Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Embroidering on Faux Leather ..

When I posted my Sewing Kate Tote on Facebook I was asked numerous times how I know where and how to place my embroidery designs on my projects. So I figured it was time to do a little tutorial & share how I do it.

 Since every embroidery machine is a bit different I'm not going to going to details on how to use your embroidery machine, I am assuming you have learned how to do that.  If you haven't it's time to dig out your manual and learn since you are missing out on a whole lot of fun!!

I use the program Essentials by Embrillance ( and Thumbnailer ..a must have but that's another topic) I have no affiliation with them, they are not paying me to say nice things, I bought the program myself..I just love it since it's easy, Mac compatible and affordable. This is what I use to view, edit & print out my designs.

** I always cut my fabric piece abit larger ( 1/2" -1") then the pattern piece in case the design pulls the fabric smaller or in case my placement is off a bit I still have "playroom'" to move my design.

For me the hardest part is always deciding which design to use. Once I had decided on the design I print it out and place it on my pattern where I think I want it.

I cut the design out of the paper (roughly), makes it easier to handle.
In the middle of the design there are crosshairs which mark the center of your design. This is you orientation point !! Point X !
I place the pattern on my fabric where I would like it to be.
Then I fold the paper along the crosshairs and make a mark on my fabric where the center mark is.
Now you have the middle point on your design.
Since I embroider a lot on faux suede / leather .. I will be showing how to hoop it.
You can't hoop faux leather so you have to "float' it...which means hooping your stabilizer  and floating your fabric on top. ( I use stitch 'n' tear because I am lazy to use a cutout ! LOL)

I hoop the stabilizer then I spray 505 basting spray on the stabilizer.

Now comes the tricky part...if you can't move the center point on your machine (on my Janome MC 500E I can, so this is easier for me then on some machines )  There are 4 little Nibs on your hoop that are center orientation marks. Try to line it up as best as you can with them. Press the fabric down on the sprayed stabilizer ( this will hold it in place during stitching)

** If you can not move the center point on your machine...
then you are going have to try and line up the center marks on our fabric with the template grid that came with your hoop. Move your fabric till you can see the crosshairs in the center hole. Press the fabric down onto the spray baste stabilizer so it holds it in place...this is floating !

If your machine allows you to move your design in the hoop you have it easier since you only have to "float" your faux leather in the hoop as close to the center mark as you can get and your machine will let you move it to the exact mark ( check your manual on how to do it on your machine ). On my machine it has these arrows that let me move the center starting point of the design till my needle lines up with it.

Now that you have your fabric in the hoop....centered ...all you have to do is press the Start button and enjoy watching your design stitch.

Once the design is done...remove it from the hoop ( remove the stabilizer carefully from the back side of your design)....trim the piece down to the size you need ...using the center chalk mark as your reference.

Wasn't that easy!!??

Hope this takes some of the mystery out of hooping on faux leather/suede and that you will dust off your embroidery machine and give it a try!! She is dying to make beautiful things with you!! LOL

Happy Stitching !!

If you have any other question feel free to ask!

Embroidery designs : Tape measure & scissors are Urban Threads
                                 : Tomato, Thimble & Spools are Embroidery Library
                                 : The safety pin & pins are unknown ??
                                 : Words were added to the designs with Essentials program

Monday, August 8, 2016

Kate..the Carry All Tote..

lately it seems like the only time I manage to post on my Blog is when I have a new pattern coming out. Unfortunately it is true ( pattern writing takes up a lot of my time and any free time I do find I like to spend it sewing, in my garden or with my hubby (not necessary listed in order of importance but not far from the truth! LOL )

A lot of you may not know this but I go to Aqua-jogging 2-3 times a week. I had a basic bag for my towel & co. So I decided it was time to make me a proper swimming bag....it had to be water-resistant, BIG, quick to sew ...Kate was born !
As all my pattern it is made of Faux Leather, vinyl tablecloth for the lining and some nylon webbing.
This is a BIG tote...14" H x 24" W x 5" D !! It is perfect to hold all your swimming, beach, picnic or shopping supplies.

