Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to Applique Tiny Things: SOCKS!

Some items you simple cannot hoop! Take, for instance, a cute pair of baby socks. I am going to use our Star Studded applique alphabet set and a cute pair of pink baby socks for my project. So how in the world does one go about monogramming or appliqueing such an impossible item? Keep reading.

First we need to start with the right stabilizer. I chose an adhesive back stabilizer. This type of stabilizer comes on a roll. I am using the 5x7 hoop so I cut a piece to fit my hoop and peeled off the backing. This can be kind of tedious to peel away when its curly. It very well might be the hardest part of the whole project!

Next we need to stitch the first die line of the star. This is to show us where the machine will be stitching so that we know where to put our garment or item. Because I am using a sticky stabilizer, the foot seems to stick briefly with each pass making a clicking noise lol.

Now we want to place the baby sock over the die line. When doing socks, obviously the cuff will be turned down. The orientation of placement can be DISorienting as you mentally work out how to position the item in the hoop so that it's not upside down! TIP: Hold the baby sock as if it were on the baby with the cuff turned down. Now take a pearl ball straight pin and put it on the baby sock with the pearl ball facing up and the pin facing down. When you turn the cuff up, this will help you see where this tiny applique needs to be placed because you put a straight pin in the sock where the applique would be. Stick the sock to the stabilizer OVER the die line. I used more stick pins to pin the rest of the tiny sock out of the way of the passing needle and foot. I just pin the sock to the stabilizer backing to secure it. This should hold nicely.

At this point you can back up your machine and restitch that first die line. But ya know, I'm lazy!  I trust that my placement of the sock will suffice. Now we need to prep that applique fabric!  I am choosing to use some of that sequin sparkly fabric you often see in the fabric department at Hobby Lobby. This stuff is ULTRA sheer (except for the sequins) and STRETCHY! I need to make this fabric more stable for sewing with, so I am going to use my adhesive stabilizer to back my fabric.

Now we need to place the prepped fabric over the sock for TACK DOWN!  Run the tack down stitches. Afterward, you will trim next to the tack down line to remove excess fabric.

And now we will do the third color step and let the machine stitch the satin stitches to finish the raw edge of our fabric.

Notice that there is SOME pulling due to the fact that this cute little pink sock is really stretchy. I can live with :)  Finally we will stitch out the monogram letter that goes in the center of the star applique. This applique is a REALLY small one so, of course, the letter is going to be even smaller and some detail can be lost due to its diminished size.

Now its time to remove the sock from the hoop and perform the same steps on the opposite sock. Remember most people have one left foot and one right foot so be sure to make a left and a right :) Here is my finished project! Turned out really adorable for a new baby!

I hope this project give you the courage to tackle some unexplored territory and broaden your skills. There will be some times when this type of project will fall in your lap. Although I chose to do a set of socks, you could use this technique to do some other items like sleeve cuffs, baby beanie hats, pants legs, and pockets. Until next time!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baby Chick Applique From Planet Applique

This adorable baby Chick applique will make your Easter crafting all warm and fuzzy! Checkout out below how this embroidery machine designs sews out. He takes about 8 minutes to make and is super easy and simple.

Step1: Load the baby chick file and stitch the die line. (color1)
Place a piece of fabric over the die line and the run the tack down stitch. (color2)

Step 3: Using double curved applique scissors trim around your fabric. It should look something like this once you are done trimming the fabric away.

Step 4: Once you've trimmed your fabric, the machine will now stitch in this order: beak and legs (color3), and then the body (color 4)

Step 5: Last to stitch is this baby chicks brown eyes :) Isnt he so cute! If you want to give this baby chick a try, scoot over to Planet Applique and pick him up :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to Get Your Pics JUST RIGHT!

I had several customers ask about my photos. "How do you get your photos to look so nice, Becca?" Well heres what I do and some tips and rules to making your crafts look oh the more special when it comes time to sale.

I just bought a sony TX-1 cybershot, but I dont notice a huge difference.

What I use (and you can really use any program) is Corel Painter. But heres the steps I take when I load my photos from my camera:

1) Crop--I crop anything that not important from the picture. If the table is visible, I crop it out. Rule is...no one wants to see your house when viewing photos :) So keep the object photographed the center of attention.

