Embroidery Using Fabri-Solvy - A Cautionary Tale

I've always been a bit impatient when using windows or light boxes to trace embroidery patterns. When I chose the Santa Monica Pier pattern to stitch from Studio MME's new pattern book, I knew I would have trouble with all the straight lines. I've tried an iron-on transfer pencil before and the results weren't as accurate as I needed, then I remembered that I had already bought some Fabri-Solvy*. Here's how I used it to transfer my pattern, and the lessons I learned...

First I printed the pattern. The Fabri-Solvy went through my printer really easily.

I then cut down the sheet to fit on the hoop and tacked it to my cotton fabric. It is sticky so I might not have needed to do this.

While stitching, the Fabri-Solvy puckered a bit, I don't know if it wasn't stretched tight enough. There was some resistance, but no sticky needle problem that others have reported.

After finishing stitching, I trimmed the Fabri-Solvy back to near the stitches.

I then swished it around in warm water until it stopped being gloopy.

I left it to dry on a towel, then ironed it.

Once it was dry, I could see marks where the printer ink had run (down from the struts of the pier and around the windows - just about visible in the photo below). Originally I thought it was the DMC thread that had run, but I have since found another site where someone has mentioned a problem with the printer ink, so I'm assuming it was that. I was VERY annoyed (especially as it was destined for Megan's book), tried rinsing it again, no change. Grrrrrr. Next time I try this, I will print the pattern in a very light grey to prevent this. Some of my stitches now look a bit wobbly, I assume that's due to stitching through several layers then removing one. My stitches didn't look at all loose when I was making it, but I guess I will have to stitch tighter in the future when using Fabri-Solvy.

Would I use Fabri-Solvy* again? Yes, as it made transferring the pattern and keeping straight lines a doddle. I really really wish I'd tried a tiny sample first to work out the kinks though.

* Amazon affiliate link

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