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Irina

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  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. Custom wedding invitation I began preparing for my wedding with the making of the wedding invitations. The wedding is a pretty important occasion in the life of a woman, so I took the matter seriously. Naturally, I wanted my invitations to be hand-made and original. In this, I succeeded. Tools and materials 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper, size 30.5*30.5 cm (I used Fleur Design Romantic Vintage and Romantic Patterns) A satin ribbon 1.2 cm wide A heat gun Embossing powder Alphabet stamp (Russian letters “В” and “Д” in my case) An embossing ink pad An acrylic stamping block Talcum powder and sponge (for degreasing) A cutting mat Sticky foam pads Glue Double-sided adhesive tape (narrow) Scissors, ruler, pencil, design knife, a pair of tweezers A creasing tool A corner hole punch for the insertion of the photograph First, I created files for cutting in the Canvas Workspace and transferred the designs to the cutting machine via USB flash drive. I used the slightly sticky cutting mat and a standard knife. Before the work started, I adjusted the knife (the paper density is very important here) and did several test cuts. Only after that, I proceeded to the scanning and positioning. I cut the following details: an envelope, an insert piece, and some decorative elements for the front part of my invitation (a carrier with two openings, a carved edge decoration, and an oval thing). If the cutting machine has left something uncut, don't panic. You can easily remedy it with a design knife. To get the neat-looking, I smoothed them out on all sides with a creasing tool and also made some folding creases on the envelope (center part and sides — let’s call them “wings”). I stuck small strips of adhesive tape on both “wings” and glued the parts of the envelope together. This resulted in a lot of workpieces. Using my hole punch, I made several openings the insert piece so that I could put in the text sheet later (you may glue it or use Canvas Workspace instead). I also decided to emboss the bride and bridegroom’s initials (you may just stamp them with ink or glue the word “Invitation” or something). For embossing, you’ll need: A heat gun Embossing powder An embossing ink pad “В” and “Д” stamps An acrylic stamping block Talcum powder and sponge (for degreasing) First, I prepared the surface, using talcum powder and sponge (so that the small particles of the embossing powder only stuck to the parts I had applied my stamp to). Then I used the pad to create the inscription, sprinkled the embossing powder, shook off the excess and heated the inscription. As the heat gun gets really hot, I recommend holding your paper with tweezers. All is ready for the assembling of the invitation: An envelope blank An insert piece Three decorative elements: The carrier with two openings, the decoration with carved edges and the oval thing with embossing A satin ribbon 1.2 mm wide Sticky foam pads Glue A ruler and scissors I held the ribbon to the envelope, measured the required length (it should be sufficient to go around the envelope), and cut. I could have singed the edge with a lighter, so as to prevent it from unraveling, but decided not to, for the ends were to be glued. Then I passed the ribbon through the carrier and glued one end of it almost at the center (use any glue you like). Then I pulled the ribbon tight, overlapped, and glued the second edge. I shifted the carrier toward the center so that it covered that spot. I used glue to attach the decoration with the carved edges, but you may replace it with double-sided adhesive tape. Then, I stuck the oval thing with embossing (my inscription) to the sticky foam pads. Our wedding invitation is ready. All that’s left to do is to print the text with the vital details about the wedding and to attach it. Original text by Valeria Balashova
  4. Sewing accessories: a Ruffler foot Pleats are cute! Ruffles, pleats, and frills are fashionable again. You can use the main fabric or decorative ribbons, and attach the ruffles to the garment or at the edge. The variety of textures in one garment is very popular this season. This article contains three short tutorials. You may choose the one you like for the embellishment of your apparel. Revamp a dress you grew tired of, replace old and dull sleeves with the puffed ones with the cute ruffled ribbon decoration. Revamping an old dress: Materials A dress A sewing machine Sewing threads The Ruffler foot 65 cm of chiffon fabric of the matching color Ribbons of varying width and texture, of the matching colors Revamping an old dress: Ruffler foot Attach the Ruffler foot and ruffle