When I started really getting into hand embroidery, probably one of the things I had the most frustration with was transferring patterns. There are lots of opinions and options out there to transfer patterns, some work better than others and some probably work better FOR others than others.
For me, the biggest halleluiah was my purchase of a light box.
There are a handful of lightboxes out there and most of them are about this size and range in price. I actually bought this one at Hobby Lobby and with a 40% off coupon it ended up being very affordable.
There are things I like about it and things I don’t and at some point I would love to upgrade to a higher end box that lays flat on the table and is a bit bigger. For now, this one works just fine.
Basically you lay your pattern on the box and then your fabric on top of that and flip on the light. It couldn’t be easier than that. Obviously you can only use lighter fabrics, but this has worked well for me even with a light grey. It works well with linen or weaved fabrics too. Yes, you can hold your fabric up to a window (ouch! after a while) or I’ve seen people make these with clear lidded plastic storage boxes and christmas lights. It’s all the same idea and it’s a must if you are going to be transferring lots of patterns.
My second great investment was in the transfer papers that Sublime Stitching sells.
Now, DMC sells an “embroidery transfer paper” and honestly it’s crap. Don’t buy it. It’s like chalk and flies off the fabric as soon as you lightly blow on it. For a long, long time I had no good solution for stitching onto dark fabric. There are iron on pens, chalk pencils etc. None of these worked for me because they didn’t hang onto the fabric long enough. Enter Sublime Stitching.
Their carbon transfer sheets are nothing short of awesome. She has super fast shipping and the white transfer stays on (even for my super huge embroideries) and it doesn’t rub off very easily. Basically all you do is lay your fabric on the table, place your carbon sheet print side down, put your pattern on top of that and using a ball point pen trace your pattern. I like to gently life up the corners every now and then to make sure I’m getting a good transfer, but I’m telling you that these papers are miracles.
Those are my two favorite ways to transfer patterns. What’s yours?