Archive of ‘Wearables’ category

Buckle Up!

Embroidered Belt Buckles 

This is one of my favorite quick and easy projects.  Most of us have more reasons NOT to wear a belt than to wear one because they draw attention to our waist (something we often avoid), they remind us of cowboys and we don’t ride horses, we like elastic pants without belts because they are comfortable. 

But belts can be slimming on most figures when worn with a jacket. Interesting belt buckles add a touch of adornment to plain outfits and embroidery lends a feminine touch to a masculine item.  But most of all – they are really fun to make!  

You can find the blank buckles at  You probably already have the other supplies.  Here’s the list: 

Embroidery Products
Amazing Designs Eileen Roche’s Fashion Embellishments I ADP-20JEREMB022
Palette 7.0

Faux suede or leather, denim or other sturdy fabric 8” x width of fabric
Pellon Featherweight Fusible black interfacing 8” x belt measurement
Tear-away stabilizer
Vellum or tracing paper
Double-sided adhesive
One blank belt buckle: Tandy Leather
Needle: embroidery 80/12

Step 1. At the Computer (Palette Instructions by Kathy Isbell)

When you have an odd object to embroider, make a template in Layout & Editing of Palette 7.0.  (This can also be done in older versions of Palette.) 

Place the buckle face down on the scanner bed, open Layout & Editing in Palette, and select “Image” on the top tool bar.  Go to “Select TWAIN Device”.  The Twain device is your scanner and Palette needs to recognize your scanner before you scan an object.  With any future scans, you don’t need to select the Twain device again, because Palette will know to scan from this device the next time. 

Select “Input” again and choose “from TWAIN device…” 

The buckle will be scanned in its original size, and the scanned buckle will appear as an image on the screen.  The scanned image cannot be viewed in “Realistic Preview”. 

Turn off “Region Sew”, and change “Line Sew” to a running stitch and select a thread color that is highly visible. 

If making an inset for a round or oval buckle, use the circle tool on the left toolbar. If the buckle is square or rectangle, use the rectangle drawing tool. Draw around the inside of the buckle. Make certain the drawn template doesn’t extend outside the inner area of the buckle. 

To check the template for the inside of the buckle, print out the page, cut out the template and place it inside the buckle.  Make any necessary adjustments to the digital file and save it as BuckleOutline. Save the paper template to use as a guide when cutting out the two-sided adhesive. 

When you are satisfied with the template size, the scanned image of the buckle can be removed from the background by going to “Image”, “Modify”, and delete.  The only thing on your screen now is the template you drew. 

Open design ADP-20JEREMB022.  Select one portion of the branch as shown.

Copy and paste the selected branch and mirror image it.  Move the branch as shown.

Paste the adjusted design into BuckleOutline and save it as BambooBuckle.

Step 2. Embroider the Design

Hoop tear-away stabilizer. Insert the metal frame of Magna-Hoop into the hoop.  Place the faux suede in the hoop and top it with the large acrylic frame.  Snap the magnets into the slots. 

Attach the hoop to the machine and stitch the basting outline in the same color thread as the fabric. Remove the fabric from the hoop and set aside. 

Step 3. Cover the Buckle

Remove one sheet of protective paper from the double-sided adhesive. Center the embroidery over the sticky adhesive.  Cut the buckle on the basting line. 

Use a pin to score the second piece of protective paper and remove it.  Press the sticky side on the buckle blank.  

Click to see larger image

Step 4. Make the Belt

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the faux suede, make sure it is secure.  Fold the fabric in half and place the pattern on the fabric, matching the pattern’s fold line (select correct size) with the fabric fold. 

Cut out the belt.  Edgestitch with the blindhemming foot around all edges.  Use a permanent marker to color the edges. Let dry. 

Add one snap to one end of the belt following the manufacturer’s directions for installing the snap. 

Terrifically Tacky Tape™ by Art Accentz™
Therm O Web Mounting Adhesive
Red Liner Tape

Want a chance to win a Buckle Up Belt Buckle Kit?  Just tell me what your favorite fast and easy project is and consider yourself entered to win!  The Buckle Up Collection consists of a CD with 9 belt buckle designs, two blank buckles and three pieces of faux leather!

The winner of the giveaway from last week is… Paule-Marie!  We’re going to be sending you Teddy, the Amazing Stitchable Bear, to embroider! 

Paule-Marie  I try to be organized – hard most of the time. I do have projects set up in plastic bags and also use plastic containers so I can stack easily. My favorite hint to get enough sewing time in is to have your machine always set up and ready to go. That way, if I have only 10 or 15 minutes, I can get sewing right away. Nothing stop creativity cold than having to set up and take down because you don’t have a dedicated sewing spot – even if it is only a corner in the family room. I also carry it one step farther. I am lucky enough to be able to leave a sewing machine at work so that I can sew on my lunch hour.

Congratulations, Paule-Marie !

Masculine stitches

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogEmbroidering for men can be quite the challenge. Traditionally, embroidered fashions are not readily embraced by American men unless the embroidery is a favorite sports team’s logo, NASCAR emblem or uniform patch.  And men can be really picky.  It’s okay with them if they purchase a $75.00 polo shirt at the country club and the embroidery is not as crisp on the pique fabric as you know it should be.  And there’s no problem if it sports a clearly visible 4” bullet-proof patch of heavy cut-away stabilizer behind the embroidery.  But if YOU made one of those mistakes on his golf shirt, well, heaven forbid.  One very smart lady – married 36 years – told me after she bought her sixth machine – a top-of-the-line embroidery dream machine – she just informed her husband that this machine doesn’t stitch menswear.  He believed her.
Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogBut you don’t have to go to that extreme.  You can stitch menswear and please the man in your life.  Just follow the same basic guidelines you use when stitching fashion garments for yourself.  Make sure placement is correct – left chest embroidered designs should be straight and centered in the left chest area. The only way to achieve perfect placement is by using a left chest template. You’ll nail the placement every time. I use the left chest template from our Perfect Placement Kit to flawlessly locate the center of the left chest in a variety of sizes.

