alternative method is to sew right the way round without leaving a gap and then carefully cut a hole for stuffing in the background fabric behind the slip that you will stitch closed after stuffing.) Don't worry if the stitches are visible, you can hide them later by stitching a line of split stitch or stem stitch around the edge of the slip.

Stuff it! Use toy stuffing, tiny felt/fabric scraps or even cotton wool. Tweezers are handy for getting the stuffing distributed nicely. Once you have the shape at the plumpness you want stitch the opening shut.

Now you can add the finishing touches- stitch a line of stem or split stitch in matching thread around the outside to hide your stitches and any bits of the folded under fabric that might be visible- you can skip this step if already looks very neat. Add the sticky-out bits- eg beaks, wing tips in this example. You can stitch right up through your slip so it all blends in. Just don't pull your floss too tight or you will change the shape of the padding. And that's it - all done!

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

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