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Forum > Creative Sewing > Maximizing the look of decorative stitches ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Maximizing the look of decorative stitches
best threads, etc?
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 9/21/12 2:11 PM

I've browsed a little through the two long threads on decorative stitches (the adult garments one in this forum, and another from about 7 years ago), but didn't quite see my question addressed.

I'm making a period chemise from some lovely embroidered muslin (see it here.) The body of the chemise will be the embroidered fabric; and the collar, cuffs, and ruffles will be plain muslin--the ruffles with a contrast rolled hem (serger).

I'd like to add some decorative stitching to the collar stand, similar to what I did here.

...But I'm finding that the stitches don't have the same "oomph" in the lighter brown thread, as they did with black. I realize there are limitations to what these stitches can do, but I'm wondering what *I* can do to make them look their best! Should I use a bulkier thread (what kind)? Etc?

I'd love to hear your best decorative stitches tips!

Thanks!!


-- Edited on 9/21/12 2:12 PM --

------
~Gem in the prairie

mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/21/12 7:30 PM

Craftsy.org has a decorative stitches class that is good. Also the Bernina website has some instructions and PDF's on their website. I'm in the process of making a stitch bible. They recommended using heavy thread, but quit and started over using poly embroidery thread on the front and prewound embroidery bobbins on the back. Also they recommend adjusting the tensions (loosening the top a little).

Kenneth King recommends using two spools of thread (and threading it through one needle) and a top=stitching needle for a stronger effect.
-- Edited on 9/21/12 7:32 PM --

------
Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

Pj3g
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Pj3g  Friend of PR
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 9/22/12 10:19 AM

Your fabric is gorgeous! And so is the collar you made!!! Beautiful!

Decorative stitches! My favorite! Oh how I love them! However, the hardest part with having many is deciding which to use and in what color!

Way back before I had so many deco stitches I used to do needlework and cross stitch, but why when SM's do it all so perfectly.

Combining rows of stitches and flipping stitches (mirror imagining) can really be eye popping. Here is the Bernia Stitch Recipe Exchange to give you some ideas. They're beautiful. Some look like ribbon in the middle. And that is something that can be done with ribbon also--attach one side of a ribbon with a deco stitch and then mirror image that stitch along the other side of the ribbon.

Another idea for deco stitches is to blend threads--use two complimentary or contrasting threads in one needle. Use a topstitching needle for that as the eye of the needle is bigger and handles 2 threads at once.

And then there is twin needle deco stitches with two complimentary or contrasting threads. I LOVE the piping and twin needle stitches on the jacket in this Pfaff Smarter clip About 30 seconds into the video they will show you extreme close-ups of the twin needle stitches and then comes a clip of a 'Designed by' patch with an example of individual mirrored-imaged stitches.

Remember to think outside the box. For instance, on these inserts I made and put in valences, the orange flower center is the period (from my alphabet stitches) plus a lockstitch. I moved from flower center to flower center and after I was done I cut off the connecting stitches. So really, the possibilities are endless with deco stitches especially if your SM has mirror imaging and elongation.

------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

Pj3g
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Pj3g  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/22/12 10:45 AM

Just an FYI--if a closer view is wanted of someone's sewing or stitches this is what to do:

Along the task bar where it says, File Edit View etc.
Click on View
Go down to Zoom
And click on 200 or 400%

That enlarges your screen for the closer look see. And then do the same to put your screen back to its original view.

Mine is usually set at 125% but I often like to see a close up of people's stitches especially when people on PR talk about the perfect straight stitch.



-- Edited on 9/22/12 10:47 AM --

------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Date: 9/22/12 11:09 AM

Last weekend I went to the Creative Stitches festival and in one of the seminars I attended, the facilitator, a Janome instrutor, talked about bobbin work. Janome makes a special bobbin case just for this... not sure about other brands.

Anyway, you can get some amazing stitches using this technique. Some can even look hand done, some much thicker and heavier using a heavier thread - or even ribbon in the bobbin. Check out this article from Threads Magazine on this topic.

I think this article explains it well and can give you some great ideas. But if you want more info, just goggle "bobbin work".

The hardest part might be to remember to sew good side to the bobbin to get the effect on the correct side of the garment.


-- Edited on 9/23/12 11:08 AM --

beauturbo
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 9/22/12 11:32 AM

Most 2 ply rayon embroidery threads sold at some places like Joann's or Hancocks fabrics are 40 weight, but the small ones marked Coats and Clarks tweed that look like two colors twisted together, for each strand are actually a little thicker 30 weight instead. If you use those for some fancy stitches, it will fill in and be denser, and show up more, and still probably without being so dense that it starts to clog up, and stitches start to pile up on top of each other. There is a two tone twisted brown (light and dark) of that kind of thread there. You can also put two threads (regular 40 weight) through one needle eye and still have it work good sometimes, especially if you can control the stitch density of a stitch. Also helps a lot to have extra thin on purpose bobbin fill in the bobbin.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 9/22/12 11:50 AM

Wow! You guys, this is awesome stuff! I will browse through it all more later, but I wanted to give a shout out to Jane for that awesome article on bobbin work! What a great idea to take hand embroidery floss (etc!) and wind it on the bobbin to give the stitches more oomph. The "Threads" article even showed the very stitch I was planning to use--and in brown, even! How serendipitous is that?

Can't wait to get started experimenting!

------
~Gem in the prairie

Pj3g
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<


Date: 9/22/12 11:55 AM

Quote: Canadian Jane
Last weekend I went to the Creative Stitches festival

Oh, lucky YOU!!! Now that sounds like great fun!

------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

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