Project 2 – Drawing with stitch

Exercise 2.3 Drawing with stitch on paper

I have selected these six from my drawings because I hope that they will give me a good variety for working with alongside my manipulated papers.  They have a wide range of differing marks which I hope will inspire me.



Sample 1 – Elderberry brush/ink – Cotton bust bodice

I have made a tentative start on this exercise by selecting this section from the drawing. The marks were made with black ink and a cluster of elderberries made into a brush.  You can see where the berries have hit the paper and dragged the ink across the page.

Section of drawings for bustier

I have sketched out the section that I will use and I have chosen the simple creased copy paper which shows the folds and drape of the garment.  I thought about the stitches that I could use and made notes alongside my enlarged drawing whilst considering the strength of the drawn lines.  From my collection of threads I selected a braid type yarn which I started to couch down to the paper.  I used the folds and creases in the paper to show the flow of the marks also interpreted in the stitching direction. Working on paper is very difficult as it tears easily especially after it has been manipulated and the fibres become  soft.  I have knotted the ends of the braid to represent the circular marks where the berries have hit the paper first and I tried different methods of couching to give slightly different effects.  I have not made a representation of every mark and if I did this again I would not try to do so much as the paper gets too soft.  I ended up just sewing the braid through the paper rather than couching on top of the paper because it was easier.  I have used straight stitches, running stitch, back stitch and an over stitch to couch the braid down.




Sample 2 – Plastic scourer/ink – Brassiere 

I have selected a simple area of this drawing and decided to use the tracing paper that I rubbed with a stone onto a rough concrete floor as this showed the swirling pattern of the original drawing.  I like the differing depth of the marks that make up this section and think that they will be interesting to interpret into stitching.



The tracing paper is a bit more forgiving than the copy paper although it can tear between the holes made by the stitches.  It has a nice body and I like the translucent quality.  I have used back stitch, couching, chain stitch and a diagonal straight stitch.  I have used a variety of different weights of thread, wool tapestry yarn, narrow silver ribbon, round elastic couched with black cotton perle, danish flower thread and stranded cotton. Sometimes the holes previously created in the paper were in an unconvenient place for my stitching which was interesting.

Sample 3 – Black pen – Brassiere


This area of the drawing details the construction of the fabric for the brassiere, I have chosen folded, punched and burnt copy paper which was also an interpretation of the construction of the garment.  The area selected reminds me of the Honesty seed heads that I have studied before, there is a plant/fruit like quality to this drawing and the stitching that it has produced.  I have used simple black cord and couched it down with black cotton perle which has also been used for the straight stitching.



Sample 4 – plastic scourer, lolly stick/acrylic paint – damask stays

I have selected a small area of the original drawing which has a variety of marks to interpret and I have chosen the corrugated card to stitch into because of its similar qualities to the stays – stiff and supporting.



Whilst it is difficult to interpret every line and mark of the original drawing, I really enjoyed trying to get the main characteristics and show them as stitching.  I had to plan where I wanted to stitch as the holes had to be made with a much larger needle before the stitching began because of the thickness and stiffness of the card.  I have used  cross stitch in two different threads, tapestry wool and a space dyed grey cotton perle for the lighter vertical lines and back stitch in black cotton perle for the darker heavier vertical lines. One of the draw backs in stitching on this card is if you change your mind then you are left with vacant holes.

Sample 5 – Elderberry brush/ink – Cotton bust bodice


This section of my original drawing is again simple but selected because I like that each line has a different value and can be depicted with a different type of stitch and thread.  I have used the copy paper sample which was slashed and burned with a pyrography tool replecating the marks made by the elderberry brush and ink. The stitches I have used are running stitch, chain stitch, couching and french knots. Stitching on paper that has areas missing can be interesting if not a little difficult!


Sample 6 – black pen – brassiere

The brassiere is constructed using bobbin lace and crochet, this area is a close up of the mesh or net that makes up the garment.  I have used my copy paper sample which I have folded and cut to represent this mesh.  I didn’t want to stitch parallel to the cuts in the paper so the stitching is on the diagonal which means that the mesh falls across the holes.



Sample 7 – plastic scourer/acrylic paint – Borage plant study










I have selected this section because of the flow of the marks similar to falling leaves or running water.  I have use the manila paper which I had cut in flowing marks with a knife.  The paper had to be prepared before stitching with a sharp needle because it has no strength and tears easily.  I considered using machine embroidery but decided the paper would pull apart and tear so I have used straight stitch and chain stitch.  I have used similar colours as the sample selection.



Sample 8 – 2 pencils – brassiere


I have used my tissue paper sample which was burnt with a soldering iron along with some tracing paper rubbed with a stone onto a rough concrete floor.  I have used both papers because the tissue paper would not be strong enough to stitch into and needs a base for stability.  I have machine embroidered with two colours of thread, salmon pink and beige which are the colours of the original garment.  The stitching has produced a quilt like quality to the tissue paper and it would look good with a coloured paper underneath to show through the holes.



Sample 9 – 2 pencils – brassiere

I have not selected a particular area of my drawing but have used this paper as a reference to the feel of the drawing as a whole.  I have used buttonhole stitch on a bar of thread between the cut discs of paper on both sides which pulls the paper into a 3d piece.  It reminds me of 1970’s lampshades but I really like it.



Sample 10 – plastic scourer, lolly stick/acrylic paint – damask stays


For this sample I have used the folded and burnt thin card which represented the stitching on the red silk stays.  I have machine embroidered in the folds of the card with dark grey and red straight stiching and threaded black ribbon through the holes created by burning the card with a soldering iron.  The black ribbon has all been recycled clothing that all seem to have these sewn into them. I used red stitching as a reference from the colour of the silk used on the original garment.


Whilst I have enjoyed this exercise I have found stitiching difficult on papers that had been heavily manipulated as the fibres had become soft and they tore more easily.  Those papers with made holes also were a bit of a problem unless the holes were in the right place.



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