I’ve never been able to adopt the ‘keep it simple‘ philosophy, but I do believe in the ‘one step at a time‘ approach to life. In sewing that means sticking to the familiar while learning the new.
While I try to grasp the details of machine embroidery I’m sewing with patterns and fabrics that leave no surprises. I selected a reliable cotton shirting from Mood Fabrics in a black and white check – the perfect backdrop for Coats & Clark’s Ming Cherry embroidery thread! I knew this smooth shirting fabric with a soft drape would be perfect for a tunic and kept my fingers crossed that it would be compatible for embroidery.
My pattern is from The Tunic Bible . I selected a simple inside-facing placket so the embroidery could be the star. Finished with a simple bias strip neckband, the placket can be worn closed or open (below).
My embroidery design is part of the Pfaff Creative 4.5 Embroidery Collection which came with the machine.
Although it is color coded, I sewed the entire design using the Ming Cherry Tribal Embroidery Thread. Offered in 122 colors, the mini-king spools hold 1100 yards of thread and will see you through multiple projects.
The lines of the large checks served as ideal reference points for design placement, leading me to use a vertical black line to mark the center of the tunic (marked with a basting thread below).
I duplicated and mirrored the design on each side of the black stripe. When the designed was finished I noticed an empty circle in the middle of the bodice.
I found a small motif similar in design which I duplicated, flipped and connected using the stylus.
Needless to say, it was a great relief to finish the design completely centered 🙂 Before starting the embroidery I sewed the bust darts…….after the embroidery was completed I was ready to sew the bodice.
I added back darts for a more fitted silhouette.
I was undecided about embroidering the lower edge and/or sleeves, and concluded the cuffs should be embroidered. I selected split cuffs for a little pizzazz, and embroidered the design on a larger piece of fabric before cutting the cuff. This process made for easy placement.
If you’re curious about how long it takes to embroider a design, it all depends on the size and density. Each half of the bodice design took approximately 40 minutes to embroider. Each segment of the cuff took 2 and 1/2 minutes. Below is a 2 and a half minute video if you’re interested in watching the thread in action.
So what’s my takeaway, here? Great fabric comes to life with great thread – I’d say Ming Cherry is the icing on the cake!