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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/02/2013 in Articles

  1. 6 points
    Original text by: Marina Belova I dream of the times when I bring my embroidery workspace to an order. I want to make the working process comfortable and have everything I need ready to hand. That's why I've been reading on the issue and discovered a lot of interesting information. Many words have been written on how to organize your workspace, but here are the things I singled out and to try in the nearest future. I liked the scheme by Frank Gawronsky in the Images magazine depicting how the tables should be arranged for such manipulations as hooping and giving the finishing touches to an item. Doing so will help to minimize the number of steps in your working process. But arranging tables is, of course, not enough. You need to always have the working instruments on them, too. Such as, for example, scissors for trimming away the stabilizer or marking tools or the hooping device — the object of dreams of every embroiderer. But what is also important for me is keeping all my threads in one place close to the machine so that they will be easy to find without opening all the boxes in search for the one bobbin you need. So, you need to create a threads database, even it is only a simple one. That is, actually, not so difficult to do. Several times I've come across an interesting suggestion: to cut the stabilizer according to the size of your hoop in advance. In my opinion, this recommendation is considerable for mass production, because it saves time which otherwise would be wasted on cutting the stabilizer before every hooping, allowing to simply take the prepared piece. But in my case, which is trying to use as little stabilizer as possible, it is more advantageous to use pieces of stabilizer beyond the size of the hoop. Therefore I just plan to make the stabilizer unreeling device to make the use of stabilizers more practical. I also dream of placing a needle change reference guide behind my embroidery machine so that to be sure which needle to use. And I also want to write a plan for the scheduled maintenance of my embroidery machine. I dream of installing the source of bright light above my workplace at last, to make everything visible so that I don't need to squint when threading a needle. One more curious recommendation that I cannot turn into reality is having the right kind of floor under the embroidery machine. Frank Gawronsky writes that the best floor on which the embroidery machine stands is a wooden one. I also cannot change the lack of space around my embroidery machine for such needs as thread change, service maintenance and framing (which needs about 90 cm of space around). The good thing is my machine being a compact one that can be moved around on tiny wheels. These wheels make the embroidery machine a bit too high for me, making the thread change not the easiest task either. The bed plate should be no higher than 70—80 cm, and mine is no less that 90. But it is possible to put the other things into action. After all, the hardest thing is not to have all this, but to bring all things in your workspace to an order so that the tools and threads and devices could be found in their proper places.
  2. 5 points
    How open file you can read here For example, used he design of Fashion teddy bear design from our embroidery library. The format is chosen arbitrarily. Open the design you want to resize. Click on Upscale design. Increase the size of your design either by percent or by a certain number of cm. (I added 10%). Press OK. As you can see in the lower left corner of the window, your design is now bigger than it was, but the number of stitches remains the same. This means that the embroidery may look a bit bald when finished. And we don’t know that, do we? Press Ctrl + A to select the entire design. Ultimately, left-click on any part of the background and drag to enclose the entire design. You’ll see a rectangular frame around it. Now, go to Stitches > Auto Density > Apply. My Editor has automatically added the stitches in the required places. You can see that your stitch count went up. All that is left is to store your design where you want it on your computer.
  3. 5 points
    Original text by: Marina Belova A few day ago I decided to practice cord embroidery, hence I have the required equipment. Without further ado, I chose the simplest possible design from the old Briggs’ Patent collection, which was originally intended for embroidery with cord or ribbon. Here it is: I digitized the design with a simple running stitch using the same methods as described in my previous article on cord embroidery. Below is the preview of my design: So I started the embroidery. Before pressing the start button I inserted the newly bought silk cord 3 mm wide and set the piping foot in a required way. The cord was of an appropriate size and could fit into the biggest groove under the piping foot on my machine. But something went wrong. I stopped the whole process, soon after having started. The cord turned out to be too tightly woven, and the thread kept breaking. As I didn't have any monofilament yarn, I tried to sew it with ordinary polyester thread. And I didn't like the result in the least. I chose one of my knitting threads — soft cotton one, made of several twisted fibers, and wound it instead of the cord on the same plastic spool. This time, the embroidery went without any problems. There were no complaints about the quality of the sewing, except at one place. I even inserted bar tack stitches at the beginning and the end of the cord, and understood that the next time I'll better not do it. The quality was utterly disappointing. Whether it was due to my knitting threads being unsuitable for the purpose or the design imperfections, I cannot say. And I want so much to know, where to use this fabled cord! I instantly remembered, even without doing the web search, the embroidery samples of the old past, which can now be found in the museums around the globe. In those days cord was used in applique: it concealed the edge cut. Though it was, of course, done by hand, you can try doing something akin to this on your machine. I've been searching for a suitable design for a considerate time. I perused lots of clipart and settled upon this picture: Inside this intricately shaped thing, I decided to put an applique, the edges of which I would then decorate with a cord. The rest I intended to embroider with satin stitches, partly in the Thread Velvet technique. I had to modify the original design, adding several elements. The resulting design contained almost 32 thousand stitches thanks to the Thread Velvet: Now that the design is ready, all I need to do is to embroider it. I hoop the fabric with the stabilizer: And embroider the outline for the future applique: Then I put the applique material on top: Stitch it to the main fabric with the running stitch, outlining the design at the same time. Then, after the machine makes a stop, however more carefully trim the extra fabric around the edges: Get the piping foot ready, placing it under the needle: Hit the start button and begin sewing cord to the fabric. It'll look like this: This is the cord already sewn along the perimeter of the applique: On one of the photos above you may see that there are missing stitches inside. For that reason, I stopped the embroidery even before sewing the cord, added the missing elements and embroidered all the rest: Some time after that everything is ready: Now little is left — to cut the threads in the satin columns, in order to fray them a bit so that they look like having been done in the Thread Velvet technique. I did this with an ordinary razor blade: The general look of the ready embroidery: The closer look: This experiment suggested to me that the cord looks splendid in combination with any embroidery technique. The design was not difficult to create. The second time I succeeded. The most important thing is to choose the right type of thick twisted thread or cord and correctly adjust the piping foot. Although there were some mistakes. One of them is as follows. In my first version of the design, the applique was to be embroidered last. And only after that, I proceeded to cording. All other elements were embroidered at the very beginning, including the bulky Thread Velvet satin columns. This is how it looked before sewing the cord: When I was cording the edges of my applique, the piping foot shifted a bit every time satin column appeared to in the way. And of course, the groove, into which the cord was inserted, shifted too, so the needle began to hit not the hole in the foot, but the foot instead, and therefore broke. On the photo below I've already changed the needle. I didn't even finish embroidering the first sample. See how thick were my Thread Velvet columns? The summary: you can achieve anything by trial and error. P.S. Cording, part 2
  4. 5 points
    Original text by: Marina Belova The ideas for machine embroidery and the methods for bringing them into life are everywhere around, the only thing you have to do is adopt them. Some time ago I was puzzled by a curious way of border alignment, but then I grasped what it was about: Judging from the images shown, it turns out that this method does not require printing a template on paper, nor doing any measurements. The supposed steps for doing the alignment, as I understand, are the following: 1. Hoop only a water soluble or a cutaway or a tearaway stabilizer if the look of the wrong side is not so important. 2. Before embroidering the design itself you first embroider a rectangular — a guide stitch for future alignment that must outline the embroidery accurately. This should be not a simple rectangle, but with the center marks, as on the picture below (marked with the red dotted line): 3. Apparently, these marks help to position the next part of the embroidery properly. The rectangle is embroidered with the dark-colored thread so as to be visible through the fabric. 4. The fabric is stuck onto the stabilizer. You can do it in a number of ways including spraying it with temporary spray adhesive or using pins. 5. Embroider the design itself. 6. Then unhoop the stabilizer, but don't touch the wrong side just yet. 7. Hoop a new piece of a stabilizer. 8. Embroider the new rectangle. 9. Stick or pin the fabric onto the stabilizer. The main reference point is whether the sides of the outlined rectangle match. 10. Embroider the design. 11. And so on, until you won't embroider all that is needed. 12. In the end you remove all the excessive stitches and the stabilizer from the wrong side. You should get something like this: Everything is rather simple, as usual. But in my opinion, this method is not commonplace. In general, it somewhat reminds the standard way of border alignment with the help of alignment crosses or lines, which I have already described, but looks much easier and requires only one thing: to neatly align the pieces against each other. And because the fabric is not hooped but placed on top instead, you do it more easily.
  5. 5 points
    Original text by Marina Belova Today I'll continue my article about padded appliqué and show the simple yet effective technique of making it on an example. I'll make this teddy bear: I chose this particular image of a teddy bear because its simplicity perfectly suited my goals: So I digitized the image and got a machine embroidery design. It's a very simple design, an ordinary patched appliqué. See the preview below: I chose a stretchy and fluffy knitwear fabric for the teddy's body – namely, fleece. For the face and the belly, I took out trims of fake fur that remained of a stuffed toy I hadn't made. I used polyester batting for stuffing it. Despite the batting being thin (1 cm), I nevertheless decided to use only one layer of it. Now I realize that I could have used 2 layers to make the embroidery puffier. So, let's proceed to action. I hoop the fabric together with the stabilizer: Load the design into the machine and start the embroidery. The first step is the simplest – a guideline for positioning of the appliqué: When creating an embroidery sequence, I planned to sew on the belly first. Because the fake fur itself has volume and also does not stretch, I will not put a polyester batting under it. I'll only use fur instead. I place the fur where the belly is intended to be: I start the machine and sew on the fur with a small zig-zag stitch: Now I pick up the scissors and trim the extra fur along the perimeter as close to the zig-zag stitch as possible so that the fur won't show from under the finishing border in future: Right after trimming I place polyester batting on top of the embroidered outline of the bear: Fleece goes on top of that: I start the machine and stitch one more zig-zag stitch. This time it outlines the body of the bear. I take the hoop off the machine, pick up the scissors and trim the entire "layer cake" perimeter-wise: After that, I embroider the outline showing where to put the face: I put the fur on top of that outline: Stitch the fur with a zig-zag stitch and trim the extra material: Then I start the machine again and embroider the rest: finishing borders, eyes, nose, and so on. I decided against the water-soluble film, despite fleece being a piled fabric, but I used a plastic bag when embroidering the heart on the fur (I tore the leftovers prior to embroidering the border around the heart): The resulting embroidery is quite neat – nothing shows through the satins, and that indicates that I chose the right border width, 5–6 mm). That's all that is to it. The whole thing isn't much different from an ordinary appliqué, except perhaps trimming – I had to trim the layers of the "cake" separately: first polyester batting and then fleece.
  6. 4 points
    Embroidered napkins are the classic decoration of a modern house. They easily fit into the interior of any living room or kitchen. If you have an embroidery machine and free time, you can make it yourself. It is needed sometimes to process the edge of a fabric beautifully. There are a lot of creative methods to do this and we will consider one in the master-class: lace making on the edge of a items. One may decorate a dining cotton napkin, a handkerchief or any other items this way. There is a plenty of machine embroidery designs in FSL technique, choose the one you prefer for your items. Such patterns can be easily found in our embroidery design library. Materials which you need for work: Water soluble machine embroidery stabilizer (interlining). Our recommendation Avalon. Adhesive spray of a temporary fixation Sulky or GUNOLD KK100 Top thread for machine embroidery (any brand) - we using Robison Anton Lower thread for machine embroidery or bobbins Fabric for the napkin Processing of lace on the edge of a embroidered item: Fix the water soluble stabilizer in the hoop. Download the embroidery design to the your machine (or save to USB stick or special memory card). Start the embroidery processing. The first stitching would mark where to layout the edge of the tissue on the stabilizer. Apply a layer of the adhesive spray on the stabilizer. Glue the tissue by markup and repeat the stitching of the first thread color, this would fix the tissue on the stabilizer. Then keep on embroidering the lace part of the napkin. The embroidery would be on the edge and on the corner, if you combined the machine embroidery design in a special editing software (My Editor, Embird, Brother Pe-DEsign, Wilcom TrueSizer, Buzz Tools and etc.). The processing of the other parts of the napkin would be repeated with connection. Fix the water soluble stabilizer in the hoop again and embroider the first color of the pattern. Fasten the second corner of the napkin on the stabilizer. Repeat the process of embroidering the design on the edge round the napkin. Cut off the stabilizer close to the edge of the embroidery. Rinse the embroidered napkin with the lace edge in plenty of warm water at the end of work. Napkin ready. In the same way you can arrange a tablecloth or a handkerchief.
  7. 4 points
    How to use a Ruffler foot Today, we’ll be working with a presser foot designed for the creation of the pleats, frills and ruffles. A little while ago I promised to show you what the Ruffler foot is capable of. At the first glance, the contraption seems a bit complicated. Several adjusters and guides allow you to gather fabric and simultaneously attach ruffles to the garment. Let’s see how it works. The Ruffler foot structure: A bifurcated arm (4) serves to synchronize the attachment with the needle bar. The clamp (5) is for quick attachment of the foot to the machine. Two screws and the adapter at the rear enable the foot to move up and down, and to the left and to the right of the needle bar. Adjusters: The depth screw (1) determines the amount of fabric pushed into the foot every time it tucks: from 1 to 8 mm. With the ruffle regulator (2), you determine how often a ruffle will appear: every 1, 6 or 12 stitches. Once set it to *, the attachment will create no ruffles at all. Fabric guide lines: Green line — for the main fabric, no ruffles. Red line — the ruffling blade. Lilac line — the fabric feed plate (also for braids, ribbons). You may place your fabric along any of the three guide lines, but only using the red one will give you ruffles. Stitch at a low or medium speed! Types of ruffles and pleats: Single or double pleat. To create one or the other, place one (or two, in the latter case) pieces of fabric to be ruffled, along the red guide line. Set the depth screw at 4 or higher. Set the Ruffle regulator to 6 or 12. How to ruffle fabric and attach it to the main fabric simultaneously Set the regulators to make single or double pleats. Insert the main fabric into the guide along the green guide line. You can create a twisted pleat, using a capronic or a satin band, or a specially prepared piece of fabric up to 7 cm wide. Set the stitch length at 2.5 mm. Set the depth screw at 1–3, and the ruffle regulator at 1. It’s also possible to ruffle fabric and simultaneously attach it to two flat fabrics, on the top and bottom. In order to do this, insert the main fabric with its right side facing up, into the foot along the green guide line, and the fabric to be pleated along the red line, with its right side also facing up. Along the lilac line, place the second piece of fabric, with its wrong side facing up. Use the prongs on the foot for the width of the seam allowance to be consistent. How to attach a pleat, folded in half, to the hem of the garment Finish your seam allowance with an overlocker. Mark the width of the seam allowance on the right side with a fabric marker. Place the main fabric along the green guide line, and the fabric to be ruffled along the red one. Adjust the regulators. Stitch to create the ruffles. Press down seam allowance to the wrong side and stitch along the edge. Joining the satin ribbon to the pleat Place the main fabric along the green guide line, and the fabric to be ruffled along the red one. Insert a narrow (up to 5 mm) satin ribbon into the foot, using the prong. Stitch. These are just the highlights of what the Ruffler is capable of. Play around with it, creating your own variants. Read what you can do with the Ruffler foot: Original text by Yelena Kraftwork
  8. 4 points
    How to turn a pair of jeans into a bag Dig an old pair of jeans or velour trousers out of a closet. Done? Now I’ll tell you how to turn them into a bag. Creating a new item out of something that isn’t fashionable anymore or just something you got tired of is a task for a real craftsman (or craftswoman)! This bag can hold all the necessary paraphernalia: knitting needles, knitting threads or an embroidery kit. Materials A pair of jeans Sewing threads, same color as the stitching on jeans Scissors, pins A piece of cardboard How to turn a pair of jeans into a bag. Cutting For the job, you’ll need one trouser leg together with the waistband. Measure the length of your future bag, starting at the top hem of the waistband, add 8 cm and draw a mark. You’ll need allowance for the bag bottom. Cut one leg only. Rip the leg seam and also where the zipper is sewn on. Remove the zipper. How to turn a pair of jeans into a bag. Assembling Fold the trouser leg with its right side inside, aligning along the side seam. Align the edges, if necessary. Pin the fabric along the side and the bottom seams of the future bag. Sew them together with the straight stitch and whip stitch the edge. Join the stitch lines on the side and the bottom seams. Fold them at an angle. Draw the mark from the corner center. Draw a line perpendicular to the corner, it should equal the width of the bag bottom in length. Stitch with straight stitches along the line. Turn the bag the right side out. Cut out four strips of fabric for the handles. The length and width of the handles should equal their width plus turn-ups. Fold the strips together with their right sides together and stitch along one long side. Press open the seam, fold each seam allowance inside and press. Fold the halves of the handles wrong sides inside and secure with pins. Select the triple stitch on your sewing machine. Stitch along the long sides. Whip stitch the short edges. Pin the handles to the top of the bag. Stitch the handles to the top of the bag, stitching exactly as you did previously. In order to strengthen the bottom of the bag, you can cut a rectangle same size as the bottom out of cardboard. Your bag is ready! Original text by Irina Lisitsa
  9. 4 points
    Original text by Marina Belova About two weeks ago I saw a cap with a 3D embroidery of a very high quality at my work. The distinctive feature of that embroidery was that it hadn't been done in the usual way — covering the 3D Puff with satin stitches. Instead, the 3D Puff was covered with the ordinary Tatami stitches because the design didn't allow doing it any other way — the shape of the embroidered object was too intricate. Nonetheless, the embroidery looked puffy enough. Of course, I've been familiar with this method for some time now, yet I haven't seen any examples. Moreover, I haven't even seen a single photo of an item embroidered in this way. For this reason, I used to think that Tatami fill with its abundant needle perforations would break the 3D Puff and the embroidery would be flat. I couldn't be more wrong. Of course, seeing a real-life example of an embroidery of that kind, understanding that someone managed to do it, one cannot help to become eager to do something like that, too. Having considered it for a while, I chose a design and digitized it: It turned out that there was not the slightest difficulty in making a machine embroidery design that would work. All of the rules for digitizing a design with satin stitches over 3D Puff could be applied here: increase the density and secure the open ends (provided that they are present). I didn't use any understitching, except for the edge run. You can read here why I did so. I used the standard flat Tatami pattern that can be found in any editor, with needle penetration offset at 33 and 66%. The embroidery process goes as follows: First, we mark the place on the fabric where the 3D Puff will be located with a guide stitch. I do it only because 3D Puff is quite expensive, and I'd better not squander it: Place a piece of the 3D Puff onto it, having previously sprayed it with an adhesive: I used Gunold solid 3D Puff because it was the only one I had: Embroider: Give the design the finishing touches: Tear off the Puff. Everything looks very, very good. 3D Puff under Tatami pattern was nearly as high as under the satin columns: All I have left is to remove the 3D Puff leftovers that stick out. And this is how the boundaries are destroyed.
