Category Archives: machine embroidery

Baby Britches – Another Diaper Cover

I’ve been enjoying these smaller, quick projects lately.  The diaper covers fit the bill perfectly! After finishing up the Sweet Cheeks diaper cover pattern, I started working on a similar one that would work for baby boys as well as baby girls and came up with this version and called it Baby Britches.

Can’t you see this set on some little twin babies!!!   I love picture smocking, so that would always be my first choice for little boys and is often what I choose for little girls.  The smocked cars are from a Pat Garretson smocking plate called Danny’s Toys.  That smocking plate has several different small designs that would work on the diaper cover.

I had fun making these little diaper covers in all the sizes, including the doll size!  The smaller doll sizes take no time at all to make – perhaps 1 hour for smocking AND sewing them!

For the 2 diaper pictured above with the tiny sailboats, I smocked my own tiny sail boat design and am putting the design here so that others can smock this design as well.  You can download the graph by clicking on the blue words below.  🙂

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Even for the picture smocking “challenged”, this is a simple plate with only 2 rows to picture smock.  The sails are trellis stitches, as is the flag.  I honestly think that anyone ought to be able to smock this tiny design!

I went out and purchased some little shirts to photograph the diaper covers with and think that both the onesies as well as the shirts look good with them.  Of course, I’m probably biased!  LOL!  I felt like I had my “Vineyard Vines” vibe going on with these with those pineapples and whales.

For easy dressing and a no-iron option for the tops, choose onesies!  Though I’m not particularly fond of them, they do allow the diaper covers to shine!!!

The little whale smocking design is a Kathy Crisp miniature design called Babies Ahoy.  You may still be able to find her plate online.  It has several tiny designs featured on the one smocking plate.  It was hard to choose which one to smock!  There are other small designs available to smock as well – just look at some of the smaller figures on picture smocking designs and you will see that you probably have more in your personal stash than you realize!

I like embellishing the back of the diapers as well and the little girls nearly always get some sort of ruffles while the boy covers can be monogrammed or they can have an appliqué design stitched.

I couldn’t resist doing some embroidery on the waistband for the little girl diaper cover – it offers a small area to embroider and took only a few minutes and I think adds a lot!

There are so many ways to embellish both the waistband as well as the diaper cover back!

With 2 doll sizes offered in the pattern (Bitty Baby size as well as a 12″ – 15″ size), I think these would also work well for Wee Care items for the hospitals.

I hope to see some creative ideas from all my smocking friends!  Until then, keep on stitching!!!

Christmas Sewing in July

I love getting a head start on Christmas sewing!!!  I was told that there is a Disney trip planned for Jan. 2019 and that the kids could use some special clothes for the trip.  While I’m sure that the intent was for 1 or 2 outfits, I have had so many different ideas in my head that who knows how many they will end up with!  LOL!

My first thoughts took me to the “Vida” dress by Farbenmix.  It continues to be a favorite of mine because of the fun in designing the dress with different fabrics and trims.  I definitely have to think outside the box for me.  My box tends to be classic, heirloom and smocking.  This dress is none of the above!  That said, I still have LOVED every Vida dress that I’ve made. The newest one is a Minnie Mouse dress, complete with a monogram.

Before starting the dress, I had to wash all the fabrics.  That slowed me down only for one day!  Then I got started on the dress the following day and had it finished by the end of the day.  I love it!

Since it is a brother/sister going to Disney, little brother needed something as well.  I chose a more masculine monogram for him and I think he will love it.  I purchased shorts to go with it, but my mannequin is too small for his size and the shorts fall off.  LOL!  Suffice it to say that he will not be without some cute shorts to wear with his shirt.

I spent countless hours on the computer looking through my thousands of embroidery designs.  Unfortunately, after looking for all the perfect appliqué designs for both outfits as well as the other outfits in the works, I can only recall that the fonts came from Kabo Designs on Etsy.  However, when I went to search for a link to share the fonts, I discovered that they are no longer selling embroidery fonts, but have changed to die cut outs.  So sad – the fonts stitched out beautifully.  I’m glad that I have so many to choose from.