2) I increase the gamma (lightness) and also the contrast. This makes a dark picture brighter and more vivid.

3) I increase the saturation of the colors slightly. I repeat steps 2 and 3 until happy.

4) I sharpen the image.

I can make a dark dark picture look like daylight! Im good at it lol i guess. But something else that helps is also taking pictures on a bright or cloudy day by a window that has a solid filter, like a sheer white curtain. I have by my sewing machine, two large double windows that get southern light exposure. I have these really cheap but EFFECTIVE paper shades I got at Lowes for 3.00 a piece. Its like a miniblind without the gaps and its solid and you peel off a piece of adhesive and stick it to the top of the window frame and let it fall. Its made of cloth or paper and they are super cheap and look nice lol. Best of all, it acts like a light filter, dispersing the light nicely in my work area.

Some other things I do if needed.

If there is too much blue in the picture I add green with the hue function. If the picture looks really yellow..I ADD blue hue to the picture slightly. This can make the biggest difference! You will usually get too much blue if you are outside in the shade or on a cloudy day. You will usually get to much yellow hue if you take pics inside under a reg litthbulb.

I also get creative with angles I use. I dont just take a straight on shot. I put the camera right up on it (as if I'm checking to see if the table is level) Thats what my hubby says it looks like im doing when i take a picture at this angle. Also, having light coming from behind your object, in my case its the window behind the project im photographing, help to create a very nice fade to white effect when you start brightening the image. But i dont let the window show in my photos. Its the hidden light source :) Also use the macro on your camera if it has it. This is a feature that changes the focus as you get REALLY close up on your item you are photographing. So you can show the details. Also grab a bright coordinating fabric and lay it down under your project. SO MUCH BETTER THAN A DARN TABLE SHOWING!

I for one know that photos of an item can make it oh the more desireable. You want to do everything you can to do that project justice. After all you made it and the pics are just as important as the item itself when it comes to getting it sold :)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lily Frog Embroidery Applique Design

Lily Frog Applique by Planet Applique is such an adorable new design that I wanted to take a moment and share a tutorial on how she sews out in the hoop. As I designed Lily, she took on her own little personality. Its so difficult to find cute frog for embroidery these days. Clipart is exhausted and I felt to need to draw her from scratch and put her in a sewing format that you can enjoy making! Head over to Planet Applique and get this pattern and return here for a quick step by step.

STEP 1: Get your materials. Fabrics for the applique and a blank, thread and stabilizer. I found a kimono style wrapping onesie at Hancock Fabrics on sale for 6.99. Whats great about these, is that you can open up the garment and so embroidery and applique becomes much easier!

STEP 2: Load Lily to your machine and after pinning your garment in place on top of the hooped stabilizer, run the fabric die line for her body.

Step 3: Lay down the fabric for Lily's body so that it covers the die line. After, a tack down line will stitch. Next Lily's tummy fabric die line stitches. Lay down her tummy fabric.
Allow the tack down for Lily's tummy to stitch and then remove hoop and trim your fabrics. Trim as close as possible while leaving everything hooped.

Step 5: Return hoop to the machine and now its time to have fun! The machine is going to begin stitching her left arm and it will not stop again until we get to her tummy stitching. This should take about 4-6 minutes. When the machine stops over her tummy fabric, get your next thread color (pink) loaded. This stitching is not a satin stitch, but rather a vintage tri stitching. I used pink felt on lily's tummy.

STEP 6: Now Lily's tummy is done and the machine will move directly to her cheeks. Once both cheeks finish stitching, then her big smile goes down, followed by the right eye and then the left eye.

Step 7: Optional. I have added three lovely hearts around Lil's head. If you do not want hearts on your Lily, then you can stop the machine after the left eye is complete and remove her from the hoop. Otherwise, change threads to any shade of pink and let her hearts get stitched.

Take a peek at this lovely little Valentine Kimono Wrap Onesie I decorated with Lily Frog Applique and the Lilypad Heart Applique embroidery design. I put the heart lilypads on the butt of the onesie which really looks outstanding!