Archive of ‘Wearables’ category

Volume 104 Subtle Tees – Leaf Lesson Part 1 of 2 – Software

By Denise Holguin

This is expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees project featured in Volume 104 May/June 2017.

Lesson Highlights:
Copy, paste and rotate designs in embroidery software to suit your needs.


Design:  Leaves & Branches Garland Frame
Company:  Stitchtopia / http://www.stitchtopia.com

I like to let the creative process unfold.  Initially, when I purchased this design I planned on placing a word in between the frame.  But the more I thought about it, I decided to transform the design to a 4-sided frame to showcase a spray painted leaf.

I think the process of creating and transforming is the most enjoyable part of stitching a t-shirt.


Open the Leaves & Branches Garland Frame in Perfect Embroidery Pro or similar design editing software.  I used the 4” frame to accommodate the scale of the shirt and the size of the leaf stencil I will be using.  (This very generous collection includes multiple sizes including:  4”, 5”, 6”, 7”, 8”, 9” and 10”.)

It’s easier to group each row of garland separately before we start rearranging and copying.  To do this, select the top garland.  Right click with the mouse button.  Select Group.  Repeat this step for the bottom garland.  If you choose not to group, it can be a little tricky to select the correct elements that make up a single garland design.

Select the bottom design.  Copy and paste. Slide the design to an empty space.

With the newly copied design still selected, go to the Transform Tab.  Type 270 in the Rotate box and click Apply.

Reposition the design so that it is to the left of the original frames.

Slide the top and bottom garland designs to make room for the new vertical garland.

Select the left garland.  Copy and paste the garland.  Slide it to the right side of the design.

Go to the Transform tab.  Click on Flip horizontal.  Press Apply.

Rearrange the garland designs as needed until you have a pleasing shape.  Once finished, go to Edit / Resequence by color.

Save the design, print a template and send to the embroidery machine.

Volume 103 Overspray Turned in to Opportunity

This blog is expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees article featured in Volume 103 March/April 2017.  This post covers “overspray”.  

For spray paint tips, visit “spray paint


I did not heed my own advice when I spray painted the stencil on the t-shirt.  It was windy outdoors and I didn’t cover the shirt well when I appliqued the spray paint.

My heart sank when I removed the stencil.  The colors looked amazing.  But there was overspray.

No problem!  I decided to use the stenciled part of the shirt as applique fabric.

Overview of this Project:
I stitched the Ravenheart design on the spray painted (ruined) shirt first.  Then I cut the embroidered piece to use as applique fabric.  I embroidered the fabric on to the new shirt.  Since I was working with knit fabric, I chose to make my applique raw-edge applique.

The purpose of this article is to show mistakes can be salvaged. You just have to get scrappy!


Embroidery Designs:
Ravenheart from Urban Threads.  I chose this design because the decorative elements on the heart mimicked the stencil design.
Applique shape:  Created in Perfect Embroidery Pro but any digitizing software will work.

Step 1.  Make the Applique Shape

Determine the Size of Applique Shape
I printed a template of the Ravenheart design and placed it on the stenciled portion of the original t-shirt.  I didn’t love all the stenciled areas I spray painted, so I chose the area I liked best.  Feel free to experiment – you are creating a ‘new’ fabric.

This process helped me determine how big to make the applique.  I cut a square piece of paper  to audition how large my applique shape should be.

Launch Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Click on the Drawing icon on the top toolbar. Select the Rectangle.

Draw a shape.  Don’t worry about the size.  You will make adjustments in the next step.

Click the Transform Tab.  Make sure the Main aspect ratio does not have a checkmark.  Type the proper dimensions for the applique shape.  (My example is 5.5″ x 5.75″.)  Click Apply.

Now it’s time to convert the artwork to stitches.  Make sure the artwork is selected.  Then right click, select Convert To / Run.

Change the Stitch length to 2.5 mm.  I selected Two ply for the stitch type.

Save the design as AppliqueShape.  Print a template of this design and send to your embroidery machine.

Step 2.  Prepare the Applique Fabric
I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of polymesh stabilizer to the back of my ruined t-shirt.  Then I embroidered the Ravenheart design using Snap Hoop Monster.  (Snap Hoop Monster prevents hoop burn and let’s me tug easily on the shirt without fear of puckering).  Once finished, I unhooped the project.