your ribbons. They will look as if made by a professional. Feeding the fabric to be ruffled into the foot with a steady hand at an even pace, you’ll finish the job quickly. Adjust the depth screw. You may choose any value between 1 and 8. The higher the number, the deeper the pleat (more fabric is tucked into the foot). If you set it to 1 or 2, the attachment will create very narrow pleats. Set it to 8, and the pleats will be as deep as possible. Using the manual, replace your ordinary presser foot with a Ruffler foot. Adjust the ruffle regulator. The lever can be put in one of the four possible positions: 1, 6, 12 and *. If set to 1, the ruffle will be made with every stitch. If set to 6, the ruffle will appear every 6 stitches, and if set to 12, every twelfth stitch. In case you need a straight stitch, set the lever to *. The stitch length also affects the distance between the ruffles. The lower it is, the closer together they will be. Set your needle in the center position. Push a ribbon through the foot. Put one end of the ribbon in a piece of paper and push it between the ruffling blade and the fabric feed plate. After that, the paper can be removed. Position the ribbon in such a way that the needle is exactly in the middle between its two edges. Sew at a low speed. Don’t forget to check: the row of stitches should run in the middle. Adjust the ruffle depth and the distance between the ruffles in accordance with the ribbon width. The narrower the ribbon, the lesser the pleat depth. Revamping an old dress: Decorating the sleeves Prepare your sleeves for the decoration. Rip them out, unravel the seams and iron out the pieces. Now, you need to cut the identical pieces out of the chiffon. Fold the chiffon in half, with its right side inside. Place the “real” sleeve on top and cut along the outline. To the newly-cut chiffon parts, fuse the interfacing material. It will strengthen the fabric and prevent it from shifting. Lay out the prepared ribbons on top. Alternate wide and narrow ones. Pin them and sew the straight stitch along the gathering line. You may cover the seam with a cord or a narrow satin ribbon. Attach the cord with a zigzag stitch. Once the ribbons are attached, remove the interfacing material from the wrong side. Fold the hems, sew the sleeves and attach them to the arm-holes. Wear happily! In the second part of our article, we are going to sew a summer jacket with basque and decorate it with a ruffled satin ribbon. Summer jacket with basque. Materials Fabric for the jacket (110 cm long and 140 cm wide) Jacket sewing pattern (to the waistline) A 20x90 cm piece of colored satin for the decoration A Ruffler foot A sewing machine Sewing threads Summer jacket with basque. Preparing the decoration Adjust the depth screw. Set the depth screw to 8. Using the manual, replace your ordinary presser foot with a Ruffler foot. Set your needle in the center position. Set the ruffle regulator to 6, so that every 6 stitches you get a ruffle. Cut the colored satin fabric into strips 6 cm wide and approximately 180–200 cm long. Fold the ribbon in half (lengthwise) and iron out all the way. Put one end of the ribbon in a piece of paper and push it between the ruffling blade and the fabric feed plate. After that, the paper can be removed. Place the needle above the ribbon 1 cm from its edge. Sew at a low speed. Check the position of the seam: it should run 1 cm from the edge. Press down the ruffles with an iron. Summer jacket with basque. Sewing Cut out the parts and sew the sides, shoulders, and darts. Pin the already ruffled satin ribbon to the right front part along the centerline, around the neckline and 15 cm under the neckline on the left front edge. Stitch close to the edge. Sew the facing and the neckline facing together. On top of the decoration, pin the facing and the neckline facing to the right front part of your jacket on the right side, and stitch 1 cm from the edge. Turn the facing the wrong side out and iron out. Using the edge stitch presser foot, finish the edge (stitch on the right side). For the basque, prepare a piece of fabric approximately 160 cm long and 11 cm wide. Turn up the lower edge and stitch. Along the upper edge, attach the ruffles, 1 cm from the edge. Press down the ruffles on the basque with an iron. Pin the basque to the lower part of the jacket and sew. Cover the seam with a satin ribbon 1.5 cm wide (in the ready state) and stitch on both sides. Prior to that, fold the hems and flatten them with an iron. Sew the sleeve, fold the hem and stitch. Attach the sleeve to the arm-hole. Attach the snap fasteners. “One-click” cascade ruffles All you need to sew a dress with cascade ruffles is a piece of fabric and a Ruffler foot. This tutorial will show you the possible variants of cascade