Hand Stitching Paper On Fabric

   I started experimenting with stitching different papers on to fabric a couple of years ago.  The papers I used here are hand made papers from Nepal. If you can't find any local sources for hand made papers, there are lots of online options.

How to hand stitch paper to fabric, April Sproule

   In my first attempts I added a lightweight fusible, Misty Fuse, to the back side of the paper before cutting out my shapes. This did a good job of adhering the paper to the fabric, but as with the use of any fusible it made the paper area stiffer and a little harder to stitch through.

How to hand stitch paper to fabric, April Sproule

   Then I tried simply pinning the paper pieces to my work and hand stitching around them with a simple overcast applique stitch. This worked out really well. The paper is actually soft and not stiff, and it is really easy to stitch through. 

Hand stitching paper to fabric by April Sproule

 Always do a little test swatch with your paper and fabric to make sure the paper is strong enough not to tear as you are stitching it. 

   There are so many incredibly beautiful handmade papers out there. Recently I was at Riley Street Art Supply in Santa Rosa, CA, and I stumbled across an entire room filled with gorgeous papers from all over the world. What a find!