I was inspired by the Mondrian design ( color blocking design)  I saw on the British Sewing Bee.  It got me thinking..it would be fun to make a bag with colorful pieces and it was.
The prototype one was this blue & green version ( those are the colors of faux leather I had in my stash)  and it matched my bathing suit ! Later I ordered the fun yellows, pinks & spring green  for the above one.

 the exterior has a secret pocket ...for dropping your keys or sunglass in ..
..the large interior zipper pocket holds my shampoos, creams & brush....in there is also a small slip pocket for my membership card to the swimming hall.
 As you can see...the interior is HUGE ! ..I wanted a big tote I could just drop all my swimming stuff in! ( some of my german readers will probably recognize the lining fabric...it is photo printed tablecloth that was on sale by Aldi not so long ago...makes a great bag lining !!LOL)
If you would like to make your own Kate Carry All Tote..you can grab a copy on Craftsy ...the pattern is on SALE for $4.95 only till tomorrow ( RSP$6.95)
This instructions are aimed for sewing with faux leather but I have also included tips for sewing with cotton.  The pattern is classified as an Intermediate pattern ...not due to the difficulty but due to the size ! There is only 1 seam in this bag which means you need room around your sewing table to maneuver !  If you don't believe me...check out Christine's blog post about sewing Kate !
Not a faux leather fan.....Kate also looks great in fabric !
This is made from a combinations of linen, burlap, decorator & upholstery fabrics.
Happy Sewing!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Isobel....& SALE !!

is my newest design
Isobel....the Grab & Go Crossbody Bag!

For my everyday bag I prefer a cross-body bag....I love to have my hands free but I need pockets and lots of them...so this is what I came up with.
The bag is 11"H x 10"W x 3" D ( it will hold an iPad) 
 This bag has a wraparound pocket, a front zipper pocket and more pleated pocket on the inside.
 It has a lovely adjustable buckle strap or you can make the adjustable strap with O-ring version.

Like all my patterns it is written with faux leather in mind but you can be made with cottons as you will see from the lovey examples the testers made!! I will do a separate post in a couple of days (after my birthday celebration).
There are no words for these great ladies...they outdid themselves so that I could bring the pattern out in time for my Birthday... Thank you ladies !! Your the best!!!

Let's Celebrate with a SALE 

...today is my 55th birthday and what better way then to have a sale on my new pattern...
...for 24hr ONLY Isobel will be in sale for $5.50 ( reg. $8.95)

You can get the pattern on Craftsy !

Happy Birthday to me!!!!

Wondering about the name......this is the "real" Isobel 
I didn't have a name for the bag when I was designing it and one of my testers said..."my daughter would love to have a bag named after her."...that is how the pattern got its name!  
It is named after this special girl in England ...Isobel!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

BIG Pocket ..

....for those BIG cell phones!!

I had some requested for how I made the big pocket in my Up, Up & Away Passport Wallet.

When I first designed the Up, Up & Away Passport Wallet, I designed it so that cell phones
up to the size of an iPhone 6 would fit. Who knew everyone would be getting BIGGER phones !! (myself included) Which caused me to have to make a bigger pocket for the wallet. This pocket is the full width of the wallet.
If your cell phone does not fit into this pocket than you should stop calling it a cell phone...its an iPad!!

As requested ..........Up, Up & Away Passport Wallet with a full length pocket!!

These instructions are to be used in combination with the Up, up & away Passport Wallet 2  pattern. 
These instructions are just for the pocket ...not the wallet !!

Due to the thickness of the faux leather this pocket is only a zippered pocket without the extra slip pocket ( as in pattern version 2). If you wish the extra slip pocket, use these measurements but follow the directions in the pattern and only use cottons! Faux leather is to thick for both!