Next, I placed the template of AppliqueShape on the embroidered design to get a sense of how much of the t-shirt I need to cut.  I cut a large enough piece of the t-shirt to use as applique fabric.  Remember, you can always trim but you can never add to an already cut piece of fabric.

Step 3.  Stitch the Final Shirt
I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of polymesh stabilizer to the back of my new t-shirt.  I placed the AppliqueShape Template on my new shirt to determine where to place the applique on the t-shirt.  Next, I placed a Target Sticker to designate the center of the AppliqueShape Template.  The last step:  stitch the AppliqueShape design.  Trim the edges of the appliqued t-shirt leaving about a 1/4” all the way around.

 

 

Embroidering on Onesies

Is there anything sweeter than welcoming a new baby into the family right at the holidays?  It brings the meaning of Christmas home…time to focus on the important things in live and leave the mall hustle and bustle to others.  One of our team members, Sandy Griggs, became a first-time grandma on Dec. 18th to Bo Braun – a beautiful, healthy 8.3 pound cherub.

We couldn’t be more thrilled for her family and since Sandy is a previous collegiate softball star, I thought it was only appropriate to stitch a onesie for Bo.  It’s a little cold up there right now but come spring training, he’ll be ready for batting practice!

I purchased a baseball applique design at Applique For Kids and added lettering to personalize it for Sandy. 2016-12-28_15-27-17

Here are the easy steps for stitching an onesie. Fuse polymesh cut-away stabilizer to the wrong side of the onesie.  Place the onesie on a work surface and position the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit Center Chest template on the shirt. Match the shirt’s vertical center with the template’s vertical line and the curved neckline at the bottom of the ribbing. Place a target sticker in the opening. one1

Turn the onesie INSIDE out.  Slide the top magnetic frame of Snap Hoop Monster into the shirt, centering the target sticker. You’ll have to peek into the garment to see if it’s centered.  Attach Hoop Guard to the frame and pull the shirt over the Hoop Guard as shown. one2

Carefully transport the hoop to the machine (use the magnetic shield that came with the hoop). Attach the hoop the machine.  Use the machine’s editing features to center the needle over the target sticker.  Rotate the design so that it will stitch in the proper orientation. one3

Stitch the first color, the placement guide.one4

Place the applique fabric over the outline and stitch color 2, the tackdown.  Trim the applique close to the stitching and continue with the embroidered details. one6

Remove the hoop from the machine, turn the onesie inside out and trim away the excess stabilizer. Fuse a soft, tricot knit interfacing over the wrong side of the embroidery to protect the baby’s skin. one7

If you like this baseball applique, then there’s a good chance you could win a $20 gift certificate at Applique For Kids. Just leave us a comment and we’ll pick FIVE winners next week!  Since Applique for Kids designs are just $2.00, that’s 10 designs!  Pop on over to Applique for Kids and tell me what’s your favorite category of designs – they’ve got plenty!5winners

Happy New Year!

 

 

Stabilizer Experiment

2016-07-30_16-41-18Normally, I use fuse polymesh stabilizer to the wrong side of the design area to stabilize knit fabrics. But recently, I was working on a couple of knit skirts. The brown one, shown above, is an a-line skirt and easily slips over the hip. I used polymesh cut-away stabilizer on it with satisfactory results. The second skirt, a pretty avocado green is more fitted. I really needed to keep the stretch of the skirt so it could slip over the hip. I opted to use Piece & Stitch  wash-away tear-away stabilizer instead of my usual cut-away.2016-07-30_17-06-54

As you can see, the stitches are lovely, they sit nicely on the fabric without a ripple.

2016-07-30_16-57-18

This Piece & Stitch wash-away tear-away stabilizer breaks down in water leaving soft fibers in the embroidered stitches and practically vanishing from other areas. And I was thrilled with the results. The stitches are gorgeous and after laundering, the skirt has not lost any stretch.  As a bonus it’s so comfortable to wear because the remaining stabilizer is very soft.

