Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as an eco-designer, an artist, as a teacher and as a researcher, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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Anchors away!

By spotogspindel | September 29, 2009

As part of a picture I am making for DOF, I need two anchors. The picture is paint on paper, but I decided to embroider the anchors. And I decided to take pictures along the process, so you can make your own embroidered lace or emblem.

All sowing machines have an embroidery function, but it is installed differently in the different machines, so you will have to check you instruction manual if you don´t know where it is on your machine.

First, I find a design I like, adjust it to a bit larger than the right size, because the image will shrink as you work with it.

Use water-soluble fabric. There are different kinds, but basically they are made of some sort of starch, I think. 

Trace your design onto the the fabric with a regular roller-pen, not a wet marker. Oh, and don´t sneeze on it!

trace design

Using the embroidery-foot on the machine, start by tracing the line around the image, and filling it with a checkered pattern.


Keep adding thread by filling in, making sure the thread overlaps itself. Using different colors, will make it feel more three-dimensional.


When you´re done, cut away excess fabric. Wash it in warm water, and the starch-fabric will disappear. It will feel a bit slimy, and keep washing it, until there is hardly any “slime” left.


All washed out…


Dry them by placing between two layers of fabric. Lay them flat in the shape you want them to be. When you iron them, the heat will both extract the excess water, but also bring out the rest of the starch (this is why it is important to have fabric on both sides of the embroidery. Don´t want it stuck underneath a hot iron…)


A little starch (the “slime”) will hopefully still be left, so that when you iron it in place, they will be slightly stiff, and hold it´s shape.

anchors away

As you can see, I have done the embroidery relatively loosely, so some air will seep through. You can vary by using more or less thread/stitching when you sow, just remember that the thread need to overlap itself, or the motive will loose it´s shape.

Topics: Diverse | No Comments »