August 18, 2008

Pretty portrait...

I haven't made one of these for a good few years now, but as I was doing one for my one year old niece to match her older sisters, thought I may as well photograph it for a tutorial.  So, if you would like to have a go at a little 3D portrait, this is what you will need,

a 4" flexi hoop, I used mine as an embroidery hoop and also as a mount
a circle of patterned background fabric
2 circles of plain coloured fabric, one 0.5cm smaller than the other
a circle of flesh coloured fabric, 7cm across
flesh coloured embroidery thread
pink embroidery threads, a light pink and a dark pink
selection of other embroidery thread for decoration, hair and lettering
2 grey beads
polyfil for stuffing
a circle of pink felt, 9cm across

and of course, a willing subject for your portrait!

Begin, by placing the background fabric, centrally, in the flexi hoop.  Place the other 2 circles of plain fabric in the centre, one on top of the other, pin, and then sew using random straight stitches around the edge in some embroidery thread.  I used a multicoloured thread to add an extra dimension to the embroidery.

Next, take the circle of flesh coloured fabric and sew a running stitch all the way around, 0.5cm in from the edge using the flesh coloured thread.  Gently pull on the loose end to gather the circle, placing some polyfil inside before anchoring it shut with a few stitches.  Turn this head shape, raw end side down, and place centrally on your base design.  Sew it on with a few random stitches around the edge, you may find at this stage you can do a bit of 'sculpting' of the head shape with how you place your stitches.

Now, begin to add the hair.  Chose a thread colour that matches your subject as best you can, and gradually build up the hair strand by strand, this can take a little while to get right, but keep going!.

To add the facial features, using the pink embroidery thread add some shading on the cheeks, I just added some crosses, but you could add some tiny french knots for freckles.  Also add the grey beads for eyes, and a mouth in the darker pink.  We're not going for a 100% likeness here, it's just a bit of fun!.

In the space, underneath the portrait head, you can add a name in backstitch, and I've also sewn on some french knots for decoration.

To tidy up the back, and hide all the loose ends, turn your embroidery over, and sew a running stitch round the edge of the background fabric, gather, and then secure with a few stitches.

Place the pink felt circle, over the top, and sew on with random straight stitches around the edge.

And there you go, all done!  Happy stitching!

ps, I have just noticed this is my 99th post, oh my!  Maybe I could give away some of my ironing in my 100th post?, what do you think?!  

...or should it be something handmade?!

If you make something from one of my tutorials please do join the Flickr group, Lucykate Crafts... pattern pieces, to show off your creations.


Celia said...

Oh, thanks so much for this beautiful tutorial, will try to make one for my kids! Tahnks!

Yarni Gras! said...

that is SOOOOOOO cute!

Natalie said...

That's such a sweet idea. I'm gathering inspiration for my daughters bedroom at the moment. I would love to make her one of those to go on her wall!

'Joyce' said...

what a beautiful gift idea. thanks for sharing. i have your blog as one of my favs to visit. its just lovely. thank you.

Bunny B said...

That is too cute!!! Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial!! :)

Gina said...

Another lovely tutorial... thank you! What a super unique present.

Anonymous said...

How gorgeous! Thanks for sharing you're so kind :-)

silverpebble said...

This is so lovely - thanks for teaching us how to do it! -very sweet little face.

Sue said...

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. The posts of your wonderful creations are inspirational!

Melissa said...

Absolutely adorable and would make a wonderful Christmas present.

Ginger said...

That is absolutely the cutest!
so sweet like you for showing us your art work.
You have that fresh crisp feel to your art which i love!
hugs ginger

SewAmy said...

omg, this is so sweet.

Maggie said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. This is such a cute idea! Now I have to make time to try it! Thanks!

Denise Felton said...

Fabulous! This tute rocks! I've scheduled a link to your post to go live on my blog early morning (Central USA time) on August 21. Thank you so much for sharing this great how-to, Amy!


Chloe said...

This is such a lovely gift and so different.
I will have to add this one to my "to do" list.

I like the idea of giving away ironing. Complete genius!

Suzanne Vaughan said...

Really sweet LK!

Sarah Doyle said...

This is an AWESOME tutorial. The little 3-D portrait is so unique - I'd love to make a few for Christmas, and probably should be starting now!!

Sarah J doyle

Anonymous said...

that's the cutest embroidery project I have ever seen! that's great!!!
thank you for sharing :)

Judit said...

It`s a good idea!!!

Anne said...

Adorable! Thanks so much. I may have to try to make one because it looks fun and challenging.

Kate North said...

Somehow I doubt you'd get QUITE the uptake on your ironing as you would with something handmade... :)

Anonymous said...

That`s pretty cute! :)
Thank you very much for the tutorial!

Unknown said...

Wow, I am forever impressed with your array of talents! This is super cute! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us!
~Emily in Norway xx

Country Bliss said...

Another great tutorial. I'll be making one of these for my 2 year olds new bedroom.

Amy said...

Hi Amy!
I got my package in the mail today and instantly my daughter picked up the toadstool and said " Awwww mommy, the mailman brought me a mushroom!!" all the while she was hugging it! I guess it will just have to go in her room! Thanks so very much for the felt- it will get put to good use!

dottycookie said...

Oh gosh, that's gorgeous! I'll have to have a go but I fear mine will end up looking like mutants ...

Mrs Moog said...

What a great tutorial!! Thank you for sharing :)

The finished result is so pretty and I'm sure this special gift will be treasured for ever.


Sophie said...


I love the stuff you make.
May I ask where did you procure this embroidery hoop? I've been looking for nice embroidery hoops unsuccessfully for the longest time.

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