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11  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Is this normal? on: May 13, 2009 05:48:50 PM
Well, incase you can't tell... I'm on a mission to get good with my machine fast!!

Ok, so I have been experimenting with this image that I digitized with SophieSews.  I've basically been sewing this same image over and over again, improving it through the software each time.  The first time had a lot of issues because I didn't think about size and space, but after three times, this is my best one so far.  Problem is, it isn't "perfect" and I don't really know what to do to improve it any farther.  I'm not sure if it's how I digitized it in, or if I just need to use different stabilizer, or what.  Just... looky!  Are the below issues not issues at all?  Like, do these things just happen?

Front:  My biggest problem is that when you look at the front of the embroidery, you can very clearly see the running stitch that goes around the shapes.  You can't really see it in the photo, but yeah.  This causes the image to look a bit messier than I would like.  I was under the impression that the fill stitch would just barely cover the running stitch so it would have a smoother edge to it, but it doesn't.  Is this normal?

Back:  Ok, I realize that I didn't order the pieces very well, hence the jump stitches being everywhere... but my question is mainly about how you can see both bobbin thread AND the embroidery thread on the back.  The black is the bobbin thread, the grey is the embroidery thread.  As you can see, some areas you can REALLY see the embroidery thread pulling through to the back, and some areas, not at all.  Is this normal?  If not, how to do go about fixing it?

Thanks for the help in advance!
12  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Importing through USB on: May 04, 2009 07:28:32 PM
Ok, so basically, I spent all this time practicing how to digitize, and when it came time to bringing the image from my computer to my machine... I can't get it to work.  I'm using a USB stick.  I stick it in the machine (Yes I'm using the correct file extension) and push the USB reader thing.  It reads a random hidden folder on the stick, but not the image.

As first I thought it was my program that I was using that was wrong.  But then I tried an experiment... I exported an image that was already on my machine and put it on the USB stick.  The  I tried to open that exact image again from the USB.  Nothing appears except that hidden folder, which is nothing!  So if a file I know to be correct (the one from the machine) doesn't show up.... what is wrong?  Am I using a USB stick that doesn't work with my machine?  Maybe... like.... the brand just doesn't work?  Or is it something else?

I would appreciate any assistance or advice anyone can offer!  Thank you in advance!
13  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Skull and Red Glittery Vinyl Weekender on: April 30, 2009 07:20:24 PM
Ok, so I have loved those Amy Butler Weekender Bags that I see.  Love them, love the shape, the size.... But I have this thing.  I refuse to buy a pattern for a bag, even if it is for someone more awesome such as Amy Butler (I would almost kill for her job!).  So this is not technically THE Weekender bag.  But I did use it for heavy inspiration for putting together this one.  I gotta say, this skull fabric has got to be the most difficult print in the world to match!  Which... turns out was almost a waste of time and energy, anyway.  The front panel and pockets DO match, but because I wanted to  put that black trim along the pocket edge, it covers the print enough that you can't really tell that it's matched.  Oh well....  Oh, and I had to add a seam to the top so that the print would be right side up on the sides... skulls cascading down the side!

Ok pictures:

Side shot.  Here's the cascading skulls down the sides:

Close up of front pocket... and the red glitter vinyl!

Bottom.  I used metal prong studs as feet:

Cherry print lining:

Hmm...  I am super tired.  I think of anything else to mention.  What do you think?
14  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / How do you sew a SPACE???!?! on: April 16, 2009 06:07:12 PM
Ok, I feel really ridiculous asking this, and I'm not sure if this is even the correct place to ask it, but here it goes.