Cut your Exterior, Lining & Passport Pocket pieces as listed in the patterns instructions.

Prepare the pockets for the left side of the wallet as instructed in the pattern.
The only thing I did different is that I used faux leather for the front of one to the pockets ( Pocket piece 1 - lining) . *Do not use faux leather for all of the passport pockets, it will be way to thick to sew !
As you can see from the picture I even cut the fabric for Pocket Piece 2 - Lining & Pocket Unit Backing upside down ..since you are not going to really see them and I didn't have enough fabric to be fussy! LOL

For the new larger pocket...you will need:


  • 1 - 8 3/4" W x 9 1/2" H - faux leather for exterior of zipper pocket
  • 1 - 7 1/2" W  x 9 1/2" H - lining- cotton
  • 2  - 1" x 1" - zipper tabs - faux leather
  • 1  8-9" - #3 zipper
  • Teflon Foot
  • FabriTac glue or double-stick tape 

*** If using cotton instead of faux leather you may wish it interface the pieces as stated in the pattern.

** If you are using a direction fabric...instead of faux leather .. the 9 1/2" side is the height of the pocket so your design should run up & down.

SA = Seam Allowance
RS = Right Side
WS = Wrong Side
RSO = Right Side Out

Lets Sew:

1- Basically you will be preparing the zipper like in the instruction except you don't have to turn the raw edges under with faux leather. Place one of the zipper tabs 1/4" in from the end of your zipper, WS on top of the RS of the zipper ( raw edge of faux leather showing) Glue or double-stick tape in place.

....Topstitch in place.
2. Place the second zipper tab on the other end of the zipper...making sure the total length ( end of tab to end of tab) is 9 1/2" long. Topstitch in place.
3. Trim off the extra zipper so it is only 1/4" from the stitched edges. This reduces bulk in your tabs.

4. Lay the WS of the Zipper on the RS of the Lining fabric ( along the 9 1/2" edge). 
    Baste zipper in place.

 5. Press the Lining away from the zipper teeth down towards lining piece.
6. Lay the long side (9 1/2")  WS of faux leather on top of RS of zipper, gluing or double-stick tape it in place. (your lining piece will be shorter than you exterior piece...do not panic..this is correct!
The back side will look like this 

.....Topstitch along the edge.

7. Take the other end of Pocket lining piece RS, bring it up the WS of zipper, creating a tube.
    Baste in place.
 ...... the back should look like this.
8. Working from the RS of the faux leather ...bring the bottom edge of the faux leather up to the zipper edge that you had just basted in the previous step. RST. Once again you are creating a tube.
.....Stitch with a 1/4" SA.
......now you will have 2 tube like pockets. The lining one will be shorter!  This is correct !
9. Press the seam towards the faux leather side. Turn RSO.
10. Fold /roll the faux leather down around the zipper SA...creating an edge/lip. Use a few clips to  hold it in place.
11. Topstitch along the folded edge.
***your pocket lining will be shorter than the exterior fabric inside of the pocket...this is correct ! 
12. Following the patterns instructions...Lay your new pocket on the lining as stated in the pattern. Clip in place.

13. Stitch along the long folded edge of your pocket attaching it to the lining piece. Baste the short edges to the lining.
Viola your interior is complete!!
...continue as stated in the pattern.

**Tip...when I lay my Exterior & Lining pieces together. I make small stitching guidelines with a Frixion pen, so that I know exactly where to stop with my needle to make a nice sharp corner.

14. Once you have sewing the Exterior & Lining pieces RST and have turned it RSO ...it is going to look awful like this! Don't panic!! Give it a press using a pressing cloth.
15. Close the turning opening with some FabriTac glue or double-stick tape. 
Topstitch from the faux leather side, using your teflon foot & lengthening your stitch length!

Your Passport wallet is done!! Time to book that vacation now!!

These also make great Father's Day Gifts!!!

Happy Sewing !


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