Roses are red…

Have a client who has had me putting floral embroidery on a lot of ready-made clothes lately. This is a rose design I’m making for her. I couldn’t find a built-in rose file in my embroidery software. It comes with so many pre-made designs that I am really surprised it didn’t have a basic rose. I found this embroidery design picture of a full rose and re-digitized it into the different parts, the rose head, the stems, and the leaves.

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I liked the way the shadowing in the rose is created by the stitch design. The stitch type is a Satin Special. It’s used for pieces that are too wide for a satin stitch to look good or stitch out correctly. It creates one or two stitches across the width of the design and gives it those dimples.

This is how my rose came out. I did it with only one color to save some time embroidering it.

Rose bud

After creating the head of the rose, I took the vines off the original picture and played around with some different sized roses. I ended up adding more thorns and changing the leave directions to make it a bit more interesting.

Rose vine

I’m still not finished with the designs. I’ll probably make a separate, just vines, design so that way I can place some vines on the garment near or connecting two different designs.

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Tattoo Princesses

I’ve said this before, but I love the creative jobs I get. The not so normal alterations and projects. This came from one of my Roller Derby League mates. She asked me to take this cute purse she had and use it to create a panel on her denim vest. She’s kind of punk so it figures the purse fabric is Disney princesses in Tattoo pin-up style.

Here is the purse fabric:

The cuteness of the fabric alone made this project so much fun to work with.

The trickiest part was making a pattern for the back shoulders of the jacket. At first, I had it laying flat on my table and I was just going to pin some paper to it and trace it out as best I could. Then I noticed my Hoop Master shirt board and had a great idea. Putting it on the shirt board made it so much easier to work with the jacket.

Then I got started drafting a quick pattern. In retrospect, I should have taken a little more time to make the pattern symmetrical because it came out a little off but I already cut the fabric so I couldn’t go back.

The trick to this was trying to position the pattern so that I could get the most princesses in the frame. Also, I made sure that her favorite princess, Belle, was very visible.

Finally sewing it onto the jacket was probably the easiest part. I didn’t give myself a seam allowance but did a serged edges instead. Then used a zig-zag stitch to secure it to the jacket because the fabric was kind of stretchy.

As an extra thing, I decided it would be fun to make a patch from one of the other Belle’s on the fabric since that was her favorite. I thought about using my embroidery machine but I had already cut out the Belle, so lining up stitching would have been a nightmare. Instead, I opted to create it manually with a zig-zag on my home machine. I did it just like I would have on the embroidery machine, I used spray adhesive to secure the fabric to some no-show mesh stabilizer and some thick cut-away stabilizer. Then sewed a basting stitch an eight of an inch from the edge all the way around the patch. Then I cut off the stabilizer and used spray adhesive to attach the patch to some Badge Master stabilizer. Then zig-zagged all the way around the edge, making sure that the right most needle position was just over the edge of the fabric. Looking back I really should have used embroidery thread but I didn’t even thick of it until afterward. It still came out awesome. There were a few spots where the fabric was showing through so I used a black sharpie to color it in.

She still has fabric left so I told her if she wanted I could make more patches from the other princesses. This was a super fun project! It gives me ideas for some clothes of my own I can spruce up!

Playing around with Plastic bag upcycling

So recently I got in to up-cycling and how I can use it to make our world a little better. As a small business I try to source things in the US whenever possible and if I can I’ll source supplies in Arizona where I live. Buying local and keeping money local helps the economy of my area. Another thing I’ve gotten into is turning trash into new things so they don’t just get thrown away. One of these things is bicycle inner tubes and plastic grocery bags. Rubber and plastic are very toxic products so I am starting projects that will incorporate recycling them so that they don’t end up in landfills or if they do they’ll be easier to recycle and brake down. I have a whole box of bike inner tubes waiting for my attention right now. I’ll be posting about that later. Yesterday I came across a great tutorial on etsy on how to turn plastic bags into a fabric type substance so that you can create reusable tote bags for shopping. This is my attempt at fusing plastic bags to create a fabric. 

I started with the amount the tutorial suggested of eight layers of plastic bags. I folded them neatly then cut the handles and bottoms off. 

 

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This is the result of that. I actually folded the eight layers in half here and created 16 layers which came out pretty cool.

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I used a heat press instead of an iron (suggested by the tutorial) to fuse the bags.

 

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I decided that those scraps of handles and bottoms needs to not be wasted so I experimented with fusing the loose pieces. After a little trial and error I found it worked fine. 

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I had the heat press a little too hot and the plastic stuck to the paper. 

 

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I’m excited to make more plastic fabric and create reusable shopping bags.