I bought myself my dream machine.... the Brother Innovis 2500, which is an embroidery/sewing combo machine.  I was playing around with the text function (which is part of the "sewing machine" part... not the "embroidery" part, if you get that.  The text is a decorative stitch, not an actual embroidery function).  I've been sitting there with my manual for way too long trying to figure out if there is an easy quick-ish way of adding "spaces" between the text.  The only way I can think of doing it without going through hooking up the embroidery unit is sewing a word, and then manually pushing the fabric through, then start another word.  Really?  Like....  Is there something I'm missing?  I've gotten to the point of just adding a star or heart or something silly like that between each word, where I'd want a space to be.  Anyone have any insight?  Or do i just have to suck it up and hook up the embroidery unit?
15  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Ebay good? on: January 15, 2009 05:18:03 AM
Ok, so I consider myself a pretty advanced sewer, but my machine is very basic.  I've been wanting to upgrade, a BIG upgrade, for a while now.  I'm talking.... auto sensing tension, machine embroidery, 3D touch screen, bunch of different buttonholes....  Big.  I'm looking at spending no less than $1000 in this baby, but I could be persuaded (and expect) to go much much higher, depending on the machine. 

I've been eyeballing quite a few machines (mainly Brother or Viking) and I have found quite a few of them on Ebay for a lot less.  I mean... I'm talking, thousands less.  I'm no newbie to Ebay, so there's that, but I'm a bit worried about buying my new baby off of it.  My question is, is there something that I should be aware of?  Like...  Maybe it's worth it to just go to a supplier and get a new machine from them instead of a 'lightly used' one online?

I appreciate any opinions; thank you in advance!
16  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Winter Plaid Coat on: January 01, 2009 10:15:48 AM

So after months and months of pain and suffering and forcing myself to not cave in and buy a new winter coat, I have finished my plaid coat!!!

I patterned it myself...  Skull buttons on the sleeve cuffs, the back tab, and the shoulder tabs.  Snaps on the back yoke and left side button...  Bound buttonholes everywhere (my first!).  I used dark grey long johns material to line the cuffs and add a wrap thingy around the neck area.  Welt pockets on both sides, and an additional patch pocket on the left.  I used black canvas for the under collar and the side black strips. 

AND if you were curious, the plaid is from Joanns, and it's super thin.  I had to interline it with thermal fleece and an extra layer of wool suiting.  It's lined with flannel backed black satin.





Left Sleeve Pocket Details:

Cuffs Detail:

Left Side Pocket Detail:

Hmmm....  I think that's all!  Please tell me what you think!  I spent a lot of time on this, and would love some feedback!
17  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Tree and Birdie Painted Shelf on: September 03, 2008 07:21:35 PM
Ok, so I recently move into a new apartment.  I've been trying to settle in, and I needed a shelf to display my collection of bottles and containers (yeah.... I collect them) and as luck would have it, I see a shelf thing in the dumpster area, so I bogarted it!!  Cleaned it, sanded it, and repainted it.  Ta-DA!!!

Straight on view

I had the branches wrap around just a teensy bit!

Tweet tweet?  He's painted from metallic acrylic paints.  Shiny....... ooOOOoooOOoo...

Oh!  And a before picture, for good measure.

Let me know what you think!

Wanna see bigger pictures?  http://deranged-dexterity.blogspot.com/2008/09/blog-post.html

18  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / H.R. Giger inspired necklace... thing on: August 24, 2008 10:54:16 AM
Ok, so I had this fibers class (uh... almost two years ago), and the big project was a loom project that is inspired by a famous artist.  Most people made a flat tapestry with colors making an image... but PSH to that I say!  I chose H.R. Giger (dude that design the aliens in...uh...the Aliens movies).  Those are rubber tubes woven in on the left side and the metal stick thingies are from turkey cooker deals.  I have no idea what they are called or what they are actually for.... but they looked cool.   Grin   

Anyway, this got entered into the Student Juried Art Exhibition, got excepted, and I got an award for it.  WOO!!  So.... hope you all like it!  (oh.... if you were wondering, I did make the bottom piece too.  It's a felted tool belt, but I'm not really that satisfied with it....)

If you want to see bigger ones for detail, here's link to the page in my blogosphere :

Ok, pictures are being difficult.  Let me know if they aren't working, k?
19  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Help me make this look mad designer cool- Plaid winter coat on: August 01, 2008 09:17:42 PM
Ok, he's something for you advanced sewing deities out there!

First off, I have got it in my head that I absolutely must my winter coat this year.  And it absolutely must be plaid.  And it absolutely must be totally awesome.  Oh... and I absolutely have to do it all myself, from the pattern to the hemming.  Ok.... and it's almost fall already!!   Grin  My bad

My idea, just so you can get an image, is a mid-calf length double breasted pea coat with lots of details.  Welt pockets, bound buttonholes, high stand collar, belt loops, cuffs....  Just because I can.  And I am masochistic, I guess.

