The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Doing as the Professionals Do and An Autumn Freebie

Over the years, I have found that there are only a few rules that I need to live with. I get by just remembering to treat others as I want to be treated, and when in doubt, take the high road. The very last rule I like to use is, follow what the professionals do. For instance, have you noticed that nearly all laundromats have front loading machines? Why do we buy the top loaders? Well, I switched to a front loader and have found so many benefits that I will never go back to top loading. 

The professional, collegiate, and even the 'PeeWee' groups have great fan items to wear in the team colors. One of the things I see frequently is that the professionally produced designs are (digitized especially for heavy fabric and heavy applique) raised applique for some of the items. That is, a filler is inside the design making it stand away from the fabric.

I want to emulate that type of embroidery but it will be on a somewhat lighter scale. I don't have anything digitized to meet the professional criteria. But I do want my embroidery to have depth.

Here is an example of a very terrific set of leaves on a sweatshirt. If it would have been done with some (possibly) foam padding, it would have been even better.

BTW, I was in O'Hare Airport in Chicago a few years ago when I heard some men saying "ASU, ASU, ASU" in a soft but proud voice. It wasn't until I was on the plane that I realized that I was wearing my ASU Sweatshirt and they were acknowledging me. I laughed and felt sad I did not acknowledge them.

I had done a simple 'foam' monogram that you might want to check out. My sample today will be a "discovery sew" that includes the foam and an old necktie. I am sure those go together, right?

Your freebie this time is a great, generic football helmet. You choose your team's colors and stitch with those. Here are some instructions that you will need.

  • There is only one stitch line color/design part for the placement/outline/tack down portion of the design. You will use it once, twice or more depending on how many pieces you use for your design. I used it 4 times as you will see.
  • This design is an applique type, but not necessarily for use with 'foam' or something to add depth to your project. To accommodate the 3mm (1/8") of the foam, I did loosen the tension to -2 on my Innov-is to better facilitate that thickness. Check your machine's manufacturer's instructions for how to handle that.
  • Remember that a wearable design always needs a 'cut-away stabilizer' to stand up to the washings it will be taking.

  • I am placing the 'base' fabric (which will be fleece on the sweatshirt) on top. This is generally opposite of what you would normally do in an applique project. This single stitching is both a placement for the fabric I want to place on top and a tack down on top of the foam. You cannot really see that it is elevated at this time.

  • I took apart an old necktie that I really liked because it was a really perfect example of Paisley. I am placing it on the placement line above and will do another tack down for the Paisley and remove the excess fabric.

  • I did not cut the silk tie fabric close enough because I felt it was a little fragile, it ended up peaking out of the design, but this is just a 'test' so it is not a problem. I began doing the design.

  • If this were my final project, I would be cutting the stray pieces you can see here. You cannot see it in the photo, but the rise of the helmet is now very visible in person.

  • Trim the stabilizer leaving about  12mm or 1/2" around the design. My stabilizer already feels soft, but if yours does not, a washing or two will soften it. Look at the inside of a design on the 'professional' sweatshirts to see how it is exactly done.

This is going to look terrific on a jersey or sweatshirt in your favorite colors. There are 8 colors in the helmet and one in the writing.

With a few adjustments, I am very delighted with my outcome.

See Freebie Here: (209.3KB)
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