DETAILS by Pamela Cox
e a ern
Modify a basic blouse pattern to
create a one-of-a-kind summer
garment. Use linen and 3 0- wt.
cotton thread to ach ie ve a
lovely hand-embroidered look.
blouse pattern (such as the
Olivia Blouse—see “Sources”)
11 4 yards of 44"-wide off-white
4 yards of 44"-wide brown linen
stabilizer: mesh & tear-away
thread: 30-wt. cotton embroi-
dery & all-purpose
size needles: 70/10 sharp,
80/12 twin & 90/14 topstitching
21 2"x6" rectangle of lightweight
13 4 yards of 1 8"-diameter piping
hand sewing needle
embroidery software with
6 floral embroidery designs
(approximately 4" square)
• Prewash and dry the linen, fol-
lowing the manufacturer’s care
• From the off-white linen, cut one
Hope Sew back panel and one 3"x61⁄2" rect-
angle for the facing. Designate one
Olivia facing short edge as the lower edge.
Blouse, Round the lower-edge corners.
View C (modified)
28 CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY cmemag.com
Embroider Once satisfied with the placement,
group the designs. Save the design
as “design 2” in the appropriate
• Open a new page in the software machine format.
program. Draw a 2"x12" rectangle
• Open design 1 inside the rectan-
onto the page. Open two coordi-
gle. Place design 1 above design
nating floral designs inside the B Move design
2, centering each design within
rectangle. starting point
the rectangle and spacing them
close to design,
• Designate one design as the upper 1
⁄8" apart. if needed.
design and the other design as
• Open a second design 1 onto the
the lower design. Place the upper
page. Designate this design as “de-
design above the lower design,
sign 3.” Center the design 1⁄8" below
connecting them in an inconspicu-
design 2 to create an S-curve C Connect
ous area. Note: The featured lower lower design
design, allowing the eye to travel to design 1.
design is flipped horizontally to
from one flower to the next (D).
connect the designs along the
stems (A). If desired, zoom into the • Choose another coordinating
design to aid in proper placement. design to use for the design end.
Once satisfied with the placement, Open the design onto the page,
group the designs. and then center it below design
3. Connect the design end to de-
• If the software indicated the de-
sign 3 in an inconspicuous area.
sign starting point is beyond the D Create S-curve
Note: The featured end design design.
design beginning, move the point
is rotated 90° counterclockwise
close to the design to represent the
and flipped horizontally, and is
actual design size (B). Some soft-
placed beneath a lower leaf of
ware programs stitch the designs in
design 3 (E). Change the thread
the order in which they’re opened
color order so the end design
onto the page, so note the correct
stitches before design 3.
design order or change the design
color order in the software program. • Once completely satisfied with the
Save the design as “design 1” in the overall design, including position,
appropriate machine format. Keep size and stitching order, group all
design 1 open on the page. of the designs. Save the design as
“center-panel design.” Print a E Center design end
• Flip the lower design to its original below design 3.
template of the design.
form, and then rotate it 47° clockwise.
Connect the lower design to design • Place the front-panel pattern over
1 in an inconspicuous area. Note: the brown linen right side, leav-
The featured design showcases the ing 1" to 2" of fabric free below the
lower-design stem positioned along lower edge and 1" of fabric free
the design 1 lower-leaf curve (C). above the shoulder. Measure the
cmemag.com CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY 29
pattern width, and then double with right sides together along the
the measurement; record. Trim the center-front line; pin. Using tailor’s
linen width to match the recorded tacks, mark two vertical lines 35⁄8"
width measurement. Note: For and 47⁄8" parallel to the fold. Trim
the featured pattern, the doubled the excess fabric 3⁄4" beyond the
Mastering front-panel width for an XS is 20".