  10. 4 points
    Making patchwork quilt on the embroidery machine Level: beginner. If you are fond of both quilting and machine embroidery, this tutorial is for you. Do want to make high-quality quilt blocks quickly? Patchwork quilt on the embroidery machine: high quality without painstaking and time-consuming work. Just a few easy steps will enable you to decorate your project with an ornate stitched pattern. Patchwork quilt on the embroidery machine: Materials: Upper fabric (front) Mid-layer (batting) Lower fabric (back) Upper thread Machine embroidery design (straight stitch) Visit our store to find a suitable embroidery design! Patchwork quilt on the embroidery machine: preparations Load the design into the embroidery machine or use the one from the memory. Activate the Basting option. Hoop the mid-layer only. For the mid-layer, you may use a high-loft polyester batting (150 gsm, two layers), cotton batting or any other kind of wadding for quilt. Choose your batting in accordance with your needs and the desired outer look of the ready item. In this tutorial, we’re going to quilt both the front and the back. In order to attain high quality and a beautiful back side, use identical upper and lower threads. Secure a piece of the backing fabric on the wrong side of the hoop with the help of a temporary spray adhesive. The wrong side of the fabric should face the batting. The piece of fabric should be approximately 5 cm larger than the ready quilt block on each side. When you make a quilt with the high-loft mid-layer, the covering fabric will get smaller, hence the shrinkage allowance. Patchwork quilt on the embroidery machine: machine embroidery Having attached the hoop to the machine, cover it with the fabric for the front, with its wrong side facing down. Hit the start button. With the Basting option turned on, all layers of the future block are first stitched together with a basting stitch. If your machine doesn’t have this option, create an outline with straight stitches no less than 7 mm long in any embroidery software. You will be able to use this outline for basting in your future projects. The outline comes first in the sewing order, before the design. After the embroidery is finished, you’ll have a ready quilt block. The front and back will look equally fine due to the identical threads. Original text by Irina Lisitsa
  11. 4 points
    Original text by Marina Belova I wonder if anyone will ever argue that blending thread colors in machine embroidery is slightly different from blending printing colors or paints? But then again, even in painting, there have long been attempts to prove I.Newton’s classic theory of colors wrong. For those who are interested, there’s a book by Michael Wilcox called Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green – go and read it. But let’s get back to the topic. All guides, books, and other information materials on color formation in machine embroidery are nevertheless based on Newton’s classic color wheel. For the sheer reason that you have nothing except them and your own experience to rely upon. Besides, choosing a right color with the help of the color wheel is much better than without it. Especially for the neophytes. That’s why I will take the liberty of touching on the subject of color in a machine embroidery design. Colors can be divided into 2 groups: Chromatic – the colors of the spectrum. Achromatic – white, black and all shades of gray. Let’s look at the canonical 12-part color wheel made of chromatic colors: It’s basis is formed by just 3 colors: yellow, red and blue (marked “I” in the photo). These are called primary colors, as they cannot be obtained by mixing other colors together. Secondary colors result from the intemingling of the two primary colors. In the photo, they are marked “II”. These are orange, green and purple. Tertiary colors are made by mixing two of the secondary colors (marked “III” in the photo). These are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green. Also, there are such concepts as: Color hue – a property of color that defines its tone; we usually have separate names for them (lilac, magenta, etc.). Lightness – the shade of lightness/darkness. To get a shade you add some white or black to your source color. A mixture of color with white is called tint, and a mixture of color with black is shade. Saturation is the degree of intensity and purity of the color. Color temperature is connected to the idea of colors being “cool” or “warm”. On the basis of this idea, all colors are divided into warm, cool and neutral. There are several ways of creating harmonious color schemes, containing 2–4 colors, with the help of the wheel. For example: Mono – includes one color in different values. In this case, we only add shades and tints. Complementary – mixing of 2 (contrasting) colors on the opposite sides of the diagonal. Triadic – mixing of 3 colors that are located at the corners of the equilateral triangle: Mixing 3 analogous colors: Analogous colors are those that follow each other on the color wheel. Split-complementary: mixing 3 colors – two analogous and one contrasting. Mixing 4 colors: 3 analogous and 1 contrasting. Tetrad: mixing 4 colors arranged into two complementary pairs. Besides the ones above, there are other color harmonies that can be found in books and on the Web. The only thing left is to do is to practice, and don’t forget that the threads cannot blend together like paints. Also, the stitch types, stitch angles, textures selected will make their not so small impact on the end result. I’m curious if any software has algorithms helping to choose threads automatically, on the basis of the existing thread color palette, but using the methods described above?
  12. 4 points
    No high-quality machine embroidery is possible without a stabilizer. Various manufacturers offer a gazillion of stabilizers for any taste and budget. Beginners sometimes feel lost in the midst of it all, now knowing which ones to purchase. Let’s try and figure it out. Stabilizers can be divided into two types: toppings and backings. Backings are intended to shoulder the load during the embroidery in order to avoid puckering, while toppings are used to prevent stitches from sinking – for example, on piled fabric or loosely-knitted items, – and also partly shoulder the load during the embroidery. 1. Tearaway stabilizers These stabilizers are made of cellulose or pressurized paper. They are the ones used most often. They are either hooped together with the fabric or separately, with fabric placed upon it and stitched to hold it in place. Tearaway stabilizers vary in density, measured in g/m2. There is a common belief (a wrong one) that one should pick a lower-density stabilizer for thin fabrics, and higher-density stabilizers – for thick ones. The more support a fabric needs, the denser should be the stabilizer. For example, it’s better to use an 80 g/m2 stabilizer for a capricious satin, while for the dense linen or denim fabric 40 g/m2 will be enough. A high-quality tearaway stabilizer should be easily removed after the embroidery; when crumpled, it becomes soft and flexible, and in water, it should split into separate fibers. For me, at this particular moment, the best tearaway stabilizer is an 80 g/m2 Rainbow Doklas, also a tearaway stabilizer by Vilene; the one by Gunold is not so good. 2. Adhesive tearaway stabilizers They consist of a tearaway stabilizer with a sticky side. They are attached to the fabric by ironing without steam. These stabilizers are intended for holding in place elastic and stretchable materials so that they don’t spread out during the embroidery. Are often paired with a simple tearaway. An adhesive topping prevents the fibers from stretching, and a tearaway backing shoulders the load during the embroidery in order to avoid puckering. Density and quality requirements for such stabilizers are the same as for the ordinary tearaways. Vilene stabilizers have a good reputation. 3. Water-soluble stabilizers These include fusible interfacing and films of varying density. Fusible interfacing is used: ⦁ for cutwork and lace; ⦁ for 3D embroidery; ⦁ where the wrong side should look neat; ⦁ for the embroidery on netting, etc. Density also varies. A high-quality stabilizer should be easily dissolved in water, leaving no traces. It is the one most often used as a backing. Water-soluble films can be thin (20 microns) or thick (about 80 microns). Thin films are used as a topping for piled fabrics (velour, velvet, fleece, terry cloth, etc.) or loosely knitted materials (jersey, knits) in order to prevent stitches from sinking. They are easily torn away after the embroidery, and the rest can be removed by a slightly wet sponge Thin film is used on its own when embroidering lace. Vilene interfacing materials and Gunold water-soluble films have an excellent track record. 4. Heat-away stabilizers Are used in a way similar to the water-soluble, with the fabrics that can be damaged by water (velvet, natural silk and so on). Termofilm Consists of a heat-away film. It’s operating principle is similar to the water-soluble film’s. It is placed on top of the fabric with its grainy side facing down. Iron without steam, moving in circles, will easily remove it. During this, the stabilizers leftovers are rolled into balls that can be brushed off later. Thermogaze A fusible material used a base fabric for creating lace or as a backing. When heated by an iron, disintegrates into tiny fibers that can be removed by a brush. 5. Filmoplast This is an adhesive stabilizer, intended for embroidering of the items and fabrics, which cannot be hooped (leather, fur, small ready items). Filmoplast is hooped separately with a sticky side facing up. A protective layer slightly bigger than the embroidery area is peeled off, and the item or a piece of fabric is attached onto it. One of the disadvantages of this kind of stabilizers is that Filmoplast takes effort to remove. My recommended basic set of stabilizers for beginners: 1. Tearaway stabilizer of a varying density, 2–3 m each 2. Tearaway adhesive stabilizer, 1–2 m each 3. Water-solubles and films, 1 m each Others are bought on demand, depending on the money available. Other machine embroidery consumables Puffy is a puffed up foam used to add volume to the machine embroidery designs. Temporary spray adhesive Necessary for temporarily gluing the fabric to a stabilizer, such as cutaway, or the appliqué material to the main fabric. An adhesive should be sprayed onto a stabilizer, not the fabric, in order to avoid stains. Starch spray Used to stiffen thin or flowing fabrics (chiffon, batiste). A starched fabric is easier to hoop. Sometimes it allows embroidering without other stabilizers. As a result, the embroidery stays soft and flexible. “Clean backing” is an adhesive interfacing material, used to cover the wrong side of the embroidery out of the aesthetic reasons. It is ironed from the wrong side after the embroidery has been completed. I hope that this article will help the beginners to make their first steps or broaden the horizons for the more experienced embroiderers in the colorful world of machine embroidery. Easy stitching to you all!
  13. 4 points
    Original text by: Marina Belova One of these days Lubov Tabunidze puzzled me with her conclusions on the subject of different ways of making of 3D machine embroidery by using From what I've read on the topic in the open sources, I've learned that there seem to be at least 3 different methods of making 3D embroidery design, depending on your preferences. I mean the amount of understitching: The one I described, where there was a large amount of it (edges + zig-zag stitch). Along the edges only. And without any understitching at all. In one source I found a clear explanation on why the second method is the best — because the understitching flattens the 3D Foam and the upper layer of stitches, which is very thick, is not as smooth as you would want it to be. Of course, I'd like to try all of these methods myself, to see with my own eyes, if there is the difference. I embroidered a monogram using a large amount of understitching (on the right) and with minimum amount of it along the edges (on the left): I swept aside the method without understitching for I had found it futile. In the process of embroidering a monogram with minimum understitching: And this is a monogram with a lot of understitching: Here is the end result of the embroidery design: It turned out that a monogram with zig-zag understitching is more flat than the one done with common stitch. Satin columns don't look smooth on zig-zag understitching, the thread begins to twist, and that is very conspicuous and very ugly. As for the 3D Puff perforation, these two techniques are the same — in either case you should make a finish and remove the Puff leftovers. This given the fact that there is quite a task to find a 3D Puff of the same color as the thread: I've only seen white and black on the market. Such are my observations on the technique nowadays.