ruffles, assembled at home. “One-click” cascade ruffles Version 1 For this job, you’ll need: A sewing machine Sewing threads A Ruffler foot A piece of lace 15 cm wide and 600 cm long, for a three-tier skirt with a 60–65 cm waistline “One-click” cascade ruffles. Creating the ruffles Prepare the lace for the skirt. Adjust the depth screw. Set the depth screw to 8. Set the ruffle regulator to 6, so that every 6 stitches you get a ruffle. Set your needle in the center position. You can narrow the distance between the pleats by reducing the stitch length. Do the test sewing. Push the lace through the foot. Position the needle above the lace 1 cm from the edge. Sew at a low speed. Check the position of the seam: it should run 1 cm from the edge. Ruffle the whole length of the lace piece. It will be used to create a three-tier skirt. “One-click” cascade ruffles. Sewing the dress Sew the bodice on the sides. Don’t touch the back seam. Starting from the center back, stitch the first tier of ruffles to the bodice along the waistline, right sides inside. Cut the excess lace. The seam at the back should remain open all the way. Stitch the second tier of the ruffles to the first one. Hide the end of the ruffled lace under the first tier of ruffles. Sew the straight stitch on the right side. Cut the excess lace. Stitch the third tier to the second one. Sew the dress at the back, from the neck hole to the lower edge. Finish the neck hole and attach the sleeves. “One-click” cascade ruffles Version 2 For this job, you’ll need: A sewing machine Sewing threads A Ruffler foot A piece of lining 13 cm wide and equal to the lace in length. A piece of lace 15 cm wide and 500 cm long, for a three-tier skirt with a 55 cm waistline. “One-click” cascade ruffles. Preparing lace Do steps 1 and 2 from Version 1. Cover the lining with the lace, align them together and push the whole into the foot. Place the needle above the ribbon 1 cm from the edge. Sew at a low speed. Check the position of the seam: it should run 1 cm from the edge. You will ruffle two fabrics simultaneously. Ruffle the whole length of the lace piece. It will be used to create a three-tier skirt. “One-click” cascade ruffles. Sewing the dress Sew the bodice on the sides. Don’t touch the back seam. Starting from the center back, stitch the first tier of ruffles to the bodice along the waistline, right sides inside. Cut the excess lace. The seam at the back should remain open all the way. Stitch the second tier of ruffles to the lining of the first tier, using a straight stitch. Cut the excess lace. Stitch the third tier to the lining of the second one. Sew skirt at the back in two stages. First, all lace tiers, with their right sides together. Then, all lining tiers with one seam. Finish the neck hole and attach the sleeves. Original text by Olga Milovanova Read also:
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. This beautiful and useful biscornu Biscornu is a French word, meaning something like “quirky”. You can see these cute thingies in almost every home. Even those who only sew on a button or two from time to time, keep them within reach as something to stick superfluous pins and needles in. A skillfully crafted biscornu may serve as an admirable decoration. But that’s all prattle. My point is this: almost all DIY biscornu tutorials concentrate on pincushions for cross-stitch embroidery done by hand, and practically nobody ever mentions the possibility of doing all the sewing and embroidery on a machine. As I already said, the work “biscornu” is of a French origin. It literally means “something uneven”, “with horns or projections”, “irregular”, “funny”, absurd”. For the embroiderers, this word denotes a small polygonal cushion, more or less symmetrical. This skewed little thing may serve as a pincushion, a pendant, a keychain, a scissors fob, and even an ornament. If you add some suitable adornment, you can even hang it on a Christmas tree! Many people would be happy to receive one as a present. Let’s create a biscornu. In this article, I’ll tell you how I made my own. To make a biscornu, you’ll need: 1. A piece of evenly woven fabric (linen or dense cotton). 2. An embroidery machine. 3. Embroidery threads. 4. Optionally, buttons, beads or seed beads, sequins, and rhinestones. 5. Water-soluble or tearaway stabilizer. 6. A design (you may get one from our store https://embroideres.com/). 1. Let’s start by hooping stabilizer and fabric. Tighten the screw and additionally secure the fabric with pins, so that it doesn’t shift during the embroidery. 2. Load the design into the embroidery machine, attach the hoop and embroider both parts of your biscornu. 3. Attention! The essential part of biscornu decor is backstitch running along the edge of the design. It will be used for the joining of the two parts. 