Jan Tillett – Stitched Surface Texture Workshop

Jan Tillett – Stitched Surface Texture Workshop


Jan Tillett ws2 3

The aim of Jan’s workshop was to show us various ways of manipulating fabrics.

She described how wadding allows us to create a range of textures, depending on whether we use one or two layers, and compared this to a product called Style-Vil, a foam interlining, which gives a more sturdy finished piece that is ideal for bag making.

The wadding or style-vil is layered between a piece of calico backing and the top fabric.  Dense stitching then flattens the surface which contrasts with the raised unstitched areas.

This was a fun technique to try on a printed fabric.

We then layered a backing fabric (calico) with a patterned fabric or organza, and  stitched spirals which distorted the fabric. If organza was used we trapped odd pieces of thread between the fabric layers to add more interest.

Zigzag smocking, using free machining with a wide stitch, created ridges on the fabric which resembled a bark texture. We used a range of fabrics for this including silk and velvets.

Random ruffling is a process whereby you gather strips of fabric onto a base fabric by pushing the fabric strip under the foot of the machine with a wooden coffee stirrer. These strips overlapped each other so that an abstract ruffled effect was created.  Jan pointed out that using a gathering thread could also work although the gathering is then more uniform.

For intense gathering she introduced us to the ‘Gathering Foot’ and the  ‘Ruffler Foot’. Expensive additions to your sewing machine accessories box but something that makes the most incredible close gathers on most fabrics.

Jan Tillett workshop
Jan Tillett ws2 12

It was a really fun day and everyone had a great time.


Thank you so much Lindsay for your write up and for your photos

Thank you also to Sue P for contributing photos of members’ work


Jan Tillett website:  https://www.jantillett.co.uk/

Jan’s Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=jan%20tillett%20textiles

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