The Intermediate Embroiderer’s Bucket List
A few weeks ago, I posted the Embroiderer’s Bucket List for newbies. If you missed it, click here. Many of you commented on the list – some of you have already checked off all 10 items while others promised to work through the list. Here’s a new list for those of you who are ready to move on to more challenging machine embroidery tasks.
- Embroider a t-shirt. Placement is crucial when placing a design on the left chest. It should sit fairly high on the chest as you want to avoid the bull’s eye effect on the bust point. Also, embroidery that drifts close to the sleeve seam and/or armpit is very unprofessional. Use Designs’ Perfect Placement Kit left chest template for added insurance.
- Embroider a sweatshirt. Bulky sweatshirts can be cumbersome when hooped so tame it by turning it inside out and resting the bulk of the garment above the hoop. Plan the embroidery placement, fuse polymesh stabilizer to the wrong side of the design area and turn the garment inside out. Hoop the design area and ‘open’ the shirt to expose the design area. Carefully attach the hoop to the machine.
- Edge Embroidery– try a border hoop, you’ll enjoy the simplicity of the clamp-style hoop. Plan your designs close to the fabric/garment edge and stitch away!
- Appliqué. When I teach across the country, I’m always amazed to learn how many embroiderers haven’t tried an appliqué design. Now’s the time – I’ll bet you’ll love how much impact appliqué adds with just a little effort.
- 3-d appliqué. It literally pops off the fabric. It’s fun, eye-catching and quite doable. These pretty little winged creatures adorned the first cover of Designs.
- Stitch a border with evenly spaced designs. Learn how to plan the whole layout, and then adjust as the stitching proceeds. Measure the length of the fabric, measure the design, divide by a manageable number (this is the number of repeats) and mark the fabric. Start stitching, then continue to check the placement after you add each design.
- Stitch a matching set of napkins. You would think monogramming a set of napkins would appear on the newbie bucket list. But it’s actually a fairly tricky project. First, you want all the napkins to match and you really don’t want to purchase 3 or 4 extra just to get 6 that look alike. Since the monogram is normally placed close to a corner (either on-point or straight) it can be challenging to hoop. Just ask my Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, she created these gorgeous napkins.
- Embellish the back pocket of a pair of blue jeans. You only get one chance to do this right so it’s imperative to set your self up for success. First, measure the pocket and select a design that fills the space. Second, fuse the pocket shut so that you’ll be stitching one layer of fabric – not two. Here’s a popular Designs cover from the past.
- Design a layout for a skirt. A skirt is a large (usually!) blank canvas. It’s the easiest garment to flesh your design skills on because a basic a-line skirt has straight seams, one horizontal hem and minimal tailoring features. You’ll learn how embroidery draws the eye to the figure – sometimes that’s a good thing sometimes not!
- Create buttonholes with your embroidery machine. Let your embroidery machine do one of sewing’s most daunting tasks – buttonholes. All you have to worry about is marking the placement of the buttonholes and the digital file will take over the rest – making perfect duplicates, taming bulky layers of fabric and providing clean, crisp stitches. I’ve shown you how to do this in a previous post – click here for details on buttonholes.
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