Stitches & Needles & Sewing Elements in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

Stitches & Needles & Sewing Elements in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Stitches & Needles & Sewing Elements in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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10 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Graphic Design for Lunch Create Stitches and Sewing Elements Introduction

      1:17
    • 2. Pt 1 Make a Stitch

      3:21
    • 3. Pt 2 Stitches and Thread

      6:09
    • 4. Pt 3 Make a Needle

      4:37
    • 5. Pt 4 Thread The Needle

      3:49
    • 6. Pt 5 Finish the First Design

      4:26
    • 7. Pt 6 Reuse Your Work

      3:43
    • 8. Pt 7 project and wrapup

      1:03
    • 9. Bonus A second worked example

      5:02
    • 10. Bonus Video For Illustrator CS4

      6:44
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn to make a stitching diagram using a range of Illustrator techniques. You will learn how to make stitches, thread, and a needle, and how to 'thread' your needle. You will learn to use tools including the Blob Brush, and Width tool - you will learn how to make a mask and how to save an reuse an object in Illustrator. 

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Zentangle® Inspired Pattern Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Graphic Design for Lunch Create Stitches and Sewing Elements Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class. Create stitches and sewing elements in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic Design for Lunch is a series of classes that teaches a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today, we're going to create stitches and sewing elements. Along the way, you're going to learn how to make a stitch brush and a needle that you can show as threaded with thread. You'll learn about masking, how to match the appearance from a brush with a simple drawn elements so everything looks the same, and some other handy tricks for working in Illustrator. As you're watching these videos, you'll see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up and secondly, write in just a few words why you're enjoying this class. These recommendations help other students to see that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. If you're ready now, let's get started creating stitches and sewing elements in Illustrator. 2. Pt 1 Make a Stitch: We'll start with a new document. I'm going to choose File and then New. I'm going to click here on "More Settings" so that I can get back to the standard dialogue for those of you who are not using the most recent version of Illustrator. We just want a document that's around 1,200 pixels by 800 pixels, and it's going to be RGB color mode. I'll click "Create Document". Now, I'm going to bring in a drawing and just add it here. Now, the reason why I like to use a reference drawing is because there's really quite a lot going on. Even in this very, very simple illustration, we've got stitches that we're going to create, then we're going to create a piece of thread. It has to go underneath the needle here and then it has to look like it's going through the eye of a needle, and the needle has to be piercing the fabric. There's quite a bit going on and having a small reference image will help you. Typically, I would just have this on my desktop, but I'm going to leave it here so that you can see it as we work. I'm putting it on a layer and I'm just locking it down, adding a new layer so we can work on a new layer. I'm going to the Blob Brush Tool and I'm going to set the default colors by just pressing the letter D. Going to increase the blob brush a little bit so it draws about that size. I'm going to double-click on the blob brush so that we can set it correctly. You're going to disable Keep Selected because when you draw a line, you want it not to be selected once you've drawn it. Then you want to Merge Only with Selection. So the next brush stroke that you create is only going to merge with a selected brush stroke. Since we are not keeping our previous ones selected, that means every one of the strokes we are going to make is going to be independent. That's really important because initially, all we want to do is get a nice single stitch, so we don't want them to be all joined together, we want them to be separate. Now, I've got Fidelity set to Smooth. In older versions of Illustrator, you might have two sliders here. What you want to do is choose what's going to give you the smoothest setting. You don't want it to be accurate. You want Illustrator to smooth out the bumps when you're drawing it. Everything else you can just leave as said, and I'll click "OK". Working with the default colors, all I'm going to start drawing some of those stitches. Now, this is not going to be my stitch line. All I'm doing, is trying to find a shape for a stitch. What I'll generally do in particular, because I'm drawing with a mouse and not with a tablet here, is draw a few stitches to try and get a shape that I like. Because each of these is going to be independent of each other. As soon as I get something I