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Project: Embroider

When lockdown was imposed back in March 2020, I threw myself into various projects to keep busy and distracted. While many turned to activities like knitting or baking on social media, knitting never quite clicked for me, and I was already indulging in a bit of baking (yes, I joined the banana bread craze). Thus, I chose to revisit an activity I hadn't engaged in for a while: embroidery.


The last embroidery project I undertook was a small stitch of Chip the cup from Beauty and the Beast as a patch for a jumper…




But I wanted to go bigger, and so began looking at simplistic line illustrations, pop art, and comic book style drawings for inspiration. From there I focused on the character expressions, until eventually I came across illustrations of expressive eyes and, in particular, an eye roll which is subsequently what I decided my design would be.


Why an eye roll? Because it’s a mod, appropriate for the time - appropriate for anytime really?


I ordered a basic white t-shirt fromAmazon and gathered all the embroidery threads in my possession. I’d thought about using black thread for the whole design, but ultimately decided to go bolder and opted for something indicative of the pop art style I’d been researching (it had nothing to do with the fact I had very little black thread left).


I began drawing the design on my tablet using the reference images. I did numerous variations; black, blue and red overlay, and alternative versions of pink, turquoise & black.


I decided go with the turquoise outline, pink eyebrows & iris, and black eye lashes colour theme. From there I printed the design and with my light-box and a fabric pen, sketched the design onto the top...


Once the fabric was in the embroidery hoop I got going…

Notably, the fabric pen bled slightly when I dabbed with a damp cloth, which made me nervous as to whether it would come out in a thorough wash, though thankfully it did.

The sewing process didn't take up too much time, and I wasn't overly meticulous about the precision of my technique (considering I was a bit rusty). However, I stuck to a relatively straightforward straight stitch method, and the outcome turned out well...


The finished product!

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