Next up in the sewing room is another t-shirt for Liam.  I have Livvy’s princess carriage outfit finished and have selected his appliqué design.  I just need to stitch it out.

I am having such fun with this sewing.  I’m definitely going to make all the little girls a Vida dress for a Christmas gift.  I had forgotten how much fun it was to sew this dress!

Moving forward…..hope to get more things done!  I hope everyone else is enjoying some fun summer stitching!  Remember, Christmas isn’t that far off!  LOL!

How To Change A Neckline Tutorial

Like so many seamstresses, I have a plethora of patterns that I have secured over many years of sewing.  My sewing is primarily for children and mostly for girls.  Styles change, but the basic lines of classic styles don’t change much.  Most changes are seen in the size/style of collars and sleeves.  Dresses in the 50’s sported sweet tiny collars and small sleeves while the 90’s had large collars and huge sleeves.  I’m pretty sure that a beach ball could have been stored in some of those sleeves!  LOL!

One of the more significant changes that I’ve observed  recently has been in the comfort factor of children’s clothing.  Most children are used to the comfort of knit clothing.  The result of that is that children find anything with a true neckline to be uncomfortable and it is perceived as too tight.  This became obvious when I gave dresses that our youngest daughter wore to the granddaughter’s to wear – the classic style would still work, but they said that the neckline was too tight.  Children’s necks have not gotten larger, they have become used to less constrictive clothing.  I believe that this has also resulted in seeing fewer collars on the dresses that the little girls are wearing.

With that in mind, I thought it would be useful to share ways to adjust the neckline of a dress/blouse.  While it is a very simple process, many find alterations of this kind to be intimidating.

The first thing that should be done is to trace the bodice front and back pieces of the garment on paper so that the original is preserved.  Once the bodice is traced, remove the seam allowance and cut the pattern pieces at the finished neck – shown in blue.

Once the seam allowance has been trimmed away, the neckline can be redrawn to whatever shape is desired.  Decide on how much to remove from the neckline.  It doesn’t have to be exactly the same from front to back, though it can be done that way if desired.  The following drawing shows the neckline only slightly lower in the back but gradually increasing at the front (shown in pink).  It is imperative that the amount removed at the shoulder seam is EXACTLY the same on both the front and the back bodices – shown with the green arrows.  Once the neckline looks good to you, remove the excess paper beyond the  newly drawn line (pink).

Double check the new neckline by placing the front and the back bodices together at the shoulder seam (pieces will overlap) and ensuring that they align.  Remember that some patterns allow a little ease in the back shoulder seam while others don’t.  Check the original pattern pieces to see if the shoulder seams on front and back are an exact match – if they are, then they should also be an exact match with the neckline alterations.

Now it is time to decide on how the neckline will be finished.  If a bias band will be applied around the neckline, then the pattern is ready to use just as it is.  The finished neckline will be covered with the bias band.

If a plain neckline, piped neckline, or collar is desired, then a seam allowance needs to be added to the neckline edge on both the front and the back bodice pieces.  A 1/4″ seam allowance is a good choice for a neckline seam allowance.  You can add up to 3/8″ for a seam allowance, but more than that is undesirable.

I have been leaving collars off most dresses I make, however, if a collar is desired, it can be drafted at this point.

Don’t feel limited to limit the neckline change to just lowering the neckline slightly, try some other neckline adjustments and have fun with them.  There’s no limit to what can be done – a lower, scooped neckline, a sweetheart neckline, a square neckline, etc.  If you don’t feel confident in the redrafted neckline, test the newly designed bodices with a muslin or some scrap fabric and try it on the child to ensure that the new neckline is pleasing.  Cutting and stitching up a bodice take much fabric or time.  It is better to test it out and ensure that all was done correctly and the finished results are pleasing rather than to being disappointed with the results of the finished garment.

