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701  Brother Innov-s 900D - A Birdy Needlebook in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by alwaysinmyroom on: September 08, 2008 12:51:51 PM
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* To read more about the Brother Innov-s 900D Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here.

Brother Innov-s 900D - A Birdy Needlebook



I have been using my old sewing machines for so long, that I needed to spend a few days just familiarizing myself with this brand new electronic one!  With my old machine, I had to use these cams for the limited number of decorative stitches, adjust the tension, stitch length, etc., all manually.  With the Brother Innov-is 900D, everything is on a touch screen: the stitches, what foot to use, normal stitch length, etc.  I could make changes by touching the screen.  For those of you already familiar with these types of machines, all I can say is: WOW. I have a new appreciation for the new technology!

My favorite thing is the automatic needle threader. Oh, and the automatic thread cutter...and the drop-in bobbin that does not require that you pull the thread through...and   Cheesy

So, to get used to all of these things, I decided to practice with just the "regular" stitches, and hold off using the embroidery stitches until later. There are 67 regular stitches and buttonholes; 103 other decorative stitches built in!! Plus, 3 different built in alphabet fonts.

Here are some pics of the stitches I tried, all without doing anything except touching a screen.  For the lettering, I did have to change feet, but it was so easy:  I just had to push a small lever behind the presser foot and click it on!  I will talk more about the lettering features in another thread.


I decided to further try out the decorative stitches by making something. I had a particular person in mind (Wink jungrrl!) who wanted a needlebook.  Instead of my normal square shaped needlebook, I decided to try a shape of something she loves: BIRDS! ha ha ha




The body and wings are made of vintage kimono fabric scraps.  The parts where you insert the needles are made of felt. I do not do hand embroidery so this would have been a royal pain for me to do by hand, so I used the buttonhole stitch on the Brother to go around the two pieces with the batting in between.

A couple of things:  next time I would trim the batting away from the edges since this is not a true buttonhole that overcasts. There was white showing, so being the true Craftster that I am, I used a sharpie to color it black!  Grin  Shhhh!

On the wings, I used a small star-like decorative stitch.  This stitch served two purposes.  It was decorative and it attached the kimono fabric to the felt underlining!



A few beads, a tiny bit of of hand embroidery, a few good needles, and TA-DA,
in a few weeks, jungrrl will have her own needlebook!  Hope you like it! uh, and SURPRISE!  Cheesy


Learning the sewing part of the Brother Innov-is 900 went fairly quickly and I had immediate results, which made me very happy and brave. So, onto the next project!
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702  Brother Innov-s 900D - Get Out Your Sunglasses for This Pillow! in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by alwaysinmyroom on: September 08, 2008 12:50:55 PM
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* To see the overview of this Master Crafters campaign click here.
* To read more about the Brother Innov-s 900D Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here.

Brother Innov-s 900D - Get Out Your Sunglasses for This Pillow!







Ok, once I was comfortable using the sewing part of the machine, I decided to try out one of the embroidery cards. They are so cute and little! I used Memory Card No. 14 Large Floral Patterns first since it did not seem so complex to me.  For those of you who know me, I am not much of a pastel person nor do I favor flowers much!

But, I felt challenged to use the cards that Brother sent to me, so I asked if it was ok to change up the colors to suit my personal style and taste to what I like to make!  Woo-hoo!! Once I got the OK, I decided to rummage through my scraps and decided to make a pillow!

This is the card I used:


See how simple it is to use?


The inspiration fabric was the one on the left.  I took the color chart provided with the embroidery card and substituted colors close to the ones in the inspiration fabric. I had to get turquoise because the blues sent to me did not match as much as I wanted. Fortunately, there was a huge sale at the fabric store!


Close up of design.  If you are new to machine embroidery like I was, be sure to leave extra room around your fabric to help you equal things out after you finish your design.  It will take a bit more practice for me to get the pattern lined up perfectly using the tools that came with the Brother sewing machine, but I think I did pretty good for my first try!


Oh, the trim was ripped off of some fancy schmancy guest hand towels (who uses those anyway??? Cheesy) Could it be any more matchey-matchey?  I just lucked out! YAY!

