Gosh it was nice to read all your comments about my trial with the Sulky Solvi, both from those who had used it and those who have been wondering about it.
My heart was overjoyed for those of you who love this product and have found it to be exactly what you need.
But for me, it was a completely different experience. Oh, dear. I hate it.
Honestly, I've taken a couple of days to write this post because I needed to ponder 'why' my experience with this product isn't what some of you described in glowing praise?
First though, let me show you my completed cardie.
I'm smiling ear to ear, heart bursting with vintage happiness....
Honestly, I can't wait to pop this on and stroll along the Strand by moonlight with my true love tonight.
But...back to the soluble embroidery stabiliser.
It gummed up more than I though possible, my needles needed to be cleaned every few stitches.
My backstitch is tiny and I think that made the process worse because I had to push through gummy stabiliser and fabric with barely space between each entry and exit point of the needle which distorts the stabiliser and pushes gum into ridges.
The gum is so thick that my hands ached from the resistance war between stabiliser, fabric, needle, thread and Jenny's fingers. In fact, I ended up doing the satin stitch in single strand thread to see if that helped (less thread to pull through) and it did, but only slightly. I think if you have arthritis in your hands this would really aggravate it.
This design when I originally stitched it on linen with my favoured Weaveline permanent stabiliser fused behind the fabric took 3 hours to stitch.
On the cardie it took 8 hours and my fingers are still throbbing.
It's also difficult to get perfect entry and exit for my needle as I am not looking at the fabric, but the Solvy. Not having clean sight on my actual fabric also meant I wasn't able to swap and change thread colours (I do that a lot during the design process as I view my threads working or not working together), and when I needed to unpick a few threads it wasn't easy.
Another issue is that when the Sulky dissolves away after washing the fabric the stitches are loose because that extra 'padding' between stitch and fabric has disappeared.
For those who missed the last blog post and what the Solvy on fabric looks like before you stitch, I'll show you again...
There's a lot of gum residue on the fabric after you complete the stitching because as you stitch your fingers are pressing the Solvy to the fabric over and over. It did wash away though.
Obviously linen and this thin acrylic cardigan are two very different fabrics, but there was no escaping how thick the gum is on the Sulky Solvi. I shall not be using it again.
Washing out the Solvi after I'd completed the embroidery was fairly easy, although it did take three attempts. I needed to have the water very warm for the Sulky Solvi to break away from the cardie and disperse into 'flakes' through the water. Unfortnately the flakes then settled on other areas of the cardie and stuck, so that's why the extra rinses. I also had to rub the embroidery to remove the Solvi from behind the stitches.
Once I had it all removed I rolled the cardie in a towel and squeezed away the water before laying out to dry.
Honest, I am thrilled with my 'new' $7 cardie now that the embellishment is complete, but it was definitely a labour of love to keep going and not throw the whole thing aside after the first backstitch/blanket stitch leaf.
Sad to say I won't repeat the experience of Sulky Solvi again.
Some girls asked on Instagram if I fused another stabiliser behind the stitchery and the answer is no. (My heart is beating harder just imagining what a nightmare for my fingers that would have been - very glad I chose not to).
Here's what the back looks like.
So away with the Solvy, but I still have the Legacy brand to try. They both feel the same weight, but the Legacy soluble stabiliser 'feels' like it has less gum.
I'll try that one on cotton fabric, but not for a while as my hands are in need of normal 'Jenny-style' stitching without all the fuss, wear and tear.
You know, I find it SO much easier to trace a design myself, fuse Weaveline behind the design and just stitch. When it's done, give it a press and you're finished.
A number of girls have told me they find tracing a design tedious and that's why they like using printable soluble sheets like Sulky Solvi. Fair enough, if that's your bug bear and it puts a smile on your face to take that route, bless you! Sewing, in any style, should include a big glass of happiness and contentment, so choose the techniques YOU find work best.
For me, I love tracing a design. I get to examine every little section in all it's prettiness, acquainting myself with the ebb and flow of lines and curves before I stitch them, then when I thread my needle and prepare to make that very first dab of colour I say to myself, "I remember you, little bird, let's bring you to life".
Most important to remember isn't it?
ENJOY the process, breathe, sigh, smile, create - your way.
My other doings this week?
The breadmaker cover is made and it's brightened my kitchen/dining area.
Now I need to sew a curtain to cover the appliances underneath.
I'm thinking something like this (from Dottie Angel's blog ) using some of my vintage doilies...
When I thought about Dottie Angel's wonderful use of the humble doily I remembered her book (co-written with Ted & Agnes) which dwells in my bookcase...
...so a good hour was spent inside the pages yesterday while a certain little angel I was babysitting slept by my side...
Cully May and I had special time alone together yesterday while Blossom ran errands and Mr E worked on the Jeep.
When she woke she immediately decided my Dottie Angel book was hers and spent a good 15 minutes turning pages on my lap squealing "Oooo!!" at every pretty thing.
Mr E was most delighted to find a big cookie jar filled with fresh baked Oatmeal, Raisin and Orange biscuits prepared 'just for him'.
Today I'm baking bread and perhaps another Strawberry Shortcake because Mr E requested it.
Is there anything lovelier than homemaking?
I think not.
I've continued playing with the sewing machine and decided to use two of the big granny square blocks I made last week as a runner for under the telly in our bedroom (we have no tv reception in the bedroom but we can still watch dvds on a lazy weekend afternoon)...
...and I've finally begun piecing my pink and green quilt using the stitcheries from last December's issue of The Stitchery Club.
And did you notice my new iron?
I was given a 40% off voucher at Spotlight by my sweet Blossom and decided this would be perfect as I couldn't afford it otherwise.
This iron is amazing, truly.
Even Blossom squealed when she 'played' with it yesterday.
Goodness, you must be parched for a cuppa after this long blog post! Sorry if I've kept you, but I thought it best to do a big post today as I'm taking a little break for a bit while Mr E's on school holidays so I can continue to potter around the house and bake things for him, sew for our home, and generally amble through these relaxing days until school resumes on July 10th.
The July block of The Love of Home BOM will be shared as usual on the 1st, though.
One last thing.
"Be still and know that I am God." That Scripture came to mind as I was about to sign off so perhaps someone needed to hear it?
We probably all do.
How reassuring, thank you Lord.