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  1. A textile etui with cross stitch embroidery (Bargello imitation) Where do you keep your bijou jewelry, beads, memory sticks, buttons, and other knickknacks? Boxes and tins aren’t good–the heart yearns for the beautiful. These cross stitch designs imitate the famous Florentine embroidery known as Bargello. Below I explain how to actually sew and embroider an etui. A textile etui with cross stitch embroidery. Materials Printed cotton fabric Sole-colored cotton fabric Tearaway adhesive stabilizer Upper thread Underthread Scissors Machine embroidery design The sewing order (the image below) A textile etui with cross stitch embroidery. The making process You can buy the design or create it yourself. For those who don't know how, there will be tutorials in future. Prepare the design and working materials. I like doing it before the work starts, thus eliminating the possibility of missing something in the crucial moment. We’ll be using a sole-colored fabric. Attach the adhesive stabilizer to the wrong side. Hoop the fabric together with the stabilizer. Tighten the screw. After that, do the upper and lower threading and attach the hoop. Hit the start button. The embroidery consists of three parts, two rectangular and one square. You need to embroider two rectangular parts and one square part, which will make the basis for your etui. I recommend following the color chart that comes with the design so that to avoid gaudiness. If you’ve decided to create your etui out of felt, you may forego the lining. In the course of embroidery, even cotton fabric becomes thicker, but I decided to leave the stabilizer and to add lining. In order to do that, embroider only the outer stitch on a sole-colored or printed fabric. As it comes last in the embroidery order, you need go to the editing menu of the design and skip the steps you don’t want to embroider. Having embroidered one square and two sides for both inner and outer sides of the etui, cut out the details, leaving 0.5–1 cm for seam allowance. Remove the stabilizer from the seam allowance, it will be superfluous there. Sew first the outer sides, and then inner sides together (see the scheme). Insert the lining into the etui and stitch the two sides together. I sewed by hand, catching the back stitches. You can additionally decorate the item with beads, ribbons, tassels or charms, whichever suits your taste best. In the end, you’ll get a nice textile etui where you can put your sundry. Such an etui may also be used as a box for a small present. Happy embroidery! P.S. Explore other embroidery techniques here! Original text by Mary Stratan Free machine embroidery designs made in this technique can be found here.
  2. Original text by: Irina Lisitsa To demonstrate the process of making an openwork embroidery I chose two-thread french terry, because this type of knitwear is stable, trimming distorts it very little, and therefore, is perfect for this machine embroidery technique. You can do this on any sewing or embroidery equipment. The making process is the same as with openwork and cutwork embroidery on any other fabric. This master-class will help the beginners to understand that machine embroidery on knitwear is not all that difficult. Materials for embroidery on knitwear: • Knitwear fabric (0.3 mm two-thread french terry) • Tearaway adhesive, either Stiffy 1860B or 1640B • Water soluble film • Upper thread • Underthread • Machine embroidery design (download or buy one from our shop) Openwork: The making process Stick a tearaway adhesive of an appropriate density to the wrong side of your fabric. Hoop the stabilized fabric and turn in the screw. Embroider the first color of your design (usually it is the stitch, which will outline the future design and mark the areas that will be cut out. Take the hoop off the machine and make small incisions in the center of an embroidered area, using scissors, a razor blade or a ripper, then cut away the bits of fabric with scissors. Put a thin layer of a water soluble film on top of the fabric and secure it with pins. Be careful not to put pins into the embroidery area. Set you hoop into your machine and continue the embroidery. After having embroidered the design, remove the stabilizer leftovers from both the right and wrong side of the item. Press the embroidery on the wrong side, on several layers of terry towel, so that the machine embroidery would preserve its density and not become flat. Your openwork on knitwear is now ready!