like, I can just grab the stitch that I want. Now, I'm looking at this one here. I think it looks pretty good. I'm going to alt, drag, that would be option, drag on the Mac, just the stitch away. I'm making a duplicate of it. Then I'm going to alt, drag a couple more times just to see how it looks, and it looks like it's going to work just fine. I'm going to keep one of these and trash all of these. We now have the line that we're going to use to make a stitch brush from. 3. Pt 2 Stitches and Thread: Now that I've got my stitch shape, I'm going to flip the stroke and fill, and I'm going to double-click on this color because when you use RGB or blacks are generally not black and this certainly is not black. What I'm going to do is just set they say M, Y, M, K values all to be 100 percent and that will ensure that this is a black outline. I'm also going to increase this. I think about 1.5 pixels will probably look a bit better, and I'm going to fill it with a gray color. I think this looks pretty good. Why I'm filling it with black and gray, is that then I can recolor it later on. Really, really easily. Right now if I were to create this as a brush and then I draw a line and apply the brush to it, the line is going to go right through the middle of the stage. If you want the line to go through the bottom of this stitch, then you need to build the brush a little bit differently. In addition, what we're about to do is going to make sure that this brush overlaps as well. So what I'm going to do is draw a rectangle. I'm just going to press the letter d to get the default colors and I'm going to turn off the fill because I just want to stroke. I'm going to draw a rectangle here and as I draw my rectangle, there's a little X in the middle of it. What I'm trying to do is line up the X with the bottom of this character and I'm lining up the top of the box with the top of the character. So this books that I've just drawn is lined up with the top of the character here in the middle of it is lined up to the bottom. It's also lined up to the side of the character and I'm just going to pull this over a little bit because this is going to represent the area of overlap. Now I'm going to turn this rectangle into a no fill, no stroke rectangle and I need to place it behind everything. Let's just go and get the layers palette here. Let's open this fly out. I'm going to take this no fill, no stroke rectangle and put it behind my stitch. Then I'm going to grab both of these because these are going to become my brush. I'm going to the brushes palette. I'll click the "Flyout menu" and choose New Brush. What we want is a Pattern Brush. I'll click that and click "Okay". Now if you're working in a lighter version of Illustrator, you're going to get an Auto Generated Corner Tile. You don't want it, so just click it to turn it off. All you really want is the stitch line. You want to turn the colorization method into tints because that will allow us to recolor this thread and you click "Okay". For now we don't actually need this stitch, but just in case it doesn't work or we want to make some alterations to it, I like to just save it over to one side. Let's see how this stitch is going to paint. So I'm going to take the line segment tool, I'm just going to draw a line. I'm going to hold the shift key to constrain it to a perfectly horizontal line and now that it has been drawn, I'm just going to click on my brush in the brushes palette and you can say that the brush is painting with the base of the brush along the line that we drew. If you want to flip it over, that's easily done. You'll click the option of selected object and then click "Flip Across", and that will flip the blanket stitch to be upside down. But I'm happy with mine being this way up because it's going to match the drawing that I have here. So I'm going to click, "Okay". I've got the first part of my illustration. Bring it down here a little bit and let me just move my image down a bit. So next up we need this piece of thread. I'm going to again select the blob brush tool and I'm going to draw in this piece of thread. It's going to come over the stitch here. It's going to go around. It's going to go up the top here. We're going to have a needle in here. Now at this point, we need to make sure that our thread and stitches match because they're going to have been created using the exact same cotton for example. Let's first of all go to our stitches and let's color our stitches. With the stitches selected, I'm going to the swatch this panel. I've got the stroke selected here. I'm just going to click to create this with a blue color. The way that we created that stitch with that black outline and the gray middle means that it's going to be colored with a pale blue and a dark blue. So any stitch color that you select, it's going to be a lighter color on the inside and a darker color on the outside. That's why we design this stitch with black on the outside and making sure it was true black and then a pale gray in the middle just so that we could recolor it appropriately. I like this blue. I'm going to use that. Now we need to color our thread to match. There's a very easy way of doing that. Firstly, I'm just going go and grab this line here and I'm going to alt drag a duplicate out of the way. I'm going to expand this with object expand appearance. Now that I've expanded the stitches, so eight stitches, a separate object, I'm going to select my thread, I'm going to the eyedropper tool. I'm just going to click on one of these threads and that colors the remainder of my thread to match. That's a nice, easy way of ensuring that the line that we just drew is inheriting the exact same properties, the exact same appearance as the stitches that we created using a brush. Now that our thread has been colored to match the remaining stitches, we can just select and discard these stitches because all we created them for was to borrow their appearance. 