I recently bought 5m of calico fabric from Spotlight, so that explains why I’ve used it as a base for my more recent projects. I also feel that the texture and color make for a great “canvas” for my thread sketches. Here’s my first attempt on a fashion-themed sketch. My inspiration: my sister Mica, who is a travel agent in Europe and who has always had a knack for funky footwear. I remember her purple floral canvas sneakers back in the early 90s, which she wore with dresses and slacks (yes, she got away with them!). A few years ago, she said she wanted a logo for her travel website, with purple boots. She’s still searching for the perfect pair, so for my illustration, I gave her a pair! (I won’t be surprised if she finds her boots soon after this).
To get this effect, I first sketched the illustration with a light blue tailor’s pencil. Then I cut fabric swatches from my stash of recyclables — a light blue shirt and my favorite mini dress from Singapore — and pressed them onto place on the calico using fusible tape. Then I threaded the machine with embroidery floss in dark brown and straight-stitched (length: 2) on the outline of my sketch so that it looks like I drew it with a pen.
For details (i.e. the yellow outlines on the dress), I hand-embroidered the stitches. Remember to use a hoop to keep the surface you’re working on nice and taut.