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As an avid scrapbooker I am always spending a small fortune on beautiful papers, dried flowers and the like to adorn my scrapbook with. My scrapbook is my recollection of memories, songs, pictures and generally things I want to treasure. Looking back over my latest album I decided it was time to research for some new techniques and one of the ones I found was stitching.
If you don't scrapbook or 'do' craft then you would think the idea of stitching paper is mad! However it's a beautiful technique that adds an extra dimension to page layouts. I looked at many different examples online and loved the way you could add a homemade effect to paper and photo's but as I looked in to how to do it I realised without a sewing machine it would be a long, labourious task!
By coincidense We R Memory Keepers had recently released their 'Sew Easy' collection. A brilliant and innovative American brand in the craft market, We R Memory Keepers are barely known about here but I am very familiar with their products as I have many already.
The Sew Easy collection is designed to add that texture to your layouts and projects without having to drag a sewing machine out. The Stitch Piercer is the key to the range as it's the main tool you need to be able to work with. Shaped a bit like a pen which is moulded to fit in to your hand. It's curved to allow you to be able to follow curves and natural lines on your projects but also it's supposed to be able to create curves and lines freehand without difficulty.
The Stitch Piercer comes with one head but the range features a further 15 interchangable heads which can create over 24 different patterns of stitching. The one it's supplied with is the basic head which will allow you to create a basic stitch that you can back stitch too. This means you can either create a single stitch line which would look like this : - - - - - - - OR you can back stitch which means when you have done this single stitch you turn the paper over and re-do which creates what looks like one continuous stitch which would look more like this -------. As explaine you can do this is straight lines, curves, curls etc and the piercer evenly spaces out the holes for perfectly alligned and perfect looking stitch.
Technically you could use any type of string or thread with this but We R Memory Keeprs have released a special 'floss' to be used with the stitch piercer. There are 22 variations of floss and each variation comes in a pack of three shades. These cost £1.99 which is excellent value for money because you get three colours for this. It also means you have more variation to add to each layout page and can also be used with many different layouts.
The Stitch Piercer cost me £8.99 from Hobbycraft, which was a little more than I expected to pay. Having looked online first I had expected less. This is however probably because I buy most of my craft supplies online from America as the choice here in the UK is extremely poor and what is available is far more expensive. Despote it's cost I was still happy to buy it as it did come with the first interchangable head and also included a needle too. The needles can also be purchased seperately in packs of four for £1.99 but getting one free meant I didn't need to buy those. It's a blunt needle designed to follow through the pierced hole rather than create the hole itself.
When I first used the pierce I was a little disappointed. After researching online I figured out that the piercer will only pierce through one piece of paper and it will struggle with anything more than this. I particularly wanted to sew photos on to card-this was never going to happen! If you want to create a crosshatch stitch which would like like this 'X' then this piercer isn't strong enough to do that. So for me I went back to having to pierce each hole individually-which when you have to space them evenly by hand-is no mean feat!
The whole Sew Easy Range really excited me...until I bought it. It's excellent if you are using it on one piece of paper but I expected it to be great for the serious arts and crafter but it's not really. I would recommend that if you do buy it then don't buy any of the interchangable heads, just stick with the original because for the detailed work you will be better by hand (although it's time consuming) or if you have a sewing machine then stick with that.
I rate this piercer three stars. As a package deal getting the head and the needle then it's great! I am looking forward to creating some lovely swirls and flourishes on my works with the single and backstitch effect. I wish I could give it a higher rating but considering the effects it's supposed to create, that you actually can't it's a disappointment. Serious scrapbookers (oo-er!) layer paper on paper, with many layers on each page for the effect and to be able to sew on to this your not going to be able to use the Sew Easy Range.
Value for money on the 'extras' is great though and a tip for anyone who does want to use this-you need to place your paper on something soft that will absorb the piercer as it punches it's holes. We R Memory Keepers say the tool won't work without their accompanying stitch mat (which retails for £12.99) but I found that buying two pieces of A4 sized foam (also from Hobbycraft at 49p each) worked just as well! So save yourself a few pennies!
For more details please visit www.weronthenet.com