Friday, June 15, 2012

Making it Personal

When I bought my first embroidery machine, a Brother SE-270D, I don't think I was really aware of the impact it would have on my newbie sewing life!!  At the time I was 6 months pregnant with my second girl, and all I wanted was to make matching pillowcase dresses so I could get a cutesy birth announcement picture.  I had my "Walmart special" Brother LS-2125, and was doing OK with my dresses...but thought I could make it so much better if only it was monogrammed.  So I did a little internet research and shopping and found the embroidery/sewing machine combo on Overstock.com for $250...it was refurbished.  I pleaded with my awesome man telling him I absolutely needed this machine, and how much money I would save on family birthday gifts, and oooh look! it has Disney Designs built in, and could I please, please, please buy it??!!  Well, of course he said yes (I don't call him my AWESOME man for nothing :P), and the rest is history!!

Some birthday hooded towels for friends...




Once I talked him into letting me have the machine....of course it didn't stop there!!  Having an embroidery machine is great....but in order to do some really impressive things, you really need to be able to combine designs....like I did in the above hooded towels.


I use Embird Embroidery Software. I believe it was recommended for use with  the Reader/Writer box (Vikant Ultimate Box) I had to get in order to get designs from my computer to the embroidery machine!!  Little did my husband nor I knew that one little idea would lead to such an investment! HA!!  Besides the actual Embroidery machine there are a few other items you need. Like thread...


Just like thread used for sewing, there are different types oembroidery thread.  The thread I used in this chalkboard pillow is a spool made ofour colors, so as it embroiders it gives the design cool effect!  

Oh....here's a quick tip on how I "pinned" the chalkboard fabric :)



Where was I...?  Oh, right....thread!  Well of course you will also need a special bobbin thread for your embroidery machine.  And I must tell you that the bobbin thread/ tension GREATLY affects the quality of your design....and your SANITY!!!  Many a hairs have been pulled over bobbin thread/ tension....and NEEDLES!!  Because you have to have the right embroidery needle in order to get the perfect stitched out design!  And then you need lots of different stabilizers to keep your many different fabrics nice and straight while your machine does its magic...

sorry... I know the photos are crappy! 
And lastly you will need embroidery designs....lots and lots of designs!  Appliques, fonts, monogram frames, filled designs, redwork, bluework, etc...
I have TONS and TONS of embroidery designs.  Some I've purchased and some I have found free on the internet from very generous givers!!  Because digitizing a common clip art or computer font into a machine embroidery design is ALOT of work...believe me, I've tried it!! 


The colors of these blankets are awful I know...it is the lighting in my "new" sewing room...I'm not used to it yet, so all of my photos are terrible!!  Anyway, back to Embroidery designs!!  These were custom made for an order. The font was purchased from 8 Claws and a Paw Embroidery Designs.


Which I then used my Embird software to arrange the letters to form names and words.  The swirled Mickey ears were found at one of the many embroidery design sights on the internet...can't remember which one exactly, but mostly every one offers a couple ofree designs.  LOVE how these turned out!

And lastly what you need when machine embroidering is a.LOT.of.P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E!!!  There are so many things that can go wrong while a design is stitching out, so it is important to be as prepared as possible!  Having the right machine, software, card-reader, design, threads, needle, and stabilizer is good....but having the KNOWLEDGE to put it all together is key to any successful design.  Before I even attempted to monogram these swimsuits....I went online and did a lot of research, blog lurking, and forum reading!!




Thanks to all of the knowledgeable people at Sew forum and the AWESOME blogger Nicole @ Cole's Corner and Creations, I was able to do a pretty decent job on my first attempt! :)  So I guess after 6 years I can look back and say that all of buying, and research, and design collecting, and LEARNING, and trial and error, and HAIR PULLING, and more learning and buying (I've upgrade to a Brother PE-700 embroidery machine)....has been totally and COMPLETELY worth it!!!  I fully enjoy taking something a simple as a towel, a bag, a t-shirt, a bathing suit, a pillow, I could go on and on with this LIST...and making it personal by putting a simple machine embroidery design on it!! :)  Until later...

4 comments:

ShirleyC said...

I'm on Sew Forum too! I live in N. Louisiana south of Shreveport.
I love machine embroidery, and I own a Babylock my DH bought me for our 40th anniversary.
Come and visit my blog sometime.
www.prayersformymom.blogspot.com

Great post!

Beatrix from Kindershop said...

I wish I had an embroidery machine. You make such awesome things with it! Love the hodded towels and blankets.

Beatrix from Kindershop said...

Lauranie!!!! We are missing you. When are you coming back????
I would love to see what you have been making the past three months. Hope everybody is well.

craftytammie said...

I love the things you make! I can't even satin stitch an applique, so I'm in awe of your designs! hope you've been well, haven't talked to you in like, forevah. :)