4. Pt 3 Make a Needle: Now we're ready to go ahead and to create a needle. So I'm going to the Line Segment tool. I'm just going to drag a line that is the length of my needle. As I draw, I'm holding down the Shift key to make sure that it is a perfectly vertical line. Now I've got quite a large stroke on this, but that's fine, you will need quite a large stroke. Provided you're using Illustrator CS5 or later, you will also have some brush profiles. We're going to select this Width Profile. Again, if you're using CS5 or later, you're going to have a Width tool. So we're going to select the Width tool, and I'm going to zoom in here so that I can see the needle area really clearly. In fact, I'm going to zoom in even closer to get to the top of it. With the Width tool, what I'm going to do is I'm going to start dragging out. So I just click on the line and drag out to get the width change started. So I'm going to turn my point into a slightly flat end here. So I'm just going to show you what it looks like slightly flat end. Going back to the Width tool and now I'm going to come down to the line again and I'm going to drag out. That's going to start to make the area for the eye of the needle. Now the eye of the needle is going to come out and then the needle's going to go back to being fairly thin. So what I'm going to do is look at the thin place. I'm going to click on the line and just drag outwards. I'm doing that because I want to anchor the line at this point. Now I can go slightly above the line and I can start increasing it for the eye of the needle. But if I don't anchor it at this point, I won't get this curve. Everything's just going to get wider from below there. I'm going back up here and I'm going to drag outwards a little bit, again, just to get the eye of the needle. If I want a bit more in the middle, click on the line and drag outwards. Now I'm just checking the rest of the needle. Well, the bottom of it, I want to be a bit thicker. So I'm going to select it with the Width tool and just start making it a little bit thicker and perhaps a little bit thicker here as well. Basically what I'm doing is just shaping my needle. At any point I can come back into one of the adjustments I've made and just tweak it. I'm just clicking on it to select it and then I'm just going to bring it in little bit to shape it. I'll press Control or command zero to zoom back out. I can say that I've overdosed on the eye of the needle a little bit, so I'm going to bring it in. When you've got something that looks basically like a needle shape, obviously without the eye of the needle, you can expand that. So I select it and choose Object, Expand Appearance. I have to say that this particular process is a really good introduction to the Width tool. Because you're just making a simple shape and if you've botched it up, you just delete it and start over. Now we're going to make the eye of the needle and we're going to do it the same way. I'm just going to drag out a short vertical line that's going to become the eye of the needle. I'm going to give it a stroke, but I'm actually going to make the stroke a different color. So I'm going to make it a pink, because we want to be able to see it in position in a minute and it will help if it's a different color. Again, I'm going to select this profile, so that it has this shape. Let's just move it over the needle and see what it looks like in position. I'm going to zoom in and I'm just going to use the width profile just to knock the top off, so it's a little bit less sharp. I'm going to make sure that I have this shape selected, this set of lines selected. I'm going to just adjust the width a little bit using the Width tool. Now I'm going to select the line that has this brush profile associated with it and that I have adjusted using the Width tool I'm going to expand it, Object, Expand Appearance. So now I have two shapes, the pink one on top of the black one. So I'm going to select both of these and I'm going to the Pathfinder Palette. If you don't have the Pathfinder Palette here, just choose Window and then Pathfinder. Because the pink is in front of the black, I'm going to select Minus Front, and that will just knock out the pink from the black. So we've got a compound path, that is our needle and it's got a hole in it for the eye of the needle. 