Ok, I have a few questions.

1.  I have never made a muslin for something that is going to be so bulky.  I have some denim that I had bought a long time ago that I was going to use for the muslin, but it still isn't going to be as bulky as the final project (it is a winter coat, after all!).  With this in mind, is there something I need to be aware of when I am getting the fit with the muslin?  I don't want it to be too tight to be comfortable, but part of the whole thing is that I want this to be fitted.  I rarely wear any sweaters or hoodies ever, even in the winter, so I'm not worried so much about fitting something bulky under it, but the coat itself, do I have to worry about the extra bulk of the final produce making it tighter than the muslin?  Or is that not really a problem?

2.  Ok this is a weird question... But I want to have a collar, like lapel collar, like many double breasted coats have.  On top of that (closer to the body) I want to attach another collar on it.  I haven't entirely decided what yet, if it will be a knitted collar or something made of different fabric.  It won't be laying flat against the main body collar; I'll be putting a higher stand in it... I'm not entire sure how I would go about attaching this.  At first, I was just thinking that I would just sew it into where the back top coat facing attaches to the lining, but now I'm picturing it, I'm think that's too bulky in that area?  I'm not sure, anyone have any ideas?

3.  Uhm... Tips on matching plaids?  I always just eyeball where the stitchline is and just hope for the best.... Tongue

4.  Last question is more of a call out for ideas.  My end goal is to not have something that looks homemade or looks like 'just' a plaid coat.  I want this to look like it's some crazy awesome designer coat that I spend loads on!  Expensive!!  What do you think would make it look like that?  I mean, part of the reason that I am concerned with the fit is that I think that is part of it.  What other details do you think would be an attribute of something that looks high end?  Should I treat this more like a tailored suit maybe?  Like, adding extra interfacing in certain areas, or whatnot?  What do you all think?  And ideas, I am totally open to listening!  I love doing all the little things that make it look good!!

Ok.  Sorry for the long post.  Anyone want to help me out with their knowledge?
20  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Lining with bound seams? on: June 02, 2008 10:17:48 AM
Ok, so I'm making a bag.  Main body is canvas, lining is just some cotton novelty fabric.  I'm interfacing everything, though.  The canvas is going to be interfaced with that fleece interfacing, and the cotton lining is some heavy weight interfacing.

Now, this bag is basically going to be a messenger bag, and I wanted it to be stiffer rather than slouchy, so hence all the interfacing.  I haven't decided, but I may put some piping along the seams (if I do, it will probably be a canvas type material).  AND because of some of the pocket placements, some of the seams are going to have several layers in them

Ok, so I was inspecting several of the canvas bags that I own, store bought.  All of them.... ALL of them have the seam allowance showing on the inside, but are bound with a ribbon or tape of some sort.  Grosgrain ribbon for one, a canvas strip for another....  Granted, not all of them are lined, but some of them are.  Like, the lining fabric is sewn as one with the main body canvas fabric with the seam allowances on the inside, then bound with ribbon.

So.... I was wondering what folks thought about this technique?  Like... I was originally planning on sewing the lining separately, then inserting it so the seam allowances are all hidden, but because of the bulk of the seam allowances, I'm afraid the lining won't be nice and crisp and lay flat and smoothly against the main body.

I was cruising through the Amy Butler Sew-along for the Weekender bag, because I know that is recommended to be made of canvas and interfaced with fleece.... and I noticed that the lining sewn separately and then inserted, despite the bulk of the seam.  No body really posted a clear shot of the lining to show it laying completely smoothly on the inside, though.

Anyway, I wanted to get some opinions!  I'm trying to increase my technical skill and make this looks as professional as possible, so yeah.  Should I just sew all layers as one and then bind it?  Or.... is this any way you look at it, not a good technique?  Or.... would you still say to sew the lining separately?  If so, do I just have to trim the seam allowances and press them into oblivion?

Any comment or advice is appreciated!

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