I hope that this has inspired you to consider pulling out some of the patterns that aren’t being used because of the dated styles and getting creative with some simple pattern redrafting!  Of course, adding your own heirloom touches will make it special!

Easter will be here soon – it’s time to get started!

Keep on stitching!!!!

 

 

 

Wee Care Week

Last week I celebrated my birthday – another year of life that the Lord has blessed me with.  I chose to celebrate my birthday by sewing tiny gowns for babies that would never celebrate a birthday here on earth.  I prayed for the families of that would receive these.  I have been blessed already by doing “for the least of these” as Matthew 25:40 says.

I wanted to do a variety of patterns, so here is the result of that.  I’ve been saving preemie patterns for years, but never tried any of them.  I enjoyed stitching some different things for these babies.

The first 2 gowns were very quick and easy to make.  I used the pattern downloaded from a blog.  These are the size for 2.5 – 4 lbs.  Because I made these from a tea towel, the hemline was already decorated and finished.  On the first gown, I matched the neckband to the stitching on the hem, but decided that the second gown was getting a pink gingham neckband.  I did not line the gowns as the pattern directs.

I liked the quick stitch and simple design of this gown pattern but wanted to add some embroidery, so I adapted the pattern and added a box pleat to the center so that I could machine embroider tiny designs to the front of the gowns.  The box pleat protects the babies fragile skin from the embroidery stitching.  Again, the are unlined.  I chose French seams instead of lining and it works quite well.

The dress with the blue gingham trim is the smallest size (1.5 – 2.5 lbs.) and the dress with the red trim is the next larger size.  The sweet embroidery design comes from Appliqué for Kids and is a perfect size for these tiny gowns.  I neglected to write where the anchor comes from – I have so many designs to choose from.

I drafted a tiny hat to go with the little gown and embroidered the hat.

One of our guild members brought in some tiny quilts with her gowns last year and I thought that was a lovely idea.  So, I found just the right tiny print in my stash of fabrics and cut 2″ strips and pieced together a tiny quilt to match the red trimmed gown.  The finished quilt is 18″ square and works well for a baby this size.

I have also made another identical quilt sized for the 1 lb. babies.  It is not pictured because it looks exactly the same, but measures 15″ square.  I think I will eventually make a gown to go with that quilt as well – I would prefer a gown with the turquoise stitching for that one.

I like using a nautical theme because our guild sends gowns to Camp LeJeune and it just seems appropriate.

I also drafted a tiny hat to go with the gown and embroidered it as well.

As I looked for other patterns in the files I’ve collected over the years, I found a pattern for a smocked boy’s cap, but it had no picture.  I was intrigued and had to make it.  It was labeled “preemie”.  It drives me crazy when the size cannot be identified!!!  I will eventually make a tiny gown to go with the boy cap, but I’m not thrilled with the finished look, so doubt I’ll use it again.  The finished size would fit a 1 lb. baby.  I think I just don’t care for an open back with a bow for a boy.  Call me picky!  LOL!  The pink hat is similar to my preemie pattern, but sized for a 1 lb. baby.  I will definitely be making a tiny gown to go with this.  I just ran out of time.

I first saw one of these sweet buntings at the SAGA convention in Hampton, VA.  One of the members had made several.  I had saved the pattern for the bunting prior to that, but hadn’t made it.  After seeing it in person, I knew I would have to make some of these.  I made 3 of them using chenille from my stash.  These are designed for babies smaller than 1 lb.  The doll inside the bunting is 5″ – just for reference.  These take a bit longer to make, but are well worth the effort.  The pattern is free.

The next gown is the smocked gown  rom AS&E #29 – a favorite pattern of mine.  I decided to do some machine embroidery at the hem and used a bodice design from Kathy Harrison’s Gals and Dolls pack.

Thought these are designed to be stitched on sheer fabric so that they will mimic real lace, I was very happy with the stitching on the batiste.  The smocking design is one that I made up as I stitched.  I rarely follow a published design when I smock the tiny gowns/bonnets.