Do not confuse Piece & Stitch wash-away tear-away stabilizer with a water-soluble stabilizer. Water soluble stabilizer means it dissolves and disappears in water. Wash-away tear-away means it breaks down in water, like tissue paper, leaving no gummy residue.  2016-07-30_16-57-43

It’s good for many uses but not a substitute for water soluble, so don’t try to make lace with it!  Normally, I use it for piecing quilt blocks in the hoop but now it’s my go-to stabilizer for stable knits.

A freshly popped t-shirt!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

I’ve been on a t-shirt wearing kick—mainly because t-shirts are comfortable to wear in the summer.  But instead of mass market t-shirts that everyone is wearing, I’ve opted to embellish my own.

Years ago I wouldn’t have tried, because I was afraid of the effort to hoop and that the embroidery would turn out crooked.  But with the tools and technology available today, there’s no excuse not to try.  Bargain t-shirts can be found for as little as $4.00.  Plus, the benefits of continued practice include an increase in confidence and an improvement of skills.

Another fun bonus:  the shirts become conversation pieces.

In the last month, I’ve stitched 4 new t-shirts and every time I wear one of them I get compliments.

The most memorable was while ordering my drink at Starbucks.  The barista said, “I like your t-shirt.” My reply: “Thank you, I made it last night.”  He looked at me with awe and asked, “You just whipped that up last night?!”

His reaction made me smile, but I also realized I had transitioned into a more experienced, confident embroiderer.

Whether you realize it or not— you have developed and improved your embroidery skills with every stitch made on a garment, quilt block or even a scrap of fabric.  It’s easy to forget or dismiss this gradual progression but it should be celebrated and encouraged.

When I consider the work of our contributing writers and Editor, Eileen Roche, it’s hard not to assume projects get whipped up in no time.   But as I’ve learned, it’s a function of continued practice, experiments, a willingness to try new ideas and yes… to fail and learn from mistakes.

So, readers, grab a t-shirt and an embroidery design and start stitching!

About the featured t-shirt:

  • The Popcorn design is from Baby Kay’s Appliques.  You get multiple sizes with your purchase.
  • The website suggested inserting a monogram but I decided to add text:  “I’m here for the show” using embroidery software.
  • The only shirt I had available was this brown one— I didn’t think it would work but with a careful selection of bright colors, I think it looks wonderful.
  • To help guarantee success, I stitched the design on similar colored brown fabric to make sure the colors would pop sufficiently.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


This week’s assignment:  Achieving a goal is often easier to complete if you write it down. Who is the next person you are going to embroider a project for?  What will you make? Post your comments and 4 random people will receive a $25 gift certificate for use at Baby Kay’s Appliques!

300x350 BabyKaysAD

It’s Sew Easy TV: Monograms for Men

ISE 703-2 PIC 1

On October 10, log onto http://www.ItsSewEasyTV.com and watch me show you how to make any men’s garment distinctive and personal by adding a monogram in episode 703.  The key work is discretion to assure great results. I’ll discuss the variety of types and shapes available for monograming, and show how to perfectly position the garment in the hoop before you start to embroider.  Then, I’ll create the monogram on the screen of the Quattro® 3 NV6750D by selecting the font from the built-in lettering and resizing and moving the letters.  Check out how to use the snowman sticker to assure the pocket flap is perfectly positioned.

Materials

If there’s one word to describe monogramming on menswear, it’s discreet; discreet in size and contrast. Now don’t go by my samples – my samples are done for photography – highly contrasting so you can see them well on camera. But when stitched for someone to actually wear, a discreet monogram is the one most gentlemen will be comfortable wearing. You have several choices when it comes to placing the monogram. Some very popular choices are on the pocket, above the pocket, or on the pocket flap if there is one, on the left cuff, inside the placket between the second and third button or on the placket at the bottom, just below the last button on the top placket and just for identification purposes: inside the collar. ill There are countless ways to arrange the letters but I’ve focused on three versions of the three-letter monogram. The traditional diamond shape: first name initial, last name initial and middle name initial. The two outer letters are proportionally smaller than the middle letter. Diamond The standard order: first, middle and last initial – all the same size. Standard On the pocket flap, go for a contemporary approach with the first initial stacked over the middle initial. This ‘tower’ of letters is equal in size to the last initial. Take this approach when the garment is a casual shirt like flannel, worn every day. Contemp Let’s take a look at how you do it.