Designate the linen rectangle as
lower line (G). Stitch 21⁄4" from
HEAVYWEIGHT the center panel. • Unfold the center panel. Press the
Thread • Fold the center panel in half length-
wise with right sides together;
seam toward one side, avoiding
Heavyweight thread, such as 30- unfold. Hand-baste a line along the • From the remaining white linen,
wt. cotton, is often tricky to work foldline. Position the pattern over cut two rectangles each measur-
with because friction causes it to the linen, aligning the pattern center ing the front-panel pattern width x
easily break during embroidery. front with the basted line. Position the center-panel length. Note: The
the center-panel template over the
Use the following tips to reduce featured front-side panels each
pattern center front. Pin-mark the measure 10"x27".
friction and ensure stitching suc-
front-panel neckline and design
cess every time: center along the basted line (F).
• With right sides together, align one
side panel to each center-panel
• Slow down the machine Set aside the pattern and template.
long edge; stitch using a 1⁄4" seam
speed by at least half the nor- • Hoop the center panel with a piece allowance. Trim each seam to 1⁄8",
mal pace. When working with of mesh stabilizer, centering the and then press the seam toward
extremely dense design areas, basted line and lower pin intersec- the center panel.
stitch at the slowest machine tion within the hoop. Place the
• With wrong sides together,
hoop onto the machine and thread
speed possible. Always monitor fold the center panel along one
the needle and bobbin with 30-wt.
the machine during embroi- marked line; press. Stitch 1⁄2" from
cotton embroidery thread. Load
dery to quickly make any the center-panel design into the
the foldline to create a pleat.
speed adjustments. Repeat to stitch pleats along the
machine. Turn the machine hand-
• Use a topstitching needle, as it wheel to make sure the needle
• Align the center-pleat stitching
has a large eye to accommo- aligns with the basted line and
lower pin intersection. Rehoop if with the basted centerline; press.
date the thread thickness. Machine-baste 1⁄2" from the center-
needed to achieve perfect place-
• Make sure the thread easily ment. Remove the pins. panel upper and lower edges to
glides off the spool without secure the pleats. Fold the center
• Embroider the design. Once the
any drag by either omitting embroidery is complete, remove
panel in half lengthwise along the
centerline with wrong sides to-
the first thread stop or placing the hoop from the machine and
gether, aligning the pleats; pin.
the spool in a vertical position the fabric from the hoop. Cut
• Position the front-panel pattern over
on the machine. away the stabilizer beyond the
design perimeter and clip all jump the center panel, aligning the pattern
• Machines handle cotton thread center front with the panel center-
differently, so test-stitch on line. Cut out the front panel along
• If necessary, hand-baste the
scrap fabric and make any the pattern perimeter. Baste the
center-panel lengthwise center-
necessary adjustments before pleats along the front-panel upper
line, and then designate it as the
embroidering the project fabric. center-front line. With wrong
and lower edges within the 1⁄2" seam
allowance. Remove the pins.
sides together, fold the linen in half
30 CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY cmemag.com
3 5 8"
4 7 8"
G Trim excess fabric 3
below lower line.
F Pin-mark neckline and
H Arrange shoulder
Shoulders first design 7, mirror-imaging the horizontal design centerlines
• Scan the shoulder pattern onto the curves and positioning the design onto the fabric. Baste along
computer, and then open it onto a upper edge 1⁄4" from the armseye each line.
new page in embroidery software. seam allowance. • Hoop a piece of mesh stabilizer.
• Open the remaining floral designs • Open design 14 onto the page, Place the left-shoulder template
onto the page. Duplicate and posi- and then rotate it 180° clockwise. over the stabilizer; mark the
tion the designs along the shoulder Place the design beneath the first horizontal and vertical centerlines
area, rotating, flipping and mirror- design 7 and to the right of the onto the stabilizer.
imaging the designs as desired, second design 7, positioning the • Place the left shoulder over the
keeping in mind seam allowances. right edge 1⁄4" from the neckline stabilizer, aligning the center-
End the design arrangement 9" seam allowance (H). lines; pin.
from the shoulder upper edge. • Once satisfied with the placement, • Slowly perimeter-baste the fabric
Note: The featured design is ap- group the designs. If needed, to the stabilizer, removing only
proximately 31⁄2" wide along the change the thread color order for the pins that interfere with the
shoulder upper edge and 51⁄2" wide the designs to stitch in sequential stitching.
at the end. order. Save the design as “left-
• Place the hoop onto the machine.
