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How to make a face?

There are plenty of ways to create a face for a fabric character. If you subscribed with the complete Kit formula, you've received a ready-made face and you can start sewing right away. But if you only received the pattern or if you want to redo the project, here are some ways to bring your character to life.

The paint

The face included in the kit is hand painted by me. I use Pébéo fabric paint (from Omer de serre), but acrylic paint can work just as well. If you find a fabric medium to mix it is even better. And if you do screen printing, fabric ink is perfect.

Now how do you paint the face? You don't have to be good with a brush. First trace the outline of the face with the pattern on the right side of the fabric. Mark the middle of each part of the face by piercing the paper and making a small dot on the fabric. Be careful, we don't want to leave a mark, so I simply advise to pierce the fabric with a sewing pin, so as to make marks that will disappear.

Mix your paint well and go. For the eyes you have to make two black dots, I like to take the round and flat end of the handle of a brush. A small dash for the nose, can be done with a fine brush, or you can make a round nose in the same way as the eyes but with a smaller brush. If you want to add cheeks, I use a pencil eraser as a stamp to make a perfect round.

The embroidery

Embroidery allows you to make beautiful faces and the advantage of making tiny characters is that it doesn't take too long to embroider. With a combination of satin and backstitch you can make the face quickly. Refer to the stitch post if you need to remember how it's done. Here is a sketch of the stitches. You can of course play with the proportions and shapes as you wish. For example, in embroidery I prefer to do freckles on the cheeks.

What to use? The DMC brand of embroidery floss can be found everywhere and is of very good quality, perfect for Tiny Sewing Club projects. I usually use 2 strands of embroidery floss. A classic embroidery floss contains 6 strands, for more delicate work like the one done here it is better to divide the strands. It is therefore necessary to divide the embroidery thread into three sections, each section can be used to embroider the face. Use threads short enough so that they don't tangle. My “official” guide to cutting embroidery floss to a reasonable length is my forearm. I hold the thread between my fingers, extend my arm and cut the thread as far as possible at the elbow. A good embroidery needle is also required, its eye (hole) is a little larger than that of a sewing needle which allows you to thread it better. I do not use an embroidery hoop for small projects like this, but you are welcome to use one if you wish to.

Note: small like this a double sewing thread can also work well for a successful face.

How to embroider? If your fabric is light or a bit see through, I advise you to stabilize it or double it so that we don't see the knots. First trace the outline of the face with the pattern on the right side of the fabric. Mark the middle of each part of the face by piercing the paper and making a small dot on the fabric. You can now draw circles for the eyes and cheeks using a fabric marker (which will disappear with steam or water). Thread your embroidery needle, tie a knot at the end of your thread and off you go. Plant your needle on the wrong side of the fabric to bring it out on the right side at the start of the first stitch and then start embroidering. The eyes only require 5 small satin stitches. When an eye is finished knot your thread at the back before cutting it. Repeat with the second eye and then with the nose. For the cheeks, a back stitch to make a circle will be adorable, or you can do several little stitches to create freckles.

Machine embroidery? If your sewing machine does special stitches you might be able to embroider a face this way. Newer machines with programmed stitches often allow unique shapes to be made. Every machine is different so it's time to experiment with yours until you find the right combination. You can try different stitches, change their length and density to find a result you like.

More ideas

Screen printing : Of course the screen printing is a great way of printing, if you are already equipped and want to make several small characters it is an excellent technique.

Cricut : I've had the chance to play with a Cricut machine a few times, and I'm sure you could make some cute faces with one. Again I think it's an option for multiple characters since the time to create a file and to realize seems a bit long for a single face.

Spoonflower : Spoonflower style digital printing is also a good idea for making multiple items. You will need to generate a pattern to print, then the fabric and delivery costs can be high.

Hope you find your favorite technique here. If you have any other ideas, don't hesitate to share them with me.

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