5. Pt 4 Thread The Needle: Next up we want to move our needle roughly into position, but I don't want to rotate it right now, but I do want to say roughly where it's going to appear later on. What I want to do is to deal with this situation where the needle is actually in the fabric. So what we're going to do is select the needle and we're going to the Transparency panel, and you can get to it by clicking this icon here. If you don't see the Transparency panel, then you can choose Window Transparency to get to it. With the needle selected, you're going to click Make Mask. Now in some earlier versions of Illustrator, there's a drop down menu here that has the Make Mask option in it, but in later versions, it's here. Now we'd want to turn clipping off. We want to make sure that we have this box selected, that's really critical otherwise your mask is not going to work, and we're going to the rectangle tool here. I have black selected as my fill color and no strokes. That's pretty important because what I want to do is to draw a box over the needle where I think it's going into the fabric, so something about like this. Provided my black is pure black, which it isn't, let's see if we can make it pure black. That's pure black there. It should block out the needle. So you can see that even if I've got a black shape, and it's in here as a mask, as a black shape, it looks white here and it's blocking out the needle. So it's acting as a mask for the needle. Once I've finished with that, once I've gotten the position I want it to be, and I'm just going to click back on the needle to continue editing the needle. When I click away, I've got a needle that is in two parts, but it's middle goes with it, so I can take this anywhere and I can rotate it if I want to, and the mask is staying in position. This needle wherever it goes is going to look like it's stuck through a piece of fabric. Now that is way smarter a way of dealing with a needle, than trying to break it into two pieces because this one, you can move anywhere you like and the two ends of the needle are going to line up perfectly. You're not going to have an offset end to your needle. I'm just going to put it back here, and what we need to do is to deal with the area that's going to be blocked out by the thread here. I'm going to move the needle just up over the streaks. I want to get the dimensions of this piece of thread here. Again, I'm going back into the Transparency panel. With the needle selected, I'm going to click here on the Mask so I can go back to working with the mask. I'm going to zoom in here. I'm going back and get in a rectangle, and I'm going to draw my rectangle out here. My rectangle needs to be the rough dimensions of the thread here. Now we're going to rotate this a little bit later into the exact position. Basically if we don't get a 100 percent right now, that's fine because it probably will need some tweaking when we actually rotate the needle, but what we want is this look. When I'm done with editing the mask, again I'm going to click to go back to editing the needle. I'm going to zoom back out with Control or Command 0. Now you'll say that wherever the needle goes, it's got this little masked area that is suggesting to us when we put a piece of thread behind it, that the thread is actually passing through the needle. Of course, we can't get a shape in Illustrator to go through here. You can't thread a needle in Illustrator, but what you can do is fake the look, so everything looks as if that's exactly what's happening. 6. Pt 5 Finish the First Design: At this point, if you want to, you can change your needle's look. What you might want to do is to select the needle and give it a stroke and perhaps just a pale gray fill. So I'm going to do that. I want this illustration to be fairly simple, but I also want it to be attractive. I'm thinking that probably two pixels is of bit thick for the stroke, I'm going to make it 1.5 pixels. That's not a selectable option, but obviously you can type it in yourself. Now I'm ready to put the pieces together. I also want a stitching line for my stitching. What I'm going to do is go back to my line segment tool and I'm going to draw out a line, holding the Shift key as I do so it's constrained to be a horizontal line. Now, I want this line to be dashes, so I'm going to the Stroke here. I'm going to turn on Dashed Line. I've set this to six pixels dash and about a five-pixel gap. The line weight is about 1.5 pixels. I could take it down a little bit perhaps to one pixel. Doesn't need to be very dark, it just needs to be there. If you want your dash to be a bit longer, you can increase the dash and you can also increase the gap. I'm going to just click away from here. Let's have a look at our dashed line. That's looking pretty good. If you want it to be a little less opaque, you can just drop its opacity down. Again, you get this really fine line. Now, it needs to be behind everything. I'm going to find my Layers palette, here it is here. I'm just going to drag this line so it's behind everything. We're going to put our needle into position. So I'm going to grab my needle and I'm just going to move it up and rotate it. You can see that its rectangles are going with it. I'm going to