Small Shirts and Multi Needle Machines

Happy Fall Friends! I can’t believe it’s almost November. Where do the time go y’all? We all know that time does not stand still (even though moms like to hash tag that on every.single.photo of their kids), and weeks turn in to months since my last post….

Anyway… The question was asked the other day by M. Jennings in a Facebook group I’m in (and I edited it slightly)… “Ok multineedle friends. I skipped the fast frames and plan to get magnetic {hoops} soon, but in the meantime, does anyone have any tricks for when doing little people’s shirts to keep the tail out of the way?” By tail she means the back bottom of the shirt.

Low and behold, I did 4 sz 2T shirts yesterday. As you can see below, I used my 5×7 hoop and everything looks normal. By the way…. I also get asked a lot about design size vs shirt size. For all of the 2T shirts I did (and I did not take a single picture of them), I used the 5×7 size design, BUT…. when I put the design on my machine, I shrunk the design down as much as my machine would allow. It seemed to be the perfect size after that. I did the Dog Truck, Tractor Patch, Frame Patch 2 and Basketball Patch – sorry no pictures. They were cute I promise! Most machines, if not all, have a re-size feature and will enlarge or shrink your design/monogram up or down 10-20%. You can also chose 4×4 and enlarge it as much as possible!

IMG_8224

What she was asking is: how do you keep the bottom of the shirt {as seen below} from possibly getting caught up on top of the machine arm. As you can see there’s not a lot of room and it could get tangled up and your shirt could get sewn together. In the pic below, you can’t see the arm of the machine!

IMG_8225

Before this post and discussion on Facebook, I’ve always held my hand there and kept the bottom/back of the shirt held down so there is no chance of it getting caught. Not a bad thing, but, M. Jackson threw out a suggestion for us and we were all pretty much blown away at the geniusness of her trick!

IMG_8227

Her suggestion was to place a CD case, or a small thin children’s book, below the arm of the machine between the arm and the shirt. This keeps enough space between the shirt and the arm that no accidents are likely to happen! I used the sleeve of one of my Monogram Wizard Plus cd’s, but anything small, thin, lightweight and about that size will do. I DID kind of keep an eye on things to make sure the CD case didn’t shift or cause my machine to mess up or get caught on anything. However, it seemed to stay in place AND even when I took the shirt off the machine to trim applique fabric, it stayed in place. It really worked well for me AND I was hands-free to cut fabric and do other things.

IMG_8226

Thank you thank you thank you M. Jennings for the question and M. Jackson for this suggestion!! I love a good trick! 😉 If you have a great trick to share, please email me at rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com. I’m always looking for blog material!

These new designs will be listed soon at Applique Cafe, along with a SALE – you heard it here!

new designs

Craftsy Class Event

One more post!! Craftsy is having a class event this weekend with 50% off their top classes! The sale ends Sunday (7/10) at midnight! You can click HERE to check out the classes on sale. As always, once you buy a class, it’s YoUrS!! You can watch it as many times as you want. You can take notes and learn from the pros! You can learn how to paint, make jewelry, take great pictures, decorate cookies, learn how to knit or quilt or make socks, and the list goes on and on! A couple of my favorites are Product Photography at Home and 20 Things Every Machine Embroider Should Know, as well as How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business! Look through all of the classes available and see if anything catches your eye! 😉

1200x627_full_general

Give Life to an Old Design!

So I had a longtime customer email me the other day, and she wanted a baby gown with an *old* design on it that I had not sewn in years. It was the below elephant design and I bought it YEARS ago on Etsy, like in 2009 or before! I don’t believe the seller sells it [or any designs for that matter] anymore. I had done a gown or onesie for my customer’s son and she wanted the same to give as a baby gift. So…. I searched and found the design on my computer, and quickly remembered the design was digitized a little wonky. The design had 1 marking stitch (#1 black below) and then elephant outline satin stitch (#2 below) and then the eye and ear (#3 below) . What does that mean? NO TACKDOWN STITCH. In the good old days I would just repeat the marking stitch after I placed my fabric down, trimmed around the design and then proceed with the satin stitch around the elephant. However, I decided this week to give this old design a makeover using Sew What-Prolong thread

First on the list, create a tackdown stitch! I click on step 1, which is the marking stitch. long thread marking

Next I click on the COPY icon in my menu bar. This will copy that step 1 marking stitch.

IMG_6323

Next I click the PASTE icon in my menu bar, which pastes another marking stitch step 1 (aka tackdown stitch) in my design. How handy! It does place that new step at the end, so it’s step #4 of my design which wouldn’t work. No fear… we can reorder our steps to make this right!

IMG_6324

Click Edit, then Order Threads in the toolbar.

IMG_6325

This is the order of the steps after I have copied and pasted that marking stitch. I want to move step 4 up to step 2 so that the design stitches 1) marking, 2) tackdown, 3) satin elephant and 4) eye and ear. The satin stitch and eye/ear are 2 different steps in case you might want to sew those in 2 different colors.

long thread order

Below I have typed in the New Order, and when I click OK it reorders the steps.

long thread order 2

Now, since this is an old design, the satin stitches are really thin. Guess what? I can make them thicker in Sew What-Pro! I first click on the ear/eye step in my thread chart. Just pick one of the satin stitch steps – it doesn’t matter which one.

long thread ear and eye

I then click on the Stitch Density and Pull Compensation icon.

IMG_6326

On the bottom you see Pull Compensation, which makes the satin stitch thicker. I bumped it up to 5 and when I click OK, my satin stitch becomes thicker. You can go all the way up to 20, but 5 to 10 is usually enough. Please note that I do not mess with density!

long thread density

I do the same for the satin stitch of the elephant step. I click on that step in my thread chart.

IMG_6326

Again, bump the pull compensation up to 5. Again, you can do more, but 5 is plenty for this project!

long thread density

As you can see below, my satin stitch is noticeably thicker.

long thread outline satin thicker

Here is a side by side comparison! Again, this is bumping my pull compensation up to 5. You could do more if you like really thick satin stitches. So… I was able to add in the needed tackdown step to my design AND make my satin stitches thicker!

long thread thinner satin-horz

And here is the finished layette gown! I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Kazoo” font. I also did all of my satin stitches and my name in a light green color.

IMG_6327

To see and read more about increasing Pull Compensation using Sew What-Pro, check out my previous blog post where I show several different variations of increasing the PC of the satin stitch (5, 10 and 20) – that post is HERE! Pretty cool, eh? Sew What-Pro is a great investment at only $65! Please note that SWP is a Windows embroidery software. I get asked a lot if you can use it with a Mac, and you CAN, but only with a Windows Emulator. PlayOnMac Windows is a free emulator available on the Sands Computing website – click HERE for more info. Applique Cafe is an authorized dealer of Sew What-Pro!

Here are a few new designs we added last week! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Girly Turkey! She has been a popular design since we added her! The Vintage Christmas Tree is a fast and easy design too! You can see all of these at Applique Cafe!

girly spider 500-horz

Lastly, our new Digitizer’s Pick which is $1.50 for a limited time….

adigitizerspick 500