• To create the featured design ar- shoulder design” in the appropriate
Thread the machine with 30-wt.
rangement, open design 7 and 18 machine format.
cotton embroidery thread in
of the featured design collection • Flip the left-shoulder design the needle and bobbin. Load the
onto the page. Rotate design eigh- horizontally. Save the design as left-shoulder design into the
teen 180°, and then place it along “right-shoulder design” in the machine. Embroider the design.
the shoulder upper-right corner appropriate machine format. Once the embroidery is com-
within the seam allowances. • Print a template of each shoulder plete, remove the hoop from the
• Flip design 7 vertically, and then design. Place the left-shoulder machine and the fabric from the
rotate it 10° clockwise. Place the template over the front-panel left hoop. Trim any jump threads and
design just below design 18. shoulder. Trace the shoulder shape cut away the stabilizer beyond
• Open another design 7 onto the onto the template; cut out. the design perimeter.
page, and then rotate it 153° clock- • Align the template with the left • Repeat to embroider the right
wise. Place the design under the shoulder; mark the vertical and shoulder.
cmemag.com CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY 31
Construct seams toward one side. Fold the
blouse along the seamline with
Use 1⁄2" seam allowances unless other-
right sides together; pin. Stitch
using a 1⁄4" seam allowance, enclos-
I Cut to each • Center the interfacing rectangle ing the seams. Turn the blouse
lower corner. over the facing rectangle wrong right side out.
side; fuse, following the manufac-
• Measure the blouse lower edge,
and then add 1"; record. From the
• Fold each facing long edge and white linen, cut enough 11⁄4"-wide
rounded edge 1⁄4" toward the wrong strips to achieve the recorded
side; stitch. measurement. Piece together the
• Draw a 1⁄8"x5" rectangle onto a strips along the short ends to cre-
J Stitch strip fold, piece of tear-away stabilizer. Cen- ate one long strip.
ter the stabilizer over the facing • Fold one strip long edge 1⁄4" toward
wrong side, aligning one rectangle the wrong side. With right sides
short edge with the facing upper together and raw edges aligned,
edge. Stitch along the rectangle. position the strip along the blouse
Tear away the stabilizer. lower edge; stitch, and then press
• With right sides together, center the open the seam. Trim the blouse
facing over the back panel, aligning seam to 1⁄4" and the strip seam
the upper edges. Shorten the stitch to 3⁄8". Fold the strip toward the
K Overlap ends, aligning length to 14 stitches per inch (ap- blouse wrong side; press.
proximately 1.8mm). Stitch along • Install a twin needle onto the ma-
the previous rectangle stitching. chine. Stitch the strip folded edge
• Cut along the rectangle center, to the blouse 1⁄8" beyond the edge,
ending the cutting 1⁄4" from the avoiding the pleats (J). Slipstitch
rectangle lower edge. Cut from the remaining strip fold in place
each lower corner up to, but not along the pleats.
through, the stitching (I). • Measure one armseye circumfer-
• Press the seams towards the fac- ence; record. Cut one piping length
ing, and then fold the facing toward according to the recorded mea-
the back-panel wrong side. Press, surement. From the white linen,
creating a sharp foldline along the cut one bias strip measuring 15⁄8"x
L Form 5"-long loop.
stitched box. Baste the facing along the recorded measurement plus 1".
the back-panel neckline. • Center the piping length along the
• To create French seams, align the strip wrong side. Fold each strip
front and back panels with wrong end 1⁄2" over the piping. Fold the
sides together; stitch the sides and strip in half lengthwise with wrong
shoulders using a 1⁄4" seam allow- sides together; stitch close to the
ance. Press open each seam, and piping. Trim the seam to 1⁄2".