4. Both parts of our biscornu are ready. Cut them out with a 1 cm seam allowance. 5. Before you start assembling the thing, locate the centers of every side of your squares. Mark center points with pins. Join the center of one square with the corner of another. This will give the thing the required skewed shape. The assembling process is fun, but it’s also time-consuming, so switch on an audiobook or an episode of your favorite TV series. We’re going to sew the parts of our biscornu by hand. 6. Pick up the needle and the thread (same as you used for the backstitch), fold it in half so that there is a loop at one end. Move the needle through the first backstitch, then back and through the loop, thus securing the thread with an invisible stitch. 7. Pull the thread through 2 corner stitches. 8. Continue in this manner, joining the stitches of square No1 with the stitches of square No2, until your biscornu is stitched up on three sides. You only sew half of the fourth side, leaving an opening for the stuffing. 9. Snip the inner corners. 10. Stuff the things with bits of polyester batting or another padding material. 11. Sew the opening. 12. Your biscornu is almost ready. Let’s add some finishing touches. 13. Fold the thread in half, so there is a loop at one end, and thread the two ends through the needle. Find the center of every side of the square, and with a long needle pierce the biscornu through. Then bring the needle back and through the loop. 14. Pull the thread through the buttons, gathering your biscornu a bit. Having looked at my biscornu the following morning, I realized that I didn’t like the buttons. So I replaced them with beads. Good luck and easy stitching to you all! Creating biscornu is fun! Tutorial supplement. How to create a design for a biscornu Loading the design 1. Open Embird Editor and click on Cross Stitch. 2. Load the design via Chart Import. 3. In the window, click on the part of the design and use the Crop tool on it. You should get something like this. Press OK. While cropping the image and placement of the marks, use +/- to zoom in or out. 4. In the next window, place the red marks as shown in the picture below, and click on Align Grid. In the window that pops up, you’ll be offered to place a number of crosses between marks 1 and 2, and also between marks 2 and 3. Type in 10 (the number corresponds with the real number of crosses between the marks) and press OK. 5. See whether the red greed aligns with the chart greed. If yes, press OK. If the two grids don't align, click on Undo Alignment and change the placement of the three marks. A 100% alignment is not necessary. The loading image FAQ How to activate the Crop button? Open your image (step 3), and immediately after that place the cursor in the spot A. Holding down your left mouse button, move the cursor to the spot B. Release the button. Now the Crop tool is active. Why did you place the red marks in those places, and not in the corners? Why 10 crosses? You can place the red marks whenever you want them, and set any spacing you like (even if it is only 1 cross). Play around with the options and see what works best for you. Drawing the pattern 1. First of all, let’s choose the color. Click on the Eye Dropper tool on the toolbar. Left-click on the wine-red color. It will appear in your color chart. 2. Click on Line and create the objects 1, 2 and 3. 3. Now, click on Pencil, and create the objects 4, 5 and 6. Play with these tools a bit. Note the difference between them. Decide for yourself, in which cases you would prefer Line, and when Pencil would be better. 4. Click on the Eye dropper again, but this time choose grey. 5. Now click on Line and draw the objects 1,2 and 3. 6. Click on Pencil and draw the rest of the objects. We’re done with drawing. Let’s proceed to the last part, copying and pasting. Copying and placement Before copying and placing the symmetrical pattern, you’ll need to change the size of your work area. 1. Go to the Options menu and click on Preferences. 2. Check the Keep Aspect Ratio box and change the value to: 3. Your work area now looks like this: 4. Click on Marquee (vertical toolbar) and select your pattern. Press Auto Repeat. 5. In the opening window, set the following values: right pointing arrow (1), mirror horizontally (2), spacing -1 (3). Press OK. 6. Using the Marquee tool (step 4), select the pattern and click on Auto Repeat. 7. The window will pop up, where you set the following values: The arrow pointing down (1), mirror vertically (2), spacing -1 (3). Your pattern is ready. Save the file in the necessary format. For those who don’t want to bother with all that, here you can download the design. Original text by Irina Lisitsa, tutorial supplement by Lisa Prass