The last 2 gowns were made from the SAGA Wee Care #1 pattern.  I used the pattern adaptation that was published in Sew News Volume 35, Issue #3 and the bonnet from Volume 36, Issue #3.  The corded pintucks add sweet detail and a touch of color.

The hem embroidery bear is another quick stitch from Appliqué For Kids.  I didn’t do the shadow work, but just stitched the outline – it was stitched in less than 2 minutes!

The tiny bear is another embroidery design that I forgot to note when I was choosing designs, but I’m sure that it would be easy enough to find a tiny design that is similar.

That wraps up a week and a half of stitching.  I have enjoyed every minute of it and hope that this inspires others to do some charity sewing as well.  There are so many organizations that would welcome additional items for their hospital donations.

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Thanksgiving and Sewing

It certainly has been a busy month or so and promises to finish the year out being just as busy!  I’m sure that many are experiencing the same thing!  Right after my last post I flew up to Michigan and enjoyed a week visiting with my mom and dad and my sister.  The weather was unseasonably warm there, as it has been here, so it was a beautiful week to be there.  This time was especially nice for my folks since our daughter and grandson spent the first couple days with us as well and then at the end of my visit our son and daughter in law drove up from Chicago for an afternoon.  It’s been a long time since my folks have seen the kids and this was the first time that they met their great-grandson.  What a special blessing!  I’m so thankful for the time that we were able to spend with them.  🙂

Since returning home I have been sewing a bit as well as preparing for our Thanksgiving meal with family and friends.  We had 23 for dinner!!!  My sweet husband cooked 2 very large turkeys for the day.  Food and fellowship was wonderful!  We have so much to be thankful for!!!

My first jumper completed was made to match some cute leggings.  I sewed the Children’s Corner “Lucy” dress – it’s so quick and easy and I know it fits so well.  The embroidery design comes from Bunnycup and I stitched it out on a frame from some other designer.  It’s been a while and I’ve forgotten whose frame it was.

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The next sewing project included making 3 matching jumpers for the 3 little granddaughters. Again, the leggings were purchased – I believe from Target – so that drove the design choice for the embroidery.  I went to the “Lucy” pattern again.  The embroidery design was from Digistitch – the reindeer seemed to be a perfect match for the leggings.  The little girls are loving the jingle bells stitched to the ribbons!  I wonder how long they will stay attached?  Hahaha!!!!

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After completing the 3 jumpers, I decided to work on something different.  I chose this partially completed pinafore and blouse.  It has been languishing in a partially completed state for at least 3 years now.  I knew if I didn’t finish it now, Eva would outgrow it without ever wearing it (I started it thinking Ella would wear it – that was 4 years ago!!!).  Students will recognize this pinafore since I’ve used it to demonstrate some of the construction in my Bee-Utiful Pinafore class.  This is a different version of that pinafore.  I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.

The pinafore fabric is line piqué and is trimmed with gingham.  I used the matching gingham to line the bodice as well as to make the matching blouse.  This will be so sweet on Eva and will look especially great with her big, blue eyes!

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The bodice embroidery is a Martha Pullen embroidery club design from many years ago.  It stitches out beautifully and seemed to be perfect for this bodice.

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I love the sash/bow on the back of the pinafore – it makes the outfit adorable from both the front as well as the back.  🙂

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The scallop hem detail is similar to the original class pinafore, but with a slightly different shape to it.  I don’t always like making the same thing twice!  LOL!

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Today I believe that I’ll finish up the Christmas decorations!  I’ll be pondering my next sewing project as I decorate.

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends and has had the opportunity to squeeze in some sewing time as well!

Kathy

 

More Little Things….

In case you can’t tell, I’ve had so much fun creating so many sweet little things.  I though I’d share some more of them.

After smocking one of the SAGA Wee Care bishop gowns, I made up the diaper cover pattern as well as a smocked bonnet to go with it.  For the preemie smocked bonnet, I used the free pattern that has been graciously provided by Laurie Anderson.  She has excellent instructions!  If you don’t know how to smock and would like to learn, she also has some fabulous u-tube videos (for those visual learners like myself!).  It’s easier than it looks!

