How to Make Free Motion Embroidery Art
Take your sewing skills to the next level with some free motion embroidery art. This unique technique creates an illustrated-style design using fabric and a sewing machine, and is a fab way of adding applique detailing that is a little bit different.
Suitable for: Intermediate
Time to make: 2 hours
- Print off the template provided and cut around the main chicken shape.
- Iron your fabric to get rid of any creases – you don’t want this spoiling the finished look!
- Lay out the fabric you are going to use for the body of the chicken. Cut around the main body shape of the chicken, removing the features like chin, tail and legs. Put these aside for later.
- Pin the chicken body shape to your fabric, and cut around.
- Pin the head piece, tail and chin piece to your pink fabric, and cut out
- Pin the head piece, tail and chin piece to your pink fabric, and cut out. Cut your beak from the felt.
Top Tip! . . .For fiddly small pattern pieces, sellotape onto your fabric and cut out with embroidery scissors – it helps to stabilise as you cut and is less awkward than pins!
- Cut and iron some interfacing onto the back of all the pieces except for the felt beak. This will help stabilise them when you sew them.
- Place your background fabric right side up in the hoop, with the smaller hoop inside the larger hoop, so that you are working on the right side with the fabric laying flat against your work surface.
- Place your pattern pieces inside the hoop and arrange so they are straight and centred. Pin in place.
- Begin by stitching around the main body of the chicken. Place the hoop under your machine needle and switch your machine on. What you are trying to do is trace around the edges of your design, about half a centimetre in from the edge, in a sketching style – you should end up with a sketched style line when you have finished stitching. Don’t worry if it looks a little messy as you go – it’s designed not to be neat!
Top Tip! . . .It’s always a good idea to practice on a scrap of fabric before you start, so you can get used to the tension and how to ‘draw’ with your machine!
- Go round the outline twice with your thread.
- Next, place your features onto your fabric and repeat step 10 and 11 for each feature, sewing one at a time. You may need to move the hoop if you’re getting too near the edge of the hoop with your needle.
Top Tip! . . .If you’re finding these really fiddly to stay in place, glue them down with a little fabric glue first to help keep them in place while you stitch.
- Cut the back threads as you go, so they don’t get sewn in.
- Now stitch the eye. It’s best to draw it on with a bit of tailor’s chalk first, so you know where to stitch. Using the machine, stitch very small circles to create an eye shape. Once again, this doesn’t have to be perfectly shaped!
- Repeat step 14 for the wing.
- Take your fabric out of the hoop and insert it the correct way round, with the smaller hoop inside on the wrong side of the fabric.
- Trim the excess fabric on the back, leaving at few centimetres spare from the edge of the hoop.
- Trace the shape of the inside hoop onto your piece of felt and cut. Stick onto the back of the hoop, enclosing the cut ends of the fabric to make it look neat. Hang and admire!