Friday, 2 August 2013

Animal Brooches

This week I had some great news.  A fabulous shop in the Lake District has agreed to stock some of my brooches.  As I started to produce their order, I thought it would be a good idea to document the brooch making process for this blog.

The first step is to produce a pencil drawing to scale of the design. The owl is really a very simple outline.

Each piece of the design is then traced onto bondaweb.  This is basically tracing paper with a fine layer of adhesive on one side.  

As you can see, the body of the owl is one piece, the eyes another and the beak a third.  The final piece (not shown here) is the feet.  The adhesive on the bondaweb is activated once the tracing paper has heat applied to it by ironing it onto the wrong side of the fabric that is to make up the design.

After selecting the fabric to be used for each element of the brooch, the bondaweb is ironed onto the wrong side.

The shapes are then carefully cut out to leave a pile of bits of owl!

The tracing paper is peeled away to leave the elements of the owl design which now have an adhesive layer on the back.  These are arranged on a thick canvas fabric and ironed into place, slowly building up the layers of the design.

Now is the best part.  Time to embroider.  

The embroidery is done on a sewing machine using a darning foot and with the feed dogs dropped.  I usually use black thread to make the design stand out.

Once the embroidery is complete, the brooches are cut out, backed with felt and have a brooch pin added.  The finished product is quite cute if I say so myself!

And here's the other design I have supplied to the shop.

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