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Laurie also includes a simple smocking design with her pattern.  🙂  It works up quickly and is very appropriate for beginners.

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I thought that this made a beautiful set for a preemie baby!

The next girl set that I finished I have already shared a picture of the gown, but without the bonnet since I didn’t have that pattern ready yet.  This bonnet pattern is now available.  The embroidery design is from “Designs For Shadow Work Embroidery and Fine Embroidery” – designed by my late friend Lane Edwards and  published by her daughter, Donna Krezelak.  The design on the bonnet is as it appears in the book.  I modified it for the corner design on the dress – a simple matter of rotating half of the design.

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I love everything about this sweet set!  I chose a simple embroidery design so that it could be completed quickly and sent out to the expectant mom.

Not wanting to leave the boys out with the pattern, I also included boy designs as well as a girl design with a brim, though my favorite is definitely without the brim.  There’s a total of 4 bonnet styles, all lined, in the pattern The pattern also includes instructions on how to apply piping so that it is as tiny as possible and how to apply the gathered lace with plenty of tips for that.

What father would love this little bonnet with the embroidered horse?  Unfortunately, I cannot tell you where I purchased this design.  During my early machine embroidery days I lacked the computer skills/knowledge required to adequately file and note designers.  Thankfully, I’m past that now, but I have thousands of designs that I have no clue where they came from.

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This is another sweet embroidery design.  I though that it may be from Martha Pullen, but I didn’t couldn’t find it online.  Perhaps someone else knows.  Both the horse and the puppy designs were shrunk somewhat to make the size more appropriate for these 4 – 5 lb. bonnets.

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The last bonnet to design was a girly one with a brim.  For this embroidery, I used a design from Joy Welsh.  She has some beautiful and very reasonably priced embroidery designs.  I particularly liked this design with the featherstitching and hope to make a matching dress or diaper shirt to go with this.  She also includes tips on how to make this a continuous design that can be used all around a hem, or can be made into insertion lace.  I haven’t tried that yet, put it’s in the plans!  Hopefully soon!

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I’ve enjoyed creating these special little things for some special little babies.  I had never intended to offer patterns, but several ladies requested the patterns, so I decided to offer them.  There’s very few tiny preemie patterns available.

I hope others will enjoy sewing some of these patterns as well.  For all those women that don’t have little ones to sew for , these make wonderful gifts and are also much appreciated if you choose to donate them to a hospital or to the Wee Care project of SAGA.  The piped bonnets can be made up in no time at all!

Enjoy some fun stitching!!!

 

Fun Play Clothes

The past week and a half I’ve enjoyed plenty of time in the sewing room.  I always enjoy sewing fun clothes, so it’s been relaxing.  I had 2 partially completed “Annalise” tops that I’d used as demonstrations for different techniques when I taught that class earlier this year.  I don’t think it took an hour to finish both of them.  That’s a bonus!

After a bit of stash diving, I came up with the exact fabric that inspired the smocking design many years ago!  I love when that happens!  A pair of capri pants (Children’s Corner “Abbie) were cut and stitched to match that cute top, but with a ruffle instead of contrast band.  The second top got a pair of shorts (Children’s Corner “Lettie).  I can’t wait to see these on the little girls!

Both of the smocked sections were done many years ago when I sold a lot on Ebay.  It was a great “find” to discover the already smocked pieces since that made the completion of the tops so much quicker, though smocking such a small section goes quickly anyway!

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This is a picture of my Ebay outfit from back in the early 2000’s.  I may have enough of the butterfly fabric to make one more outfit like this!

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This smocking was also from my Ebay selling days.  I am sure that I have a picture of that somewhere as well, but wasn’t able to find it quickly.

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I also lengthened a bishop dress – this little ones keep growing so fast!!!  It’s so nice to see them looking so cute in their smocked things, I don’t mind the re-hemming!