  14. 3 points
    Decorating a kitchen: an embroidered pot holder Not only will an embroidered pot holder protect your hands from scalding but also make your kitchen look lovely. In the course of our collaborative projects, the participants are required to embroider any of the kitchen or table textiles of their choice. No need to do something complex, as one can always make a pot holder. An embroidered pot holder. Materials Sole-colored cotton, 2 pieces Printed cotton, 1 piece Tearaway adhesive stabilizer Upper thread Underthread Scissors Cotton lace Padding material An embroidered pot holder. The making process I used two sole-colored pieces of different fabrics for the embroidered part and for the back part of my pot holder, with a binding. I could have cut the front and the back parts out of the same fabric, as it would look more natural if the whole thing was white. But I didn't have the necessary amount of white fabric, and therefore, I supplemented it with beige one. Let’s embroider a design first. Stabilize your fabric and hoop it. Select your threads (I do it beforehand, and sort them in the order of sewing), and start the embroidery. While the machine is going, you can make yourself a cup of coffee, pausing occasionally to change the thread. Once the embroidery is ready, unhoop the fabric and do the cutting. Natural fabrics, being heat-resistant, are preferable. My pot holder was a simple square one, with no bells and whistles. As for the batting, felt, wadding or drape cloth are most common, but if you don't have any of those, and you only plan to use the pot holder for the decoration, you may use polyester batting instead. Attention! Polyester batting is highly thermal conductive and has a low melting threshold. You’ll need to cut two square pieces, one sole-colored and one printed. Don’t use vividly colored prints; the fabric should not distract attention from the embroidery. It would be better if one of the colors of the fabric will match one of the main colors in your design. Out of the embroidered piece, cut out a pocket with seam allowance, so that the design is right at the center. Lay a piece of lace on top of it, facing into the right corner. Cut with allowance, in case it shifts during sewing, and you don’t want to rip it off. Prepare the binding. It is usually cut on a bias, but if you don’t have enough material, you may use a simple rectangle instead. First, I stitched the batting and the beige fabric for the back part of my pot holder. These are simple square pieces, no difficulties here. You may mark them for better alignment, but I did it by eye, and it came out fine. Then I stitched the pocket and the lace to the front part. I ironed out the edging so that it would sew easier, pinned the corners and carefully stitched along the edge. Now be very careful and make sure that the stitch goes along the top edge of the binding in one go and doesn’t slide down the lower one. If you set your machine at a low speed and keep steadying it along the way, it will come out fine. Be extra careful at the corners (alas, I didn’t manage to achieve perfection here). I don’t like basting and step-by-step stuff, all this dilly-dallying just doesn’t agree with me. But if you prefer to work that way, you can baste the thing first. Cut your binding a little longer than the perimeter of the pot holder; we’ll make the surplus into an eyelet. Your pot holder is ready! You may insert your favorite recipe into the pocket. Original text by Mary Stratan
  15. 3 points
    A guide to sewing a freestyle backpack purse. Beginning Step 1. Let’s sew the straps. We have 4 of those. If you use fabric, fold the pattern No13 right side inside, stitch the sides together, turn right side out and finish the edges with a topstitch. If you use leather or artificial leather, trim allowance on the sides of the pattern No13. Glue the edges on the wrong side and fold them toward the center. Finish the edges with a topstitch. Put the resulting leather/fabric/webbing piece through the metallic frame, thus getting a part of the future strap. Step 2. Sew the straps to the pattern No5, in accordance with the plotted lines painted on it. Step 3. Place the pattern No6 (the lower edge) on top of the pattern No5 (the edge with the straps), and stitch with seam allowance, right sides facing each other. Turn the piece right side out and add do a topstitch along the seam (the seam allowance should be facing the bottom, the straps should be facing the back). Step 4. Now take resulting piece of Step 3, and match up the narrow part of the pattern No5 with the lower edge of the pattern No4, right sides facing each other. Stitch with seam allowance, fold back to the right side and finish with a topstitch along the seam on the side of the pattern No5 (the seam allowance should be facing toward the bottom). Step 5. To the resulting piece of Step 4, attach the edging, in accordance with the plotted lines on the pattern No6. Step 6. Preparing a zipper. Put the parts of the pattern No11 together, their right sides facing each other, so that the short end of the assembly covers a 40 cm long zipper. Stitch with 1 cm seam allowance and then topstitch along the seam. Step 7. Stitch the resulting pieces of Step 5 and Step 6 together, in accordance with the plotted lines. One flange of the zipper is now secured. Step 8. Place two parts of the pattern No7 (canvas) on top of each other, right sides facing each other, and sew along the lower edge with seam allowance. Flip both parts back. Place the resulting piece of Step 7 on the canvas, right sides facing each other, in accordance with the plotted lines. Sew with seam allowance to the edge of the pattern No4 (the assembly with the zipper). ***The beginning and the end of the line of stitching should not overlap the second canvas piece. Step 9. Turn the Pattern No8 right side out. Transfer the center point over onto the zipper tape. Cover it with the second piece of canvas, right sides facing each other, align the centers and the triangular bracings. Baste and stitch with 0.5 seam allowance. Step 10. Patch plate on the front. If you decided to make your patch plate rectangular, fold the edges to the center and do a topstitch along the folding lines. Sew the last pair of straps to the pattern No12. You may shorten these straps as much as possible. Step 11. Sew the resulting piece of Step 10 to the pattern No3. Step 12. Sew the resulting piece of Step 11 to the pattern No9, matching up the centers. Step 13. Now we’re going to sew the short handles. If you're using fabric, fold the parts of the pattern No10, right sides facing each other, and stitch with seam allowance. Turn the whole thing right side out, press it with an iron and do a topstitch along the folding lines. If you're using leather or artificial leather, glue the long sides to a depth of 2 cm. Hem in the seam allowance, then gently tap the folds with a small hammer. Fold the result in half and sew the folded hems together. Add another line of stitching at the same distance, parallel to the first. Round handle: an alternative. To make a round handle, you’ll need a cord, preferably the one that has a core. The circumference of the handle will depend on the diameter of the cord. The point here is to match the diameter of the cord to the inner part of the future handle. The cord should be equal to the pattern No10 in length, minus 2 cm of seam allowance. How to calculate the width of the pattern No10 (the round handle): Measure the diameter of the cord, if unknown. Add 3–5 mm so that is moves freely, and 2 cm allowance on top of that. That will give you get the necessary width. Fold the seam allowance to the wrong side. Glue (if you're using leather) or baste (if you’re using fabric). Match up the folded hems and sew. Using whatever you have at hand, pass the cord through the pattern. This is how I do it. First, I pick up a thick thread and a needle. Having cut 30 cm of the thread, I secure it at the end of the cord, winding it around several times with a needle. I also have a sturdy strand of wire. Folding it in half; I attach the free end of the thread to the bend. Then I pass the wire through my future short handle and draw the end of the cord on the other side. It will take some effort, because there is not too much room inside. It will be an easy journey from here. We now have the straps. Step 14. Sew the result of Step 13 (the short handles) to the short edges of the result of Step 12, right sides facing each other, at a distance of 1.5 cm from the corner. Step 15. Now let’s add our zipper. Fold the pattern No2 in half and put it on top of your main zipper, close to the teeth, but not too close. Sew along the folding line at a distance of 3–5 mm from the edge. If the zipper tape is wide, you may add another line of stitching, parallel to the first. Repeat with the second flange. Be sure to do the reversing to secure the end of the zipper so that it doesn’t pop open. Step 16. Sew the resulting piece of Step 15 to the even edge of the pattern No1 (made of outer fabric), right sides together. Repeat with the second part of pattern No1. Step 17. If you’re making a bag out of fabric, baste the resulting piece of the Step 14 to the resulting piece of the pattern 16, right sides together, at a distance of 1.5 cm from the upper edge of the pattern No1. Later this assembly will be stitched to the upper edge of the body of the bag. In order to make a beautiful even seam, use the markings on the pattern No1 that correspond to the markings on the bottom part of the resulting piece of Step 14. Do not sew the upper edges of the lining to the upper end of the body! Stitch the basted edges with seam allowance. Thus we get the future upper part of the backpack. Step 18. Put the two parts of the pattern No8 together, right sides facing each other, and stitch along the upper and lower edges. Turn right side out through the open sides. If you decided to make two pockets, repeat this last step with the second part of the pattern No8. Iron out the pocket edges. Step 19. Sew the resulting piece of Step 18 to the pattern No6, in accordance with the plotted lines. Sew or baste the sides, fixing them in place. Stitch along bottom folding line, thus attaching the lower part of the pocket. Or, you may stitch the pocket in one go: first the right side, then the bottom, and then the left. Step 20. Now, the lining for the body of your bag. Align the resulting piece of Step 19 and the pattern No9, and sew with seam allowance along the shorter edge, right sides facing each other. Press the seam allowance open. Step 21. Sew the result of the Step 20 with the pattern N1 (the lining), at a distance of 1.5 cm from the upper corner of that pattern. Leave an opening for turning your backpack right side out. Step 22. Unzip. Align the upper edges of the result of Step 21 (right side) to the upper edges of the resulting piece of Step 17 (wrong side). Sew with seam allowance. Step 23. Tuck the outer part of the bag into the lining. Do not turn the whole thing right side out yet. Align the open side edges of the lining and the zipper. Make sure that the edges of the inside and outside parts of the bag align. Sew with seam allowance. Step 24. Turn the backpack right side out through the opening in the lining. Tuck the lining into the backpack and check all of the seams for defects. All good? Then stitch the opening in the lining with a blind stitch. Step 25. Now let’s prepare the lower parts of the straps. Use the technique from step 13. We sewed the short handles there. Step 26. Slide on the strap adjusters. Detachable straps. Stitch the strap ends. Non-detachable straps. Pass the strap ends through the openings in the front part of the backpack and sew. Pass the other ends through the openings on the back (the ones on the straps) and then once more through the strap length adjusters, so as to form a second lover loop. Sewing the edge of the shoulder straps. P.S. If you find any part of the tutorial difficult, feel free to write a comment, and we’ll try to help. Please share the photos of your backpacks with us; we’ll be happy to add them to our Gallery! We’ll be happy to see your creations!
  16. 3 points
    Cherry tree blossom: revamping old roller shades Roller shades have become a customary part of our homes. Thanks to the huge variety of textures and sizes, they can be easily adjusted to fit into our interior environments. And, should you make some changes to your interior design (I did), you can easily transform them, let’s say, by adding an oriental touch – a cherry tree blossom to remind you of the first rays of sunshine. For this tutorial, I’ll be using a design found on the Internet. I’ll alter it a bit, then cut it out using ScanNCut, and after that add some finishing touches with the help of a stencil. Materials Two pieces of roller shade material to fit your windows + fittings or two ready roller shades 30 cm wide. ScanNCut machine. Standard mat, 30 or 60 cm long, depending on the size of your design. A piece of paper large enough to fit your stencil. White craft glue. Fabric paints (I used acrylic). A sponge (or a paintbrush). A design. First, I made some changes to the picture I found (a cherry tree branch) in Canvas Workspace (the former ScаnNCutCanvas). You’ll need 2 files, one for making a stencil, and another one for cutting the roller shade. Open the image in your Canvas Workspace, go to Image Tracing, and press Color–Preview–OK. Select all objects, right-click and press Group. Save the result to a USB flash drive. This is our file No1. We’ll use it to create a stencil. Now, we proceed to the pattern for the shade. We’ll only need those objects that are going to be cut. Select all stems on the image and press Delete. Only the flowers should be left. This is our file No2. We’ll use it to cut the roller shade. Select all objects, right-click and press Group. Save the result to USB flash drive. (In order for the patterns on the shades to differ slightly, I deleted several flowers on the bottom and saved them into a separate file). Let’s prepare our roller shades. I cut 30 cm from each piece of fabric, thus getting two shades 30 cm wide (because my cutting mat is 30 cm wide). Metallic tubes on top and bottom of every shade should be filed with a mill file. Slide the bottom hem of the shade from the metal tube and detach the cardboard strip. Or, you may use a couple of existing roller shades, 30 cm wide each. In that case, you’ll only need to de-tube them and remove the strips. Secure the bottom edge of the shade to the mat and do the test cut. (Blade length 5, pressure 4. Other values may be used, depending on the material your roller shade is made of). Open file No2 in ScanNCut. Now let’s alter the design a bit: first invert it, then check the size and placement. Cut out your pattern and unpeel it from the mat. Repeat with the second roller shade. Change the size and placement of the design and cut. Apply some white craft glue to the wrong side of the narrow parts to give them additional strength. After the glue dries, it won’t be visible. Cut out a paper stencil, using file No1. Blade length 4, pressure 0. Align your stencil with the pattern on the shade and secure it with pieces of an adhesive tape. To be on the safe side, I also taped over the flowers, to prevent the paint from getting there. Squeeze the paint onto the paper, dip your paintbrush/sponge into it and start tapping on the openings in the stencil. It will take approximately 5 hours for the paint to dry. After that, take away your stencil, attach strips of cardboard to the bottom parts of the shades and insert metallic tubes. Attach fittings to the narrow shades and put them up. Hopefully, this will add a bit of sunshine into your winter homes. The idea for the decoration in this tutorial was found on the Internet. Original text by Maria Bespalova
  17. 3 points
    My embroidery machine doesn’t recognize a design. What am I to do? Olga approached the embroidery machine. In her hand, there was a brand new 32 Gb USB flash drive that she had bought online specifically for the purpose. Olga drew her breath. She was about to initiate her very first contact with the embroidery machine. Olga stretched her arm in the direction of the USB port on a side panel. The data transfer was about to commence! Her swift stylus was flying over the screen, guiding her to the location, which, according to the manual, contained her embroidery designs. These operations were familiar to Olga: after all, she didn’t play Solitaire on her phone during the long winter evenings for nothing. In the end, she was in for a disappointment: the machine found no designs on the USB flash drive. Olga was quite puzzled: what happened to her files and why the machine did not see them? The embroidery machine doesn’t recognize a design This article deals with the problems almost every machine embroidery novice encounters sooner or later. Gradually, old problems are solved and give way to the new ones; therefore, the information accumulated here will be updated. Before loading the designs into your embroidery machine, carefully read the manual to learn how this can be done. Presently, the most popular way of doing that is using a USB flash drive. For this very reason, it is the USB Flash drive that is most troublesome for novice embroiderers. In this article, I’ll describe the main reasons for the design load failure, together with the possible solutions. The stitch file format is unfamiliar for your embroidery machine The embroidery machine manual always lists all compatible file formats/types. The format/extension is identified by the three letters after the dot in the name of the file. Every manufacturer has its own format to add to the embroiderer’s troubles. Brother — PES Janome — JEF Bernina — ART Pfaff — VIP And so on. If you saved your design in the PES format, and your machine can only read JEF and DST, do not expect miracles. Your machine won’t be able to see the design. Today, DST is considered a universal stitch format. A lot of manufacturers are aware of the fact, their equipment supporting both DST and the format that is its “native”. If your machine can read DST — use it! USB flash drive is full You have crammed too much information into your USB flash drive. This problem does not occur frequently, but it might, especially if you own a machine of one of the previous generations. Try to format the USB flash drive and then load the designs. If the solution has worked, congratulations! If not, read on. You’re using a file format of the newer version I've mentioned the file formats/types just above. You already know that your machine supports PES files, but the machine still fails to recognize them. One possible explanation is that you’re using a newer version of PES than the ones supported by your machine (there are approximately 10 versions of it in total). This trouble usually bothers the owners of the machines that support PES format. What can be done in this case? Open the file in any converter software and save it in the older version of the format. Embird automatically saves the files in the latest version of the format, it being compatible with the majority of Brother embroidery machines. Machine embroidery design was saved to a wrong folder Again, I suggest perusing your embroidery machine manual. It describes the correct sequence, in which the designs should be saved to the USB flash drive, and how to prepare it for the task. Before starting to load any designs, you should format it. Switch on your embroidery machine and insert your USB flash drive into the port. The machine will find and format it, if necessary, creating the system folders. It is in one of these folders that the files should be loaded. In case your machine was made after 2014, you’ll most probably never have to face this problem, as the loading process has since been simplified. On the other hand, anything can happen. The design is too big Any embroidery machine has a maximum embroidery area. It determines the largest size of the design that can be loaded into this particular piece of equipment. If you try to load a 141x139 mm design into the machine that only handles the ones up to 140x140 mm, it won’t be recognized. Open the design in any converter/embroidery editor and check the size. If the design is too large, resize it without stitch recount so as to preserve the decorative fills. P.S. Do not mistake the Giga hoop size with the maximum embroidery area! Embroidery design is not centered Some embroidery formats contain information about the positioning of the design along the X and Y axes. They convey this information to the embroidery machine, and, in case the design is off-center, the machine will fail to recognize it. This problem can be solved by using more complex converters or software specifically designed for the loading of the designs into the embroidery machine. As a rule, they center the designs automatically. P.S. This trouble is common for Janome embroidery machines, with their native JEF format. The ultimate fix is provided by Customizer or Embird. Convert the design, ticking the Center in the Hoop box. You forgot to load the design to the USB Flash drive Yep, it happens. Insert your USB flash drive in the port on your laptop or PC and check. Stitch count is too large This problem usually occurs on the old machines with small hoops, when one is trying to embroider PhotoStitch designs on them. It means the embroidery file contains more stitches that the machine can process. Solution: divide the file by color into two parts. USB flash drive is not compatible with the machine A home embroidery machine is a whimsical lady: sometimes the size is all wrong, sometimes it is the face (or, rather, the manufacturer) she takes an immediate dislike to. If nothing of the above has helped, get a new USB flash drive. Which one to choose? I won’t recommend any particular brands. In my experience, two machines of the same manufacturer and of the identical version treated the same USB flash drive differently: one easily recognized all files, the other refused to do it until they were saved in the special design loading software. Furthermore, the machine behaved in a strange way, stitching like there’s no tomorrow, once the USB flash drive was inserted. So, seek your own USB Flash drive, and ye shall find. Choose the smaller one. The smaller, the better. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to write us a commentary or start a topic in the community. May only the easy-to-read formats and universally accepted USB flash drives come your way! Original text by Lisa Prass
  18. 3 points
    Sewing in the hoop: An embroidered bag in the shape of a house An embroidered bag in the shape of a house For this job, you’ll need: A hoop, size 20 x 30 cm A design, size 20 x 30 cm A piece of yellow fabric, size 20 x 24 cm Two pieces of red fabric, size 20 x 8 cm each Two strips of fabric for the eyelets, size 7 x 3 cm each A piece of lining, size 32 x 18 cm Colored embroidery threads High-loft interfacing material (adhesive) Tearaway stabilizer A zipper If you’re going to use a Brother V machine, you’ll need to have the Premium Pack I installed to be able to enlarge the embroidery field to 20 x 30 cm. An embroidered bag in the shape of a house. Embroidery With an iron, fuse the high-loft interfacing material to the yellow fabric. Place a piece of tearaway stabilizer under the fabric and hoop them together. Make sure that the center of the yellow piece corresponds to the center of the hoop. Begin the embroidery. The machine will stitch the outline and make a stop. Don’t unhoop; place the red pieces on top. Fuse them to the high-loft interfacing material with an iron, fix the edges with glue and continue embroidery. Trim the extra fabric from the scallops and embroider the rest of the design. An embroidered bag in the shape of a house. Sewing Iron the embroidery and cut along the outline. Now create the eyelets. Fold the 14 3 cm strip of fabric in two, stitch along the longer side and turn the right side out. The ready eyelets should measure 7 x 2 cm. Fold the strip in two and stitch it to the right side of the fabric with a straight stitch, as shown in the picture. Sew the zipper to the upper part of the bag. Stitch the lining along the zipper. Fold the bag, right side inside, align the sides. Stitch the sides. Leave 5 cm of the lining for the turning out. Fold the lower corners inside and stitch across, 2 cm from the edge. Turn the right side out and iron. Drag a cord or a band through the eyelets. It will serve as a handle. Original text by Olga Milovanova
  19. 3 points
    Original text by Marina Belova Correct hooping and rightly chosen underlay — these are the two most important things that contribute to the quality of the embroidery. My own experience tells me that however good the embroidery design is, hooping will be a most crucial aspect. The main function of hooping is to hold both the fabric and the stabilizer pulled tight during the embroidery. What is the difficulty, one would think, in securing both the fabric and stabilizer between the two rings of the hoop, without displacing either one of them? There is a vast amount of materials covering various nuances of hooping on the Web. Even I have already written about embroidery without hooping and also about the testing of the quality of the hooping. But no matter how much information there is on the subject, the question remains open, because there is a set of hooping tricks for every type of the fabric. Not to mention lots of interesting hooping devices (hoop station, hooping aid device, magnetic holding system, hooping fixture and so on). that were invented to aid the embroiderer. The subject of framing calls for a separate article. Nevertheless, here are my two cents on how to hoop the fabric (or item). I will begin with the most basic rules. There are several rules of manual hooping known to everyone and, therefore, banal, that should nevertheless be obeyed: Always mark your item (draw dots or lines, along which your embroidery will be situated). Find the right type of stabilizer that goes with that particular kind of fabric. A sheet of stabilizer should slightly outsize the hoop. Choosing the hoop size, pick the one that is suitable for this particular design, the smallest one possible. Round hoops are considered the best. And in case they are made of wood, and not plastic, even better. Don't forget to trace the outline before starting the embroidery, making sure that there is enough space for the presser foot so that it will not touch the hoop. Always hoop the fabric together with the stabilizer. Use a stabilizer with an adhesive side or a temporary spray adhesive whenever possible. This will prevent the stabilizer from shifting in the hoop, and from pulling the fabric too tight in case it is very stretchy. Adjust the tension according to the fabric thickness by turning the screw (or sometimes a wheel; it's not the same with different hoops) before hooping. One should hoop the fabric on a flat surface. This sounds so obvious, but it is true. The inner and outer rings should fit without effort, but not too easily. The fabric should be tight, but not stretched in the hoop, and the fibers should not be distorted. The alignment marks on the hoop and the fabric should match. As for the need to tug the fabric in the hoop, the question remains open for the debate. I've seen a huge variety of opinions on the subject, and they differ from each other greatly. I think it depends on the type of fabric used, and also on your experience. Do not adjust the screw on the outer ring after hooping. It may damage the fibers. And it will result in pulling the fabric around the screw, which may have the impact on the quality of the embroidery. Test the quality of the hooping. If you don't like the result, unhoop and start all over again, beginning with the fitting of the rings. Digitize and stitch additional basting stitches. They will hold the fabric and the stabilizer together. If the fabric allows that, of course. In order to avoid hoop marks (also known as hoop burn), you may wrap the hoop in the soft fabric or place an extra material under the outer hoop with the window the size of the design in it. Read more about wrapping of the hoops, adjusting the gap and other details in my article called "Hooping minutiae". One should remember that the manual hooping does not tolerate any haste, requires sufficient skill, but can be trained to perfection with the right amount of practice. This article will tell you how to make the hooping easier with the help of hooping devices that can be made by everyone.