I made a button placket in back. Let me tell you--making buttonholes was a dream!  All three are PERFECT!  I love love the buttonhole maker on this machine!  batgirl, do you recognize the little sunflower buttons?  Grin


After making this pillow, I decided that if I was going to be changing up the colors, I needed one of those thread holders.  It keeps me more organized and I can get inspired everytime I see those little jewels!  Can you believe that I got all of those colors?  I purchased the metallics on my own and will be showcasing those in future projects!


A couple of things I learned:

1.  Wind up extra bobbins.  Although it is really easy to not lose your place or to start again if you run out, it is so much easier if you have these ready!  The bobbin thread does seem to last a very, very long time. I think I did three fairly big projects on one bobbin!

2.  Preshrink your fabric, especially if you are using the wash away stabilizer.  I do that right after I purchase the fabric so that I can go when I am inspired!

3.  Do a test if you are not sure of the color combo.  Since I quilt, I felt pretty confident and did not do this, but when you read my next project, you will see that it caught up with me! ha ha

4.  Challenge yourself...sometimes when you are given restrictions, like a preset pattern, you can get creative by changing colors, sizes, reverse the image, etc.  I loved this part of the campaign!

5.  When in doubt, refer to the manual!  The manual was very clear and kept me from panicking!  I read the whole thing before I even started this project, but when the thread broke the first time in the middle, I thought I was going to ruin my project!  Thank goodness I had bookmarked the page (like I knew that would definitely happen to me!  Wink)

Any questions or comments?  Thanks.
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703  Brother Innov-s 900D - Be the Perfect Guest with this Bottle Gift Bag in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by alwaysinmyroom on: September 08, 2008 12:49:50 PM
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* To see the overview of this Master Crafters campaign click here.
* To read more about the Brother Innov-s 900D Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here.

Brother Innov-s 900D - Be the Perfect Guest with this Bottle Gift Bag



I know that you can make appliques with embroidery but I wanted to take it and make some dimensional pieces.  I used the dragonfly pattern from Memory Card No. 56 - Asia.  I basically changed up the color and embroidered on some sheer fabric.  I then cut out the dragonflies, soaked them in fabric stiffener, and attached them to a velvet bottle bag.

I made the bag out of velvet and lined it with the same sheer fabric above.  It has a bit of sheen to it, so when you roll it over, it sparkles!

I figured that I could quickly make up a lot of these before Christmas to take to all of those parties where you have no idea what to bring! Someone also suggested that the bags can be made different sizes to hold other gifts like body lotions, hand cremes, etc.  More ideas, anyone?



You can see how 3-dimensional the dragonflies are in this pic.  Because of that, I made sure to spread them out a bit and not put them all over the bottom so that you can carry it without mashing them!


Another shot.


I also have some really cool butterflies that I want to do, but you can use a lot of things. Just be sure to cut out what you need because once the fabric stiffener dries, there is no way to cut it!  I had to use a fingernail file on some spots I missed!

I also found some cool sayings that I thought would make cool tags.  This was part of Memory Card No. 74 - Scrapbooking.
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704  Brother Innov-s 900D - My Kimono Bag but Better! in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by alwaysinmyroom on: September 08, 2008 12:48:11 PM
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* To see the overview of this Master Crafters campaign click here.
* To read more about the Brother Innov-s 900D Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here.

Brother Innov-s 900D - My Kimono Bag but Better!





I'm so glad I received Memory Card No. 56 - Asia!  There were so many designs that it was hard to decide what to do in such a short period of time!

I have a large collection of vintage kimono fabrics, but black is tough because it is only worn for funerals.  Of course, in the USA, it is a staple in our wardrobes, so this is what I wanted.  Since most of the pieces are small, I end up having to piece things together in a patchwork style.

This little guy just won my heart--and it was so simple! Only four colors, but I think it really adds to the bag.  Thanks to the ease of use, I was able to flip the design on the other side.  Almost all of the designs can be mirrored, which I think is genius!