then press the seams toward the • With right sides together and
back panel. Trim each back-panel raw edges aligned, position the
seam to 1⁄8". Trim 1⁄16" from each piping along one armseye perim-
front-panel seam. Turn the blouse eter, abutting the ends along the
M Pull floss through loop. wrong side out, and then press the
32 CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY cmemag.com
underarm seam; stitch. Trim the • Center the piping length along the
piping seam to 1⁄8" and the armseye strip wrong side. Fold each strip
seam to 1⁄4". end 1⁄2" over the piping. Fold the
• From the off-white linen, cut one strip in half lengthwise with wrong
bias strip measuring 11⁄4"x the sides together; stitch close to the
recorded armseye circumference piping. Trim the seam to 1⁄2".
plus 2" for the armseye binding. • With right sides together and raw
Fold one binding-strip long edge edges aligned, position the piping
⁄8" toward the wrong side. along the neckline, matching the
• Pin-mark the binding strip 1" from piping and neckline colors; stitch.
each end. With right sides to- Trim the piping seam to 1⁄8" and
gether, overlap one strip end over the neckline seam to 1⁄4".
the opposite end, perpendicularly • Measure the neckline length, and
aligning the pin-marks to form a cir- then add 11⁄2"; record. From the
cle; stitch (K). Trim the seam to 1⁄4". white linen, cut one bias strip
• With right sides together and raw measuring 11⁄4"x the recorded mea-
edges aligned, position the binding surement for the neckline binding.
over the piping along the armseye Fold one binding-strip long edge 3⁄8"
perimeter; stitch using a 1⁄4" seam toward the wrong side; press.
allowance. Fold the binding toward • With right sides together and raw
the wrong side; press. Slipstitch the edges aligned, center the binding
binding long-edge fold in place. Hand strip along the blouse neckline, ex-
stitch the piping ends together. tending each strip end 3⁄4" beyond
• Repeat to finish the remaining the neckline edges; stitch using a
facing 1⁄2" below the first stitch, leav-
⁄4" seam allowance.
ing a 3⁄8"-diameter loop. Knot the
• Measure the neckline length; record. • To create a button loop, thread a thread end.
Cut one piping length according to hand sewing needle with six 10"-
• Press open the neckline binding
the recorded measurement. long strands of embroidery floss;
seam, and then trim the blouse seam
knot the thread ends. From the
• Measure the neckline length, omit- to 1⁄4" and the binding seam to 3⁄8".
blouse wrong side, bring the needle
ting the center panel, and then add Fold each binding end 3⁄4" toward
up through the facing upper-left
11⁄2"; record. From the off-white the wrong side, and then fold the
corner. Take one stitch along the
linen, cut one strip measuring binding toward the blouse wrong
neckline seam, pulling the thread
15⁄8"x the recorded measurement. side; press. Slipstitch the binding
through until a 5"-long loop is
Cut the strip in half widthwise. long-edge fold in place.
• Measure the center-panel length, • Mark the button placement along the
• Let go of the needle and secure
and then add 1⁄2"; record. From the blouse back upper-right corner. Hand
the loop with one hand. To cro-
brown linen, cut one strip measuring stitch the button along the mark.
chet the floss strands, use your
15⁄8"x the recorded measurement.
other hand to pull the floss through
• With right sides together, align one the loop (M). Slide the loop tightly DESIGNS
Florals: Graceful Embroidery, Natalie’s Wedding Day (Small)
white-strip and brown-strip short around the floss while forming Collection by Hazel Tunbridge; gracefulembroidery.com
end; stitch using a 1⁄4" seam allow- another loop. Repeat to crochet
ance. Press open the seam. Repeat SOURCES
the floss until it’s 3⁄8" long. Pull the Common Era provided the shorts; Silvergate $32:
to stitch the remaining white strip to needle all the way through. Bring mycommonera.com.
Hope Sew Patterns provided the blouse pattern:
the opposite brown-strip short end. the needle back down through the (941) 378-5019, hopeyoder.com.
cmemag.com CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY 33