Because of my busy schedule this spring, I haven’t had a lot of time to sew special gowns for the Caleb Ministry, so I took several days and competed a few gowns, bonnets & embroidered matching blankets for them as well.  I love sewing for this wonderful ministry, though I wish it wasn’t needed.  The boxes that they provide for families suffering the loss of a child are really special.  I consider it a privilege to sew for these precious babies.

This gown and bonnet were made to compliment the blanket with beautiful lace.  Another volunteer made the blanket.

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One of the other volunteers made this blanket also, so I made the gown to go with it.  This one required a tiny gown.  though you can’t tell from a picture, this gown is only about 6″ long and designed for a 1 – 2 lb. baby.  I put just a touch of hand embroidery with tiny bullion flowers on this gown and on the blanket.  We don’t make bonnets for these very tiny gowns.

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There were many of these ecru blankets made with donated fabric.  We only make white gowns and bonnets, so I added corded pintucks in ecru and added machine embroidery to make this set go together.  I love this beautiful cross design from Fromtheneedleofanne.  Her embroidery designs stitch out beautifully.

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This is another gown featuring corded pintucks and a cross design.  I don’t remember where this design came from.

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This last gown is another tiny one.  Another talented member knit these precious booties, bonnet and blanket, so I made just the gown to go with them.  I used pink ribbon down the center of the lace strip, though it’s hard to see in the picture.

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CI count children and grandchildren as my most precious treasures here on earth.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those families that have suffered loss this Mother’s day.  I know that it is a particularly difficult day for anyone that has lost a child.  Don’t forget about these women this Mother’s day and say a prayer for them.  God cares for them.  Psalm 56:8 – You have…put my tears in a bottle.

I still have a few more UFO’s that need to be finished up for the little ones and several more things that I’d like to make for them.  Until next time, keep on stitching!!!

Some Machine embroidery

Since I’ve returned from convention I haven’t started any big projects.  Rather, I’ve been decorating some purchased garments for the grandkids while we all await the arrival of the newest little one – due any day/minute now.  I thought I’d share the results.

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I should have photographed this first outfit on a light colored background. Oops!  This is a cute Janie and Jack jon-jon that was given for the new, soon to be here, little guy.  It needed a monogram.  Sadly, I cannot identify where this monogram came from as I didn’t include that information in my embroidery files.  Hopefully I’ll be doing better at that in the future.

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This cute bubble was purchased – maybe Zulilly? – for next summer.  The plain bodice begged for something, so I embroidered it with the Sugar Spice font from Embroitique, which happens to be on sale right now!

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The next embroidery victim is this dress from Old Navy.  It’s a cute dotted Swiss fabric, but rather plain.  The tights were what drove this purchase, so I wanted the embroidery to be something cowboy-ish.  I chose the Cowboy Appliqué Alpha from Planet Appliqué and added Olivia’s name with the Jackson Font from Embroitique.  I just happened to have an already stitched out star as well as a star button in my “stash” that seemed destined for this dress as well.  I know that Olivia has boots in several colors that will be adorable with this!

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The next are sister outfits and I monogrammed them with the Iggy font from Apex Embroidery.  I loved how padded this stitch was.  This was a free font offered on Facebook.  I don’t believe that it is on their website.  If you’re not a FB fan of theirs, you’ll want to be for future free designs.

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This last dress embroidery just didn’t want to happen.  When I hooped the dress, it apparently was getting caught somewhere and the result was that the different stitchings didn’t align properly.  I ended up un-sewing this, thankfully before all the satin stitching started.  After picking out all the (3x) placement, tack down, etc. stitches, I started over and removed my flat table on the big embroidery machine.  That was the solution to the problem.  It stitches out flawlessly.  The cute design is Reindeer with Bow from Digistitch.  It is such a cute design and perfect for winter or Christmas.  I chose a pink bow so that it didn’t look too Christmas-y and could be worn all winter.

So, the little ones each have something new and embroidered just for them.  Now to decide on what to stitch next.  Hmmm……..

Kathy