  8. 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
  9. Sewing three-dimensional letters of the alphabet Three-dimensional letters are very easy to make if you have a sewing/sewing and embroidery machine. It requires very few expendables, a bit of your free time and a good mood. Sewing three-dimensional letters of the alphabet. Materials For the tutorial, I purchased a set of cute girly fabrics. It contained seven different patterns, of which I chose three, for a five-letter name. Besides fabrics, you’ll require threads, hand sewing and embroidery needles, soft padding material (polyester batting, Holofiber), and, naturally, the machine. Sewing three-dimensional letters of the alphabet. Embroidery The making of the embroidery design is a piece of cake even for beginners. Choose a font or create your own in your PE Design. Load the design into your embroidery machine, and hoop the stabilizer. Place your padding material (let’s say, 100 g/m2 polyester batting) on top of it. Next, place the outer fabric with its right side up. Hit the start button. While the machine is running, hold on to your fabric, pulling it just a little. You can also attach an eyelet for hanging. Finish the embroidery. Two parts of a letter can be embroidered in one go in a 200x300 mm hoop. In order to do that, copy your design and invert it, using your machine’s editor. Trim the embroidered letters around the contours with a 0.7 cm seam allowance. Now stitch them together as shown in this article (coming tomorrow!). Leave a 5 cm long opening for the stuffing. Having put your padding inside, sew the opening. You may ask the kids to help you, they’ll probably jump at the idea. This is the set of letters I made for a newborn baby. Many happy creations to you! Original text by Irina Lisitsa
  10. Sewing essentials: Double stitched seam Double stitched seam is one of the basic seams that are used for sewing shirts, swing blouses, jeans, sport trousers, bed linen, etc. If you only have a sewing machine and no overlocker, no need to worry about it. Thanks to the double stitched seam, both right and wrong sides of your garment will look perfect. Ready? Let's go! Before you start working on the actual garment, find some leftover pieces of fabric and do some tests. In this tutorial, I’ll be using a piece of middle-weight fabric, but keep in mind that double seam is also suitable for delicate fraying fabrics as cheesecloth and batiste. I strongly advise against using it on highly stretchable knits, unless you’re an owner of a coverstitch machine with adjustable differential feed. Creating double stitched seam Far left needle position Standard Brother sewing machine presser foot Pink upper thread and turquoise lower thread Blue-colored wavy line on the right side of the fabric Put the fabric pieces with their wrong sides together. Stitch at a distance of 0.5 cm from the edge. To get a nice straight row of stitches, use the scale on your standard presser foot. Keep the width steady by using a seam guide on your throat plate. In the photo, you can see the two details stitched together from the wrong side. Press the seam allowance with an iron. Put the details with their wrong sides together, circumventing the protruding seam allowance. Stitch at a distance of 0.7 cm from the edge. You can choose a different value if you want. Play with the stitch width, do several test pieces and decide which one works best in your case. For the purposes of this tutorial, I set the values as follows: ready double stitch width 0.7 cm, seam allowance 1 cm (0.3 cm will be “lost” in turndowns). As a result, the wrong side of your garment will look like the one in the photo below. The edge of the fabric is hidden inside the seam allowance. After that, not a single loose thread will escape. Press the seam allowance with an iron. Right (the photo above) and wrong sides (the photo below). > Now all that’s left is to add a finish. It’ll kill two birds with one stone: secure the seam allowance on the wrong side and serve as a decoration. You may add one or two lines of decorative stitches. If you chose the latter of the two options, place the fabric under the foot and stitch the first line of decorative stitches at a distance of 0.25 cm from the joining stitchline. For the sake of convenience, you may draw a line with an erasable pen on the foot itself (see the photo). Or, you may skip this and proceed to the second line of decorative stitches. It will be just as durable, but on the right side, there will be less decoration. The second line of decorative stitches should lie at a distance of 0.7 cm from the joining stitchline. Use the scale on your presser foot while doing that. All done! You now have two parallel lines of stitches on the right side, and three on the wrong side. Original text by Irina Lisitsa
