Embroidering "forever Young" by Bob Dylan




Introduction: Embroidering "forever Young" by Bob Dylan

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

I did this embroidery for a customer on Etsy. Because it was my most intense embroidery to date, I wanted to document the whole thing. :D

This isn't so much a "learn how to embroider this exact thing" but more of a "here is the process I went through".

What to learn how to embroider? Check out my instructable!

You can see more of my embroidery in my Etsy store, making jiggy.

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Step 1: Making the Pattern

This took a couple hours. Because I had to fit so much text into a 10 inch hoop, there was a lot of measuring, remeasuring, erasing and fiddling involved. :)

I first laid out the lines - I created an 8.5 x 6 inch rectangle to work in. I divided that into three boxes, one for each verse. And then I made room for seven lines of text in each of the three boxes.

Once I (and the buyer) were happy with that, I inked over the pencil and erased as much as I could.

I then ended up drawing out some flowers and stars - the flowers were resized to be much smaller on the final piece.

Step 2: Copying the Pattern to Linen

This took another hour or so. After I had totally inked the pattern and erased all the pencil, I pinned a piece of linen on top of it. I had to be really thorough with the pinning so no shifting would occur. :)

I used a water soluble pen to transfer the pattern - it's my favorite way to do it!

Step 3: Check to Make Sure Nothing Went Terribly Wrong

At this point I spent quite a while making sure nothing had went wrong when the pattern was transferred.

I also spent lots of time wondering how I was going to finish it. :P

Step 4: Embroidering!

Embroidering this took a long time. One nine hour day, and then three nights of I-don't-know-exactly. 22 hours total for embroidery time. I used a whole skein of embroidery floss, which is pretty impressive when you consider I was getting three different usable bits for each length I cut. That comes out to roughly 24 yards of black embroidery floss. :O

All the text was done in two strands of embroidery floss - the flowers were as well. I did the stars in three strands, though - I wanted them to be a little more chunky because they're so minimalist.

The picture above shows where I got to the first day.

Step 5: Wash + Dry + Iron

Once I finished embroidering, I washed the embroidery in cold water. This takes out the water soluble ink. I then washed in in hot water, because this helps shrink the embroidery. The hot water wash is important because it takes out creases too! The embroidery was pretty stretched and crease after hours in the hoop.

The photo about is after washing, but before ironing.

I like to iron after washing because it helps set the stitches where you want them. :)

Step 6: Put It in the Hoop and Trim

I lined up the embroidery, pulled it taut, and tightened the hoop. After that I trimmed all around the edges using pinking shears.

Once it looked nice, I made a running stitch all the way around the edges and pulled on the needle to gather it. I knotted it to keep the gathers in place. I normally don't finish my embroideries this way, but it does look really nice and gives the buyer the option to put the embroidery in another hoop later or use it in another way.

Step 7: Finished!!

After 23 hours, a skein of floss, stabbing my pointer finger on my right hand lots from sleep deprived embroidering, and careful framing, I had to mail it halfway across the world. :)

I miss it. Here are more photos of the finished piece.

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    8 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Made me tear up. I immediately started thinking of ' Into the Mystic'


    7 years ago on Introduction

    That would make a killer pillow. I find your patience staggering.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice result, I didn't know anyone did this anymore besides my grandmother from Denmark who is long since passed on. Good thoughts and activities keep us "Forever Young".


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Jessy this came out fantastic! I love how accurate the finished embroidery is to your handwriting. Great job!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Jessy this is adorable! Your embroidery work is amazing! It is not easy to outline cursive writing, I have tried!