Pocket Flap

Find the vertical center of the flap. Place a target sticker just right of the edge of the flap. Hoop sticky stabilizer and place the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Turn on the laser and center the hoop under the laser. Position the flap on the sticky stabilizer. Smooth the flap on the stabilizer making sure the shirt is not caught under the flap. Flap1 Support the weight of the shirt while transporting the hoop to the machine. Attach the hoop on the machine and verify the needle is centered over the target sticker. Remove the sticker and embroider the monogram.

Cuff

Button the left cuff and place it on a flat surface. Cuff2 Place the Perfect Placement Kit Cuff template on the cuff, aligning the fold with the template fold line and the topstitching line with the topstitching. Slide a target sticker under the template – use A for sizes small and medium and B for Large and extra-large. Cuff Unbutton the sleeve and pull the sleeve inside out. Hoop adhesive stabilizer and center the hoop under the Perfect Alignment Laser. Slide the cuff under the beam, aligning the crosshairs. Attach the hoop to the machine and embroider the monogram. These small precise monograms take under three minutes to stitch – you could do a whole closetful in an afternoon!

Here’s your assignment this week:

What is your most prized monogram project? Tell us your favorite and one comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thank you for reading and good luck!

Gift-Card

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

What foot do you have that you wish you knew how to use?  Post a comment to let us know! One comment will be chosen at random to receive a $25 shopping spree on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

And the winners is..Barbara. “Gee, I wish I knew where to start! Between my sewing machine and serger, there are so many adventures afoot that I can’t begin to choose! How about the ones that came with the last update?”

Hooping a t-shirt in Multi-Needle Monster

Today’s blog is inspired by a reader’s recent question.  We hope you enjoy and be sure to keep those questions coming!

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On July 21, 2014, reader Beth Price left a comment asking how to center a t-shirt with Multi-Needle Monster and PAL. Here’s how I do it.

First, prepare your hoop. Multi-Needle Monster comes with four adhesive centering rulers. Apply them to the top of the metal frame. MN1

Mark the centers of the magnetic frame on the magnet side with a permanent marker. For illustration purposes here, I’ve place four Target Stickers on the marks so you can see them clearly. Set the hoop aside. MN2

Stabilize the knit shirt with fusible polymesh cut-away stabilizer. I use the Embroiderer’s Helper for left chest placement because it provides flawless placement. Fold the t-shirt in half, matching the shoulder seams. Place the folded t-shirt on a flat surface and align the Embroiderer’s Helper’s straight edge with the fold. The notch at the top left goes right under the neckline ribbing. If there was a button on the shirt, the notch will land right under it. Slide a target sticker into the notch corresponding with the size of the t-shirt. My shirt is large so I align the target sticker with the notch marked Large. Remove the Embroiderer’s Helper. MN3

Place the shirt under PAL and turn on the beam centering the target sticker. Alignment now is not crucial; you’ll fine tune that in a few moments. MN4

Slide Multi-Needle Monster’s magnetic frame, magnets up, inside the shirt. Open the t-shirt to view the frame. Align the frame with the beam. MN5

Smooth the shirt front over the frame aligning the target sticker with the beam. MN6

Position the metal frame on one long edge of the magnetic frame holding it perpendicular to the magnetic frame. Check the alignment. The beam should hit the center mark of the metal frame. MN7Carefully release the metal frame onto the magnetic frame. Smooth the t-shirt by gently tugging on the fabric beyond the edges of the hoop. Since the t-shirt is stabilized with a fusible cut-away the fiber will not distort with the frame. Remember, it’s a flat hoop so it’s perfectly acceptable to pull on the fabric – within reason! You wouldn’t want to use brute strength, just normal handling. MN8

Attach the hoop to the machine, hem first. MN9

Inserting the free arm into the hem (instead of through the neck) insures that hoop can move freely during the embroidery process. MN10

You gotta love these multi-needle machines – they make embroidering on blanks so easy!

