Embroidered Denim Jacket

I love having something creative to do while I'm sitting watching television in the evening - or any time of day! - and recently I've been working on embroidering the back of a denim jacket.

I did one last year, but sadly it's a bit too small for me, so I've been looking around for another design to stitch onto the back of a jacket I bought a while ago.  I hadn't found anything I really fancied until I saw this design pop up in my Instagram feed.

I loved not only the overall design, but the "Choose Kindness" sentiment of the banner.  The design was created by Lolli and Grace, who's Etsy shop can be found here and Instagram here.

There are various ways you can transfer your embroidery design onto your fabric.  I decided to use Aquasol water soluble fabric, available from Barn Yarns.  I've used this before and got on really well with it.  You can also get sticky versions that actually stick to your fabric, but I don't like the feel of my needle and thread going through the adhesive as I sew.

I printed off the design template and traced it onto the Aquasol with a black fine liner pen.  I pinned it into place on the back of the jacket before putting it into the embroidery hoop to ensure that it stayed exactly where I wanted it. 

The Lolli and Grace pattern was really lovely to follow, the instructions were so detailed, with lots of colour photographs and illustrations to help you create a fabulous piece of work.  I'll definitely be back for more patterns from them.

I did the embroidery over the space of two or three weeks, spending a little time most evenings working on it.  I have to say it stitched up quicker than I thought it might when you think about how detailed the design is.  Below is a collage of some of my "in progress" shots.

Once finished I removed the hoop and cut away the excess fabric from around the edges of the embroidery with a small pair of scissors.  You can see this in the bottom right photo above.  You need to be careful that you don't cut through any of your carefully worked stitches, but the fabric cuts very easily so as long as you're careful you should be fine.

Once you've cut away the excess fabric from around the edge you need to soak the piece to removed the rest of the soluble fabric.  This just needs to be done in cool water and it doesn't take long for the fabric to dissolve and disappear.  If the Aquasol isn't rinsed away completely it can make your base fabric feel a little stiff once it's dry, so it's worth taking your time on this step.

Finally here's a photo of the finished piece being modelled by me.

I love how the bright colours pop against the slightly faded denim, and I loved the whole process of doing this piece.  I find embroidery so relaxing to do after a stressful day at work.

Have you ever tried embroidery?  Are you tempted?  Or do you prefer another craft to help you relax?

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