Here is a work in progress with the design in the embroidery hoop (I got a medium-sized one and a large one):


This is what it looks like on my screen, so it is easy to see your progress and what thread is needed next.  You can also make adjustments, go over another color, etc.:


Here is one side of the bag:


Here is the other side.  You can hold either side out and it will look like you have two different bags! ha ha:


Working with the silk fabrics was a bit tough. Next time I will interface and use the stabilizer, instead of interfacing after I stitched.  This project made me really nervous because unlike other fabrics, if I screwed up, there is no more of that fabric!  I pretty much stuck to the original colors and designs on this one, but I feel brave enough to try other colors and patterns now!
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705  Brother Innov-s 900D - Black and White (oh, and Red) Blouse in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by alwaysinmyroom on: September 08, 2008 12:46:36 PM
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* To see the overview of this Master Crafters campaign click here.
* To read more about the Brother Innov-s 900D Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here.

Brother Innov-s 900D - Black and White (oh, and Red) Blouse





I saw a blouse in a catalog that I receive, you know the one with gorgeous clothes in a funky setting that cost a lot of money and begins with "A"?  Wink  The blouse had a black and white design on one side.  I decided I could make a similar design using the floral card.

I used this pattern, recommended by my younger sister, who swears that it took only one hour to make.  Sure... Wink


This was the original color design from the floral embroidery card.


Since I only wanted to use two colors, I figured that I could basically just not change threads when the machine prompted me to and, for the red parts, the machine has the ability to go back over the same area.  This is really nice because if you do mess up, you can fix it.  But, I wanted to do it on purpose, so I just moved the needle position one stitch over so that both colors would show through!

I photocopied the pattern, cut it up and taped it together.


The plan!  I just used color to help me orient the placement of the embroidery hoop.


Instead of cutting out the pattern, I marked the piece with basting thread and left a lot of fabric around, which turned out to be a very good thing!  I also backed it with the recommended washable stabilizer.


I had to use the large hoop to be able to move the embroidery around.  I really like how easy it is to change the postion of the hoop.


The first layer of embroidery!


Ok, not exactly to plan, because what I found out was that there was a bit more overlap than I thought and I did not like the look once I saw it on the fabric.  A girl can change her mind, right? Wink  Do you see how close to the outside line the finished embroidery is on the right?  Good thing I left fabric because I had to re-adjust the pattern so that I would not sew over the embroidery!  UGH!


I had to wash out the stabilizer before sewing, so since it was a nice day, I hung it out to dry. The piece is still flat.  I have not cut the pattern out yet.  I had to pin to tissue paper just to be sure it did not get dirty on the line:


I decided to add a bit more pattern to the sleeves and the tie.  Here it is -- all finished and ready to wear!


Close-up of the finished design on the blouse.   
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706  Brother Innov-s 900D - Introduction: Spreading my Wings in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by alwaysinmyroom on: September 08, 2008 12:45:15 PM
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* To see the overview of this Master Crafters campaign click here.
* To read more about the Brother Innov-s 900D Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here.

Brother Innov-s 900D - Introduction: Spreading my Wings

Hello everyone!  My name is Linda and I am addicted to Craftster... Cheesy

Actually, I have been crafting ever since I was a small child, drawing on walls, my toy box, and my tennis shoes!  My parents were very supportive and even enrolled me in art classes at a very early age. My grandmother on my father's side was influential in showing me how to sew and quilt to keep me busy when I would visit her each summer on the farm.  She is also responsible for my inability to throw out anything, with her stories of what it was like during the Great Depression... Grin

My mother's side of the family is from Japan, and it wasn't until the last 10 years that I reconnected with my roots and began to incorporate my Japanese culture into my crafts. I have been collecting vintage kimono fabrics and have been inspired to make not only bags, but also small gifts and household goods using these gorgeous fabrics before they disappear.  Like the entire world, Japan is changing and the traditional kimono is being replaced by modern western wear...

I have been sewing clothing for a little over 40 years...uh, yeah, I am 54 years young!  I am married to a musician and being around young people has kept me young at heart!  Eating chocolate also helps (especially since I live near Hershey, PA!).... Cheesy

I was very pleased to be selected to do this Brother Campaign for many reasons.
So much has changed from the days when sewing machines were fairly manual.  My old machines either require cams to change to decorative stitches or make buttonholes or there are only a few choices.  This campaign allowed me to experience all of the new features that will make me more productive and artistically challenged!

