Gathering Threads

Tutorial: Multi-Coloured Smocking Plates in Illustrator Pt 2

Posted by on Mar 04 2011, in Smocking, Tutorial

This is Part 2 of 3 parts of the tutorial for creating multi-coloured smocking plates in Illustrator.

You’ll find the first part of the tutorial, including the necessary downloads, here.

19. Fit the image in the window (Ctrl+0)
20. In the layers window, make the “picture” layer invisible.

21. Lock the “images” layer and unlock the “cable” row. Click on the cable row to highlight it.

22. Using the lasso tool (Hotkey: Q), draw around the excess cables and delete them. Be sure to leave at boundary of two or three rows of stitches around the motif.

23. Select all Ctrl+A.

24. Click on the Fill box in colour palette. Change the colour to CMYK colour 49/96/1/0.

25. Use the selection tool to eliminate the remainder of the extra cables. You will need to decide if you want the motif to be irregular or symmetrical as you eliminate cables.

Tip: sketches are rarely exactly even or symmetrical (at least, mine aren’t!). If you want a perfectly symmetrical tracing, divide the drawing in half with a ruler before you scan it. Then, simply trace the half drawing. Group the tracing (Ctrl+G) by selecting all the elements with the selection tool (V), then reflect and copy it. (Right click>Transform>Reflect).

26. Using the lasso tool, (Hotkey: Q) trace around the bow. Don’t worry if you miss a few stitches, you can always clean it up with the paint bucket after the fact.

27. Click on the fill box in the colour palette and select a shade of yellow from the colour palette. Be sure to note the colour composition (ie. 42/27/95/11)

28. Deselect the bow Ctrl+Shift+A. Use the lasso tool (Hotkey: Q) to select the remainder of the bow. Switch to the eyedropper tool (Hotkey: I). Click on a yellow stitch to “pick up” the colour. Use the paint bucket (Hotkey: K) and click over the selected cables. The cables will change colour.

29. Repeat the lasso/eyedropper/paintbucket process and colourize the rest of the ribbon. Tip: occasionally, a few cables won’t change colour when you use the lasso tool. If that occurs, simply change their colour by using the paintbucket (Hotkey: K) and manually correcting their colour.

30. Open the Symbols window. Scroll down to the smocking stitch symbols.

31. Zoom in (Hotkey: Z) to 800%.
32. Using the Selection tool (Hotkey: V) begin to replace full stitches that overlap the outline with half stitches from the symbols library. Tip: Navigate around the workspace using the Space Bar. A small hand will appear. Click with the mouse and drag the smocking plate around.

33. When all of the half stitches are in place, zoom in (Hotkey: Z) to 1200%.
34. Change from Preview mode to Outline mode (Ctrl+Y)

35. Using the selection tool (Hotkey: V), align the half stitches with the full stitches. Using the space bar to navigate around the perimeter.

36. Fit in window (Ctrl+0).
37. Return to Preview mode (Ctrl+Y)
38. Select all (Ctrl+A). Click the “Break Link to Symbol” in the Symbols window.

39. Use the lasso tool (Hotkey: Q) to select the half stitches. Colourize using the eyedropper (Hotkey:I). For individual stitches use the eyedropper first and then the paintbucket tool (Hotkey: K). Repeat for the yellow stitches.

The third and final portion of this tutorial is available by clicking here. It will show you how to create new embroidery symbols.