If you have ever seen my sewing you know I love decorative stitching. I have made trims and borders and used decorative stitching on smocking and heirloom sewing. One of my favorite tools to use is the circular stitcher. I have included some pictures to show you what I mean. I keep a Pinterest account to store all those creative ideas I see. If you have a creative use for the circular stitcher let me see it. If you have a Singer here is a link to the stitcher you can purchase.
Remember to stabilize the fabric before you try decorative stitching. A good choice is Fuse and Tear. The stabilzer keeps the circle from good astray and the stitches from puckering.
A few weeks ago one of my Futura students recommended the Hat Hoop as a way to embroider hats. I ordered a hoop from hathoop.com . Today while the weather was terrible, I tried the hoop and will show you my test results in a video. The embroidery was not perfect, in fact my placement was way too high. The embroidery needed to be closer to the brim. One of the factors could have been the type of hat I was using, it had a very low profile. High front profile hats are much easier to embroider because they give you more broader embroidery area. I was also not really registering in my brain how my template was placed on the hat. (Senior moment) I should have tried on the hat with the template pinned in place for a true view. If it was not right, I needed to move the design down in the software, save and reprint a template to pin on and try again. Here is the video!
The hoop works by removing the inside hoop and placing the hat hoop inside the hoop instead. I transferred the notch markings from my inside hoop to the hat hoop.
I hooped sticky paper and then scored the release sheet to prepare the hoop for embroidery. The hat was positioned on the sticky paper using a template and the brim was clamped in place. Carefully pull the hat and hoop on the machine to embroider.
The printed template will give you placement of the design on the hat. I used and awl to punch holes in the template at the center mark and on the cross marks. You can connect the dots for a better view. I draw the cross hairs from the top hoop in permanent ink on the sticky paper. Align the centering marks on the hat with the drawn marks on the sticky paper.
I have given you a square 4″ outline embroidery to use with design sizing and placement. The hoop has a 5″ hole so the outline design gives you a 1 inch margin from the edges so you do not strike the hoop and break a needle while embroidering. When you embroider your hat just skip the 1st color so you do not sew the square.
I am also giving you my monogram embroidery design which you can edit with your own monogram using advanced editing.
Do not forget I carry “Peel and Stick“ which is perfect for stabilizing you hat project. I have already decided I am making everyone a Monogrammed hat for Christmas next year.
Have you recently upgraded or purchased a new sewing machine for the first time? Even if you are an experienced sewer you should take the time to learn what features come with your new machine. Jenny’s Sewing Studio offers a 2 hour class on machine instruction and since these classes are one on one, they can be scheduled most afternoons during the week and weekend.
Most new machines will do zig-zag, blind hem, mending stitches, buttonholes, and some decorative stitches. I personally like electronic machines since stitch selection is automatic. I also recommend a machine that has a front drop in bobbin since it is much easier to operate.
Accessories and sewing machine feet make your sewing machine have additional strengths. Take a look at some pieces Jenny’s Sewing Studio offers. You may consider them for your machine.
The walking foot helps keep layers even and feed together as you see. Consider the walking foot for top stitching and quilting. I always use the walking foot to sew bindings in place.
Seams sew easy is a rather new sewing foot that gives you a gauge for the seam allowance. Place the gauge at 5/8″ for regular sewing or 3/8″ for a top stitch. This foot helps you sew straight and look more professional.
The pearls and piping foot is a real helpful guide. I really like using 1/4″ prepacked piping to make a pillow or finish a lapel. Piping makes the edge turn so much better. Make the piping match or make it contrast. The piping foot keeps you on track when you place the piping in the groove.
A lot of sewers like inserting an invisible zipper. The invisible zipper foot is now a snap on foot. Just press the zipper coil to flatten the curve and use the grooved foot to install the zipper. It is fast and easy.
This foot has a lot of skills. The groove under the foot allows 5/32″ cording or beading to flow through the foot with ease as you sew down your piping or cording or beading. Since I pipe a lot of pillow edges and pipe most facings and linings, I use the beading and piping foot a lot. The foot is available at 1/2 price on our web site and will fit most makes and models that have a wide bar for snap on. Most Juki, Brother, Baby Lock, Janome and Singer domestic machines work with the foot. I also have the double piping foot that is on sale. You can use this foot for sewing the cord to the left or right of center. Again most machines will work with this foot. It also really helps to have a needle position adjustment to get in close to the cord. Most electronic sewing machine will adjust needle position by placing the machine in straight stitch and adjusting the width. See the double piping foot by clicking here!
Need a sewing class to show you how to make and apply piping? Take Jenny’s Pillow class today.
The sewing machine extension slide on table is one of my favorite sewing accessories. It gives the sewer so much more room to support the fabric as you sew or quilt. I always say that the better your equipment the better the sewing will end up. A popular Singer sewing table is now in stock. See if it fits your machine.
If you are a sewer or a quilter you know the support of a sewing table really helps you sew better. The bed extension holds the weight of your garment or quilt so that when you stitch, the project is not working against you. Another thing to say about a bed extension is that it makes sewing physically easier on you.
I offer several options for sewers in bed extensions. Alphasew offers a Universal bed extension that is easily adjusted to work with must home sewing machines. Also notice the accessory storage that puts you most used items at your fingertips. For a limited time I am offering the Alphasew extension table at a great savings. Save 20% off the universal Alpha table. Use JENalpha when you checkout at our shopping cart. Use this link to see all our sewing machine extension tables.
Another option you may want to check out is the sew steady table that is available in 3 sizes. The sew steady table is a special order item and is custom made for your sewing machine model. Allow at least 2 weeks for delivery.
During a recent class I had several students who were trying to use the rotary cutter to cut 2 1/2″ strips for a quilt. The ruler kept slipping and the strips were cut crooked. I have experience using a cutter and ruler so completed their strip cutting. I then went shopping for something that may help in the future keeping the ruler from slipping for beginners cutters who are not used to how to apply pressure to the cutter and ruler. I found it with InvisiGrip. I applied the thin cut membrane to my ruler and it worked. The students loved it and there was no ruler sliding and slipping. I recommend this product to everyone!
Lately we have all seen products that you can color with like you were a child, except now you can stay in the lines. I think I will try some of these wonderful stress relievers. Here are some products that might help you be as creative as you would like to be. These are items that would make a great stocking stuffer for Christmas. The only problem I see with these creative tools is what to do with all the finished pictures. I guess I could give them as gifts.