  20. 3 points
    Hooping the fabric without hooping Practically any new technique is born in the course of creation. Again and again, we conjure out new techniques that make our production time shorter and our coffee breaks longer. The hooping method I’m going to describe in this article was suggested to me by one of the Broidery.ru forum first members. And, just like in the Broken Telephone game, while passing hands the concept changed somewhat, though I tried to stick to the original one. Sergei Demin, who inspired me, endorsed my version and promised to elaborate on the original idea in the nearest future. Before you start reading, I’d like to tell you in what cases this wonderful little technique might come in handy: Use it to embroider a large number of the same size designs. It will save you a lot of time. If your fabric is of a lightweight and delicate kind, this method will allow you to forego the hooping part. If you do not own a small hoop, and for a larger one the piece to be embroidered is too tiny, this method will spare you sewing on additional strips of fabric in order to enlarge it. You understand, no doubt, that I’ve covered only the basic rules here — it is for you, dear reader, to expand upon them! So, happy hooping without hooping! The work order You’ll need a piece of polyethylene a little larger than your hoop, double-sided painter’s tape, and the hoop. Hoop the polyethylene. Better pick plastic sheeting they use for covering greenhouses: it is dense enough and doesn't warp (almost). Stick the painter’s tape to the inner side of the hoop. After that, unpeel the protective layer. Stick another layer of tape on top of the first. Determine the size of the embroidery area. Then, cut the hole with 5 mm allowance. Choose an appropriate stabilizer and attach it to the wrong side of the fabric. Place the fabric on the prepared surface and start the embroidery. Having finished, remove the embroidered piece of fabric and replace it with the new one. Continue the embroidery. In order to determine the size of the embroidery area, attach the taped hoop to the machine. Load the design and observe the embroidery area on your display. The machine will determine the boundaries of the design and move the needle bar to outline the perimeter, making short stops at the corners. When the needle is directly above the corner, drop it to make a puncture in the polyethylene sheet with the painter’s tape attached to it. Raise it, and the machine will continue the demonstration. Having found the 4 corner points, you’ll draw a rectangle without difficulty. After that, cut the hole the size of the embroidery area with 5 mm allowance. Keep in mind that the sticky side of the tape should hold the fabric in place, and therefore, this method may not be suitable for the designs almost as big as the hoop. Use the sticky hoop until the adhesive tape fails to hold the fabric in place. Idea by Sergei Demin See also:
  21. 3 points
    Today I suddenly decided to check an assertion, which I read somewhere and took on faith, that the multidirectional filling stitches warp the embroidery so much that it is extremely difficult to take it under control. That's why such effects should be applied with care. The same source (and not only that, for this is written in many other places) stated that the best complex fill is the one composed of unidirectional stitches, better horizontally oriented, because it allegedly warps the fabric less that the other and is easy to work with. This is the classical view on machine embroidery digitizing. It's not a coincidence that a vast number of designs is made with unidirectional stitches. And though I have said a hundred times that you should not just believe in something, there never was a good time for checking it out. So, I fell for that bait, too. But I conducted an experiment of my own. Out of leisure interest I made the simplest sequence possible: three circles with the contour made by three simple stitch lines. This is a more realistic look: The left circle has a fill composed of simple horizontally oriented tiles without any understitching or pull compensation + a plain contour. The edge of the fill and the contour coincide perfectly. The central circle is very much like the first one, except it has the understitching as well (full grid) and pull compensation (0.6 mm), and also stretch compensation (I trimmed away 2 or 3 stitches from the top and the bottom). The right circle is again pretty much the same as the left, but I changed the direction of stitches, having made them curvy by using the Liquid Effect, kept the pull compensation as in the second example, but discarded the stretch compensation to see what would happen if I did. One should point out that Wilcom does the pull compensation in a rather strange way when creating the curve stitch effects. If a 0.6 mm compensation is very much visible with unidirectional stitches, in this case it is not clear if the editor does compensate these 0.6 mm, how and where: However strange it looked on the screen, I nevertheless proceeded with the embroidery. I embroidered all of this in one hoop, using a sheet of printing paper as a stabilizer. Here is what I got: If we look at every one of these pieces separately, we'll see that: The left circle has a slight pull (on the right and left the fill does not reach the contour) and stretch (the edge of the fill on the top is beyond the contour). The central circle was embroidered almost without these defects: And the right circle with multidirectional stitches emerged nearly perfect. Whilst according to the theory they should have looked like this: And this despite the fact that I did not do anything to prevent the stretching; as the for pull compensation, calculated by the editor according to my data, it was minimal. The only visible difference is that the fabric around the embroidery is puckered a bit more than it would around the standard fill. But this is not critical and can be easily corrected by ironing. It turns out that to create an embroidery design using this type of filling stitches is somewhat easier, but ironing and getting into shape will take a bit longer than usual. As they say, you win some, you lose some. It turns out that the easiest method of getting a good result is not doing everything by book, but going outside the established framework. The fact that horizontal and vertical stitches are not the best ones in the context of embroidery deformation is known, perhaps, to every novice. And this example proves it once more.
  22. 3 points
    Sewing textile envelope: a tutorial Every little fashionista will be happy to have a pretty textile envelope for hairpins, hair ties, and other knickknacks. We’ll find appropriate summer colors, adding a bright touch with a decorative fabric. To add still more flavor, we’ll give the edges a special finish and embroider the owner’s signature. Read this tutorial and how to sew and embroider a textile envelope. Textile envelope: materials Fabrics (two colors) and cotton fabric band Bias binding (a ready one or made of the decorative fabric) Quilting foot (Art.F057:XC7416252) Edge foot (Art. F056N:XC6441252) Sewing threads, scissors or a rotary fabric cutter, and a cutting mat A piece of Velcro and a decorative button See how to create a bias binding in the following article: Textile envelope: cutting For a 15 x 28 cm, prepare the following: A square 30 x 30 cm out of the main fabric (the one with flowers) A square 30 x 30 cm cut out of the decorative fabric Bias binding (1.8 cm wide), a strip of fabric 30 cm long, and also a strip 150 cm long A cotton fabric decorative band 30 cm long A piece of Velcro size 0.5 x 2 cm. If there is no Velcro, you can use a button or a pair of strings. Textile envelope: sewing On your machine, select a straight stitch and lead the needle in the center position. Install the quilting foot with the guide. Fold the decorative fabric square and press the crease with an iron. Fold the panels with their right sides together and join them with the stitchline (don’t forget the seam allowance). The blade on the quilting foot makes stitching at an even distance from the edge much easier. Finish the edges with an overlock or use one of the edge seams on your sewing machine. Reduce the stitch length and sew on the decorative ribbon, aligning its straight edge with the crease. Fold the envelope so that its lower edge aligns with the seam joining the two fabrics, and the upper one with the folding line. If necessary, you can trim the edges a bit. Finish the edges of the bias binding with a strip of the decorative fabric 30 cm wide. If you prepare your binding by folding it in two and pressing the crease with an iron, you will be able to use the quilting foot for sewing it on. Now, reduce the length of the envelope to 28 cm. A cutting mat, a rotary fabric cutter, and a ruler will help you with this. Round the edges of the outer panel. Finish the edges with the bias binding. The lower part of the envelope and the pocket should be processed together. If you're an experienced sewer, just pin the details together and stitch, and if a beginner, baste them first. Stitch the bias binding to the envelope. Textile envelope: embroidery You can personalize your envelope with machine embroidery. Brother sewing and embroidery machines have lots of in-built character sets for inscriptions. Create an inscription of a suitable size, using a character set of your choice. Hoop the nonadhesive tearaway stabilizer, sprinkle it slightly with a temporary spray adhesive and secure the flap. Do the embroidery and remove the stabilizer leftovers. Place the panel on a soft underlay with the right side of the embroidery facing down and iron it. Attach Velcro to the flap and the main part of the envelope so that it could safely close. Sew on a decorative button. All finished! Pleasant sewing! Original text by Irina Lisitsa
  23. 3 points
    Author: Seva Brother Embroidering a decoration is not difficult. Our website offers numerous masterclasses and step-by-step guides into embroidery on knitwear, cotton, wool, and velvet, choosing the right kind of stabilizers and threads. This masterclass was done on the Brother machine. Besides beautiful brightly colored photos, it offers some insights into making a ready-to-use item that could afterward serve as an appliqué. The machine was running in the embroidery mode. Sewing in the hoop: a decorative element There are no clear recommendations on the subject. Use any cotton fabric as your base. In this masterclass, I didn't use any stabilizers, but you can strengthen the fabric with a thin adhesive one if you are not sure of the result. This will add some density and will make turning the item inside out and forming fine sharp angles more difficult. You can use any kinds of embroidery threads (polyester or rayon). Depending on the fabric and the design color scheme, use black or white bobbin thread. Sewing in the hoop: a decorative element Hoop the fabric with its right side up. Open the design on your machine, choose the color scheme and embroider. Owners of Brother embroidery machines that have this nifty Color Shuffling option, may use it to create a color palette according to one of the available charts. Others will have to rely on their artistic flair. Sewing in the hoop: a decorative element Choose a 02-001 frame from the ones your embroidery machine offers. Change its size to fit your design and your preferences. In any case, see that it is not smaller than your design and bigger than the hoop you intend to use. Cut a square out of a different fabric. The square should be larger than your frame. Place it on top of the design, with its wrong side up, as shown in the picture. Using an adhesive tape, stick it to the hooped area, to prevent it from slipping away during the embroidery. Embroider the frame. Unhoop. Trim the extra material, as shown in the picture. Please mark the way in which the fabric at the corners was trimmed! Cut small slits in the center on the side that doesn’t have the embroidery. Turn your item the right side out. Please note that the size of the resulting embroidery will be defined by the size of the chosen frame! Now let’s think where you can use this decorative element.
  24. 3 points
    There are two types of stabilizers: toppings and backings. A top stabilizer (topping) is used to prevent stitches from sinking into loosely spun and textured fabrics. Use a top stabilizer when embroidering on knitwear, velvet or velour to help stitches to stay in place. A top stabilizer won't prevent fabric from puckering. For this purpose, use backing. For laces, the backing is used as a base fabric. Machine embroidery stabilizers (interfacing, etc.) in our shop. Backing Backings are special, primarily non-woven materials, that provide support and stabilize the fabric during the embroidery, prevent creasing, distortion, and stretch. They are put under the fabric being embroidered. There are several types of backings: tearaway, adhesive, cutaway, water-soluble, heat-away. Tearaway stabilizers Tearaway stabilizers usually consist of paper of varying density (thickness). Tearaway stabilizers are good for most natural fabrics and give only a temporary support. This kind of stabilizer is easily removed and can be successfully used in cases where the wrong side will be seen (towels, plaids, scarfs and so on). It is also widely used with non-transparent fabrics of fair colors, with thick and densely woven fabrics made of natural fibers (denim, for example). Not recommended for any kinds of knits. Adhesive stabilizers These are glued to the wrong side of the item, thus giving it stability. There are several types of adhesives: An ordinary adhesive stabilizer with glue on one side. The item is attached to it with an iron. Adhesive paper with a sticky side covered with a protective layer. This paper is necessary when embroidering tricky fabrics: velvet, cashmere, leather, which are better not to be hooped. And also for the items that are hard to hoop: collars, cuffs, small details. An adhesive paper is placed in the hoop with a sticky side facing up, then the protective layer the size of the embroidery area is removed, and the item is placed on top. Having embroidered the item, tear the paper away. Example: FILMOPLAST®. Cutaway stabilizers Cutaway stabilizers (backings) are used for stabilizing highly stretchable fabrics and provide constant support during the embroidery. One needs them to embroider a machine embroidery design with a lot of stitches, in order to avoid fabric distortion, preventing the appearance of bulges or concavities (the effect stays even after several washes). A cutaway stabilizer is always thicker than a tearaway. It consists of a non-woven fabric made of long fibers on the basis of polyester or rayon. The way the fibers are arranged in a stabilizer defines its purpose. If the fibers are mainly single-oriented, it stretches and tears in this one direction. Therefore, to stabilize the fabric properly you need to use 2 layers of backing, positioning them perpendicularly. There are backings of varying density. Bonding short fibers (polyester, rayon, cellulose) together by solvent treatment, you'll get a non-woven fabric of high quality, which is soft like a tearaway stabilizer, has a smooth surface and does not stretch in any direction. This stabilizer can be of varying density and just one layer of it is sufficient. It is considered the best embroidery stabilizer because it does not add extra volume to the embroidery and does not show through the fabric. Among the cutaway stabilizers, one should note spunbond – a thin, very soft material that resembles a waffle. USA Poly Mesh or No Show Mesh stabilizers. This kind of backing is good because it does not stretch at all, providing support all the time, and is not visible through the fabric. It comes in various colors and densities. It is used for knits. Solvent stabilizers Solvent stabilizers include a water-soluble fabric-like stabilizer and a water-soluble film of varying density. They are used for stabilizing the embroidery when it is necessary to remove the backing without traces. For example, organza, transparent fabrics, FSL, and cutwork. Water-soluble stabilizers come in two varieties: textile interfacing materials and films 100% polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) stabilizers Both are dissolved in water. Time of dissolution depends on the temperature of water. Approximate valued by Gunold: 20 °C about 3 min 25 °C about 2 min 30 °C about 1 min 40 °C about 15 sec In real life, water-solubles are not so easily removed, and it takes more than one round to get rid of it completely. The intended purpose of a water-soluble film depends on its thickness: Thin (20 microns) Used as toppings for lightweight fabrics. Medium (35 microns) are used for textured fabrics (velour with and without pile, velvet, fur and loop fabrics). When embroidering small details and letters on textured fabrics the film should be placed on top for better results. Dense (80 microns) are used as a base fabric for so-called 3D embroidery, FSL, chevrons, cutwork, and as a stabilizer for the fabrics where the wrong side should look good, also for transparent fabrics. Heat-away stabilizers They are used when it is necessary to stabilize the fabric, which shouldn't get wet and you need to remove the backing leftovers. They can be successfully used for creating FSL, as well as water-soluble film. They are removed with a very hot iron (no less than 120°) through the paper. Under no circumstances should steam be used with fusible stabilizers. Upper stabilizers (toppings) These are necessary to prevent the stitches from sinking into the pile, loops, fur and other materials of that kind, also with loosely-knitted fabrics. Gelatin-based toppings are widely known because they can be easily solved in water. This is what is called a water-soluble film. There are two types of water-soluble film: thin and thick (dense). Thin film is used practically with everything, thick one – only with high piles. Next kind of stabilizers is a fusible stabilizer. They are used in cases when the fabric cannot be washed, and therefore, the use of water-soluble film is not possible.