  11. Sorry, we do not have this particular design. You can choose any one you like from our store embroideres.com.
  12. Placemats with machine embroidery Preparing for a holiday, one must take a number of things into account, such as buying or creating presents, inviting guests, home decoration, etc. To make your table look inviting, you’ll only need several pieces of fabric and a sewing and embroidery machine. Sew the placemats and decorate them with machine embroidery that your guests will love! Placemats with machine embroidery. Materials Outer fabric Inner fabric Between-lay Tearaway adhesive stabilizer Sewing and embroidery threads Placemats with machine embroidery. Preparations Cut the 48x38 cm rectangles out of the outer and inner fabrics, as well as the between-lay material. Put them together in this way: first goes the inner fabric, right side down, then the between-lay, and the upper fabric with its right side up on top of it all. Pin the layers together and draw the straight or diagonal lines with the help of a long ruler. Using the walking foot with a guide, stitch the layers together along the lines you’ve just drawn. Start with the centerline, and gradually work your way to the sides. Placemats with machine embroidery. Embroidery Choose a design from the machine’s memory or download one from our store. When you use designs from your machine’s memory (letters, for example), you can change their size up to 20% directly in the machine. If you are in a mood for creativity, and the machine’s capabilities are not enough, you might want to use PE Design. Stick a tearaway adhesive to the wrong side of your fabric. Hoop and run the embroidery. After the machine has finished stitching, unhoop the fabric, and remove the stabilizer leftovers. Cut out the pockets or decorations for your placemat. In order to create a pocket for the cutlery, stitch on the seam allowance. Insert a cardboard pattern and gather the thread. Press the cutout with an iron. Placemats with machine embroidery. Assembling The pockets can be sewn on with a straight stitch on the sewing machine or by hand (blind stitch). For the neat edges, use the edge stitch foot. The details may be attached by a zigzag stitch or any of the decorative stitches. Bias binding is good for the edges. You can cut it from the main fabric or you may use the companion fabric to make your bias binding a part of the decoration. To attach it to the placemat, use the edge stitch foot. Placemats are easy to sew, and there is an unlimited number of decorations. Original text by Irina Lisitsa
  13. Heart-shaped scissors holder with embroidery Want to learn how the simplest design, a couple of stitches and tools make a cute item? This tutorial contains a bare minimum of technique, a couple of tips and a step-by-step guide to creating an original scissors holder shaped like a heart. A gift like this will warm the heart of any crafter. And, if you have a really creative sewer/embroiderer for a friend, who owns lots of scissors, you may even give it to them instead of a Valentine. Heart-shaped scissors holder with embroidery. Materials: Sole-colored fabric (non-stretchy) Felt (thick) Tearaway adhesive stabilizer Upper embroidery threads Lower embroidery threads Scissors Machine embroidery design Heart-shaped scissors holder with embroidery. The making process Prepare the necessary materials. Load the design into your embroidery machine and attach the sole-colored fabric to the stabilizer. This will be our front (embroidered) panel. I usually prefer a tearaway adhesive, but in this case, a nonadhesive tearaway will do just as good, as will a cutaway stabilizer. If you use the last one, you may leave it in place after embroidery; in that case, you’ll have a strengthened front panel. If you’ll choose to make an entire holder out of thick felt, you may spare the stabilizer altogether. The next step is to attach the hoop to the embroidery machine and start the embroidery. Home embroidery machine will make stops for a thread change. Once the embroidery is finished, unhoop. Leave the stabilizer in place, if you wish. On the embroidered fabric, draw a triangle in such a way that the design fits exactly in its center. Keep in mind the size of the scissors, for which the holder is intended. Before cutting the triangle out, decide whether you will fold the edges or not. If yes, don't forget to leave some fabric for seam allowance (or fraying, as shown in this tutorial). Pick up a sheet of paper, draw the triangle and then add two half-circles to transform it into a heart. You may skip this part and draw directly on felt. It is easier to draw on paper, so, if you're not an artist (I’m not), do as I did. Press the paper template to the felt and cut the back panel of your holder. You’re almost done. The fabric I chose for my front panel frays a bit. I decided not to fold the sides in order to hide the edges. In order to prevent the upper edge from fraying more than it is necessary for decoration, I add a decorative stitch at some distance from it. Now I join the sides with the back panel. I use threads of the same color as the felt. One last thing: I pierce a hole on the side and tie the ribbon in a bow. A piercer came with my sewing and embroidery machine. If you do not own one, use a substitute. Voila! Your scissors holder is ready! Original text by Mary Stratan Pick the design you like from our store! https://embroideres.com/
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