put it roughly into position, but we are going to need to finesse the positions of these rectangles. To do that with the needle selected, I'm just going to click on the mask here so I've got the mask selected. Now I can come back and fix these rectangles. I might need to rotate the rectangle, for example, and then just move it into position here. This one, I might need to zoom in and just make sure that it's nicely lined up, which it isn't right now. I'll zoom back out now and before I finish here, I need to be really careful to re-select the needle so that I don't try to keep editing the mask. Otherwise, things are going to go awry. Now, the thing that I would probably do finally to finish this off is to add a little bit of a shadow underneath the needle. I'm going to do that with an ellipse. It's actually going to be half an ellipse. I'm going to draw out an ellipse and I'm going to draw out a rectangle. Because the rectangle's on top of the ellipse, I can select both of these and go to the Pathfinder and select "Minus Front". That's going to give me half an ellipse. I'm going to fill this with a gradient, turn off the stroke, but fill it with a gradient. Here's my Gradient panel. So I'm going to select a radial gradient. Once I've created my radial gradient, I can just click on the gradient tool here and just drag out my gradient so it's a little bit nicer. It also needs to be inverted, so the dark is in the middle and the lighter area of the gradient is on the outside. I want this to look something like that, a nice, soft gradient. Now, it's way too big and it's way too dark. But with the object selected, I can dial down the opacity probably to something like about eight or ten percent. I'm going to move it into position underneath the needle. Well, it's on top of the needle right now, but I can move it underneath in just a minute. Now that I've got the shape in position and sized, I'm going to the Layers panel, it's at the top. I'm just going to drag it down to the bottom so it sits under the needle. It's a very subtle effect, but it is reinforcing the appearance of this needle being through the fabric. 7. Pt 6 Reuse Your Work: If you were making a lot of these stitching diagrams, then it would really help you if you could save this needle so you don't have to re-create it every time. Now we've probably come a little bit further with working with the needle than we should have if we wanted to save it. But let's just see what the process would be. I'm going to select over the needle and the shading. On the PC, I'm going to hold the Alt key, on the Mac, I'm going to hold the Option key and I'm going to drag a duplicate away. I don't want to be messing with this, but I do want a duplicate of the needle that I can work with. The first thing I'm going to do is just straighten this needle so it's pretty much where it was as we designed it. So if it's pretty straight, I'm happy. I'm going to move the shading just over behind the needle here. With the needle selected, I'm going back to the transparency panel and I'm going to click on the mask because I want to make some minor edits to the mask before we go. The first edit is going to be just to straighten this up so that it looks neat on the needle, and I'm going to straighten this one up as well. This is only so that the needle is actually upright, so it just looks a little bit neater the next time I go to grab it. So once I've finished making those edits, I'm going to make sure that I click back on this needle. This is this so important and I guarantee that you're probably going to forget to do it at some stage because I forget to do it all the time and I wonder why everything is not working in Illustrator. So if you're getting frustrated, because Illustrator doesn't seem like it's listening to you, chances are that the transparency panel is going to hold the solution and you need to click back on your image. So now I'm just going to move this shading a little bit better into position. We're ready to save this so that we can reuse it, I'm going to select over it, and I'm going to open up the symbols panel. If you don't have a symbols panel here, choose window, and then symbols. I'm going to drag and drop this into the symbols panel. You don't have to select anything here, all you have to do is just click "Okay". Now I'm finished with this so I'm just going to delete it. This is now a symbol. So what I can do is I can get rid of all these other symbols here. So that I can reuse this over and over again, I'm going to click the flyout menu, choose Save Symbol Library, and I'm going to call this needle, and click "Save". Now the needle has been saved as a symbol file, so we'll be able to get access to it in any document in future. You'll just click the flyout menu, choose open symbol library, choose user-defined, and then you'll select your symbol. Now the symbol isn't available right now because we haven't closed Illustrator and reopened it. But it's going to be there as soon as you close Illustrator and open it again. So when you do that, you're going to get the symbol in the symbols panel. To use it, you're going to drag the symbol out of the symbols panel and then you're immediately going to click here to break the link to the symbol because you won't get the ability to edit the needle if you don't break its link with the symbol. Once you do that, you can just select on it and you can click on the transparency panel and click on the mask and now you have access to the two masks. The masks and the shading are saved with the needle in the symbol library. So everything is intact here so that you can easily use it in future. You don't have to recreate your mask. You just have to come in here and edit the mask to suit your new drawing. 