  25. 3 points
    Cross Stitch embroidery with alignment There is a time in the life of any owner of an embroidery/sewing and embroidery machine when they come across a design too big to fit the hoop. Such a design should be split and embroidered by piecemeal in such a way that its separate fragments combine into a whole. This tutorial will show you how to align and embroider counted cross stitch patterns with the help of the alignment stitch. Design alignment. Materials Fabric Upper thread Underthread Tearaway adhesive stabilizer Cross stitch machine embroidery design from our store Pins Nota bene. Unfortunately, we do not have this particular design. But you can buy other ones from our store. You may use the "cross stitch" tag as a guide. Design alignment. The working process Prepare your fabric for the embroidery by gluing the tearaway adhesive stabilizer to the wrong side. Hoop the fabric and add the alignment marks with the help of the template. Add vertical and horizontal lines. You’ll also need to draw the alignment line. Use the design printout as your guide. Or, look at the image on the screen and use the plastic template. If you want to embroider your own cross stitch design but aren’t familiar with the embroidery software, please read these articles. Embroider the first part of the design and change color in accordance with the color chart. Please remember that cross stitch embroidery takes a long time so you’ll need to be patient. This design was cut along a straight line. If you’ve decided to cut your design in your own fashion, put the biggest part in the first place in the sewing order and make the others a few cm smaller than the hoop. This will give you the room for alignment. The alignment stitch should be of the same color as the last color in your chart. Or, you can use the color that blends with the fabric–in that way you won’t need to rip the stitch out. Having embroidered the first part of the design, unhoop the fabric. What you need to do is to iron out the hoop burn. Do not slide the iron but press and lift it instead. Otherwise, the fabric will get warped and it will be impossible to make an alignment. Hoop the fabric along a straight line. Use the alignment stitch as your guide. The second alignment stitch is not obligatory. Use the option of moving by stitches. When aligning the cross stitch pattern it is crucial that its parts should match together with the utmost precision. The alignment should be accurate to the stitch! If the alignment lines do not match together, you’ll need to rehoop and do it all over again. Having correctly aligned the parts, embroider the rest of the design. As a result, the two parts of your design will correspond to the cross. Remove the jump stitches every time you change the thread color. Otherwise, they will be covered by the stitches that come next, and that will make them difficult to remove. When the embroidery is finished, iron it on something soft. Do not iron the front side of the embroidery and do not use the steam boost. Especially if you've used rayon threads! Design alignment is ready! Original text by Irina Lisitsa
  26. 3 points
    Embroidering a pocket: Kitteh This adorable and perky kitteh captivated me the moment I’ve seen the design. Lisa Prass, who created it, suggested giving some volume to this cutie. Read on to know what became of it. For a long time, I've had a soft spot for felines. When I was a child, I used to bring home kittens in my pockets, and they peeked out just like the one does in the design, which I instantly named KitteH. The embroidery took very little of my time. For it, I needed the design rendered in the Photostitch technique, an embroidery machine, a pair of jeans with pockets (a pocket flap, too, fell victim to the Kitteh’s charms and was pitilessly ripped off), embroidery threads, and, of course, the cheerful mood. First of all, I ripped off the pocket flap; in case your jeans come without one, skip this. After that, I undid the seam (the ordinary, not the decorative one). It was the inner seam in my case. I conceived my Kitteh puffy, and now was time to think how to add the volume. Having discussed the matter with the creator, I decided to embroider the cute kitten’s paw separately. I embroidered the paw on organza stabilized with the solvent stab and understood that it was too soft. Having tried several options, I finally chose the three-layer “sandwich” that consisted of a solvent stabilizer, fine mesh fabric, and organza as my base fabric. The embroidery took about 15 minutes. While the machine was going, I had time for a cup of coffee. That’s why I love machine embroidery: the machine is doing the work while I rest :-) Having stitched the paw, I trimmed it close to the stitching, washed out the stabilizer under the tap, and finished the organza edges with a lighter. The paw was ready! Now was the time to embroider the rest of my kitteh. I hooped the tearaway stabilizer. I should note that denim is quite stable as it is, so I don't reinforce it with adhesive stabilizers as a rule. With a temporary spray adhesive, I glued my denim piece to the stab and pinned it for better security. Using a layout grid and the machine’s display, I aligned the design to the pocket entrance. I checked the hooping accuracy with an outline, marking the place where the paw would go. Then I changed the thread color and stitched the paw to the main part. After that, the kitteh’s body and head were embroidered. All done. Some time, a good mood and an embroidery machine were all it took. Easy stitching to you all and have a good day! Original text by Irina Lisitsa Design available here
  27. 3 points
    How to embroider hard-to-reach areas of clothing? If you like one-of-kind jeans or wish to revamp your favorite pair, you can do it with comparative ease, using just an embroidery machine and your imagination. In this article, I’ll tell you how to embroider the pocket of jeans thus turning them into something original. Small items of clothing, such as jeans’ pockets, belts, straps, yokes, cuffs are somewhat difficult to embroider, being impossible to hoop. There are, however, some ways of doing it quickly and easily. I’ll be happy to tell you about them! For the embroidery, you’ll need: Embroidery machine or sewing and embroidery machine, Your favorite pair of jeans, Embroidery stabilizer (Filmoplast adhesive paper by Gunold will do nicely.), Embroidery threads of the necessary color (Madeira Rayon #40 or Gunold Poly #40), Bobbin thread of the same color as the fabric (Amman Belfil C #120), Thick threads for the jeans, same color as the stitchout (Madeira Aerofil #35), Machine embroidery needles of the corresponding thickness, with a reinforced blade (Schmetz Jeans), Embroidery needle (Schmetz Embroidery #90). First, rip off the pocket and iron it, removing the excessive threads. Carefully inspect your pocket to see whether it has any metal eyelets or decorative stitching. A layout grid comes with your embroidery machine. With it, you may position the design on the pocket the way you like. If there eyelets and rivets in that place, they should be removed so as to save your needle from breaking during the embroidery. If you don’t need the decorative stitching as part of your design, rip it off. Press the pocket with an iron once again. Prepare the stabilizer and the hoop. Filmoplast is an embroidery stabilizer with an adhesive layer covered with paper. Hoop it with the paper layer facing up. Position your pocket on top of it and jot down the placement marks with a marker. If you only embroider one pocket, it’s better to place it in the center of the hoop. In order to attach our pocket before the embroidery, you’ll need to remove the upper layer of the stabilizer (the paper one). Gently peel off the paper and press the pocket onto the adhesive area between the marks. You’re now done with the preparation. You may proceed to the embroidery. It is crucial to correctly position the design in the hoop because the entire design has to fit in. I used my Husqvarna Designer sewing and embroidery machine. Its full-color touch panel display allows you to choose an appropriate hoop (which now circumscribes your pocket) and position the embroidery where you want it. With the help of a layout grid in the hoop and another one on the touch panel display, it will be an easy job. You can check whether everything is correct by touching the design positioning button. On the screen, you’ll be able to see whether the design should be shifted a bit or rotated (see the manual that comes with your embroidery machine or ask the seller). Your embroidery is ready. Take the hoop off the machine. Carefully tear off your embroidered pocket from the stabilizer. It will be easy to do while still in the hoop because the needle soft of cuts it along the edges of the embroidery. You only need to iron the pocket and sew it back on. Thus, you have decorated your old jeans. With a sleight of hand and no fraud, you are now the owner of a one-of-a-kind pair of jeans! Wear it happily! Original text by Irina Yemelyanova
  28. 3 points
    Filmoplast is a stabilizer for machine embroidery that has an adhesive layer. Its main purpose is to reduce the time spent on hooping, to enable you to embroider small details and to embroider designs on dense unhoopable fabrics. Used as a backing, Filmoplast prevents the fabric from puckering. It is of a tearaway variety, and is removed once the embroidery is completed. Filmoplast is a TM of Neschen company. It comes in ribbons for mending books. Gunold, the company that brought it into machine embroidery, issues it in two colors (black an white), in rolls or precut sheets, of one weight (1.6 oz, Filmoplast 140). (Note: it used to be 80, 120 and 140; the first two are no longer in production). Filmoplast usage Filmoplast is used as a backing whenever it is not possible to hoop the fabric. For example, when the item is too small (a pocket, a collar, a cuff, etc.), or the fabric is too dense that it makes it unhoopable, the garment is of a specific shape (caps, in the absence of the cap frame), cloth caps, hats. Or, it not recommended to hoop the fabric in order not to damage it. Velvet, some knits, thin leather can be cited as an example. Filmoplast is a perfect substitute for the “tearaway stabilizer + temporary spray adhesive” combo. It is also used for speeding up the embroidery process when it is necessary to embroider a large number of single-type designs. In cases like that, you hoop Filmoplast, cut the rectangle the size of the design and stick the garments or their parts to it one after the other. Storing Filmoplast Filmoplast does not require special storage conditions. It simply should not be crinkled. It is better to store it in rolls or in sheets precut for the specified size. Do not leave Filmoplast on the windowsill where the sun can reach it: that may damage the adhesive layer. Do not buy Filmoplast enough to last you through the whole life, because the adhesive layer is not imperishable. It only has 2 years of shelf life.
  29. 3 points
    Original text by Marina Belova I decided to make another double-sided applique: a pencil holder right in the hoop. The idea of making such a thing appealed to me. The idea itself did not belong to me, I just imitated something I've seen using an image of a suitable shape. It proved to be not an easy task, but then I stumbled upon this egg-shaped monkey: I had to modify the design so that it better suited my purposes. In the end, I got a design file with just 6321 stitches in it. I chose brown felt as the basis for my embroidery. It was rather thick, about 2 mm. Therefore, I found it inconvenient to trim it while in the hoop. So I created a paper template: By it, I made 2 felt cut-outs: for the right and the wrong side. Time to embroider now. I hoop the stabilizer. I'm accustomed to the middle-weight cut-away variety (because I have two 100 m rolls of it). But a tear-away one would be even better, for it will detach more easily around its edges. I load a design file and hit the start button. First, the machine stitches a basting stitch that will show me where to put my cut-outs: I sprinkle the felt with the temporary spray adhesive and arrange the pieces however more carefully inside the contour: After that I switch on the machine and embroider the entire front side: Now we've come to the most interesting part of this simple project. I take the hoop off the machine and turn it to the wrong side. Then, I cut off a piece of ribbon for my eyelet and attach it to the wrong side of the embroidery with the most ordinary painter's tape. Observe the way I stick the upper end of the ribbon to the hoop in order to prevent it from loosening up or being accidentally stitched: Then I take the other piece of felt and attach it to the wrong side of the embroidery with the same adhesive: Having done that, I turn the hoop back into its original position, carefully (so that not to dislocate any of the details) insert it into the machine and embroider the border. After embroidery is completed, I unhoop the whole thing and take it out: Singe the leftover fibers of the stabilizer with a lighter. Mine is made of polyester, and therefore, burns well. Cut out the holes for my pencil in accordance with the marks: Insert the pencil and hang the thing on the wall or somewhere. Simple, isn't it? In retrospect, I can say for sure that it was the first time I used a ready template. Now I understand why an embroidered applique on cheap items usually turns out very untidy – too many steps, and, therefore, possibilities to make a mistake. Such as making of the templates, attaching them and, of course, digitizing. You lose control somewhere in between. But the making of the templates speeds up the embroidery process, especially if there is a laser cutting machine involved. Monkey applique free embroidery design download here
  30. 3 points
    Original text by Marina Belova I'm giving a serious thought to creating cutwork on the embroidery machine. Once and for all I decided to work out the technique to the last detail and to learn all the secrets of cutting out the holes by hand. I've encountered this embroidery technique many times before. Even drew the designs for it in Corel Draw. Though I'm not an artist. Like the majority of designers that create their own embroidery designs, I've never thought how to make a drawing of such quality that it could be embroidered right away. To take into account all the slight and subtle differences (what should be done and what shouldn't), one must understand both the digitizing and the embroidery processes. Well... that's why the embroiderers offered some criticism of my designs. After all, the resulting look of the embroidery depends on the original idea a great deal. In my grandmother's coffers, I found a cutwork curtain, make in a free-motion embroidery technique. This machine made piece was created 40 or 50 years ago. The curtain has been washed and washed again many times but the embroidery is still there: nothing has frayed, nothing has worn away! I also want to point out that the embroidery on this particular piece is very delicate. Which cannot be said about machine embroidery designs created on a computer. Here's a typical design from one of the most popular Russian embroidery shops, Advanced Embroidery Designs. (Nota bene: you can also find a variety of such designs in our shop). Thin borders are not perhaps the best-looking but their main advantage is that nothing will fray or detach. Such items are not excessively thick, the embroidery is very soft and looks more delicate. Having seen all this once again, I decided to create my own design and achieve as thin bridges as possible. So I found 2 designs. A flapper for sachet: A rosette-shaped drink coaster: I digitized the first design, for the sachet with a flapper: After two unsatisfactory attempts and further corrections, I arrived at the conclusion that the density should be reduced to at least 0.7-0.8 mm and the number of running stitches under the bridges narrowed down to just 2. The bridges themselves should be made with two narrow zigzags running in the opposite directions. A special focus should be on the first part of the design which contains the first parallel underlay with very short stitches and small zigzag stitches over it. This is the basis for the embroidery. The stitches should interlink so that the bridges won't detach and the satin borders around the holes won't fall off. You need to plan your embroidery sequence so as to keep the number of trims to a minimum. An even greater attention should be paid to the choice of fabric. My first fabric was so battered with old age that it raveled out in my hands when I started to fiddle with it after the embroidery: In the end, I embroidered this design on a linen piece and then sewn the sachet. I showed the photo in my article about cutwork creation: I'll elaborate upon my second design because it turned out so much better than the first. Below is the preview of the ready design: I planned to embroider it not with a rayon or a polyester thread, but with a cotton one (~30–35 g). In my opinion, lustrous embroidery threads are not suitable for cutwork because they make it look like a cheap Chinese product. First, I hooped a heat-away stabilizer called Thermogaze from Gunold together with a piece of linen fabric. Hit the start button and stitched a double outline along the perimeter of the design: Right after that I added a small zigzag on top of it: I took the hoop off the machine – time to cut out the holes. Cutting out took as much time as the embroidery and didn't please me the slightest bit. One hell of a task, not for the weak-nerved! In spite of all effort, I cut the stabilizer in several places: Then I inserted the hoop back into the machine and embroidered the rest in one go: This is the wrong side. It is rather neat. Then I trimmed the rosette along the perimeter. I now have little left to do – to remove the stabilizer. I put my rosette between two layers of paper: And then place a very hot iron (no steam!) on top of it: Wait for about 2 Tequilajazzz songs until Thermogaze will get darker. This is what I got on the wrong side: Rumple and pull the embroidery to remove the stabilizer. Also, this will help you to test the embroidery for endurance and resistance to wear. Here is the ready rosette: It has the most ordinary look, and the bridges are not as thin as I wanted. But neither are they the thick monsters from the other designs. I believe that if embroidered with the ordinary #40 threads the bridges would be much thinner. A very pleasant fact is that nothing shifts or comes apart. Why did I choose Thermogaze as a stabilizer instead of a water soluble film? Because it's much easy to use; the film would be very hard to wash away afterward. The only thing I like about embroidery on film – it is practically impossible to snip it with scissors when cutting out holes, which cannot be said about a heat-away stabilizer. My entire design had only 2 trims: the first one for cutting out holes and the second one for trimming after completion. This was not easy to achieve. Also, I had to rack my brains over joining the parts of the embroidery with the underlay so that it would keep it together after the embroidery. My only mistake was not enough reinforcement of the edges. Satin border, in my opinion, insufficient. You need more reinforcement along the perimeter, like in a festoon. I'll do that next time. Now I understand that the experienced pros of free-motion embroidery would make the best digitizers. They, too, try their best to avoid trims and plan the embroidery sequence right in the course of the embroidery. In general, I learned that there is no sacral knowledge behind this type of the design. A cutwork design can be created in any embroidery editor. All the digitizing laws are just as relevant here. The only thing you need is to use your brains. Download the ready design here.
