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  • In-The-Hoop. A heart for sweets on a Sweetheart Day

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    Original text by Marina Belova 

    A few days ago I remembered that St Valentines Day was ahead, so why not to invent something special for the occasion (I have already made an embroidered postcard). Though I have plenty of ideas, I settled on another project that doesn't involve a sewing machine. 

    As the result, I got this bag for candies with a Velcro. With the candies properly tucked inside. 


    Initially, I intended to make a heart with a zipper but abandoned this highly interesting option shortly after. The lack of an appropriately colored zipper was the reason. Therefore, I opted for a Velcro fastener instead. I should try it out, shouldn't I? 

    Having measured the Velcro, I drew a very simple picture (very simple was exactly what I needed): 


    Then I created 2 simple designs. One for the box itself. With its help I prepared 2 templates which would be then fastened with a Velcro: 


    The second one was for the back side and holding all the details together: 


    I chose fleece, a knitwear fabric, as a basis for my embroidery. I opted for it not only because it was of an appropriate color (pink), but also because this fabric was highly stretchy so it would be convenient for me to fill it with the sweets afterward. 

    Time to proceed to the embroidery. I hoop the stabilizer: 


    Load the first half of the design and stitch the guideline that will mark the position of our future embroidery: 


    Then attach the first part of the Velcro with its adhesive side in. I secured it with a paper tape, like that: 


    Put a piece of fleece on top on the Velcro: 


    Started the machine, stitched the Velcro, secured the edge with a zig-zag, embroidered the first part of the front side of the heart and marked the place for the next detail: 


    Now it's the time to position another piece along the key lines: 


    Then stitch the fleece to the stabilizer. The basting stitch shows where the Velcro is going to be. I forgot to make a snapshot. But, in my opinion, everything is clear even without it, especially if you take a look at the picture containing the first part of the design. I attached the Velcro adhesive side up along the guideline and secured it with tape: 


    Stitched it: 


    Took out all the details, cut along the perimeter. These will be my templates for the next stage — sewing parts of the heart together. 

    Hooped another piece of stabilizer: 


    Loaded the second half of the design and marked the places where parts of the heart will be joined together: 


    Took the hoop off the machine, turned it the wrong way out and secured a piece of fleece on the layout with temporary spray adhesive – this would be the back side of my box. The fabric should be face up: 


    Carefully, so as not to shift the fabric from below,I inserted the hoop back into the machine. 


    Time for attaching the front side of the heart bounded together with a Velcro fastener. Which is what I did: 


    I started the machine and stitched the heart with the small-scale zig-zag along the perimeter. I was lucky and two zig-zags almost completely coincided. Usually, it is hard to position all the details on the layout and achieve a perfect fit:


    Once again, take the hoop off and turn them the wrong side up: 


    Trim the extra fabric near zig-zag: 


    After that you can replace your bobbin thread with the one matching your upper thread in color: 


    Insert the hoop back into the machine and embroider the finishing border: 


    Detach the heart from the stabilizer. 


    Then do the cleaning: remove the threads that stick out, also connectors, and singe the edges with the lighter so that to get rid of the protruding fibers. I haven't removed the stabilizer and left it as it is. Almost ready. 

    Fill the heart with the sweets: 


    After that, act according to the situation. 

    As a result of my impromptu, I've come to the following conclusions: 

    • Don't stitch the Velcro with a finishing border — the result will be too dense. You can avoid it by using a smaller piece. 
    • If you slightly change the sequence in the second part of the design, you can embroider the back side of the heart, too. In that case, it won't look so empty. 


    • This would also reduce the number of steps. 

    But, as they say, the first pancake is always a failure. 

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