8. Pt 7 project and wrapup: Your project for this class is to create a set of stitches, and needle, and thread to go with them to illustrate an embroidery stitch. When you've done that, post an image of your completed project in the Class Project area. I hope that you've enjoyed this class, and that you've learned some things about Illustrator that you didn't know before. If you did enjoy the class and when you see a prompt to recommend the class to others, please answer yes to recommending it to others and write just a few words about why you enjoyed the class. These recommendations help other students to see that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave me a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. My name's Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch. I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon. 9. Bonus A second worked example: In this bonus video, I'm going to show you how I created a second stitch design. There are a few elements in the slightly different to the previous one. I'm going to work through this pretty quickly and the only time I'm going to actually talk to you is when I'm doing something that is a little bit different. I'm going to speed up the video as I create this design. At this stage, I'm a little bit concerned because the needle is going in at a interesting angle, so I'm going to the blob brush and I'm just going to mark out where the needle points are. The thread here is going to come out at about this position here, that's going to be the start of my thread. Then the next stitch is going to be a little bit further along, that's probably where the stitch is, that's where the needle is going to come out. Then we're going to follow this path along here, and we're going to locate the approximate position of the needle going in. It might help you to mark out where these things are going before you actually go and create them, because you can easily get rid of these later on. I'm just going to test the blob brush, I think it's probably a reasonable thickness so now I can go ahead and draw the thread. Now in this case, because the needle needs to go behind the thread, we can actually mask out the thread rather than the needle. We don't need this mask. I'm just going to select it and I'm going to press "Delete". In this instance we're going to need to mask this out, I have it selected at my transparency panel, selected here. I've created my mask, I want to turn off my clipping. I'm going to zoom in here, I'm going to make sure that I have the mask targeted. Now in this instance, I'm going to need to make my mask using the pen tool because it needs to be really accurate. I'm going to click here, click here, click here, click here, and click here. If I need to finesse this, I can just select the direct selection tool and just adjust those points but provides you get pretty close you probably won't see it if you miss just a little bit. Sometimes you might find there are problems in locating the stroke options when you have a object selected and the stroke here. It seems to be a little bit of a problem in Illustrator. So one of the things that you can do is choose window and then stroke to open the stroke panel, or you can use the stroke options in the appearance panel. These all work exactly the same way. Sometimes they're just a little bit easier to find than to worry about why they are not appearing up here. So there's our second example in this case, things were a little bit different because of the positioning of the needle relative to the thread. But you can see that it's very easy to remove the mask that you don't need from the needle and relatively easy to add a mask to the thread. 10. Bonus Video For Illustrator CS4: This is a bonus video for anyone who's using Illustrator CS4, because there are a few tools that I don't think you have access to. I don't believe you've got brush profiles, I don't believe probably that you have a blob brush, and I'm pretty sure that you don't have a width tool. I don't actually have Illustrator CS4 on this machine, this is 5.1 I think. I've got some of the tools that I was saying that you don't have, but I just want to show you in this version how you're going to get around that. Instead of using the blob brush tool, if you don't have it, I suggest you use the pencil tool. Click on it to select it, double-click on it to open its options. You want to set the smoothness to quite a high value, because you want it to be nice and smooth. You can deselect Fill new pencil strokes and deselect all these options because we want to create each of