  31. 3 points
    Original text by: Marina Belova There are rules for everything in the world. There is also a set of rules that makes embroiderer's life easier whenever he or she needs to position the design on the item. For it is at times easier to follow an internationally established guideline and not to rack one's brains to find the place where the embroidery will look best. It works good in case there is no need to create a highly unusual design that may demand departing from the rules. Pictures below demonstrate the general rules of embroidery design placement: Towels Duvet covers and top bed sheets Left chest Socks Center chest on garments Turtleneck collar Handkerchiefs, blankets, napkins Shorts Left chest under pocket Left chest on polo shirt Back on a polo shirt or an ordinary shirt Cuff Pockets Pillow-cases An item Where to place the embroidery Polo shirts Left chest, centered 17.5-22.5 cm below the shoulder seam or 10-12.5 cm from shirt center. You can also embroider the name on the front, and the surname — on the back of the shirt. In this case the surname on the left should be mirrored to the name T-shirt Left chest, 17.5-22.5 cm below the shoulder seam, centered between T-shirt center and the side seam or 10-15 cm from T-shirt center. Pocket Centered 2.5 cm above pocket or 10-12 mm below edge of pocket, centered between left and right seams, or centered on pocket Shirt front (a very small monogram on the placket) Design is positioned on placket between 2nd and 3rd buttons, centered between left and right seams. Shirt back 12.5 cm below the collar bottom, centered between left and right seams Shirt front Left chest, 17.5-22.5 cm below shoulder seam, centered between placket and side seam or 7.5-12.5 cm from shirt center. Cuff (a very small monogram) Only the left cuff is embroidered — 3.5 cm to the left from buttonhole (or 2.5-3.0 cm from the cuff center). The lower edge of a design should be 0.6-0.7 cm higher than the edge of the cuff. A monogram should be visible in wear. Jacket front Left chest side 16-20 cm below left shoulder seam and 10 cm from center Jacket back 17.5-22.5 cm below shoulder seam, centered between side seams Women jacket 2.5 cm to the side from buttonhole and 0.6-0.7 cm above its top Turtleneck On the collar between left shoulder seam and collar center so that the embroidery is on the outside 10-12 cm from the fold Sweater Left chest, 17.5-22.5 cm below shoulder seam and 7.5-12.5 cm from the center or in the middle between the center of the sweater and side seam. On women sweaters the design may be moved 5 cm higher Or placed in the center Sweat-shirt Left chest, 17.5-22.5 cm below shoulder seam and 7.5-12.5 cm from the center. Shorts On the leg 10-12 cm from turn-up seam and 2.5 cm from side seam Necktie 5 cm above the necktie's end Scarf Centered 10 cm above edge Socks 10-12 mm from upper edge Apron Centered 10 cm below upper edge Bib In the center Bathrobe 10-15 below left shoulder seam, centered between flap and side seam Pajamas Left chest, 17.5-22.5 cm below left shoulder seam and 7.5-12.5 cm from center Handkerchief 3-3.5 cm from point of corner, sewn diagonally Hand towel 5 cm above hem or 3.5-4 cm above border Bath towel 10 cm above hem or 3.5-5 cm above border Bath sheet 12.5 cm above hem or 6-7.5 cm above border Beach towel 12.5 cm above hem or 6-7.5 cm above border Napkin 7.5 cm from point of corner, sewn at the angle of 45° Placemat 7.5 cm from upper right corner, sewn diagonally Table cloth 12.5 cm from point of corner, sewn diagonally Top bed sheet Lower right corner or on wide hem 5 cm below the fold. If a bed sheet has shams, you can place the design on them Pillow case In the center If the opening is on the side, the design is centered on it. If a pillow has shams, it is possible to place the design in the center of every one of them. Blanket 20-25 cm from point of lower corner, sewn diagonally Decorative pillow case Centered on pillow case Bag 10 cm from the bottom centered left to right or centered on the bag Of course, the numbers mentioned may vary. This happens because the size of the items differ. And keep in mind the most basic rule: measure thrice and embroider once.
  32. 3 points
    Original text by Marina Belova All types of stitches have a bunch of adjustable properties. Control over these properties allows a digitizer to minimize the risk of defects and to produce a garment up to all quality standards. There are 2 types of stitch object properties: Main Secondary Main stitch object properties include: Stitch length Density Stitch angle Texture Stitch shortening Edge shape (stitch profile) Secondary stitch object properties are: Pull compensation Push compensation Understitching Tie-offs Not all of these can be applied automatically to any stitch type. Some stitch types have a narrower range of properties, some a wider one (see the table below). All object properties can be changed by a user in the Properties panel. Is is usually called 'Properties', but in some embroidery editors there may be variations. For example, in Stitch Era Universal such a panel is called Object inspector. It looks like this: Every parameter in the object characteristics panel is set to a default value. These default values differ from one embroidery editor to another. They are only the starting points for design digitizing. One should be aware of the fact that these values are not reference standards. All the parameters suggested by the software manufacturer should be revised and adapted for every particular situation and every particular design. The most important factors for the changes are your personal tastes, your embroidery machine peculiarities and the input parameters of the future design: fabrics, threads, etc. I'm going to describe all stitch object properties in separate articles. Stay with us!
  33. 3 points
    Monograms are stylized initials of somebody’s name, surname or patronym. A monogram is a personal logo of sorts. Known since the 4th century BCE, monograms have a very long history. Embroidering a monogram is an excellent and popular way of creating a personalized gift. You can embroider on anything, including bath and kitchen towels, clothes, bed linen, handkerchiefs, pillows, lambrequins, bags and toys. These are just a few of the things that can be given as gifts. A thought struck me just now that there are common traditions one must stick to in order to avoid making a blunder. It turned out, there exists a monogram creation and usage etiquette. According to it, you need to know for whom the monogram is intended and to separate a person from a couple, a man from a woman, a kid from the betrothed. This knowledge will define the typography. In every case, there are nuances. Everybody knows, for instance, that monograms are always read from left to right and from top to bottom. A traditional way of creating monograms Choosing a font According to the tradition, all the letters in a monogram are capital and should be of the same type. Square letters are for men, slant handwritten letters – for women and married couples, and calligraphic script is for women only. You can read more on the topic in my article about Fonts. Types of monograms. The outer look In a woman’s monogram the first initial is a name, a small letter. The second is a surname. This is the biggest letter in the monogram. And the third initial is a patronym, again, a small letter. In a man’s monogram, the order is the same, but all the letters are equal in size. It is possible to omit the patronym in a monogram. If that’s the case, you first write the name, then the surname, the initials being equal in size. As a rule, a child’s monogram consists of only 1 letter. In a monogram for a married couple, the first, small, initial belongs to the wife. A big initial denoting a surname follows, then comes the husband’s initial – again, small. The levels at which the letters are placed, may be different. If a couple has double surname, these 2 initials are made big and positioned in the center. For household use, you might employ just one letter in a monogram – a surname. Naturally, there exist simple monograms, consisting of separate letters, and also of linked ones. Monograms usage If a monogram contains several letters, it is intended for official use. One letter is for unofficial cases. A modern way of creating monograms It’s XXI century now, many things have been changed and simplified, so now we have an opportunity of using any style we like, even the most bizarre. Yes, the way you like, not the conventional way. Choosing a font There is a great variety of fonts that can be used in monograms. Traditional types with serifs are still popular, but there are also the ones without; fancy fonts with excessive decoration in the form of flowers, leaves, berries in a so called “French style” are very common. And of course, one cannot forget to mention the convoluted calligraphic script, which is widely used to this very day. Men’s and women’s preferences in the character style have changed as well. Nowadays women prefer simple elegant fonts. One multicharacter monogram may contain fonts of different styles, in order to reflect the personality of its owner. The outer look Many women’s monograms of today consist of just 1 letter (denoting either a name or a surname), and men’s still have 3. If all 3 of the letters are of equal size, their sequence is changed: first comes the name, then the patronym, and the surname is the last. Personal monograms of 2 letters (name and surname initials) are possible. Both 2-letter (two names) and 4-letter (two names, two surnames) monograms can be used for the betrothed. The sequence of letters is not fundamental as it used to be. But those in the know advise following the tradition when creating monograms for bed linen, decorations and silverware. Monograms are often fit into a geometrical figure: a circle, an oval, a diamond, etc. Garlands of flowers, crests, crowns and wreaths of various kinds may be used as well. Apart from the initials, an entire name is often embroidered today – one should keep this in mind. The collection of ancient monograms, now in public domain, can be found on the Web and used as a starting point for your own creative effort. The only thing you’ll need to do is to follow the rules above. There is a huge variety of the already existing monogram templates. They can be incorporated into the average embroidery software. Some editors are even tooled for the creation of monograms only. Here you can find free monograms from the (Stitch Era Universal). You can see similar ones in any other editor, only chances are that there will be more of them there than coming from a free source. Well, they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed, but these monograms are better than nothing if you need to create a present. Read how the embroidery designs, monograms included, are usually positioned on an item. So, if you cannot draw or don’t like what you see in the free circulation, you can turn to a professional that creates various monograms to order. And if you need something simple to embroider it on an item, you can use a very handy application that has a built-in set of various fonts, vignettes, monograms, emblems and crowns.
  34. 3 points
    Original text by Marina Belova On the map of my machine embroidery journey, I've reached another white spot – embroidery on the oilskin. As the rumor goes, this fabric, once washed, puckers like mad, and no matter how much ironing you do afterward, the damage will stay forever. So I've decided to try and see with my own eyes, what should be done and how to make the embroidery at least acceptable. Little as I know about oilskin, it is enough to understand how to create a design and to plan the embroidery sequence: It is a woven and, therefore, rather stable fabric. It is thin. And slippery, too. It's coated with a special substance that repels water. And the embroidery damages the fabric, making it permeable to water in the places where it had been punctured. Given all mentioned above, I can say that: One would need the smallest hoop possible. Cut-away stabilizer is the recommended choice for oilies. But I'm gonna pick the stabilizer I use for everything – a cheap middle-weight one with long fibers, made in Turkey, which was sold to me as a tear-away. It tears in any direction, leaving long fibers. The type of the design does not matter. This is my own deduction: people usually embroider what they want or need to, and not what is recommended for this particular fabric. As a commercial embroiderer, you work with what the clients have brought you, and that includes simple designs as well as big and stitch heavy ones, with lots of fills. There is not much sense in making the design denser, therefore, density value stays as it is. What you perhaps should do is to lower it, then adding a lot of understitching to compensate. Whether it works, we'll see after doing the test pieces. Don't forget, the more punctures I make, the less watertight the fabric becomes. In my opinion, the only change one should do is to shorten the stitches in the underlay so that the fabric sits as tight as if it was nailed. I decided to experiment a little and embroider several outlines with different stitch parameters. So I created 3 outlines: narrow 1.5 mm satins, also 5.5 mm satins and the filled squares. The density in the outlines on the left is 30% lower than my standard one (5 lines/mm or ~0.4 mm). The underlay stitch length in the less dense outlines is set at 1.5 mm along the perimeter and under 2.5 mm in the center. Under the wide satins and the fills lies the underlay is denser. The outlines on the right have standard density, but I used short underlay stitches only in the edge runs, and 3–3.5 mm ones everywhere else. All of my test pieces (see below), while still in the hoop, were pulled in more or less the same fashion, but the outer look is different in every case. The lack of density is very much visible: the fabric is not entirely covered with stitches. If you hold them to light, you can see that the perforation along the outlines is approximately the same, except the narrow satin column, top right: After unhooping, the amount of pull in all three test pieces is roughly the same, no matter what stitch parameters were used: Looking at how the tests came out, I reached the following conclusion: you can lower the density of the upper stitch layer only slightly, to avoid damage to the outer look, and you should use shorter stitches only in the edge runs; the rest should stay as it is. This mosquito was the result of my efforts: One can see that, both before and after unhooping, the surface of the fabric stayed even, despite the 12000 stitches having been added to it. Nothing shifted. Nor would I say that the puckering was oh so awful – this is how it looked before pressing: It turns out that the embroidery on the oilskin isn't difficult at all. And what about the punctures? Some say that you can lubricate the threads with 100% silicone or natural wax, that will fill in the holes, serving as a stopgap. Whether it is true, I do not know. But Gunold recommends strengthening the wrong side of the waterproof fabrics with a special film called THERMOSEAL, once the embroidery has been completed.
  35. 3 points
    Original text by Marina Belova A jigsaw puzzle called "machine embroidery" is gradually building in my mind. Now I've reached the highly interesting free-standing embroidery piece. Free-standing embroidery is not always lace – that much has stuck in my head. There are several kinds of free-standing embroidery: Free-standing lace, beloved of all, embroidered on a water-soluble or a heat-away stabilizer. Ready-made pieces embroidered on transparent fabrics. Ready-made pieces embroidered on non-transparent fabrics. I would also put into a separate category the so-called in-the-hoop pieces that are embroidered and sewn completely in the hoop and the ready item can be rather complex as a result. These are, to all intents and purposes, free-standing embroidery. The key feature that distinguishes them from other embroidery projects no matter how they were made is that these are the end products. Not only two-dimensional laces, various pendants, and decorations but also manifold 3D items, such as baskets, vases, bells, flowers, trees, etc., fall into this category. To put it shortly, anything you can think of. In our first case, the FSL embroidery should be sequenced in a particular way – all the elements in the design should have a shared underlay so it will not disintegrate after the stabilizer has been removed. What you can use as a backing: For the big projects with a large number of stitches – a water-soluble stabilizer. Dense water soluble film Heat-away film Heat-away fabric, like Gunold Thermogaze, for instance. Here you can read about my attempts of creating FSL on three of those materials. In the photo below is an FSL lozenge that I digitized myself the other day. It took me a great deal of time and effort but in the end gave me an insight into how this kind of lace is created. But I see that I still have a lot to work on: Everything here needs polishing, and besides, I should adjust the thread tension on my machine. The embroidery looks splendid before removing the stabilizer and after it – like in the photo above. Synthetic fabrics that can be successfully singed (one layer of polyester organza, for instance) are commonly used for the free-standing embroidery on a semi-transparent base. A satin border should run along the perimeter that will hold the embroidery in place and prevent it from slipping but you may try and do without it. Just pay attention to the stitch direction near the edges of the embroidery – the stitches should be perpendicular or almost perpendicular to the edge. After the embroidery is completed, organza or other material is trimmed along the perimeter of the design and the leftovers are burned in a variety of ways. On organza, you can embroider designs completely filled with stitches and do openwork as well. There are plenty of examples, beginning with the simplest 3D flowers that are supposed to be used as brooches. The free-standing designs of the third type are created on dense non-transparent fabrics. You can choose any one that you like but felt is by far the most popular. Such items are embroidered and then cut out of the fabric perimeter-wise. I'll name, perhaps the most popular free-standing embroidery of that kind – various chevrons (emblems). But there is also a wide range of decorations, such as flowers and butterflies that are sewn on or glued to something. As for the in-the-hoop projects, I've expanded on the topic more than once. So many things can be created all in the embroidery hoop! There is no limit to the imagination: decorations, bags, all kinds of accessories, etc. Not only fabrics but also ribbons, zippers, and other things can be used. Free-standing designs are digitized in a special way and the whole creation process is often a big adventure. That's pretty much all that can be covered in such a short article on a broad subject.
