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Cute T-shirt for young girl using shirring and machine appliqué triple-stitch peace sign design

My daughter recently picked out some super ugly knit fabric at Walmart for I think about $1. She was asking me to make her something out of it and I thought it might not be so ugly once I discovered this great tutorial on the Meringue Designs website. (I am huge fan of Meringue Designs and have blogged about her machine embroidery designs in the past, but I had never followed any of her sewing tutorials). The tutorial I am referring to is for how to make a girls T-shirt inspired by a t-shirt from the brand Tea.

The shirt is designed to be made with a knit fabric. What makes it so cute is the light gathering around the high waist. The gathering is done via a shirring technique. Meringue designs referrers it’s visitors to a shirring tutorial on the ruffles and stuff blog, which is another great sewing tutorial site.

After cutting out the fabric – I appliqued a peace sign on the front of the shirt – using the triple-stitch peace sign design I digitized a few weeks ago. Then I was ready to start shirring.

Shirring requires the use of elastic thread. When I tried to purchase the elastic thread at Make it Sew fabrics in St. Louis, the woman who helped me told me that the only way I could get the shirring to work was to buy the Guttermann brand of elastic thread (which they happened to be out of stock of – ugh!) She also told me that I would also need a special presser foot for my Bernina to do the shirring.

I opted not to buy the presser foot and ended up buying the elastic thread at Walmart. I simply followed the directions in the Ruffles and Stuff tutorial which told me to wind the elastic thread in my bobbin. Well – guess what – the lady at Make it Sew was wrong. I didn’t need no stinkin’ Number 6 presser foot or Gutterman brand elastic thread!  The techniques described in the Ruffles and Stuff tutorial worked great.

My daughter loves her new T-shirt. Thank you very much to Ruffles and Stuff and Meringue Designs for the great tutorials. If you are interested in my triple stitch peace sign applique design, please contact me.

T-shirt created from tutorial on Meringue Designs blog
T-shirt created from tutorial on Meringue Designs blog
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How do I keep track of my different needle types when embroidering on different fabric types

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Keeping track of your different needle types for machine embroidery

I have been frequently changing the needle type on my embroidery machine because I embroider on many different fabric types. Lately I have it embroidered on denim, knit, broadcloth, fleece, etc… I cannot easily tell on visual inspection what needle type it is,  so I try to be religious about putting the needle back in it’s appropriate case. But I don’t always remember.

So I came up with a brilliant solution to differentiate the different needle types from one another: Color on the top of the needle with a different colored Sharpie marker. It just occurred to me that I should mark the case with the same color! Voila! Now I can easily tell my different needle types apart.


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Super Cute Applique Letter T-shirt Dresses

20130102-085532.jpgThe appliqué t-shirt letter project was not just for the boys. Back in October, I found myself in need of a birthday gift for my friend’s two-year-old daughter. So i scoured my sewing room and found a little pink t-shirt and yards of whimsical striped cotton fabric that I inherited from my sister-in-law who decided not to use it for one of her projects.

I created a pattern for the letter “M” by printing it out at a large scale. I then pinned the M to a scrap of white t-shirt fabric that I had ironed on to some Heat’n Bond Iron on Adhesive. I peeled off the backing on the letter and stuck it to the t-shirt. I then slowly stitched the letter onto the t-shirt.

To complete the dress I simply sewed on the gathered skirt to the bottom of the t-shirt. Looks pretty cute, huh? The most satisfying part of the project was that it was made completely from remnants in my sewing room. For Christmas, I made 5 more of these dresses for friends and nieces and 2 more for birthday gifts.




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How to Use Buttons as Decor on Pillows

Button tooth fairy pillow for my little boy
Button tooth fairy pillow for my little boy

I discovered this awesome blog which inspired the tooth fairy pillow I made for my young son. The pillow is a neutral, coarse off-white cotton. The buttons I used were high contrast primary colors. It goes perfectly in his newly redesigned big boy room.

To get the shape of the T, I simply created a T image that was quite large in PhotoShop. I printed the image, cut out the shape and traced it on the front of the pillow. I think started sewing on buttons within the shape of the T.

The blog is AWESOME. So many great ideas and inspiration.

Buttons can be used in a lot of different applications. Think about what you could do with buttons on a sweater, the border of a skirt… endless possibilities.


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