Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How to Use a Transfer Pencil

So, you have a design or a drawing you want to embroider... but how do you get it from a piece of paper onto your fabric? What's a transfer pencil? I remember how confused I was when I started embroidering, too - so I hope this helps!


  1. Find a transfer pencil and tracing paper - I bought my pencils online at Colonial Patterns, but they're also available at most big craft stores... The tracing paper is just regular old tracing paper!


  2. Put your tracing paper over the drawing or pattern, and trace with the transfer pencil. Important: see how the letters in "Sew" are not facing the right way? This is the right way to do it! When you flip it over it will be facing the right way!
    re-tracing


  3. Flip the tracing paper over (image side down), pin into place and iron the tracing paper with a dry iron:
    ironing the tracing paper


  4. Presto! Your image has now been transferred to your fabric! Stick it in a hoop, and stitch away:
    waiting to be stitched
    see the completed shirt


A few free pattern sources:


Buy embroidery transfers (skip the pencil method):


How do I work that embroidery transfer, you may be asking? That's the easiest! Just iron it right on your fabric and you're ready to go - your pattern should come with ironing instructions...


So whip out that pencil and happy stitching, guys! (And I mean that in a totally gender-neutral way, too) :)

12 comments:

Sandra said...

Thanks GF! I will keep following your embroidery posts, as you have inspired me. ;o)

Sally said...

This is a great little tutorial! You know what else I'm trying to figure out at the moment? Interfacing/stabilisers. What is best for tshirts basically. I've read so much stuff I'm confused. I've got tshirts waiting for some stitching!

floresita said...

You're welcome Sandra! I look forward to seeing your work! :)

Hey Sally, thanks! You know, I was so cheap about buying stabilizers that I never have. I stitch right onto the t-shirt without any extra backing. It takes a few stitches to get used to the stretchy tension of the fabric, and not pull my stitches too tight, but I find I do okay....

Some people swear by stabilizers, and Jenny Hart, over on Craftster recommends Sulky brand iron-on stabilizer in this thread... I'd trust her! :)

Camellia said...

Unfortunately this method doesn't always wash out. I draw on to my tear away stabilizer first then stich and no mess to deal with on my shirt. I wish I found that method a long time ago as I've ruined many shirts in the process and left many unfinished projects due to poor tracing that wouldn't wash out. I didn't start using stabilizers until I found most of the information about them at the sublime stitching forum and embroidery threads on crafster.org Many people get confused with stabilizers and what kinds to use. (I've only used the tear away kind from joanns) I suggested puting up a stabilizer thread at craftster because there was so many questions about them and that there should be a way to link them together... Maybe as a suggestion you could add something like this to your site.

floresita said...

Wow, you are a more talented crafter than I! ;) I still have yet to try the interfacing because I'm just so comfortable stitching without it...

When you say the outlines don't wash out - are you using a transfer pencil or pen? I use the red Aunt Martha's pencils which always wash out for me...

Shannon said...

I came across your site through craftzine. Thanks so much for the transfer paper and pencil tutorial. I've wanted to make my own transfers but didn't know how. My "supplies" just arrived in the mail today and I am super excited to start. Thanks!

HappySquirrel said...

This is really helpful! Can't wait to get started!

Crab Apple Designs said...

Oh, thanks so much! Just last night I was working on a piece where I really needed the details...so I just embroidered straight through the tracing paper! It was not so fun, so this is a great gift! Thanks again!

PumpkinFreckles said...

Thank you for this post. It completely described what was perplexing me. I have run into your blog before for patterns, and have enjoyed it. But your tutorial was spot on for me. I love the internet and bloggers like you that share your passion and knowledge with the rest of us. Sorry to hear about your spammer!? What's up with that? Happy holidays and once again, muchas gracias.

m said...

Thanks for you blog post, I found it very informative, I'm considering using a transfer onto a canvas so that I may use it as guidelines for a painting.

Thanks

Brianna Soloski said...

This is exactly what I've been looking for. Thanks for sharing!

Chrisy said...

Thank you sooo much for this. I purchased the pencil but wasn't sure how it worked so did a google search and here I am! I'm off now to browse the rest of your blog...and then to do a bit of transfering...