Custom Apron

It is always really interesting to see my customers ideas. This custom apron job came to me via a reference from my mail man. I had done some alterations for him and when he heard someone was looking for a seamstress he recommended me. I love hear how people found me. I get a lot of word of mouth business. This apron was a custom request for the owner of a local barber shop. He’s young and the barber shop is modern and trendy. At first when he said he wan’t leather and rabbit fur I was a little put off by it. But it’s what he wanted and I can work in leather. When he brought me the fabric I wasn’t sure how good it would come out because of the combination of fabrics. But when you do custom work, you do what the customer wants and curb your own style. The only time I ever nah-say a customers ideas is when it’s more difficult to construct or there might be construction issues. However, it’s more of an advisory regarding extra cost for a longer sewing time or some construction issue like two fabrics not being able to be sewn together because it might be too bulky or unappealing to the eye. This was one of those situations. I was concerned about the thickness of the leather suede material and the rabbit fur pockets. It was tricky and I advise him that lining the rabbit fur pockets with another layer of rabbit fur would be thick. Which is was, but it wasn’t impossible to sew. I was able to make it work. He wanted it to be black and red. I had some thin pig suede lying around so I added the red stripe to the top, the pockets, and the bottom. Just to break up the black a little. It came out a lot better than I thought it would. I still have mixed feelings about the rabbit fur pockets. For one, I had a moment while sewing them, when I thought about what it was I was really working with. It made me very sad when I thought about all the bunnies that died for these pockets. I don’t think I want to work in real fur anymore. But other than that this outrageous idea came out better than I thought it would and I actually like it. #arizona #contractsewing #mesa #seamstressproblems  #seamtress #sewing #wolfchilddesigns

Etsy
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Embroidery Digitizing is a VERY manual process

Most people think that they can just upload a graphic picture into some embroidery software and viola it’ll stitch out on an embroidery machine. NO. That’s actually very far from the truth what digitizing embroidery is. Essential digitizing embroidery is like tracing over an image with stitches. The software does a lot o the work. Back in the day when machine embroidery first started people had to manually punch every single needle hole to create the stitches. Modern day software figures out a lot for you. In this short video you see how I’m working on digitizing a very large logo. Basically tracing over the image with stitching. There is a lot more that I have to do to it than just lay down stitching. There is a lot of trial and error that I’ve gone though figuring out what kinds of settings do what and how what you see on the screen really looks on fabric. It’s a very complex process. Over the last four years I’ve taught myself embroidery digitizing because there are not a lot of options for learning how the pros do it. I’ve watched countless tutorials online with all kinds of software. I’ve read my embroidery software’s manual multiple times. I’ve learned a lot about digitizing but there is still so much out there I could learn and am looking to learn. Here’s is a tiny glimpse into what digitizing looks like. For those wondering I am using Bernina Embroidery Software v6.

TransAm Bird logo

 

#wolfchilddesigns #sewing #seamstress #mesa #arizona #embroidery #machineembroidery #bernina #software #contractsewing #digitizing

Mitered Corner Cheat

My assistant Hannah came up with this brilliant idea for cutting the corner in prep for sewing a mitered corner on these table runners. She took the clipping from the first runner she did and used it as a template for all the other corners for the rest of the runners! BRILLIANT!! I would have measured every single corner. LOL

The table runners that just won’t end

So back in February I took a job for 28 table runners for a charity. They requested a discounted rate because it was a charity. I agreed because it was the spouse of one of my regular clients. Unfortunately, I under quoted the time the job would take and ended up in the hole on this huge project. Aside from that my assistant Hannah and myself have had problem after problem with this awful fabric my client bought at SAS Fabrics here in Arizona. They are a warehouse style fabric shop that often has a lot of manufacturer defect or overstock fabric. We first noticed issues with it when we did the first three runners as samples. The fabric is a polyester/rayon heavy satin with huge blue and white stripes running parallel to the lengthwise grain. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why they were bubbling in the middle and not laying flat. We tried every sewing trick I know and some I looked up to try to create the best situation for them to come out flat. It didn’t seem hard since we were just hemming the fabric in a giant rectangle. We pressed it, we starched it, we pinned it, we tried a satin foot, we tried a walking foot. Nothing seemed to work. So finally I decided they were just going to be funky and we just moved on and kept sewing them. Half way though the bolt of 25 yards we noticed that the stripes were not where they were when we started. When the stripes were printed on the fabric they were not straight. It looks like the fabric moved while they printed it and the result was spiral stripes the length of the whole bolt! Since we need to the strips to run the length of the runners and not across the runners, the runners were twisted!! Bubbling problem solved! Ugh I was so irritated about it. It wasn’t anyone fault and you wouldn’t have been able to tell just by looking at the bolt. If we had used to the stripes in the other direction it might not have been an issue but the runners would have looked a little prison-y. Anyway, we’re down to the last one today and I’ll be happy when this job is done and we can start working on costumes.

Here is a picture of the last of the two 40 foot runners we had to do. We had 26 7 foot by 14″ runners and two 40 foot by 14″ runners. Process is: Starch and press, press and pin hem, sew, and press again. 40 FEET OF IT!!!