A New Bag – Finale

Here’s the windup on my new bag. After embroidering the corner accents and grommet designs on both bag outer panels, I followed the instructions in Handbags 2, Designer Knockoffs for stitching the grommets on the lining. Now it was time to construct the bag. I used a centering ruler to find the center of the bag front. The long legs of the target ruler hit the grommets at the same measurement so the hole in the center designates the center of the bag. I slid my decorative trim under the ruler and pinned it in place then edgestitched the trim to secure it to the bag. HB_July8-1

I burrowed into my stash of bag-making supplies to find the Clover Shape ‘n Create Bag & Tote Stabilizer. I found a packet and low and behold, it was mere scraps! Ugh! HB_July9-1

But hey, since I can sew this piece to the bottom of the bag, I can probably sew the strips together to make a larger piece. That’s exactly what I did. I placed two strips under the needle, side by side and zigzagged over the joint. HB_July10-1

Then I repeated that for the third strip. Worked like a charm! I wouldn’t recommend this for a laptop bag but for an everyday bag, it works fine. HB_July11-1

I sewed the bottom seam, right sides together and taped the Shape ‘n Create in place. Then I sewed the stabilizer to the bag bottom and added the feet. HB_July13a-1

Designer Knockoffs shares some secrets for successful pressing because pressing during bag construction is crucial for a professional finish. I recently purchased Dritz Thermal Thimbles (heat resistant finger protectors) and loved using them for this task. It seems I’m always burning my fingertips while pressing the narrow ¼” seams open but not anymore! Love those Thermal ThimblesHB_July14-1

With the sideseams sewn, I slipped the lining into the bag and even tucked my phone into the pocket for one last fit check. HB_July16-1

Next step is the grommets. If you read Designer Knockoffs, you’ll notice it calls for headliner interfacing not heavy craft interfacing. The grommets will not adhere to the heavy interfacing like they do headliner. Make sure you use the proper materials. Here’s a tip for inserting the grommets. Use a kitchen cutting board to insert the grommets. Place the prong side of the grommet on a flat surface. Center the hole (on the bag) over the grommet. Place the matching side of the grommet over the hole, connecting the two grommets. Place the kitchen cutting board over the grommets and push down on the board with the palm of your hand. You’ll hear a snap as the board forces the two sections of the grommet together evenly. Give it a try; you’ll be surprised how easy it to force the two sections together. HB_July17-1

I followed Nancy’s instructions for adding a zipper then bound the upper edge and voila! That was fun – I love making bags!

BK00119_inuse6

 

Here’s your assignment this week:It’s an easy one! Just CLICK HERE and Like our Facebook page then leave the comment “Like” below. TWO winners will be chosen to get a copy of Handbags 2 Designer Knockoffs.Handbags 2 - Designer Knockoffs
The winner of last week’s assignment:Leave a comment below about what size bag you prefer. Small, medium, large or jumbo-jet size? One comment will be chosen to receive a copy of Handbags 2 Designer Knockoffs by Eileen Roche and Nancy Zieman.Handbags 2 - Designer KnockoffsAnd the winner is… Vicki B. – “Medium – I’m like you – I overload if it’s too big, and it has to have two straps that fit over my shoulder comfortably.”

 

A New Bag

Nothing puts a little kick in your step quite like a new handbag – especially when you make it yourself. Once or twice a year, I like to dip into my fabric stash and see what I can use to create a new bag. I gather some materials I’ve been hoarding, I mean saving, and see if they would work together. Handbag Supplies - Eileen Roche

I knew I wanted to make another grommet bag from Handbags 2 Designer Knockoffs. I really like the grommets but I also like ready-made straps. It seems the best ones, (right length, width and material -microfiber) come with a ring attached at the end. Grommets for handbag

The ring doesn’t work with the grommets but I wasn’t going to let the closed ring stop me, I have a seam ripper! So I released the stitches from each end and unbraided the strap. It left me with two slits on each end. Hmmm…I placed them on my cutting table for a few days in the hope a good idea would pop into my head.

Modified purse strap

Once my materials are gathered, I take my time and work on the bag over several days (ok, maybe weeks!). This gives me time to think the process through, make some subtle design changes, overcome any challenges and enjoy the whole process.

