Monday, October 4, 2010

This Guest Suggests...

Hi, I'm Amber, Diane's engineer daughter and guest host for this post. I currently live in Florida with my husband where we thoroughly enjoy the beach...
and where sights like this are not altogether uncommon:

But the real reason I was invited to post is because of some of my recent creations. Much to my mother's disappointment, I didn't inherit her sewing skills or fetish. Last Christmas, however, my husband and I decided to give some handmade gifts, I thought I'd try some embroidery. This is what we came up with for our nephews (based on Lego Star Wars and Batman characters):

I really enjoyed the stitching, and I am continuing it, primarily on onesies for baby gifts. This is a shirt I embroidered for a little friend who just loves animals. The giraffe is my favorite!


The whale onesie went to her little brother.
The space scene and river scene went to new babies.

There are a number of methods for transferring a design, but my favorite is Glad Press'n Seal.

It's pretty simple. First I sketch out my design on paper (which often involves browsing the Internet for ideas on how to portray a design, along with a lot of erasing). Then I apply a piece of Press'n Seal to the paper and trace the drawing using a ballpoint pen. Next I transfer the Press'n Seal to the onesie/shirt/tie/etc. I pick my colors, then stitch directly through the Press'n Seal. When the stitching is completed, I peel the Press'n Seal off. It sometimes sticks a bit in areas with small stitches, but a seam ripper or the back of a needle helps work it out.

These projects work up really quickly, especially after getting the design figured out. I also like them because they are easy to transport. I can work on them in the car, on the airplane, even at the beach. And bonus, the supplies aren't expensive. It just takes embroidery floss, a needle, a onesie, and a package of Press'n Seal (which you may already have in your kitchen).

A few disclaimers: I'm not sure how well these wash up (I always pre-wash and dry). Hand washing might help preserve the stitching, but who wants to hand wash a onesie? The final product would probably be more stable with some iron-on interfacing, but I don't like the stiffness. Also, this is by no means a product promotion for Press'n Seal. Finally, as you can probably tell, I am primarily working these designs in basic backstitch. I need to expand my stitch repertoire!

Thanks to Diane for letting me show off a little. I wish you all well from the sunshine state!

8 comments:

Judy said...

Wow, those are adorable! I'd say you inherited some of your moms talents.
I have to say too I love your sunshine state...especially in the winter months :)

Thimbleanna said...

Very, very CUTE! I love hand embroidery. And thanks for the great press 'n seal tip.

Allie said...

Those are just darling - love the lego characters! Stitching is very addictive, and it's wonderful how portable it is!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Well how fun to guest blog for Diane. I love your stitching!

Nancy said...

Hooray for guest bloggers and for stitching. I was going to say which one was my favorite- but I like them all so I can't name just one. Thanks for making this world a cuter place with your creativity.

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

Thanks for the tip about Press N Seal! I don't like (hate) to trace embroidery patterns onto cloth and this sounds like a good idea. I will try it.

kimandwendy said...

Really cute, guest and it is fun to see the picture of you and Tanner. Glad to hear you're doing well there in Floida. You guys should take a little trip to the South and come and visit us.

sewtakeahike said...

your embroidery is just adorable! thanks for the press and seal tip! I'm not much of a hand sewist, but maybe my heart will change some day!