  3. Original text by: Olga Ionova This master-class will tell you how to do cutwork embroidery. Cutwork embroidery has its own aspects, and if the design is beyond the hoop so that you have to join its parts together, the amount of the aspects doubles. This master-class will tell you how to do cutwork with alignment and border designs without the special hoop, but with the help of alignment stitches instead. Cutwork embroidery. Materials: • Fabric or an item to be embroidered • Tearaway stabilizer • Water soluble stabilizer (film) • Upper thread (white) • Underthread (white) Cutwork embroidery. The making process Prepare your fabric. Iron it and press the tearaway adhesive to the wrong side. In keeping with the design do the marking. Mark the fabric in accordance with the plastic pattern of your hoop. Tightly hoop the fabric and the stabilizer. You can add pins, too. Cutwork embroidery design must include several colors, which will mark the places for your machine to stop. The first color will be a Ran stitch, also zigzag may be added. Having embroidered the first color, stop the machine and take the hoop off. Marked are the areas that will be cut out. These are always enclosed areas. Don't unhoop the fabric! It must stay in the hoop. With the help of scissors cut away the areas inside the objects from the stitching, trying not to damage it. Use the stork embroidery scissors or the ones that were specially designed for cutwork. Put a layer of thin water soluble stabilizer on top of the fabric and secure it with pins. Set you hoops in your machine run the embroidery with the second color. The embroidery consists of finishing the open areas with zigzag stitches and later with satin columns, while water soluble stabilizer is used as a substitute for the fabric. It holds the fabric and the cut-away details together. The order of cutting and finishing depends upon the programmed sequence. The details here should be cut away and embroidered one after the other. Embroider all the details as was described above. Embroider all the elements of the design. Cutwork embroidery. The alignment of the elements When embroidering borders or repetitive design patterns you have to do the alignment. Therefore, draw the central line while doing the preparations. To get the exact match between the different parts the design must contain the alignment stitches and crosses (dots and lines). In the first part of the embroidery they are embroidered the last. The alignment spots marked violet on the photo. If you add the alignment crosses by yourself (it can be done in any embroidery software editor), mark them with different color from that of the last part of the design. You can mark the places where the needle will hit the alignment crosses by moving down the balance wheel, but not perforating the fabric. This works extremely good for leather. The last part of the embroidery before next may include tacking down the first object of the part that will be hooped next. You can use this stitch as an additional alignment mark. Cutwork embroidery. Rehooping Take the embroidered detail out and press it flat, moving the iron carefully up and down. Never use steam! Hoop the next part of the fabric to be embroidered in accordance with the marking and the hoop pattern. Set you hoops in your machine and make sure that the first is the color of the alignment crosses. All alignment spots must match! You don't have to embroider them, just move the balance wheel down and see if the needle hits the marks. After that the embroidery will go as was described above. Having completed the embroidery, unhoop the fabric. Cut away the excessive water soluble stabilizer on both right and wrong side. Tear away the tearaway adhesive stabilizer. Wash the water soluble stabilizer in the warm water until it will go off completely. Dry the embroidery until it becomes only a bit wet. Press your embroidery on something soft like a folded terry towel covered with a thin cloth. Press the embroidery flat in up and down motions only! Never move an iron side to side or back and force. It's done!
  4. Original text by: Irina Lisitsa The Hardanger embroidery is an ancient Scandinavian hand embroidery technique, which involves counted satin stitches, because the design is created by the parallel stitches that run along the straight lines. There is something from hemstitch in it, too, because one part of the fabric base is later removed. Traditionally the Hardanger embroidery was used to decorate dresses and costumes of the Norwegian beauties. As any other hand embroidery technique, Hardanger requires a lot of embroiderer's time and patience. With the development of new technologies and embroidery equipment the Hardanger technique became much easier and quicker to accomplish. This master-class shows the order in which you should embroider the elements of the Hardanger design, so you could decorate your house with a Hardanger pillow. Hardanger. Materials: • The main fabric • Tearaway adhesive stabilizer • Upper thread • Underthread • Water soluble stabilizer • Machine embroidery design (hardanger) Hardanger. Embroidery process Print your design patterns on your printer. Stick your tearaway adhesive stabilizer to the wrong side of your fabric. Organize the printed designs on your fabric the way you like. Mark the center of each design. Hoop the fabric in accordance with these center marks. Set you hoops in your machine and load the design. It is more convenient to embroider from the center of the design to the edges. The first stitch will mark the area of your future Hardanger embroidery. Put a piece of a thin water soluble stabilizer onto this first stitch, the second stitch will secure it on the fabric and will allow you to cut away the pieces where the Hardanger stitches will be. After having secured the water soluble stabilizer on the fabric by a narrow zig-zag stitch, take the hoop off your machine and turn it wrong side to the top. Make an incision through the fabric and the stabilizer, but leave the water soluble stabilizer intact. Cut out the area where your Hardanger embroidery will be, trimming the fabric near the stitches. After having trimmed the extra fabric, set you hoops into the machine and finish your embroidery. When embroidering, don't forget to change the thread, using the color map that goes with the design. Repeat the embroidery process for the other parts of your design. After the embroidery is completed, rinse it with the sufficient amount of warm water or wash the ready item without the use of laundry detergents. Hardanger. Assembling the front side When the embroidery is completed, wash your item sparingly and dry it slightly, then smooth the embroidered part with an iron. To make the pillow, cut out two pieces of fabric of two different colors, 5 and 8 cm wide. Sew them together, press the seam allowances to the darker colored side. Then sew these two strips of fabric on both sides of the central detail on your pillow. The front side is ready, now all we have to do is to sew the back side. The pillow decorated with Hardanger embroidery is ready!
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