Archive for the ‘Embroidery’ Category

I got a request in the comments to show more from my grandmother’s Mexican cross stitch book.  Here is the cover:


And a few more pages of designs:




I am still sewing my husband’s shirts and learning a lot in the process.  I’ll have to see if I can get him to model the new ones soon.  In addition to that, I took my TNT cap sleeve T-shirt pattern and am using it to design some woven blouse patterns using some vintage patterns for ideas.  More on that later.

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Time to make a practice garment for New Look 6871.  This is the second muslin, and the hope is that it will be a wearable muslin.  Instead of making a plain garment, I did a little free-motion embroidery on the yoke.  It’s been some months since I did this kind of embroidery, maybe even a year, so I am a little rusty at it, but nothing some practice won’t cure.

This is a plain green cotton I got at the the thrift store in Sebastopol.  It will make a nice cool summer top, if it fits correctly.  I am using a heavier than usual cotton thread for the embroidery.  I like the textured look it gives, and the price was right.  They had lots of these big 9600-yard cones at the thrift shop, and since it was 50% off day, my cost was only $2.50 each.  That’s a lot of thread.

Tomorrow, I’ll cut out the rest of the top and get started on the sewing.

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Some days I feel like puttering around with paper and pen, so I trace patterns, alter patterns or design embroidery patterns for specific garments.  Today I got out some of the designs I had drawn up for straight-yoke Mexican Peasant Blouses and adapted the designs for the curved yoke on New Look 6871.





The photo above shows the design when I put it on a straight yoke, and you can see how I curved it to fit this new top.

Another new sewing skill I would like to try is the faux Hong Kong finish on a skirt.  You cut the underlining out wider than the regular pattern, sew the pieces together and turn them inside out.  The lining wraps itself around the vertical seam allowances forming a seam finish.  I’m going to try it on an A-line skirt for A just for practice.  Today I added the extra width to the skirt pattern and got it all ready.  Now I have one pattern for the skirt fabric and another pattern for the lining pieces.

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It’s always fun to do a little online window shopping.  Here are a few embroidery designs that could be used to embellish Mexican blouses or any tops that you like.

The designs above are Decorative Flowers from Sweet Heirloom Embroidery at Oregon Patch Works.  These would combine well around a neckline or across a yoke.

Above is Folk Flowers Deco also from  Sweet Heirloom Embroidery at Oregon Patch Works.  A single motif can be placed around a neckline attractively as I tried to do in one of my Mexican blouses by curving the placement of the design:

The corner designs are from Folk Flower Corners from Sweet Heirloom Embroidery.  I have lots of corner designs and want to try grouping them around the neckline as in the blouse above.  The designs below, Heirloom Decor from Sweet Heirloom Embroidery at Oregon Patch Works, have a Victorian feel to them.  Sometimes it is nice to do embroidery in one color only for an elegant look.

In actual real-life sewing, I’m still working on the black gauze top but hope to finish today.  I got interrupted by the apricots which ripened sooner than expected and had to be prepared for batches of jam.  I froze the batches to be cooked in cooler weather next fall.

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Now that the alterations to the pattern are done, it was time to see if I could draw up some designs to fit the yoke.  I used the templates for the Gypsy Feast embroidery designs (Oregon Patch Works) and an old embroidery transfer book for design ideas.

I like them all, but the top design is my favorite.  These would be for free motion machine embroidery, not the embroidery machine, except for the bottom design.  The bottom design is a little too skimpy for the size of the yoke, so I need to add more  to it.  I wish, though, that someone would offer a set of embroidery designs that could be used for Mexican blouses.  I’d buy that one for sure.  Until then, Gypsy Feast provides lots of good motifs to work with.

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Summer is almost here. In fact, it was in the 90’s here last week.  It’s time to sew cool and beautiful Mexican-inspired embroidered tops.  You don’t have to limit the wearing of these tops to summertime, though, since you can wear them under a cute cardigan in the fall and winter like my daughter does.  I’ve been sketching out some classic embroidery placement ideas for these tops:

This blouse includes many of the ideas I have seen on commercially available blouses – the crocheted edging at the neckline, buttonhole stitching, the curlicue line at the side edges of the yoke, and the rickracky up and down line of embroidery above the buttonhole stitch at the bottom of the yoke.  On the front ‘skirt’ portion of the top, there are three panels of embroidery outlined by the up-and-down stitch.  The center panel is shorter and thinner, usually.  These panels are extra work, of course, but they are really slimming.  Lots of the blouses have trim or embroidery on the sleeves.  The blouse below uses more buttonhole stitching.

The backs of the blouses are often decorated, too, with a few motifs and the continuation of the buttonhole stitch.:

The blouse above shows a classic old-style blouse with gusset construction.  There are bands of embroidery on the sleeves, around the neckline, and forming the body embroidery panels.  The particular blouse I used for inspiration for this drawing was embroidered with a straight-stitch machine doing free motion embroidery, or at least that’s what it looked like.  If you have a fancier machine, you could use bands of your machine’s embroidery stitches in different colors.  You don’t have to have a pricey embroidery machine to make one of these blouses, and you can always do hand embroidery.

Many  other cultures have traditional embroidered blouses.  The drawing below shows a modern top based on the Eastern European peasant blouse:

The embroidery can be multi-colored, but you can also make a gorgeous top with embroidery in just one color.  For example, I have seen a lovely turquoise blouse with white embroidery.  Other ideas are red embroidery on yellow fabric, black embroidery on red fabric, white embroidery on green fabric,  and purple embroidery on mustard yellow.

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Even though the girl at the sewing machine repair place said it would be 3 to 4 weeks before my machine would be looked at, fixer man #2 came in over the weekend and completed it only 6 days after I dropped it off.  I decided that I’d better hurry up and finish the robots while the warranty was still in effect, so I spent hours and hours stitching on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, I did something like bumping the hoop on the first robot, so the eyes stitched out on its forehead.  I realized that I was going to have to rip out the large area of dense embroidery and start over because everything was out of alignment.  It took a few hours, but I did it.  I was worried about ruining the curtains and was really nervous when it came time to stitch the robot over again.  Was something wrong with the machine or was it operator error?  The area where the robot had been was looking worse for wear, but somehow the new robot stitched perfectly right in the same place and covered up all the weakened fabric.  It was a robot miracle.  I hemmed the curtains last night and now am finished with that long project.

I’ll try to get a picture of them after she hangs them up in her kitchen.

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