Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy

It started when I was asked to contribute to a multi artist collaborative project to which I couldn’t say no, regardless I didn’t possess the necessary skill set. One day I’ll try and take this piece of my psyche apart to find out where the crack is, for now embroidery has taken over my life. Just about everything else has receded, and I now do only three things on a regular basis: walk round and round Gallow Hill, like a hamster on a wheel; bake bread; and embroider.

So far I’ve done two panels for the Do What You Can, Where You Can, Black Lives Matter project*

This India Kager panel was my first, the quote is from her last FaceBook post. My stitches are rather shabby.
This is my second panel, the stitches are a little neater, on the whole, but I was probably a bit too ambitious trying to embroider bullets.

and now I want to embroider words on everything. Actually, I also want to embroider mathematical equations on the cuffs of my shirts, and the periodic table on… I’m not sure what. But I have a problem: getting the design onto the fabric. I tired heat erasable pens, and they are quite good, but they don’t always disappear entirely, so any little mistake can ruin everything. You have to be absolutely sure about where you make your marks, and I’ve discovered I never quite am. Pencil works well enough on white fabric, and mistakes wash out, but it didn’t show at all on either of the fabrics I used for the panels, which resulted in a number of false starts, and quite a bit of waste. So I’m now trying something I’d never heard of only days ago.

I’ve already wasted a king’s ransom’s worth by printing various sizes of the Periodic table, all of which didn’t quite work for one reason or other, so, having learnt my lesson, I’m now practising with small strips on which I handwrite with biro. It doesn’t matter if I don’t quite follow the letters exactly, because the printable sticky fabri-solvy will dissolve, leaving only my darling little stitches. Or that’s the idea. I just hope I can get to the stage of creating darling little stitches before I run out of it.

My handwriting isn’t the easiest to translate and, gads, my lower case es are hard to get right, that first one looks more like a g!

As you can see I have quite a way to go before I can risk letting myself loose on the cuffs of my best silk shirts.

My finished test piece, the printable sticky fabri-solvy did indeed dissolve! However, that was the least of my problems: I made the letters too small, so had trouble with thread thickness, until I worked out what ply I needed and how to get it.

But I’m hoping that if I can work out the printer problems; get to the stage where I have found a font I both like and can translate into stitches with relative ease; and work out the best size text to use for each project, I’ll get there. Eventually. Then I’ll need to work out what to do with all the useless stuff I’ve made in the process… What fun!

*If you’d like to know more about the project and the people thus far featured you can go here.

4 thoughts on “Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy

  1. I think it looks really cute!!
    For dark material you can use a Fons & Porter white fabric pencil – I use this for lining up dark paper for calligraphy. I once did some stitching on paper and I measured dots so that all my stitches were the same size – but then again I was stitching a straight line! I think I would still use this method on a curve though, and place the dots by eye before stitching.


  2. I hadn’t heard of this stuff so thrilled to see it actually works, and yes, ye gads ur writings small – as are your stitches. And yes sewing is a wonderful pastime – all that freedom to let the mind wander. How about a City and Guilds in creative embroidery?


    1. I found out about this stuff by watching a zillion videos on every aspect of embroidery. I really knew nothing about it before this. My late ex-mother-in-law gave me a kit about twenty odd years ago, and I did have a go at it but didn’t finish: there’s something incredibly unsatisfying about merely following someone else’s template.

      A City and Guilds in Creative Embroidery sounds wonderful, I’ll check it out!


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