Black White and Ming Cherry!

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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).

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My embroidery design is part of the Pfaff Creative 4.5 Embroidery Collection which came with the machine.

IMG_6681Although 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. Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 7.40.29 PM

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.

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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.

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I was undecided about embroidering the lower edge and/or sleeves, and concluded the cuffs should be embroidered. IMG_0070 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.  IMG_6680-1

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.

Embroidery in action video



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!




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