Right off the bat let me apologize for completely, totally, 100% getting off schedule this week. I’ve been sidelined by a nasty cold, and it forced me to slow down and take a little break. Now, if these posts had been mostly done more in advance of the publish date, this wouldn’t have happened, but I’ve been working down to the wire lately so here we are. That’s another thing I’m adding to my resolutions list for 2018: stay head of the game. Avoiding stress and headaches is a good thing, right?
As a brand ambassador for HUSQVARNA VIKING® this year, I’ve dedicated two blog posts per quarter to the machine I’ve taken for a test drive that season: one that highlights the machine itself and all the cool things it can do, and one that shows you everything I’ve made on it – or highlights a specific project. I tried to space these posts out so that they didn’t both go live at the same time, but the past couple of months have been so crazy busy and great that I haven’t been able to do that. All of that to say that I’m wrapping up 2017’s blog posts with a double dose of sewing machine love, and today I’m showing what I made with the DESIGNER EPIC™ sewing and embroidery machine.
All year, I’ve been working my way up the line of sewing and embroidery machines, so I knew the last one I’d get would be at or near the best of the best – so I saved a very special project for it. The DESIGNER EPIC™ is what I got, and it is the most magnificent sewing and embroidery machine I have ever used. The embroidery capabilities are especially top notch.
I’ve had the idea for this jacket for months, and when I bought the fabric for this dress in May I also knew I wanted a jacket out of it. For the pattern, I went with McCall’s 7549, because you put the jacket together in small sections – so I knew I could hoop each one and embroider in one go without having to worry about re-hooping and getting the embroidery perfectly straight. (I’m still a newbie at this, y’all.)
I wanted a mix of designs, but I also wanted them to all work together. Half the battle was already won because I used solid black embroidery thread throughout. So right off the bat there was cohesion simply because the color was consistent. I spent a lot of time researching jackets and coats with black embroidery, but there’s not a lot out there to reference, so I was pretty much on my own. I knew I wanted medallions on the sleeves, so that was a great starting point and I just picked the other designs to fit in with the medallions.
Putting the pieces together was incredibly exciting. All of the designs on this jacket came from one of two places: the DESIGNER EPIC™ itself (it’s loaded with more than 650 designs) or the PREMIER+™ EXTRA software. I used the software to create the borders along the hem of the sleeves, bottom of the jacket, and front band.
This was the most fun I have ever had making something, maybe ever. The challenge of picking the designs and putting them together coupled with only having about a yard and a half of this fabric to work with (couldn’t mess up too much or I would have run out of fabric!) and keeping the embroidery on grain and cut out so that both sides were balanced and symmetrical was absolutely exhilarating. I would take videos and send them to my parents, and we would just marvel at what this machine was doing. It was a blast. I can’t wait to do it again!
I measured each piece and created the border designs based on those measurements. The biggest hoop I have is the DESIGNER™ Imperial Hoop (360x260mm), so I had to be careful that each design fit onto that hoop. Again, I’m still a newbie and didn’t trust myself to re-hoop. (Definitely laughing at myself about that. I think I could handle it next time. Maybe.)
I separated each piece with black bias tape (no black piping on hand, so that was suitable alternative), and I really love how that makes everything pop even more. One thing I’ve learned during this process is to keep an eye on resizing designs. Increasing or decreasing 10-20% is fine, but I really stretched that guideline a couple of times.
I’m glad I saved this project for the DESIGNER EPIC™, because it made it so easy. The fun thing about embroidery is being able to just stand back and watch the machine do all the work. I can see areas for improvement (practice makes perfect), but this project cemented my fascination with embroidery, and my imagination is running a mile a minute at the possibilities. Embroidered hems, polka dot embroidery on a jacket, embroidery with sequin and rhinestone embellishment, whimsical embroidery on a blouse, and dresses with colorful, inspiring designs, or classics with monochrome embroidery.
There’s a lot of things I’m pretty good at, but embroidery is a whole new world for me. I’m officially hooked, and I feel very, very lucky that I was able to dive into it with the DESIGNER EPIC™. If you’re interested in exceptional embroidery, I would recommend checking out this machine. And, if you’re a current owner and have lots of experience under your belt, I’d love to hear from you! Tips, tricks, what you like, what you really like – tell me!
Tomorrow I’ll be back with an overview of this incredible machine. And there won’t be any delays this time – I’m down to the last day of the year! Ha! 🙂
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