Sunday, 3 November 2013

Facing continual challenges

Hello there

Oh wowsers, what an evening and morning I've just had! I'm not referring to the hideous rain and wind we've had the last couple of nights either! I'm referring to me trying yet another new project. This one was a stained long sleeved t-shirt. Of course the stain wasn't somewhere nice and easy; it was right between the neckline and the shoulder seam. I saw a tutorial on the Urban Threads website for using embroidery patches to cover holes in clothes which got me to thinking and then I got to doing. I also watched a couple of Nancy Zieman videos but they all mention allsorts of adhesives, stabilizers and fancy stuff which I just don't have but I was not deterred!

A woman on a mission! Or should that read that I'm a nutcase! You decide :-)

Using Vanish on stains on a t-shirt doesn't always
work in your favour :-(
I've never embroidered onto clothing before and my regular readers will know that I'm a newbie this year to machine embroidery of any kind, so this was indeed a huge learning curve for me. This is stretchy fabric but I was surprised as to how resilient it actually was to the close sew of embroidery.

My intention had been to find a large flower design to cover the stain. Not too thick a design though to overweigh the fabric. There lay my first mistake; I didn't position the hoop in the right place over the stain and position the design correctly on the software, so the flower was too small and not in the right place. I still reinforced previous learning about how to change the size of a design on the software and how to reposition it but in hindsight, I should've used the large hoop to give me more leeway as where to position the design.

After sewing on the flower design I chose out of the software's pre-existing designs, I could still see too much of the stain for my liking, as the flower was too far down. I initially tried to fit in the sun within the same hoop but after an initial try, realised that it was going to overlap the flower but only after I'd started sewing it of course. Hence followed some unpicking but thankfully not too much.

I had to work out how to move the hoop and yet support the fabric, as the first piece of stabilizer didn't cover all of the new area and there was no fabric in the top right hand side of the hoop. So I came up with the idea of only partially ironing on more stabiliser behind the area and yet leaving enough of it around the edge for it to be secured within the hoop. I hope the photo helps to explain that, as the chalk marks I made on the fabric show where the hoop will sit. Only the section of stabiliser behind the fabric was actually ironed. The stabiliser I had is only 8in x 8in.

I even printed out the design so that I could practise place it onto the fabric whilst the hoop was in place:

I do wish the inner hoop had grid markings on it too!

Are you all sensing a 'ta dah' moment now? 

It ain't gonna happen, just yet! When I went to sew it again, my machine threw a total dippy fit and chewed up half a mile of top thread causing embroidery mayhem! I was surprisingly calm though and carried out the rescue attempt without swearing once, although I did manage to cut a tiny hole in the fabric too! 

I was tempted to throw in the towel at this point but no, I'd come this far and had nothing to lose; I couldn't let my machine beat me now!

After putting everything back in place and doing a practise sew, I went to it! 

It worked until I got to the last block of the design (which was only a tiny bit of black edging round the centre of the sun) and it didn't feel right within seconds of starting, so I abandoned it. Enough was enough and I don't see what black has to do with a sun anyway.

And breathe!

The top is still wet from when I rinsed the
chalk off

Hardly a ta-dah worthy moment really as you can still see the stain but hey, I finished it! I've learnt alot and all of this gives me more experience and reinforces my attitude that just because you don't have all the fancy stuff some of these tutorials show us, for allsorts of various projects, you can use your initiative and vary the technique to suit what you do have. Be creative!

The sun is finally out and we haven't had a shower in quite a while and there doesn't appear to be a gale blowing, so think I've deserved a .... walk with the dogs! Woop woop! :-) What a life I lead.

Take care out there and be determined to achieve your goals


  1. Ha ha ha ha I love your posts Diane, your sense of humour is infectious, says she giggling her socks off, lol I would have been swearing blue murder at the machine!!!!!!!! I hope the wind was kind to you and the hounds?? I admire you for having a go at the stain, the embroidery is beautiful sweetie.
    Huge hugs x x x x

    1. Thanks Dawn. The walk did me good, as I got to stretch these muscles in another direction other than stooped over the machine :-) I hope you stayed safe in that awful weather x

  2. well my lovely....10 out of 10!!!!!!! I would have thrown in the towel after the flower and bought a new top :-D But you persevered and now its wearable again!!!!! Its so pretty Diane xxxx


Go on, you know you want to comment! Have you tried anything like this? Do you want a few more snippets of information about this project to help you do something similiar? Has it inspired you or given you ideas to do it differently?

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