I’ve loved hand embroidery since I was about eight. Lady bugs, hearts and rainbows. Chain stitch, lazy daisy, stem, satin, french knot and worm stitch. It’s an art! So why would I let a machine do it for me now? Take a look!

It would’ve taken me a year to do this by hand! To be clear, I did not make the jacket. I did make it prettier, though.

A few folks asked about my blue willow dress that showed up in last week’s travelogue blog. I’ll get back to it in a minute. Turns out it looks great with the jacket! But, maybe the jacket needs a little more. Here is my color palette.

Stabilizer isn’t fun, but it’s important. Light, medium or heavy? Wash away, tear away or cut away? Sticky, iron on or floating? There is quite a learning curve. As you might imagine, I’ve sacrificed some fabric and quite a few hours already. And I have a long way to go. Don’t take anything I say as advice!

For this stretch denim jacket, I used a stabilizer called polymesh, which is good for knits. It’s ironed on the back. Then I put a wash away on top to helps= keep the stitches from sinking into the fabric. The tricky part with denim is the bulky seams. It was a battle getting the thing in the hoop, which then attaches to the machine. I did it section by section, overlapping, using oval and medium hoops.

These machines are impressive! Very high tech. In essence, they’re computers with a needle and a hook. I can watch mine go for hours! There are literally millions of amazingly detailed, elegant downloadable designs out there. You can make ordinary things like a shirt, pants or an apron special in minutes. Or hours.

Maybe next time I’ll post a video. I took some clips, but I’m too tired to figure out how to edit them tonight. But let me tell you, this thing can go fast! Up to 1,000 stitches per minute! (The clear stuff on top just tears off when you’re finished. Whatever is stuck between things you can sponge off – it dissolves!)

Is this enough? Hmm. OK, maybe. Mots of the design elements come from a collection called Asian Fusion, from Anita Gooddesign. I added in a pair of koi from Majestic Animals. The Chinese characters mean melody, beauty and virtue.

So, back to the dress. I dug around in my drawer and found the pattern number for you! It’s New Look 6824. I’ve made it a number of times. What makes it great is the fabric. A beautiful soft smooth cotton from Textile Fabrics in Nashville.

I made my usual modifications – raised the shoulder by 3/4″, moved the underarm seam up another 1/4″ and removed 3/4″ from the center front and back. That keeps the neckline and armholes from gapping but still leaves me room for a relaxed fit. The design is simple – a boat neck, princess seamed bodice with a barely gathered a-line skirt and in-seam pockets, finished with an invisible center back zip. I lined the bodice with china silk.

The white skirt and top are remakes from last year (the top was a shirtdress but it never did hang right) and the year before (the skirt was pleated and too pouffy – I wore it anyway but felt wide as a house in it). So I removed a few inches and remade it with a wide waistband and side patch pockets. Don’t you just love white eyelet for summer? And it’s summer already here in Tennessee, on and off! I’m thinking positive, but then again, I do have a new jacket! What are you working on???


3 thoughts on “Embellished!

  1. I am so happy to see you expand on your artistic creativity by purchasing an embroidery machine. Your choice of colors and floral designs are most appealing. I am currently working on embroidering cutwork along the hem of a skirt. Using embroidery software provides limitless opportunities for design creation, alteration and personalization. Enjoy!

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