I have been wanting to have a go at playing with shibori circles since someone did something like this on one of my workshops. There are 6 different circle patterns to explore and learn how to make here. Each different circle design is shown above with a key number beside it to refer to the text. I will go through them one by one.
Choose a lovely soft cotton piece 50cm/19” square. Please look at my general blog “7 Helpful Hints for shibori sewing” about useful tips for shibori sewing before you get going. Find a mix of different size round objects to draw around, a jar lid, cotton reel, and a small box, some examples are shown in the photo. Draw around with a water soluble fabric marker pen. Scatter circles in a pleasing array over your fabric.
How to create 6 shibori circle patterns step by step.
Each row and line of stitching is sewn in double thread and has a small tag inserted at the end to stop the thread pulling through. See my video for clarity on this.
Shibori Circle 1
A 7.5cm/3” circle. Created by tying a bead into the centre on the underside of the fabric. Then pinching 2 layers of fabric together and sew a simple running stitch through both layers around the outside line of the circle.
Shibori Circle 2
A 5cm/2” circle. Made by folding the fabric in half and stitching two rows of stitching ½ cm/ ¼ “apart through both layers of fabric.
Shibori Circle 3
A 4cm/ 1 ½” circle. Stitch a circle through one layer of fabric. Pull up the stitching and bind with a heavier weight thread.
Shibori Circle 4
A 9cm/3 ½ “ circle. Created by tying a bead into the centre on the underside of the fabric. Then pinching 2 layers of fabric together and sew a simple oversew stitch around the outside line of the circle through both layers of fabric.
Shibori Circle 5
A 5cm/2” circle. Stitch a circle through one layer of fabric. Pull up the stitching around a piece of dowel or another small round object and tie tightly. Cut a circular piece of plastic, cover the circle and bind with a heavier weight thread. This completely excludes the dye.
Shibori Circle 6
A 5cm/2” circle. Made by folding the fabric in half and stitching two rows of stitching 1 cm/ ½ “apart through both layers of fabric.
The remaining circles you see are predominantly variations on those I have described or involve simply tying a bead in.
Pulling up the stitching
Now it is time to pull all the stitching up. Pull each circle up in turn gathering tightly and knotting. Bind any bead in tightly with a slightly thicker thread.
You now have your design ready for dyeing. If you need help on dyeing with indigo dyes look at my previous blog.
Once dyed you carefully unpick all the stitching to reveal the design.
I hope you enjoy playing with circles. I plan to make a lampshade using some of these patterns. You can vary which size circle you stitch in what way to make a variation on the design. Happy sewing!