  36. 3 points
    Original text by Marina Belova Padded appliqué that creates volume is an ordinary appliqué with a special material under the appliqué fabric called padding. 3D Puff (Foam), polyester batting, foam rubber and other materials can be used as such. The number of layers in the padding can vary depending on the thickness of the material and the desired effect. According to my experiments with trapunto, knitwear is the best appliqué fabric that does not crumple the padding too much. I didn't find the process of creating a padded appliqué too different from the one of the traditional patched appliqué. It is simple and includes 3 steps: First, a running stitch outline that will show where to put the "layer cake" (the appliqué fabric together with the padding). Having embroidered an outline, the machine stops and the frame comes out. It is necessary for the better placement of the fabric and the padding. After that, a running or a zig-zag stitch joins the appliqué fabric and the padding together. Having stitched them to each other, the machine stops and the frame comes out for trimming of the fabric and the padding along the perimeter of the running stitch or zig-zag. The finishing border that covers the edges is embroidered next. There can be a slight variation to the process. It involves first stitching the padding to the main fabric and trimming it, then stitching the appliqué to them and trimming all three together. Everyone should choose what is more convenient for them: stitch and trim all the layers together or separately. If you ask my opinion, there are not too many variations to a finishing border: Satin Fill Digitizing a padded appliqué by hand: Create a running stitch outline that will show where to place the fabric and the padding. Insert a stop so that the frame will come out for positioning of the appliqué fabric together with the padding. The way of adding commands depends on the type of your embroidery machine. Create an outline that stitches the appliqué fabric to the main one. Insert a stop so that the frame will come out for positioning of the appliqué fabric together with the padding. The way of adding commands depends on your embroidery machine type. Create a finishing stitch column border. The width of a finishing border should be no less than 4–5 mm. It is necessary because it is rather hard to trim extra fabric with the padding so that the edges of this "layer cake" didn't show from under the thin outline. Therefore, you can't be too cautious with the width of the finishing border.
  37. 3 points
    Free download design Although the entire topic on our forum is dedicated to mending jeans, I dare to suggest a creative patch of my own design, which I affectionately named the "Hole with the fringe". Generally, we do either what we like or what we need to do. This time I tried to combine business with pleasure. The business in my case involved my husband's jeans in need of a repair (he tried to sit down in them and here you are; someone here sure needs to eat less ), and the pleasure lied in my interest in what I could do with them, so I hoped that he will discard these old jeans entirely and buy a new pair (those were his exact words the moment he saw the design I created in Wilcom). But it didn't work out that way at all. After the work was completed, my hubby refused to let go of his favorite jeans, what's more, my daughter literally demanded to winterize her trendy ripped ones. Which is something that I still have to face. I hope someone likes my idea. But let's get to the point. What you'll need: 1. Torn jeans. 2. A piece of dense fabric (denim is preferable). 3. A tear-away stabilizer or embroidery paper. 4. A set of embroidery threads (I use sewing polyester ones). 5. And your embroidery machine, of course. 6. I created the design myself for this occasion. The making process goes like this: Hoop the tear-away stabilizer. Stick a piece of denim (it can be of a matching or a contrasting color) onto it. Embroider the design at a low speed, making 15 color changes instead of all 18 (polyester sewing thread is a bit coarse for such a small design, so it can rip off the stabilizer; also, in my opinion, jeans require stronger threads than the embroidery ones but this is a matter of preferences; the size of the design is fitted to the hole on the jeans). Then, there is a stop. Without unhooping the fabric, put the torn jeans on top of the already embroidered fragment and secure them with needles. (If necessary, unseam the jeans prior to that). Insert the hoop back into the machine and embroider the three remaining color changes. After that, make incisions from the center of the hole toward its edges (preferably at the right angle). Fluff up the incisions, picking out the threads you don't need with the blunt side of scissors (the way kids curl strips of paper). Cut out the patch from the wrong side, leaving allowance, and remove the stabilizer wherever possible (the rest will gradually wash away). If you unseamed the jeans, now is time to sew them up. The "hole with the fringe" is ready for use. By the way, this method is good not only for mending accidental tears but also for winterizing ripped jeans. In between, I repaired the hems: I cut away the frayed parts. Divided the leftover denim into strips. Formed them in two circles matching the hems in circumference: Folded these welt pieces in two, stitched them to the hems and serged the edges. Folded the hems to the face and added two stitch lines along the serge finish. In such a way I repaired the frayed edges without changing the jeans length. This is how the jeans look on a person. And in case they tear again I'll think of some other technique. Good luck and good day to all!
  38. 3 points
    Original text by: Marina Belova When it's getting colder everyone starts asking for embroidered socks, gloves and mittens. Perhaps, because the embroidery on the items of that kind still looks fresh and original. Last year I received such an order and accepted it, to my own misfortune (I did not have any special hoops or devices). Well, I found trouble. How much I regretted my decision in the course of making the embroidery, I cannot possibly tell you without using the rude words. Logo embroidery design on socks and mittens turned out to be a real nightmare for me. I tried to fit the free arm into these items in the presence of a client, hoping to use the pocket frame. At first, the client wanted me to embroider a nickname inside a filled rectangle. But having tried the mitten on, it dawned on me that it was hardly possible to embroider a full-fledged design on it, even if it did not contain many thousand stitches. So I suggested embroidering the text on a piece of cloth first and then sewing it onto the mittens. This is the place where the client wanted the embroidery initially, and that turned out to be impossible, because of the inability to fit a pocket frame into a mitten up to the required point: In the end we came to this arrangement: It would be an understatement to say that it was difficult to fit a free arm into a hooped canvas mitten with a polyester padding — it fitted to a T and did not move at all: I even had to remove the machine's protection cover in order to turn the mitten around somehow. I also had to stick a paper adhesive to all the movable part just in case: In the end the mitten just barely turned around the arm. I had to help it with one hand, turning the mitten so as to follow the cap frame and slow down the embroidery speed holding the start button with the other in order for embroidery speed not to exceed 120 rpm. Even me helping the machine to turn the mitten around didn't keep the embroidery from shifting, so I had to take it off, remove the embroidery and start it all over. All this just for one stitch! Eventually I managed to embroider all these mittens and the socks that followed or rather to sew the embroidery onto them, but it took me all day to do this. I embroidered the socks using the pocket frame, too, and it turned out to be much easier for they were made of knitwear: But the design was a standard one, not just plain stitching, and it was not so enjoyable either, for the pocket frame is too loose and the result was visibly pulled, and this despite me having stretched the socks to the limit in order to fit the arm into them: Here is the result of my 'kitchen-table effort'. This is the instructive example of what one should not do, regarding the existing limits. Gloves and mittens are in trend again this season. But by now I've become smarter and decided to buy a special hoop for this kind of embroidery, although there is no such thing for Velles. About the hoop I eventually bought and how much did it cost me, I'll better tell in a separate article, because, in my opinion, it's an interesting story, too.
  39. 3 points
    A fun, unique decoration for a kitchen is to embroider on the first sheet of a roll of paper towels. It is very easy to do, but looks difficult. Here’s how: Unroll several sheets from the roll. You can tear them off and tape back on the roll when done, or just leave them attached to the roll. I left mine attached to the roll and unrolled enough so that the roll rested under the sewing arm out of the way. Cut a piece of cutaway backing stabilizer to be wider than the hoop all the way around and at least as wide and tall as the piece of paper towel. Using spray adhesive (I like Madeira’s MSA 1000 because it works well but doesn’t smell bad), spray the backing and stick it to the back of the first sheet. If you need more room to get the entire paper towel in the hoop, you can embroider on the second sheet so the first will be inside the hoop. When finished, just discard the first (unembroidered) sheet. Hoop the backed paper towel in any hoop that fits the machine embroidery design. I thought a magnetic hoop would be ideal, but did not have the right size for my design, so I used a round, regular hoop. Pop it on the machine, and let it sew! I slowed down the embroidery machine a bit, just in case. When finished, remove from the hoop and cut the backing to the same size as the sheet of paper towel. I did not cut around the Catwoman machine embroidery design the way I would for garments. You may need to use more spray adhesive so the corners are stuck together before you hang it up. When I finished the design shown here, I was going to carefully iron the paper towel to remove the hoop marks, but was called away before I could do it. By the next morning, the marks had disappeared all by themselves!
  40. 3 points
    Original text by: Marina Belova I've come across a series of magazine articles on how to correct errors which are inevitable when you embroider something. It said many things, but it was the process of removing a bad quality embroidery designs from the item that intrigued me the most. I've been through removing the ready embroidery more that once and it has always been a problem. The first time when I encountered such a thing and what did it eventually cost me instantly sprang to my mind. After all, I did not have any instruments except scissors and tweezers back then. And I had to remove a large coat of arms from the velvet fabric. And every time when I needed to remove the embroidery design, I remembered of the specials instruments that can be bought online, and cursed everyone and their brother. Actually, a professional instrument for operations like this is called Peggy’s Stitch Eraser, and I remember every time that I haven't yet bought it. It rather reminds me of a hair clipper. The price is about 80 USD, which is not too much, and I hope to buy this magical device in the nearest future. The only thing you should need beside it are additional blades. The aforementioned device looks like that (the image was taken from the site of the manufacturer): But even if you don't have such a instrument, there should be a way of removing a bad embroidery. So I searched for an alternative for the lacking device and it turned out that situation is not that bad, and you just need to choose the best option: You can use a plain ripper. You can use a modeler's knife, like the X-Acto Knife, for example. But this is a matter of preferences. You can use an ordinary razor blade. You can use even a disposable razor, to shave off the threads on the wrong side. The sequence will be the same, whichever instrument you choose: 1. Turn the item the wrong side up. 2. In any case don't remover the stabilizer. It will protect the fabric from possible damage caused by the instrument. 3. Place it on something like a darner (like the one there was once in every home, remember?). 4. Cut off the threads on the wrong side. 5. Remove the threads from the right side using tweezers. 6. In any case, this process requires a great deal of carefulness so as no to get anything wrong.
  41. 3 points
    Original text by Yelena Kraftwork The history of napkins goes back for centuries. People used them to clean their hands in the times when forks and spoons hadn't yet been invented. Napkins come in various shapes and sizes: rectangular, square, even round. Even the simplest napkin may become a nice decoration for your dinner table if you machine embroider it. This master-class will tell you how to embroider 4 napkins in one go. Embroidery on napkins Materials: Tearaway adhesive stabilizer Embroidery threads Machine embroidery design Embroidery or sewing and embroidery machine 200*200 mm frame (or larger) Four 300*300 mm napkins or pieces of fabric In this masterclass, I used a custom design from Brother Innov-is 1E sewing and embroidery machine's memory. You are welcome to choose any of embroidery designs from our shop. Embroidery on napkins The making process: Cut a piece of stabilizer slightly bigger than your hoop. On the adhesive side draw the central lines with a fabric marker. Put your napkins onto the stabilizer in accordance with the lines. Provided that you have a frame over 200*200 size, you can embroider all 4 of them in one go. Place the napkins onto the stabilizer and press them together with an iron. The temperature depends on your type of fabric. Hoop the stabilizer together with the napkins so that the center lines register perfectly. Choose your design and place it at the angle of 45° on all napkins. Embroider the designs. Finish the borders with rolled hems on your overlocker or in some other way. Now you have a set of embroidered napkins that can make your friends envy when you invite them for tea.
  42. 3 points
    Original text by Marina Belova My satisfactory experiment of making a passport holder inspired me to try and create an item of a similar type — a wallet for various small things, like credit cards and discount cards. For it is so simple to make something without extra effort using this method — of course, I that does not include creating a design. What is especially good is that all the seams are located inside and nothing sticks out, so the item looks very neat. Here is the resulting wallet with a snap: And this photo shows it from the inside: The design was very simple — running stitches and satin stitches + a row of stops for positioning and sewing the parts together: I chose the plainest fabric for the right side, linen for the lining and calico with a bright flower pattern for the inside. Before starting I cut out all of the embroidery parts from these fabrics: Two of them — the pocket and the divider — I folded in half with the right side facing upward: Now I could start the embroidery. As usual, I hoop the stabilizer only: Embroider an outline: Then I take a piece of fabric prepared for the right side of my wallet (linen) and stick it onto the stabilizer: I should point out that Gunold temporary spray adhesive leaves non-erasable stains on linen, so you should use it with care. After I have positioned my fabric, I additionally secure it with a basting stitch along the edges, and only then embroider a small design, which is a stylized flower: Now it's time for the placement of the divider and the pocket. I position the details in accordance with the embroidered horizontal marks, which are located on the vertical side. First, I need to position the pocket (it is made of the same fabric as the right side of the wallet), adjusting the fold to the lowest mark. Thus, the level at which the pocket is situated will be lower than the divider: Then I place a divider matching the fold with the upper mark: After that, I attach the fabric to the stabilizer with a paper adhesive so that they don't shift during the embroidery: I start the machine and sew the parts together: Now I take a piece of fabric for the lining and place it with its wrong side up over the parts that are already sewn together: Then I stitch the parts of the item together, save for the one small opening below for turning it right way round: Now I can unhoop the whole thing and, having turned it out, trim the extra fabric along the perimeter in accordance with the outline: I didn't remove the stabilizer, but instead kept it for the item to maintain its shape. I regret that I didn't have a casing wheel — it is very handy for cutting such items. Now I turn the item the wrong side facing upward. So that the right side is yet on the inside and the lining is on the outside. But now I need to sew up the opening: I sew it up manually: And after that I turn the item the right way round and iron: All that is left is to attach the snap. I used an ordinary one with a smooth upper surface. This is all, in a nutshell.
  43. 3 points
    Original text by: Marina Belova. The image is the courtesy of www.images-magazine.com. Who likes when a thread breaks when embroidering? Nobody does. That's because filling the gaps takes a lot of time and the end result looks bad. In one of my blog posts I told how to create a design in order to minimize the thread breakage, and I also wrote that there can be many reasons for it: the design, the materials, the adjustment and the technical state of your machine. Let's find out who is responsible when the design is correct. First, we should learn if the thread itself is the reason for the thread breakage. How do we do it? We can replace the bobbin and check how this will affect the performance. This will eliminate poor quality threads. My experience shows that poor quality threads increase the production time by at least 50%. Also, I've never encountered threads worse that those of Gamma and WonderFil. If that didn't help, you should explore the place where the thread breaks. It may not look the same: it may appear clean cut, like it was done by scissors, or it may look scruffy. If the thread is clean cut, it means that the needle is not inserted properly, all the way. It does down too deeply and breaks the thread. The scruffy end shows that the needle is too thick or too thin for this thread or that the shuttle is not adjusted. But the burrs in the throat plate opening or the presser foot also may be the reason. You should examine how the thread is feeding off the bobbin when embroidering. Whether it does not twist or go into loops. The metallic thread is somewhat notorious for it, and also the bobbins of a household winding, which have a small diameter. If it is the reason, you should cover the bobbin with a net. It often happens that the old and dry threads slip down the bobbin and get stuck at the very bottom, pulling the thread and becoming the main reason for the thread breakage. If the thread is of a poor quality or very old, it should be replaced. If that is possible, of course. You should also check the bobbin. How it is wound, whether it is correctly inserted into bobbin case. Then we check the needle — whether it is sharp enough, does it have burrs and nicks, which may be the reason for the twisting of the thread. Check if the needle is not bent and that is has been placed exactly in the center over the throat plate. Whether is has been inserted correctly (all the way and in the proper position)? Or maybe the needle is too thin for this type of thread? Sometimes the thread thickness and the size of the needle are not right for the design of that density. For example, the thread number 40 is best for the design, but you use number 30 and a thicker needle. If the design has many layers, you should use sharp needles with teflon coating, a bit thicker than the ones that usually go with this type of thread, in order to prevent the thread breakage. The next step is to check if the threading has been done properly and whether the tension was adjusted. And also to check whether the thread path is free from lint and dust. Whether the machine was oiled. Whether the embroidery speed is too high. And whether the shuttle has been adjusted properly (there should be the gap between the flat side of the needle and the point of a hook). If the gap is too small, it may snap the thread. And if it's too big, it may be the reason for the machine skipping stitches. Another reason for the thread breakage may be a coarse and densely woven fabric, because the thread frays when going through it. A wrongly chosen stiff and dense stabilizer may cause the same problem. If the item you are embroidering has been hooped incorrectly, i.e. not stretched tightly in the hoop or the frame, there will be fabric flagging, which, too, often is the cause for the thread breakage.
