More Caricatures in Stitch

I wrote a post about stitching some caricatures back at the beginning of June. The sketches are all done by my friend Nanci Williams.  We are still working out the details but the plans so far for these are to have an exhibition of work by different artists using Nanci’s sketches as inspirations and to make a book of all of the people. We are thinking of calling it “Whitefish Fashion Plates”. The two previous stitched people who I did were the same size as Nanci’s sketch. This time, I decided I wanted to enlarge them considerably. I chose a sketch that had four women pictured who were all dressed very much alike.

Pattern Enlarged

I copied the original sketch and then enlarged each person on my copy machine by 200%. I then taped them all back together again. I gave them names as well!

Choosing Fabric

I then hunted down fabric that would work for them. All of them were wearing pastel shirts, all had grey hair and wore a visor and carried similar handbags. I had a hard time finding pastel fabrics in my stash as I don’t seem to have a lot of these colors in solids. The skin tone fabric I had was dyed with tea.

Fabric Ironed and Ready to Fuse

Once I found all the fabric, I had to iron all the pieces so they would be flat and ready to put fusible web on to the back of the fabric.

Trace Pattern on to Fusible

I started with Becky Sue, the one on the right hand side of the sketch. When I traced the different body parts, I had to remember that the paper on the fusible web is on the back side so I had to turn the sketch over and trace from behind. That way when I fused the pattern on to the back of the fabric and cut it out, the figure would be facing the proper direction.

Iron Fusible to Backside of Fabric

I then ironed all my fusible web with the patterns on to the back of the fabric I had chosen.

Becky Sue

I cut them all out and here is Becky Sue ready to be fused down to the background. I haven’t chosen a background fabric yet. I only have one piece of fabric that is the correct size and it seems a bit too “tie-dyed” for a background. I have been just using fairly plain green backgrounds. All of the details will be added with stitching once all of the figures have been fused to the background.

What Color Stripes?

All of the ladies shirts were plain except for Becky Sue. Her shirt is supposed to be striped. I didn’t have any striped fabric so I decided I would add stripes with a permanent marker. I made a sample piece to see which color stripes I like. Which color stripes do you prefer?

Deb's Mosaic People

These mosaic people are by my friend Deb Stika. This isn’t a very good photo but these are approximately 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall and all done in mosaics. The resemblance to Nanci’s sketches are amazing. These will be included in the future show and book too. I will keep you posted on my progress on the four ladies.

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19 Responses to More Caricatures in Stitch

  1. Lyn says:

    It’s an exciting and enjoyable project Ruth!
    (I love doing sewing like this, and I too have found that tea is the only thing to give a good skin tone.)
    Making the stripes with permanent marker is a good idea rather than spend days hunting down a suitable fabric (also the fabric will be custom made for the job and cheaper too). All the stripes look good – I think I would decide on colour after the rest of the picture is laid out on its background.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Lyn – I have been having fun with this one. I have been trying to not buy any new fabric for this project and just use what I have. Good idea on waiting to decide about the stripes.

  2. I use this same process to make pet portraits. The caricatures are a splendid idea. I made a self portrait in one of the funky caricatures and really like how it came out. Really interesting post.

  3. luvswool says:

    What a fun project you have planned–including the possible book name. I’ve always admired the caricatures that others do. Using the sketches and re-creating with fabric is similar to working a large puzzle. Will be following your project with much interest.

  4. This is such a great project. your piece is coming along well. I think I would use a multi colour strip. Maybe a 3-1 pattern across the fabric. It will be interesting to wee all the interpretations when you are all done.

  5. zedster66 says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing this one finished, you make it look so easy! 🙂
    I like the mosaics too.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Zed. Actually this process isn’t that hard. I always find the hard part is deciding on the design and Nanci’s already done that part for me. So this is kind of like paint by numbers with fabric!

  6. koffipot says:

    These are super Ruth! As Lyn says, probably better to see what background you’re going to use before deciding on the colour of the stripes. A good idea to make your own striped fabric too,

  7. Marilyn Nelson says:

    This looks like so much fun. I agree with Lyn and Judith on waiting to pick colors. And if you make your own stripes, they don’t have to be flat, but show movement. I look forward to watching your progress.

  8. kwinter12 says:

    Very clever – looks like you’re having a lot of fun! The mosaics are amazing too!

  9. Pingback: Give Away Winner and Update on Caricatures | feltingandfiberstudio

  10. ruthlane says:

    Reblogged this on The Whitefish Fashion Collection and commented:

    Here’s a look into the process of making one of my pieces for The Whitefish Fashion Collection. Nanci’s sketches were so fun to work with. And you can see Deb’s mosaics at the bottom of the post.

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