My First Machine Embroidery Patterns

I finally found the time to go back to Embird and figure out how to digitize :) somewhat. I am still very much into redwork embroidery, not trying anything more complicated. I've always loved these Picasso sketches and they proved to be quite easy to digitize, so voila! And then I made this peasant blouse with them and some white cotton remnants I had in my stash!

Gathered Waist Dress

I got this print at Vancouver's Dressew Supply. And I recently modified my gathered waist dress pattern to have a different neckline and proper sleeves. Add a long string of white pearls and black boots and it's a chic look that works morning till night :)

Gabriela's Baptism Gown

I don't know how many of you read this blog, but you may have noticed that I haven't posted in a while?


I had a baby last July and since then had virtually no time for cutting, fitting, or sewing. 

But when it came time for my daughter Gabriela's baptism, I knew that I had to make her clothes myself :) Such a special occasion demanded a custom-made gown, bonnet, and slippers!

And it all turned out rather well, imho! Though I should have added ribbons to the slippers. One of them kept falling off, since Gabriela (or Gigi, as I call her) is a very active baby, and so she was baptized like Cinderella, wearing just one slipper :) 

Please excuse me for boasting a bit, but I am proud of this. An invisible zipper on a lined dress in such a small size is no easy thing. The lace and lining are from Pacific Fabrics, and the trim is from Nancy's Sewing Basket.

One lovely thing about working with good lace - no need to worry about finishing the hem or the sleeve edges. The gorgeous fabric takes care of it for you!

So here are some shots of the clothes and my favorite model Gabriela Nikita Owen :)

Heirloom Sewing, Decorative Buttons, and Machine Embroidery

This week I made a couple more peasant blouses (can't get enough of them!) using heirloom sewing techniques, some decorative buttons that I bought at M&J Trimming in New York a couple of years ago, and machine embroidery.

Red is My Most Flattering Color :)

I got a gift certificate to the Stitches fabric store on Capitol Hill for my birthday from my brother and I finally put it to good use by getting this amazing textured chiffon. Whipped up two easy tops: one very basic, which I can accessorize with the gazillion statement necklaces that I have, for example, this latest Michal Neggrin stunner. And the other I decided to decorate with a peter pan collar enhanced with some hand-sewn beads.

Machine-embroidered Peasant Blouses

Finally, after much embroidery placement testing and different trim try outs, I've completed two more peasant blouses :)

My original idea was to combine these individual patterns into one, but for some reason, my Embird software would not let me do it. Or rather, all looked well on my laptop, but my embroidery machine would not recognize the combined pattern. So, as a work-around, I added this cotton lace trim in between each individual embroidered piece.

Here are some pictures of the work in progress :) 

I don't speak French, so after a lot of asking around (thank you, Anna Feretti!) and Google Translate searches, I opted to label this top "Chanel Chapeaux" :) as in Chanel Hats. I got the idea for this blouse as soon as I first spotted this collection of flapper patterns, especially the last one that I placed on the back! :) After all, Coco began her career as a milliner, designing hats in her free time when she lived as a "cocotte" with Etienne Balsan at his estate Chateau de Royallieu.

Here's the finished look :)

And some close-ups :)

And finally, sleeve detail.

The next one is a Jane Austen blouse. My original idea was to combine these cross-stitch patterns that I found online with some text, maybe a fitting Austen quote. But once again, even though everything looked fine on the laptop, my embroidery machine just would not recognize the pattern :( So I figured, maybe these perfectly executed exquisite embroideries are enough, when combined with a delicate trim. Imho, it works :)

Embroidered Peasant Top

Well, this was my first real experiment with machine embroidery and imho, it turned out ok. I'm actually wearing this top today, having completed it yesterday. The embroidery patterns I used here all came with my Brother PE 770, but I played with the layout and size, placement, rotation, and using different hoops. It also took me a while to choose the best stabilizer. In the end, I opted for the dissoluble stuff. Basically it's glue and once the embroidery stitching is complete, you hold the cloth under running water and in a few seconds it melts away :) Magic!

Another super important tip that I was given by the wonderful employees at Quality Sewing and Vacuum in Northgate is using the special embroidery bobbin thread. It's much thinner than regular thread and it's crucial in ensuring that the fabric doesn't pucker as you embroider and the design comes out flat, even, soft, and flawless - I can't say enough great things about it!

Anyway, I finished this top by adding an element of heirloom sewing - cotton lace trim around the hem and sleeves.

I can't wait to start on the flappers and the Downton Abbey patterns! And next up is installing Embird software and using the digitizing plug-in to create my own embroidery patterns. Hand embroidery is great and admirable, but machine... it's just so much faster! :)