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how do I stitch on paper 1

Top Tips for Sewing on Paper

Sewing is not only about making clothing, handbags or cushions. Many artists use stitching as a medium in the same way they’d use paint or plaster.

Emily Barletta Untitled 34 2012 thread and paper 24 x 18 inches

Emily Barletta
Untitled 34
thread and paper
24 x 18 inches

Now I love playing with paper almost as much as playing with fabric and back when I used to scrapbook a lot I tried to use stitching whenever I could. But I’d been noticing how many people were stressing about putting a page under their sewing machine so I thought I’d share a few tips.

This is what I’ve learnt so far…

  1. it doesn’t really matter what needle you use. Obviously though, the bigger the needle, the bigger the hole. But understand that you won’t be able to use this needle for fabric again – it will be too blunt
  2. you really have to grip the paper well as the foot and the feed dog (the little jagged bits where the foot rests), will try to take off with your paper
  3. only use a glue stick for fixing your papers together before sewing. If you use double sided tape or regular sticky tape, the needle will get covered in gunk and won’t work properly
  4. I always leave long tails when I cut off, so I can pull the threads to the back
  5. and instead of trying to tie off the ends I simply hold the ends down with a piece of masking tape
  6. the thread tension is nothing to get too worried about either. Sometimes having the bobbin thread coming through to the front can add interest – especially if it’s a contrast colour
  7. try not to have your stitches too close together. Too many holes will weaken the paper.

I hope these tips make you more confident to have a go at stitching on paper. Have a go on a scrap piece and get to know what your machine will do. And let me know how you go.