Monday, February 7, 2011

Technique Class - Faux Stitching

In my former life... before I discovered scrapbooking... I was a cross stitcher & sewer. I've sewn my own clothes for as long as I can remember, mainly because I couldn't get anything to fit me, but also because when I did find clothes in my size, they were too expensive to even contemplate buying.
This could be why hand sewing and indeed any sewing is a prominent feature of much of my scrapbooking.
When I talk about sewing I mean - hand sewing, machine sewing and faux stitching - all under the same umbrella. All are relatively easy to do once you know how. The only special equipment you need is a sewing machine if you want to do machine sewing, but as these can be a bit on the expensive side I wouldn't recommend one, unless you are really going to get some use out of it. Of course if you can pick one up second-hand, really really cheap on trade me, then go for it.
As you don't need much by way of tools, sewing is a cheap and easy way to add dimension and interest to your scrapbook pages, cards and of-the-page projects.
The different techniques will be discussed over the next few weeks, but today we start with probably the cheapest and easiest way to add stitching to your projects which is "Faux Stitching" (or fake stitching).


  • Project
  • Pen
  • Stitching template, awl & mat or hole maker such as the Cutter Bee Bugs (optional extras)
The easiest method is just to draw short straight lines with a pen.

The real trick is to keep your lines the same length and evenly spaced. And don't worry it you line looks a little crooked, as hand sewing and even some machine sewing ends up crooked.

Some people like to draw little dots at the end of each line, to look like the stitching holes made by the needle.
Personally I don't think the extra work is worth it, but I would suggest you at least try it to see which method you prefer.

If you wanted to try something that looked a bit more complicated but still without using any extra tools, then you can always try a faux cross stitch.
All you need to do is draw "X's" around your picture or title. Again the key to making it look realistic is to try to ensure that your lines look as alike as possible and your spacing is even.

And finally if you want to look of stitching but without having to get out the needle and thread, you can always pierce the paper and then draw lines between the pairs of holes.
To make his look I used the single row paper piercer tool from Cutter Bee. I've had it a few years now, so I'm not sure where you can get them or something similar but try your local scrapbook or craft shop or even a hardware store for a leather punch. A sewing store would also have a "Pattern Tracer" which would do a similar job.
This particular paper piercer also comes in a double hole version. More on those next week when we look at hand stitching using actual needles and thread. (So now you have a week to mentally prepare yourself for the shock of actual sewing!!!)

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