I start by measuring the bag I’m currently favoring and decide if I want to duplicate that size or make adjustments. I’ve learned through the years, the larger my bag, the more stuff I pack in there. So reducing the space is a good idea for me, less clutter, less bulk, less weight. I decided my new bag would be a bit shorter than my current favorite. Then I cut and interface my outer fabric.

Next, I prepare my four corner appliques by hooping just the faux suede and stitching the Corner App design from Handbags 2 Designer Knockoffs. Then I stash my pre-cut applique pieces in a plastic baggie to keep them safe. While I was stitching the appliques, I turned my attention to the straps.

I was concerned about trimming the straps above the slits as this would make the straps too short. So, I decided to just stitch them closed.

Stitching straps closed

It looked so pretty that I stitched from end to end to make it a decorative detail. I used the triple zigzag stitch on my BERNINA 830. It’s normally a functional stitch but looks great on this strap!

Triple zigzag stitch

On Monday, I’ll show you some speed techniques for embroidering the corners and grommets.

Here’s your assignment this week: Leave a comment below about what size bag you prefer. Small, medium, large or jumbo-jet size? One comment will be chosen to receive a copy of Handbags 2 Designer Knockoffs by Eileen Roche and Nancy Zieman.Handbags 2 - Designer Knockoffs
The winner of last week’s assignment :Sewing Spoolie invites you to win a Slimline box of fabulous thread along with the pre-digitized designs to make all seven of the Spoolies in Sulky’s Collection #1. These popular sewing-themed designs, from the imagination of Joyce Drexler, are as fun as they are creative. And if you’ve ever tried to keep your stabilizers organized, you’re going to love Sue Hausmann’s bonus project included with the package. The whole package is a retail value of nearly $150 including 22 – 250 yd. spools of Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread, a 475 yd. spool of Bobbin Thread, and a CD with the seven Spoolie designs and bonus project. If you win, it’s all yours from Sulky. Now, go Express Yourself! Leave a comment below on where you would embroider a Spoolie to be entered!blog adAnd the winner is… Karen P – “Oh my gosh!! These are so cute!!! I would stitch them onto a bunch of tote bags that I have that I use for various different things, one is my Quilt Guild bag, one is my Crochet project bag, another has hand embroidery squares that I bring with me while waiting at various appointments, and so on. Plus, how could I resist putting a few of them on a sweatshirt or two!!! Ohhh I hope I won this one!!”

 

 

Multi-Needle Monday: Fast & Easy Applique

Aprons are the perfect accessory – whether you’re cooking in the kitchen, tending a garden or stitching in your sewing room.  I recently purchased these oh-so-cute aprons and knew they’d be the perfect accessory to wear at our Stitching Sisters events.  As I’ll show you – you don’t need to shy away from large print fabrics.  Applique is the key!

First, find the center of the apron bib by folding the apron in half or use a target ruler. Place a target sticker on the apron to mark the center.

Apron1

Prepare the applique fabric by fusing fusible webbing to the wrong side of the applique fabric. Let the fabric cool and remove the protective paper.

Apron2

Hoop the bib with tear-away stabilizer in a 5” x 7” hoop. I used Multi-Needle Snap Hoop Monster since the flat top makes trimming applique very easy.

Apron3

Retrieve the embroidery design. On the editing screen, touch the multi-spool icon. Travel through the design and place a stop (touch the hand) at color 2 and 3. Assign the proper colors if necessary. Touch close.

If you have a camera on the multi-needle machine, use it to center the needle over the target sticker.

Apron4

Touch the camera icon again to close the camera and touch Sewing. Stitch color 1, the placement guide.

Apron5

Lay the prepared applique fabric over the outline. Stitch color 2, the tackdown.

Apron6

Touch the hoop icon at the bottom of the screen to move the hoop out for access to the applique.

Apron20

Trim the excess applique fabric close to the stitched outline. Apron7

Stitch color 3, the satin outline, color 4, the inner satin accent, the bean stitch outline and the text.

Apron8

Here’s my Stitching Sister and me at our recent event in Sacramento with Meissner’s Sewing & Vacuum. What a great event! I wonder if it was the aprons!

Apron9

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