Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Matching Embroidered Pockets-A Short Tutorial

 I promised a short tutorial on how I achieved my mirror image yet matching pockets for Baby brother's jacket in my last post. I am sure there is probably a lot easier method out there that I am not aware of, this worked. Being the giver I am, I'll share it with you.

First off, I cut out and interfaced a block of my jacket fabric before cutting out according to the pattern piece. The interfacing gave some support to the embroidery and by using a block larger than my intended pattern piece it gave me room for forgiveness. I used German interfacing available from many heirloom retailers.

Another prep step was, when I embroidered the second mouse, I horizontally "flipped" the image before stitching. I wanted my little mice to face each other. This can be either through the embroidery software or in the embroidery machine itself.

After my two blocks were embroidered I placed them wrong sides together. To make sure that both mice were even with each other, I pinned through both blocks around the embroidered design, matching the edges. When pinning under his feet for example, I made sure that the pin exited exactly under the bottom block at the same place as it shows on the top block. I hope that makes sense. I didn't take a picture of that step.

Then I needed to find my center. In finding the center, take into account the farthest edges of the whole design, in this case his tail. Otherwise your tail will end up right next to the edge while on the opposite side of the mouse you would have a large blank space from the outer edge to his paw. A space you wouldn't notice until the entire jacket was put together. Trust me.

After finding the center of your design, fold your pattern piece in half, matching cutting and stitching lines to find the pattern center. In this case the center just happened to be the grain line indicated on the pattern piece. How lucky is that?  I then marked on the pattern piece the stitching lines. I felt like marking the stitching line was more critical than the cutting line. Who cares where I cut it, if my stitching was off.

As described in my previous post, I altered the shape of the pocket, I rounded the bottom two corners and also took away the folded flap on the top of the pocket. This is my resulting pattern piece. Since it wasn't transparent as the tissue pattern piece I marked the seam lines on the new pattern piece as well. I matched the stitching lines on both the pattern piece and the embroidered blocks. (The chalk lines were very difficult to see in the picture so I "drew" the lines in with photoshop so you could see.) To avoid distorting my pattern on the blocks once I had the stitching lines matched, I taped the pattern to the fabric. Much more accurate. I then cut out both pockets simultaneously with a rotary cutter through both layers.

Voila! Two matching pockets. Visually it may be difficult to tell that the mouse is centered, but I measured from the tip of his paw to the seam line and from the outer most side of his tail to the seam line. They matched. I then piped and lined the pockets with the grey gingham.

The pockets were top stitched to the jacket fronts. Just big enough for little hands to hide treasure in.

I hope you are stitching something fun. I am off to finish pressing that 25 yards of Santa fabric. You should have seen the physical therapist's face when I told her! My goal is to iron with my left arm. We will see how that goes.

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