Join my modern day tribe as we discover the best in design, food, and kid loving adventures! 

        Visit my shop!

     Take a class with me!


         Our Little Project


Tribal Times
Add blog to our blog directory.

Bloggers - Meet Millions of Bloggers




Enter your email address:

« Happiness is { Roller Skating } | Main | Creative ways to mend holes »

How to sew negative space


Sewing negative space is a technique I learned to be able to sew on fabric that isn't there. Think of it as un-appliqueing. By no means did I come up with the idea, but it sure is cool looking.

Here's what you need:

 1. Wash away embroidery stabilizer

2. Glue stick

3. Embroidery hoop

4. Canvas- get a cheap one from Walmart as you will be removing the canvas from the frame

5. Twill tape- to go around outside of finished piece. You don't really need it but I find it looks neater.

6. Sewing machine embroidery foot.

7. Fabric and thread of your choice.

How to:

1. I started by cutting out the area that I wanted to sew. In this case the balloons. Use the glue stick just around the edge of the cut out area and affix a piece of the embroidery stabilizer to it. Make sure the piece is large enough to be able to be caught in the embroidery hoop along with the fabric. 

2. *Make sure you feed dogs are down.* There should be a way to do this on your machine. Using your embroidery foot attachment and fabric in the hoop, sew a zigzag stitch all around the edge of the cut out area. You'll want to do this a couple of times making sure you are sewing into the fabric and not just the stabilizer. 


3. Move the hoop back and forth from one edge to the other so that the criss-crossing threads are being sewn to each other. That is how you'll be able to have the thread suspended in the cutout area. 

4. When you are sure that you've covered enough of the cutout area with your stitches, remove the fabric from the hoop and trim away the excess stabilizer. Gently run warm to hot water over the sewn area. The stabilizer will dissolve in the water and you are left with just the threads. Let the whole thing dry before mounting.


How I added the other elements:

I found an image I liked and printed it out on regular paper and glued it to the fabric. I simply stitched over the paper directly onto the fabric using it as a guide for the "embroidery". I then sewed the balloon strings.  

The image came from a fantastic designer Jessica Swift from whom I bought the canvas image. 

When you are all finished with your piece, stretch and staple it to your frame. At this point you can hot glue the twill tape around the whole thing to finish it nicely. Let me know if you have any questions!

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: guyanese food
    Tribal Times - Home - How to sew negative space

Reader Comments (4)

Ooh, I've never seen this type of sewing before! Fascinating! I'll definitely be sharing this on Pinterest. Thanks for this great tutorial, your work is lovely! :)

What a neat idea! I haven't seen anything quite like it. I want to try this sometime!

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentershutterbug

This is great, I must try it sometime!
Also, Aquamesh sounds like a super hero. :)

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAna, Weird Amiga

This is just amazing. I have never heard of this before, but it looks like fun. The possibilities are limitless. I will have to follow you to see what you are up to next. I also love the idea for the patches. If you would like to check out my blog go to I would love you to follow me and/or comment.

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGaye Brownie

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...