From sketch to stitch

When I started reaching out to collaborators for this project, I still wasn’t exactly sure how it was going to work. I thought about asking people to draw on fabric, but that seemed a little complicated and time-consuming. I started looking into methods to transfer drawings onto fabric, but I still wasn’t quite satisfied. Then I happened upon a post on the Spoonflower blog about ordering a swatch sampler. And I knew I had found the right solution for this project.

I was really excited to be able to get my designs printed directly on fabric so affordably! But first I had to translate a photograph of a sketch into something I could easily manipulate so that it would print out just the way I wanted it to.

The first image I worked with was a sketch by Julia Holmstrom (you can read more about Julia on the Contributors page). This was the original sketch she sent me:


I took the sketch into Photoshop to increase the contrast and smooth out some of the lines. Then I used the Live Trace tool in Illustrator to convert it to a vector graphic, so it could easily be scaled to a larger size. Finally, I made the image a light gray (instead of black) so that I would easily be able to completely stitch over the outlines without them showing through:


This is the file I uploaded to Spoonflower. It was so excited to get this swatch in the mail (along with another one, which is the design I will be stitching next) and get to work on it!