Don't laugh if you already have these functions!  You probably take them for granted, but to me, they are all new!
  • Automatic bobbin winder
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • Automatic needlethreader (My fave since my eyes are getting, uh, older!)
  • Ability to download patterns from my computer and from the web
  • Embroidery!!!!!!
  • Speed control with a push of the finger


The second reason I was glad to be picked was that after this many years of sewing, I needed to do something new.  It is always life-affirming when you challenge yourself and try new things.  To me, getting this machine meant being able to add a bit more frosting to the cake if I wanted!  My poor brain was spinning with ideas, and working with the awesome Amy just made it better--we kidded about not being able to sleep because we would wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea--ha ha--but it is true!  I have a shoe box labeled "INSPIRATION", and I am quickly filling it with ideas for future projects!  It feels wonderful to be creative and to wake up with a purpose to make something fun or beautiful...yep...

Another reason I am happy with this new machine is that I kind of got out of touch with the entire sewing community...the internet is so full of places to get ideas, patterns, fabric, show off your stuff in blogs, on Craftster, etc. but being in contact with real human people is what makes the sewing experience a true joy.  My Mom was so proud that I was making a kimono bag for this campaign and sharing my culture.  My friends, who are the recipients of many of my items, were giddy with excitement.  My husband, who himself is an artist/musician, shared ideas with me, gave me constructive criticism and cooked me food while I sewed ( Grin)  I loved connecting back to these positive feelings of pride, enthusiasm, creativity, awe, inspiration, joy, friendship, and love.

Finally, I know I was skeptical at first because I have never machine embroidered before.  To be honest, I did not consider it, uh, my taste.  I hope I don't offend when I say that I thought it was not really a creative endeavor.  I thought it was a bit cheesy.  But, I know this community is open-minded and appreciates all sorts of crafts, so I was going to prove to myself that any craft is what YOU make of it.  I just knew I could find ways to use the embroidery to do some pretty neat stuff that I would like!  I was glad that Amy was also selected because we are from different age groups and lifestyles so there would be a variety of projects -- something for everyone!  I must say that I did spend some time stalking the members who machine embroider, particularly cyndiq, who in the past was very generous with sending me some of her embroidered items!  I have learned a lot and am humbled.  I now slap myself everytime I say that something is "not for me." Roll Eyes

So, without further ado, here are some pics of me and my mean machine!

My machine arrives!  It is the Brother Innov-is 900D.  It is a combo sewing/embroidery one with lots of bells and whistles, including a USB port to be able to download patterns and updates over the internet! Oh wow!



Setting up my machine in my sewing room:


Woo-hoo!  Embroidery cards that Brother sent to me!  Crafty_dame has many more pics on her introduction of all of the accessories, so I will spare you the repetition!


The sewing machine also has an extension that allows more room to sew -- see how big it is?  When you remove it, you can sew sleeves and other round areas.  I like that the threading instructions for both the bobbin and upper thread is printed right on the machine for those spacey moments!


I feel like a proud parent -- and here is my new baby in all of her splendor!  I still have not come up with a name yet and will be taking suggestions Wink  Do you see the purpley rectangle on the right hand side?  I can CUSTOMIZE my machine by inserting a picture or a piece of fabric!  Why I might just embroider her name on there!  Grin


I almost forgot to mention that there are Disney and Pixar characters built into the designs.  Here are my practice pieces -- awwwww NEMO!  Cheesy


I would also like to thank Leah, Craftster, Brother, and all of the fellow mods for their support, encouragment and peer pressure. Wink  In particular, thanks to crafty_dame for commiserating with me late nights when the sewing bug got hold of me!!  I was glad to know that someone else was using her machine in the wee hours of the morning, dreaming of new ideas...*sigh* so many projects, so little time, but to have such problems is to be envied!!!  Kiss to all of us for our drive to create!
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707  Brother Innov-s 900D - Finally! I can start throwing out my scraps! Fabricbook in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by alwaysinmyroom on: September 08, 2008 12:43:47 PM
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* To see the overview of this Master Crafters campaign click here.
* To read more about the Brother Innov-s 900D Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here.

Brother Innov-s 900D - Finally!  I can start throwing out my scraps! Fabric book



If you have a stash of fabric, you also have a stash of scraps!  Well, scraps were taking over my closets and garage but I just could not get rid of them!  I figured out that I was attached to the memories that each piece held, and that I just loved to look at colors and patterns for inspiration, not the actual leftover piece by itself.