Inside the Pokeball purse

This is the inside of the Pokeball Purse I make and sell on my etsy store. The picture in the listing is a little out of date. I started adding vinyl piping to the front and back seams to make the bag hold it’s round shape better. Here is what they used to look like before the piping.

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Here is the new Pokeball Purse with piping!

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So much better looking! But now it’s ridiculously thick. The front piece is two (top half and bottom half) pieces of vinyl sewn together in the middle with the black “button” piece sewing on top. Add the two layers of vinyl for the piping and the side piece. All that makes a seams that is five layers of vinyl!! That’s not including the two layers of cotton lining or the other two layers of red vinyl bias I sew around this raw edge to make it look pretty on the inside.

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I could never have done it without my industrial walking foot machine! This badboy right here is my pride and joy! He’s my favorite machine! Shhhh…don’t tell the others!

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…and we’re back!

First let me apologize for the long break I’ve taken from updating this blog. At the end of last year my life kind of fell apart and I’ve been slowly putting the pieces back together. I spent several months dealing with severe illness and then the passing of my mother in December. It’s been a very long to get back to my life and my business. I’m not all the way there yet but hopefully I will get there someday. Right now I’m just here, doing the best that I can for today. I have a few exciting projects I’m starting this year. One of which is me getting back into cosplay! I will be attending Phoenix ComicCon this year with some friends as the main characters from Final Fantasy X, the first FF game I’ve ever finished!

Thanks for reading! See ya soon!
Angela
WolfChild Designs

Continued effort to get organization.

So since Organization is kind of my theme for this year I decided to make myself a portfolio for my calendar and notepad. I made one a few years ago for my business partner and he love his. I’ve been on the look out for a portfolio for myself. Mainly because it was a lot of work to make the first one for my business partner and the design of it wasn’t quite right for what I needed. I’m left handed and the one I made was right handed. Not only that but I needed to add a place for my notebook and a larger pocket to hold my tablet or any books I might need. You can see have designing a whole new portfolio was a daunting task. So I just waiting and tried to see if I could find something in the stores so I wouldn’t have to make it myself. Well, after almost a year of searching for the “right portfolio” I realized they’re all designed for right handed people with no option for a left handed writing situation. In every single portfolio I’ve come across the slot for the pad of paper or calendar is on the right and the misc. pockets for pens and what not are on the left. This was very frustrating. So I gave in and finally design a portfolio specifically for me and my needs. I took some time and thought about what kind of pockets I needed and where they should be placed. After that I came up with the pattern idea. Last night around 11pm I couldn’t sleep and wasn’t tired and was suddenly inspired (or rather tired of not having a portfolio) that I just set out and started working it. Before I knew it it was 3:30am and I was done. Here is my newest creation my business portfolio. 

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New years resolution

So my new years resolution is to update my blog once a week and to create one new item a month. I was going to say one new item a week be I feel that’s very unrealistic for me, so at least once a month should be good. I think I might start adding some more personal touches to my blog so my customers can get to know me a little more. I guess that’s the point of a blog in the first place or at least the point of my blog. I think last year facebook stole my will to blog. It seems I spend more time doing that then anything else. I think I should change that habit. Once a week to blog and once a week for facebook. I think that should be enough. Does anyone have any suggestions for content? I think part of my problem is that I’ll make a blog post and then I’ll post a link to it in facebook. Or i’ll post the same thing I blog about in my facebook or other social media. I think maybe I should start blogging about one thing and facebook about something different. Maybe facebook should have the “topic” in a post but my blog would have the “information” about that topic. So there is different kinds of information on both places but they are similar. This all makes more sense in my head than it does once I started writing it out. I feel I might be rambling so maybe I should stop. My point is that this blog is back up and running now. 2014 will be the year of my blog. 

New connections

So my business partner John has been pushing me to do Christmas stockings. I didn’t care to do them at first, but I think there is a real market there. I started making them with MY flare. I made a few out of vinyl and some with funky designs. Well, he decided to have me make one out of leather and take it down to this local leather shop. We just had a meeting with the owner of Joeta’s Leather, she was super nice. I had spent the last week trying to get some leather stuff made to show her. Got some purses, stockings, bracelets and other stuff made and she loved all of it. I was hoping she would put my stuff in her store, however she had others ideas. When she saw that I could do embroidery on the leather she got super excited because she gets tons of requests for custom embroidery all the time. She’s going to refer me embroidery work now. I’m pretty excited. She’s a big name in the biker scene and has lots of connections. She said she could keep me in business with the amount of embroidery stuff she can throw my way. She also invited me to vend for free at one of the biggest biker events in Arizona. I’m super stoked, but a little stressed out cause I’ve still got lots of other stuff to do. Well I guess I better get back to work. 

Joeta’s leather

What the hell!?

Okay so this was my second attempt at this custom logo for a customer. This happened in two places last time. I went in and fixed the design as best I could but there was still an odd line I couldn’t get rid of. That line turned into that gap when I stitch it out. I was so frustrated because I knew it had to do with my digitizing.  I read thought the book I got “Digitizing made easy”. There was a section on stitch length that really help. Plus I went in and changed my start/stop positions and that eliminated the weird line (gap) problem. I didn’t bother finishing the design once I saw the gap. Why waste thread and time.

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