Select a strong, but sheer stabilizer. Polymesh, fusible or non-fusible, is perfect for polo shirts. Use a beige polymesh on white knits to eliminate stabilizer show-through.  Polymesh is also very comfortable next to the skin in comparison to a rough, itchy, heavy cut-away.  If decorating a knit pique, use a lightweight tear-away on top of the fabric to provide a crisp, clean edge to the embroidery.

Stitch a sample of the intended fabric, embroidery design, stabilizer and thread.  Our friends at OESD say, “There are only two kinds of embroiderers, those who test and those who wish they did.” Well said!

Since that’s the traditional route for menswear, let’s not overlook today’s contemporary styles of embroidered menswear.  The young guys are way bolder than their older counterparts.  They’re not afraid to flaunt large – really large – embroidery designs splashed asymmetrically down a shirt front. Often, these same designs cross over the side seam so they are visible from the front and back.  They do tend to tread softly when it comes to color.  They opt for monochromatic looks in soft, muted shades of gray, cream, brown and even purple (think smoky plum).  Often, the shirts are a narrow stripe or small print.  The scale works perfectly with the large designs.

And it’s creeping up the age bracket. Take a look at Tommy Bahama® – their camp shirts are emblazoned with 10” or larger designs.  That brand is definitely geared to the Baby Boomer guy. You know the one; he just can’t help himself from swaying to the music whenever a favorite Beach Boys’ tune blares.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogSince Father’s Day is just around the corner, wouldn’t you like a chance to use that left chest template from the Perfect Placement KitLeave a comment and you could be our lucky winner.  Tell me what type of embroidered fashions the men in your life are wearing.  Do they go for the single design, left-chest placement? Or are they more adventurous and prefer large, splashy designs?  What about that conservative cuff monogram?  Is that the extent of the embroidery they’ll display?  Can’t wait to hear what the trend is in your house!
Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog
The winner of the Embroider It Yourself Boatload of Bags CD from last week is… Sylvia!
on June 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm | I like how the large bags look, generally on younger girls. I once purchased one and my fashion police daughter said it was too young for me! If I get a larger bag I just seem to fill it and cannot find anything in it but when I carry a mini bag I find I don’t have everything I need!
Congratulations, Sylvia!

Design handbags to highlight your best features!

Recently, we just finished the cover of the next issue of Designs.  All I can tell you is it features one really styling handbag!  So it got me thinking about making more handbags—something I just love to do!

I’ve made dozens of bags over the years and have learned a few things along the way and not all were about construction.

I’ve learn that different bags look better on different body shapes.  Not every retail location has a full length in the accessory department but they should because the shape of some bags can look dowdy on some figure types.  Here’s a brief guideline on what looks best on what figure type.

  • Short and Thin Ladies – Go for a small shoulder bag that hits your body below the bust but above the waist. Any petite bucket, shallow and wide totes, and sling bags will complement your figure.
  • Well-endowed Figures – Wear a flat backpack or long shoulder bag to draw attention away from your bust. Tote a hobo or sling bags to finish your look.
  • Inverted Triangles  – Carry a bag that hits at your waist instead of the hips to draw attention to a narrower area. Sling bags and totes that are deep and narrow work best.
  • Tall Femmes – Make yourself look more proportional by sporting a handbag that hits at your hips and features a long shoulder or double strap. Look for bucket bags, hobos, and shallow and wide totes.

Keep in mind that scale is extremely important in accessories.  Today’s ridiculously oversized bags look well, just that—oversized—on many figures.  They pretty much remind me of the diaper bags I had to tote for four years two decades ago. Boy was I glad to be done with them! That’s the diaper bags not the children!

Try on a handbag – in front of a full length mirror, you’ll see what I mean. Don’t be a slave to fashion – make it work for you!

Tell me what you think about this new trend in oversized bags.  Love them?  Despise them?  Want to make one?  Do they remind you of diaper bags? Do you think they’ll come with wheels next season? Leave a comment and get a chance to win a copy of my Embroider It Yourself Boatload of Bags CD.  You’ll find four great patterns for four very different bags all featuring my functional embroidery technique – embroidery that not only looks good but works, too.

Tell me what you think about this new trend in oversized bags.  Love them?  Despise them?  Want to make one?  Do they remind you of diaper bags? Do you think they’ll come with wheels next season? Leave a comment and get a chance to win a copy of my Embroider It Yourself Boatload of Bags CD.  You’ll find four great patterns for four very different bags all featuring my functional embroidery technique – embroidery that not only looks good but works, too.

You can check out the product here!

The winner of our soft tear-away stabilizer from last week is….Betsy!
on June 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm | My grandma taught me to sew many, many years ago but I kind of lost interest after my children grew up and didn’t want to wear Mom’s hand-made clothing anymore. I recently treated myself to a fabulous embroidery machine. OMG, every feature is my favorite and I have discovered the joy of sewing all over again. If I had to pick just a couple of features, the needle threader and thread cutter are “the cat’s meow”, as Grandma would have said. It will take a while to learn everything this machine can do but I’m grateful to sites like yours that give me a lot of tips and ideas.
Congratulations, Betsy!

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