Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ottobre 02/2005-12 Easter dress

Easter is such a great excuse to make a cutesy dress! Naturally I had to embroider it too. It's just so fun!
Myra is such a cooperative little model. She works the camera. Anyway, the dress, right? It is Ottobre 02/2005-12, which I made for Myra years ago. It's a nice simple dress with basic lines, which makes it perfect for embellishment!
The dress itself has a peasant style bodice, with elastic gathering at neckline and sleeve openings and a basic dirndl skirt. Normally it would be a quick sew, but I complicated it in every possible way...
First, I added embroidery. For the bodice, a triple easter egg applique framing Myra's name. This fabric is a shirtweight stretch cotton woven. Really perfect for this dress, but the stretch made the embroidery challenging. I ended up stabilizing with mid-weight cutaway, and floating the fabric. For additional stability and body, I also underlined the entire dress with silk organza.
The trio of eggs on the skirt actually needed more stabilization, despite their similarity to the bodice motif. I doubled the cutaway and that did the trick, again floating the fabric to minimize stretching during embroidering.
As if the embroidery wasn't enough to add to the complexity, I also decided to fully line the dress. For the bodice, I actually ended up simply underlining the front and back pieces. My brain wasn't up to figuring out how to attach those cap sleeves and the elastic in a fully lined bodice. I did add the lining pieces after stitching out the embroidery motifs, so the back of the stitching is covered.
To give the skirt lots of pouf, I added a tulle ruffle stitched to the lining in between the skirt and lining, so it wasn't scratchy against her legs. The lining fabric is Hang Free, so it is very soft and comfortable.
Despite the challenges of embroidering this fabric, I'm really glad I went to the trouble of making it work. I feel like I'm learning so much about machine embroidery with each new project. It is so fun to have a new challenge!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

More embroidery fun

The sewing room has been sadly unproductive lately. The kids had Spring Break last week, and we had a few sick days before that. I'm getting back into the swing of things now and cut out a tee shirt today. Fortunately, machine embroidery is less time intensive when I'm not also making the garment from scratch.
Myra really dislikes "boring" tee shirts, but a $4 tee from Walmart isn't so boring when I'm done with it!
I'm particularly proud of this one, as I designed the pattern myself, combining the dragon, castle and several fonts in Sew-What Pro. I'm really having fun with that program! I love being able to tweak a design and make it my own. Or Myra's own!
I stitched out the dragon and castle in metallic thread. I'm thrilled with how well it worked out, since I've had trouble with metallics in the past. For my machine, the secret seems to be to drop the tension to 2.0 and slow the speed WAAAY down.
One thing I've been learning about is stabilizing knits properly. It's tricky to find the balance between enough stabilizer for the design and not so much that it overwhelms the fabric itself. Even then, the design itself plays a big role - more dense designs need more stabilization. I ruined a couple of shirts attempting designs that were too dense for the fabric.
It seems like satin or running stitch lettering and open, sketchy designs play best with tee shirt knits. A single layer of medium weight stabilizer has been enough for this type of design.
Myra has been enjoying the process too. She helped me design this one herself!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Kwik Sew 3299 with manly embroidery

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have spotted some attempts at manly embroidery. My poor hubby gets very little sewing attention, but this seemed like a fun challenge. I've been playing around with fitness type designs, as Mitch is active in Crossfit.
I was editing this design on my laptop, and Mitch saw it and couldn't stop laughing. But it was a good kind of laughing, and he asked me to put it on a tee shirt. YAY!! Man embroidery!
Here is the design itself. The barbell is from Embroidery Library (you can get it here), although I stitched it out with darker greys. The font is from Etsy, and I purchased it here. I struggled to get the proper stabilization for this design on this fabric! The knit is fairly lightweight and quite stretchy. I test stitched the design out quite a few times before I found a stabilization method that worked. I ended up with two layers of mid-weight cutaway stabilizer hooped with the fabric, then with a layer of water soluble stablilizer floated on top.
The shirt pattern is Kwik Sew 3299. It's been out of print a while. It's a fairly loose fit tee and I think I might go looking for another tee shirt pattern. *Jalie, Cough, Cough* This one has slightly odd proportions.
The neckband is the worst offender. It's weirdly wide. The pattern piece looked odd when I cut it out, so I stitched it with an extra 1/4 inch seam allowance, and it still looks too wide. The sleeves are also slightly short. That actually works for this, since Mitch will wear it to the gym, but for casual wear I think a slightly longer sleeve is more masculine.
Mitch did consent to a photo so you could see how it fits. As I mentioned, this is a workout shirt, so it is intentionally snug. Mitch's broad shoulders make the sleeves look even more disproportionally short. Must order new men's tee pattern. Because there will be more manly embroidery!! I wonder if anyone has digitized something with guns...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jalie 2908, with fairies!

Man, I only blogged one thing in February! Most of my sewing was pretty unexciting - PJs and pullovers, but I did get in a super fun pair of jeans.
Not too exciting in front...
Party in the back!!! One of the things I was super excited about when I got my new machine was embroidering jeans. Back pockets are so fun now!!
Otherwise, this is my usual Jalie 2908. I think this is my ninth pair, but I'm still tweaking it here and there. This time I added an additional inch and a half of length. I pretty much only wear heels, and all my other pairs are hemmed a bit short for that. These particular boots that you don't see have 5 inch heels. Pretty standard around here. I do expect some shrinkage too, as I only prewashed this denim once. Denim can be such a tricky beast!
The fabric is a nice weight of stretch denim from FabricMart. I bought a ton of it at the time, and I'm so glad I did! It's perfect for jeans.
Who else is glad high waist flares are coming back in?? I adore them. I think this waistline is actually 2 inches higher than the "high rise" on the Jalie pattern. I love me a high waist!
Up close, so I can brag some more on Vera. I did all the topstiching with her, and she was such a champ! Even my heavier duty machines have a bit of trouble with jeans topstiching. There are tons of layers and the fabric is heavy. And buttonholes? Fuhgettaboutit. Vera didn't even blink. She whipped out that keyhole buttonhole like it was no big deal. She also has a really nice bartack function that made attaching the beltloops and tacking down the fly shield really easy.
Here's a closer view of my fairies. For those who might be interested, the design is from Embroidery Library and you can get it here. It's done in pink in the original design, but they're my jeans, so I'll do what I want.
I have so many more plans for embroidered jeans!! Y'all are going to get tired of seeing them. Sorry, not sorry...