  44. 2 points
    Sewing tutorial: an eco-friendly bag with a Rooster This is another one of the tutorials presented at the Mlyn exhibition in Minsk. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to sew an eco-friendly bag with a reverse appliqué (Rooster). And not just a simple appliqué, but a quilted one, too. Sewing a Rooster eco bag. Materials: Unbleached linen fabric For the bag: 2 pieces, 30 x 35 cm each For the handles: 2 pieces, 7 x 60 cm each (or 1 piece, 7 x120 cm) For the lining: 2 pieces of calico, 32 x 30 cm plus 1 piece, 18 x 18 cm – for the pocket Colored strips of fabric 24 cm long for the appliqué (the width may vary: 2.5 or 3 or 3.5 cm) Sewing threads, erasable pen, zigzag scissors. Sewing a Rooster eco-friendly bag. The working process: For the decoration, we’ll be using a raw edge reverse appliqué. You can use any outline drawing of a rooster size 20 x 20 cm. Print it and cut out the pattern. Stitch the strips of fabric together to make a quilt: one after the other, alternating between different colors, until you get a piece 24 x 24 cm in size. Place the front part of your bag on top of the quilt and secure it with pins. Trace the design onto the fabric with an erasable pen. Make sure that the design isn’t bigger than the quilted area. Sew along the outline with a decorative stitch. Using your zigzag scissors, make a hole in the outlined area and cut it close to the outline. Use the resulting piece to create your eco-bag. Original text by Olga Milovanova
  45. 2 points
    Finally! You’ve become a happy owner of an embroidery machine. The euphoria from the purchase is gradually cooling off, and a whole array of questions arises before the new master. What to do next? Which threads to use? Which needles to use and how not to lose your way in a huge variety of stabilizers? In this article, based on my own experience, I’ll tell you what’s what and indicate issues you should focus upon in the first place and the ones that can be left for later. Threads High-quality threads guarantee a long life for your new helper. Let me tell you straight away: you should not use sewing threads for machine embroidery designs. Machine embroidery threads are polished in a special way so that very little or no noil appear. (Noil clutters the mechanism, thus reducing the lifespan of an embroidery machine). I must admit that some embroiderers use the ordinary sewing threads and, what’s more, advocate for such usage. Well, everybody should decide for themselves. For me, this is unacceptable, because an embroidery machine costs far too much to risk its health by using threads of low quality. The embroidery threads fit into several categories. 1. Rayon threads These threads are made of rayon. They have a strong sheen. The embroidery is softer than the ones made with other threads. But there are also disadvantages. First, a sheen given by rayon threads in not always appropriate (for example, in the embroidery on men’s clothes). Second, rayon can be weakened by chlorine, therefore, items embroidered with rayon threads must not be bleached. Third, when using a water soluble stabilizer and then dissolving it in water rayon threads lose some of their luster and the embroidery becomes dimmer. Almost every manufacturer has an assortment of rayon embroidery threads. I can recommend Gunold Silky threads, because they are good for their money. On the other hand, the threads made by several Chinese manufacturers have left a very unfavorable impression. Better to spend a little more and embroider comfortably than to use cheap threads and have to deal with persistent thread breakage and knots. 2. Polyester threads Polyester embroidery threads are practically as good as rayon ones, and in some ways even better. Their sheen is more restrained, they are chlorine-resistant and are compatible with water-soluble stabilizers. There are well-established threads by Amann (Isacord), Gunold (Poly) and Madeira, although the last ones are rather pricey. 3. Cotton threads These threads are matt-finished, thus helping to imitate hand embroidery. This is of vital importance for vyshyvanka (a Ukrainian traditional embroidered shirt), cross stitch, embroidery on men’s clothes and so on. Due to these threads being rather thick, it is recommended to run the machine at a low speed. Polyester threads with cotton sheath, like the ones made by Amann (Rasant), are a good alternative. They combine the durability of polyester with the matt finish of the cotton threads. 4. Metallic threads These are essentially durable polyester threads with a metallic sheath. Special needles should be used with metallic threads. Do not cover large areas with them, because they leave miniature notches, and may lead to loops and thread breakage in future. Other types of embroidery threads This type of threads includes acrylic threads that imitate woolen embroidery, various fluorescent threads that glow at night, like Glowy by Gunold, chameleonic threads that change their color in the sunlight, etc. I’d like to place the embroidery underthreads into a separate category. These are the ultra-thin threads that are reeled on a bobbin. They make the wrong side of the embroidery soft without adding weight. For a beginner, I’d recommend to first purchase a basic floss palette containing 2 or 3 shades of every color + monochromatic colors + underthreads, and then add the necessary colors on demand.
  46. 2 points
    Should you ask me 5 or 7 years ago, what are the main points when choosing an embroidery machine, I would undoubtedly say, “The size of the machine frame and your wallet.” Today I will answer, “Look at the what the machine can do!” Contemporary home embroidery machines are reaching their limit as regards the hoop/frame size. You cannot infinitely enlarge the embroidery area and stay affordable for the majority of people. You need to find other ways. One of those is to add to the machine’s functionality. Pinpoint Placement, the perfect alignment of the parts of the embroidery, is exactly what an embroiderer needs. No size limit. Split up – Position – Go! Pinpoint: Perfect alignment Hi friends! Should you ask me 5 or 7 years ago, what are the main points when choosing an embroidery machine, I would undoubtedly say, “The size of the machine frame and your wallet.” Today I will answer, “Look at the what the machine can do!” Contemporary home embroidery machines are reaching their limit as regards the hoop/frame size. You cannot infinitely enlarge the embroidery area and stay affordable for the majority of people. You need to find other ways. One of those is to add to the machine’s functionality. Pinpoint Placement, the perfect alignment of the parts of the embroidery, is exactly what an embroiderer needs. No size limit. Split up – Position – Go! This information is meant for those who are planning to buy or have already bought a Bernina sewing and embroidery machine, but hasn’t yet explored all its capabilities. Today we’ll talk about a Pinpoint Placement option that allows you to position the design on a garment with accuracy to one mm, and also to align different parts of the pattern and embroider designs several times larger than your hoop. The most perfect examples are the border designs, replicated again and again. Pinpoint Placement is an option available in some Bernina models: Embroidery machines: Bernina 700, Bernina 500; Sewing and embroidery machines: Bernina 590, Bernina 790 Plus, and Bernina 880 Plus. This is how it’s done. You decide where on the garment you’ll place the future embroidery. With chalk or a marker, draw two positioning points. Now hoop the garment not bothering about the exact placement. The main thing is to match the size of your design with the embroidery area. Then the magic starts. You pick the necessary design in your machine. Touch the PinPoint button, then activate the Grid and choose two of the nine positioning dots. You will align the needle with the chosen positioning points. To do this, rotate the Multifunction Knobs until the needle will be in the right position, directly above your mark. Fix the position by touching Set. Now, let’s align the needle with another of our two dots. Choose the other one of our two points and rotate the Multifunction Knobs until the needle will be right above the mark on the garment. Done. Now you can do the embroidery. There is also free point positioning. Here you mark a random spot on your garment, touch the right spot on the design, rotate the Multifunction Knobs until the needle is directly above the mark. Then repeat with the second positioning dot.
  47. 2 points
    Original text by Marina Belova I've always been interested (and hope that I ever will be) not only in conventional machine embroidery techniques but also in (as my Western colleagues call them) various "advanced" ones that help to enrich the look of the embroidery. About a year ago I've decided to experiment with fringe after having seen a free embroidery design on one of the websites abroad. It was a funny-looking lamb made with the use of the fringe embroidery. Moreover, I could never have guessed the way it was made unless I've seen it with my own eyes. See how good is to study other digitizers' work sometimes. So I set out to create something like that myself. But left it midway because of time shortage. My efforts resulted in this fluffy hare. Now I'm determined to somewhat enhance the technique that I'd seen by adding acrylic threads. So as to get a real good imitation of fur: This is how it looks from the side: Choosing the right density and stitch length turned out to be the problem. My hare's fur was not dense enough – you could see the fabric showing through. Today I decided to finish what I started. I chose a simple image so that not to embroider anything except satin stitches and running stitches for tie-offs. I downloaded one of the free images off the Internet: Of course, I don't have such a vibrant color. But I have a spool of Gunold black acrylic thread. Sure, it will make the fluffy thing a bit morose. But let's leave it as it is – Halloween’s nearing, right? I wouldn't buy the threads for the test project, would I? So, this is how I actually did it. I began digitizing a design from the bottom upward. My decision was driven by the fact that fur usually goes down. I digitized my fluffy animal with long satins stitches (10–12 mm) so that it would be easier to trim on the wrong side. Remembering the bald patches on the hare I embroidered in the past, I decided to add some underlay in order to make the fur thicker and opted for double zigzags. I set the density at 2.5 lines per 1 mm (it is the way the density is measured in the Stitch Era). I secured satins with running stitches (marked green) so that they didn't unwind after trimming: A bit higher I put one more satin column with the same settings. This new column (marked blue) slightly overlapped with the previous one: It, too, was secured with the running stitches (marked gray): In such a way, little by little, I got to the head of the fluffy thing. At the end of the sequence were the eyes digitized with an ordinary thread. Then, as an afterthought, I drew a manual underlay under the entire design just in case. The fluffy thing became rather unsightly. I proceeded to the embroidery. Inserted a #100 needle for the acrylic thread. There was much trouble with the tension — I got 3 or 4 "bird nests" and that sent me back to square one. Finally, I managed to find the right settings – no more "bird nests" or thread breakage. But to be on the safe side, I set the machine speed at 450 rpm. The design has a low number of stitches anyway, so it will be embroidered quickly. When embroidering the eyes it became clear that the density in the acrylic area was excessive; I was under the impression that the needle sunk repeatedly and that such density was too much for my machine. But none of my needles – and I only use #70 ones – broke. This is the look of the fluffy creature had after the embroidery: And here we come to the most complicated and responsible part, in which we need to cut the threads on the wrong side and pull the out to the front. This is the wrong side of the animal before trimming: One look at it made it clear to me that something should be done with my machine so that threads stopped breaking and"bird nests" would be no longer popping up. I made a cut exactly in the middle of a satin column as the bobbin thread was practically invisible. It didn't take me long, for the satins were wide and the scissors glided under them effortlessly. This is how the wrong side looked after the thread cutting: Now I could turn the embroidery the right side out and pull the threads to the front. And that proved to be extremely difficult. As the threads were thick, they wouldn't be pulled in bunches. Sometimes it came down to just 1 or 2 threads at a time so that not to rip anything. But in the end I got this cutie: Side look: It has a long thick fur without any bald spots. I even had to trim it in several places. So my summary on the subject is as follows: this technique is sure not for the work-shy. Too many manipulations. Digitizing is easy, though.
  48. 2 points
    Original text by Marina Belova I've long wanted to write about Filmoplast yet couldn't get to it: either there was no Filmoplast or a suitable project. Finally, I figured out what I can do: I'd embroider a monogram on a handkerchief and show you how to use this sticky paper and what purposes does it serve. This article is aimed at those unfamiliar the subject. And yet... Although I've learned how to use this paper a long time ago (or so it would seem), I was somewhat surprised when I visited the manufacturer's website in order to see the first-hand instructions. When you are not swamped with work and stop approaching everything from a professional standpoint, you are suddenly left with the time on your hands for experimenting and education. This makes me infinitely happy. When the work piles around, you rarely get a change to stick your head out and see what's outside. Though I may be the only one who thinks so. But let's call Filmoplast to the stage. Filmoplast is a paper covered with adhesive. You don't need an iron to glue it to the fabric, just hoop it with the checkered side up, tear away the protective skin (the one in checkers) that covers the adhesive and stick everything you like to it. This is how the Filmoplast looks: The checkers, as I take it, are necessary for precise hooping, and after you've removed the upper layer, the leftovers will help to align the item on Filmoplast. This paper is meant to enable the embroidery machine users to embroider on delicate fabrics and other materials, for which hooping might not be a very good idea: velvet, leather, dense corduroy, paper, and so on. That is, the materials prone to the hoop burn or those impossible to hoop simply because of their volume, such as thick terry cloth (the frames on home embroidery machines are too thin and ineffective for this fabric). Additionally, Filmoplast was intended for highly stretchy fabrics that list elastane among their components. Another purpose of using Filmoplast is to hold various small size items inside the hoop without any special devices. For instance, cuffs, collars, ribbons, etc. Gunold even suggested embroidering caps with the help of Filmoplast. I didn't try it and, therefore, can't offer any comment. In my opinion, Filmoplast is nothing more than a costlier analog of the good old tear-away stabilizer + temporary spray adhesive combination. I myself prefer the stabilizer + adhesive combo simply because no matter how the German manufacturer praises Filmoplast as a stabilizer, it doesn't really stabilize anything, making it necessary to place something under the hoop so that to avoid embroidery defects. Besides, I utterly dislike the way Filmoplast comes off the wrong side. It either sticks sure as death and then tears off in tiny bits with fibers in them (velvet pile, for example) or it doesn't hold to the fabric and peels off during the embroidery so that you have to reattach it, which causes various mishaps with the outer look of the embroidery. Hence, not every fabric can be embroidered on this paper. So what did surprise me in the instructions on the German website? The way you can save on this rather costly material – it turned out that you only have to hoop a big piece of it once. They show it in great detail with pictures. And I'll show you how I embroidered handkerchiefs on Filmoplast. So I hoop a piece of Filmoplast: Make a cut in the protective skin: Attach my handkerchief to the adhesive, aligning it with the checkers that were left over after I cut out a hole: Embroider the design: Carefully remove the handkerchief so that not to tear the Filmoplast: Cover the hole in the paper with a small piece of Filmoplast which I press to the exposed adhesive: Attach a new handkerchief and resume the embroidery: This process goes on and on, until you've completed all the handkerchiefs. Here are the two of mine: Simple as that. It's never too late to learn. The thought wouldn't probably even cross my mind – I've always hooped a new piece of Filmoplast for every item. To think of it, I've already described a similar technique, which can be regarded as an alternative to using Filmoplast – hooping a double-sided adhesive tape. In this case, I could put it under the hoop instead of sticking another, small piece of Filmoplast.
  49. 2 points
    Original text by slavyankarusi Free download design Today I want to share my first (and, hopefully, not the last) master-class with you It's called "A kitten in your pocket" and was inspired by a Japanese embroiderer Hiroko Kubota. Of course, machine embroidery cannot entirely convey the charm of the hand embroidery, but I tried to create something similar, nevertheless, and you get to evaluate the result. I used Janome 126x110 mm embroidery frame. For this occasion, I cut out a blouse with patch pockets according to a shirt sewing pattern, out of cotton calico; you can also embroider this design on a ready blouse with patch pockets, but you need to rip the pocket off before the embroidery. The design consists of two parts that are printed. (Beside the stitch files, there 3 .jpg files in the folder: the first and the second parts of the embroidery and the entire kitten, with the enter line and center lines, full-size, for printing). On the placket the sewing line is drawn, the first part of the design is put on top of it; the lines on the pattern and on fabric should match together. Center lines are marked with chalk, and the fabric is hooped in accordance with them. (On the wrong side is the adhesive tear-away stabilizer). Embroider the first part of the design, with the alignment crosses, unhoop the embroidery and sew on the pocket. Put the second part of the pattern on top (the paw that "lies" on the pocket) so that the alignment crosses superimpose. Join them with pins and adjust center lines. The crosses are embroidered first; they should exactly match with the ones embroidered previously. When embroidering the second part, I lowered the machine embroidery speed 400 SPM because of pocket's thickness. You be the judges of the result. I'm sure not a superpro, but I hope that you'll like the cat and also that someone will have a go at the embroidery, too. It would be splendid if you shared your results with us. Alternately, you can stick the design onto Filmoplast and embroider the paw separately, then sew on the pocket so that it can be opened.
  50. 2 points
    Original text by Marina Belova How does one imitate fur and feathers in the embroidery editor so that they look believable? Essentially, there are 2 ways of achieving the result that is required: Create all the objects manually, employing traditional digitizing methods. Use the automatic effects like Fur which allow to quickly and effectively (or so the manufacturers claim) imitate the results of the manual work. Not many editors have this option. It is present in Tajima DGML by Pulse v. 14 and in my Stitch Era Liberty Plus. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else. But as I haven't seen all the embroidery editors, it is highly possible that such a "quick button" can be found elsewhere. I think that before applying the effects automatically one should turn attention to how it is done in a manual mode. In my opinion, before doing something on the computer, one should focus on hand embroidery first. Below are 2 splendid examples of hand embroidery from the book called A-Z of Thread Painting: And these are the graphical charts to accompany them, divided into sections where the stitch orientation is specified in accordance with the direction in which fur and feathers grow naturally: Methods proposed by the authors are of the most traditional variety — short and long stitch combination with careful color matching: Something like that can be done in a machine embroidery editor in the manual mode. The only other thing you'll need is to set the values of density and stitch length, and also to apply some more effects that will help blending the colors in your embroidery later (like a jagged edge) or specifying the direction in which the fur naturally grows — the curves along which the Tatami stitches will be bent. I.e. during digitizing you need to create something like this: The process of creating such objects is not difficult and can be done in any machine embroidery editor because you'll only need a standard set of tools: satin stitch columns, Tatami fills and running stitches. The process will be long and tedious. But it pays because you control 100% of the settings: layers' density, stitch lengths (what is extremely important for quality color blending), edge shapes, the degree of evenness of the surface, sizes of the objects and stitch orientation in them. The same cannot be said about the automatic effects, which I will cover in my later articles.
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