For my final piece I have decided to create a more traditional craft kit, however rather than give users a specific final design my kit will allow them the creative freedom to create a piece which represents themselves. I think it’s really advantageous to promote creativity and crafting as recent studies have show regular crafting can have a positive effect on people’s mental health and well being. “Engaging in creative behaviour leads to increases in well-being the next day, and this increased well-being is likely to facilitate creative activity on the same day. Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.” (Ough, 2016: Online) Each piece could work as a stand alone embroidery piece, or it can be stitched together with the samples of friends and family to create a piece representative of their group. The samples will each measure 30X30cm (large enough to allow bold, simple pattern for beginners) and can be easily sewn together in a grid formation which has the potential to be endlessly built up.
Within the kit I want to provide users with everything they need to create a visually pleasing piece regardless of their ability level. As most people now seem to have a busy lifestyle I think it’s important they have everything readily available so they can use the kit as soon as it’s purchased. I hope this would improve customer engagement as it prevents them postponing use as they feel need to purchase specialised equipment.
The essential items I feel are needed to make an embroidery piece are as follows:
- Embroidery Hoop – This is used in almost every kind of hand embroidery as is used to keep the fabric taut while stitching.
- Needles and Thread – A basic selection of embroidery needles and stranded coloured thread will be included to start a project off.
- Stencils – I will design set of stencils which can help in users along the creative process. A collection of basic shapes will be included which users can layer up in order to build signs and symbols which represent themselves. I would also like to create a booklet showing how a number of popular symbols can be made by building up the shapes. The stencils will also be used as a tool for planning your samples as they are the correct size of the finished piece and include ruler and magnifying glass
- Links to app – I would like to create an app which can be used as a way to bring users together. I will also become a hub for learning new skills. Features would include online tutorials, tips, advice and virtual sewing circles. All kit instructions would be found on the app tp encourage users to become part of the community. With everything you need (from tutorials to a social network) found on your phone, the app allows to to create a global network which can be accessed from almost anywhere. Users can enjoy their craft kits wherever and wherever is convenient to them.
- Fabric (Fat Quarters) – Like the thread, a small collection of fabric will be included to get users started. As they experiment with the collection provided they will learn about the qualities of different fabrics and can begin to build thier own collection for further pieces. Users will be encouraged to swap and share fabric with fellow users and include fabrics with sentimental value for a more meaningful piece.
- Bondaweb – This ideal material for helping users of all levels in making applique pieces. It reinforces fabric and includes adhesive on boths sides to firmly secure motifs and backing fabric together simply by ironing. A design is drawn onto the bondaweb which is then fixed to the desired fabric, this can then be cut out and applied to a background.
- Photo Transfer Paper – I decided to include photo transfer paper in each kit as it’s a simple and easy (and very literal) way to memorialise memories or events on a textile piece. Once images are printed onto the paper they are then ironed onto a fabric backing.
- Felt – I feel felt is a necessary material to include as it’s perfect for both beginners and more advance users to use. It’s durable, it doesn’t fray and doesn’t require specialised techniques to apply it to fabric.
- Fabric Pen – Finally a fabric pen will be provided as it can be used in designing and marking applique pieces and embroidery patterns. In addition they can use it to draw directly onto their sample if users want to include hand drawn elements in their piece.
I hope this collection of items is enough to encourage users to start crafting as well as gaining material knowledge to assist them with future projects.
Ough, T (2016) Knitting, crocheting and jam-making improve mental health, study finds. The Telegraph [Online] 25th November 2016 [Date Accessed 25th April 2016] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/25/knitting-crocheting-jam-making-improve-mental-health-study-finds/