So, I was browsing through one of the embroidery cards and found this one: Memory Card No 74 - Scrapbooking


What could I do with this?  I decided to make little frames to showcase my fabric and then after I have a few of them, bind them together to make my own fabric memory book!  This is a work-in-progress so I only have two pieces in the works.  With so many scraps, I better get going or else I will be carrying this project to the nursing home!  Cheesy

This is not yet sewn, I was just laying out the pieces underneath the frame I embroidered.  How gorgeous is that pattern?  Yummmmmm!


This is the front of one of the pages that I will further embellish and then bind together with about 10 other pages.


I had time to embellish my first page of my fabric book!  It is not exactly perfect, but I kind of like that look.  There were so many choices of decorative stitches, but the star one is one of my favorites already!  I need to practice corners. Sad  I think I am going to see if I can incorporate as many of the stitches as I can.  Let's see, what can I do with the buttonhole stitches... Wink


I took a bunch of other scraps and pieced together a back page.


Funny how I remember what each piece was used for, but just in case, I am going to also do some pics and journaling to go along with this book! I can already tell that this is going to be one of my favorite projects to work on this winter!
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708  Brother Innov-s 900D - When one isn't enough...Another Bright Pillow! in Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects by alwaysinmyroom on: September 08, 2008 12:40:58 PM
Sponsored Content
* To see the overview of this Master Crafters campaign click here.
* To read more about the Brother Innov-s 900D Embroidery and Sewing machine at Brother's website click here.

Brother Innov-s 900D - When one isn't enough...Another Bright Pillow!





Once I made my first pillow, I was feeling confident so I decided to make another one!  I really liked the idea of embroidering on bright, patterned fabric.

Again, I used Memory Card No. 14 Large Floral Patterns. The original pattern for this called for pink and red tulips, like the ones shown on the front of the card.


This was a very easy switch up, but I made one major mistake!  I used almost the same color of thread for the stems as the background!  I could have gone over the stems with a different color really easily following the instructions given in the Brother manual, but I wasn't really paying attention until the whole thing was done!  What to do...what to do...uh, to the rescue...brown sharpie! ha ha ha Cheesy

Here is a close up of the stitching:


And the finished pillow:


Hubby loves it, but not sure where he would put it. It would be silly to put in his car, even though it would probably match his little blue CRX! ha ha

There are so many designs on this embroidery card that I should be able to find something that I can use for all of the leftover fabric scraps. Changing up the colors is fun and challenging.  I would recommend that you make sure you have the color you want BEFORE you begin.  Don't assume you have it!

Also, if in doubt, make a sample.  This one is easy because it had limited colors to mess around with.  Something fun and easy like this pillow makes it a pleasure to make unique gifts for friends and families.  This one is probably going to be donated for some charity as it really is way too bright for my personal taste.
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709  Re: Altered Tags Swap round 2 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by alwaysinmyroom on: September 03, 2008 06:55:14 PM
I truly had no idea that there were so many techniques and things to learn...I appreciate it when I know how a tag is done...I have purchased some stamps and some inks to experiment with...boy, supplies for paper can be as uncontrolled as my fabric and fiber hobbies!  Grin

Especially, when I am motivated by such lovely tags as these from
bhean--on the left, and yuki(insainty)--on the right:



Bhean did two themes in one!  Everything Red and Asian Inspired!



Yuki(insainty) did a combo of red and graphic designs!



I love them both, but I am sad that they are the last of the bunch! Undecided

Next, I will have to learn to master close up picture taking--they did not look blurred in my album!

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710  Re: Altered Tags Swap round 2 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by alwaysinmyroom on: August 29, 2008 07:17:40 PM
Both tags are so unique!

Qazicat--the colors are right up my alley and the contrast is wonderful! The back is just as beautiful as the front!

Amarillysroze--I appreciate the "how to's"--so much to learn! (and buy!)...what a clever way of making the big eyes!  I love it!

I received a beautiful tag from goatgoddess yesterday that suited my Asian theme perfectly!  I feel like I got a bonus because both sides are just as wonderful!  Thanks so much!

Front--the colors are so rich!:


Back--purple is one of my favorite colors!:


I apologize for the slight blur in the pics--I just couldn't stay steady today!  Goatgoddess--if you have better pics, please post! 

ha ha This tag and my first tag are happily displayed together:


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