the sample stitches as individual stitches, we don't want to unite them as we draw them. I'm just going to click "Okay". Now, I don't want a fill on this, I just want a stroke, and I'm making sure that I'm actually working with pure black. Let's just go to the Pencil tool, and let's draw a few of these strokes. These are going to be the strokes that you're going to use for your stitch, and you're just going to determine one of these that you can use. This one is looking pretty good here. Let's trash these. A couple of issues with this. We need to get the top around us. So we're going to the stroke tool here. We're just going to round both ends of it, so it looks nice, neat, and round. We also need to expand this because right now it is a line, so we're going to choose Object, Expand. Then we're going to flip the fill and stroke because I want the stroke to be quite black, but I also want it to have a fill. I'm going to click on the "Fill color", double-click, and I'm going to select a pale gray for it because we didn't want to make it as this shade. Now that we've got this, we can do a no fill, no stroke rectangle, which of course is just going to be done exactly the same way as it would be in later versions of Illustrator. Just make sure it's a nice size and it's going to be no fill, no stroke. Let's go to the last panel here, which I didn't quite recognize, and we're just going to put this no fill, no strike rectangle behind the rest of the element here that is going to be the brush. Now we've got a group here, but it's only got a path in it, so we're going to drag it out, so we don't overcomplicate things. Grab these two and we're going to Brushes palette, we're going to click the Flyout menu, New Brush. It's going to be a pattern brush, click "Okay". You'll want to set the colorization mode to tints and you should be pretty okay at this point. Let's just test this brush. It's drawing just perfectly. Now, you're also going to have some issues withdrawing the needle simply because you don't have a width tool. I suggest that if you can bear with it, that you use the pen tool. You're going to start by clicking on the point and this is going to be the pointy end of the needle. We're going to come up here and we're just going to start rounding it a little bit. I'm going to the top end of the needle and I'm just going to make a loop out of it. Let's come back down here to about the same position as we were here, and then we're just going to come straight down and click here. Now once you've got a fair start on your needle, you can come in and make some edits to it. I want to make this line a little bit smoother here and a bit smoother here. That's going to have to do with the handles. Now, this doesn't have any handles at all. So let's just select over it and give it some handles. Now, it's a bit better. Now, I can just use those handles just to smooth it out a little bit. Now for the inside for the eye of the needle, we could use an oval. I'm going to the Ellipse tool, I'm just going to drag out a nice, long, oval. Let's just rotate it into position and place it inside the needle here, just to see what it looks like. Now you can finesse your needle a little bit more if you need to. Let's just zoom in here. If you need to add some more anchor points, that's easy to do with the add anchor point tool. So we could add an anchor point here and one here, and then I'm going to switch to the direct selection tool and just drag in on these anchor points to try and slim the needle down at this point. Let's just smooth these points as well. But that's going to give you a pretty good needle. You're going to select both these shapes because you've got the oval on the top and the needle shape on the bottom or behind it, you're going to the Pathfinder and you'll select Minus Front, and that's just going to make a hole in the needle. Now once we've done that, let's fill the needle with some color. Let's just fill it with white. It's a black edge needle with a white fill, and we can test it now by placing it over the top of the stitch. You can see that this is a filled object with a hole where the eye of the needle goes. You have a transparency tool here for adding the masks. In the Transparency Dialog with the needle selected, you're going to click the "Drop down" here and choose Make Opacity Mask, and that adds an opacity mask here. You're going to disable the clip because you don't want it to be clipped. We're going to click on the "Mask" itself so that we can go and create the rectangle. I'm going to make a filled rectangle with no stroke. Let's choose a rectangle tool, let's draw it over the shape here, and let's just rotate it into position. You can see that the opacity masking is working pretty much the same in Illustrator CS4 as it does in later versions, it's just that they make a mask option is here on a drop down menu. Of course, now we're finished with the mask. We're just going to click back on the "Needle" so we can go back to editing it. I'm pretty sure that everything else should be easy for you to follow. If you have any questions at all, just post the question in the community area, and I'll try to help you out.