Friday, September 3, 2010

Sunshine Applique and a sewing machine that hates me.

Making an applique seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world. But for me, nothing is easy. Especially when my idiot sewing machine is involved.

I confess that I have recently learned how to say "applique" correctly. My mom and sister about died laughing when they heard me pronoune it "app-leek". In my defense, it is spelled like critique! Stop laughing. It's not like the average person has occasion to use that word much anyway.

"Hey Bob. How was your weekend?"
"Great, Sam. I was up to my neck in appli-KAYS. It was awesome."
"Man, don't I believe it!" just don't hear that around the office much.

1) Prepare the fabric. I ironed Heat N Bond onto the back of the fabric I would be using to make my appliKAY. I've learned that HnB works better at all if you let it cool completely before you take off the paper backing.

2) Next I cut a cardstock sunshine using my Cricut machine. This is what I will use to trace the pattern onto the fabric.

3) Trace the sunshine onto the back of the fabric and cut out.

4) Then I used a circle Spellbinder die run through my Cuttlebug machine on the orange fabric to cut out the center of the sunshine. Yes, I know people should be able to free-hand a circle but I use my dies as much as I can. When I figured out they could easily cut fabric, I was like "YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Why have a shakey wobbly hand-cut flat-tire-looking circle when I can have a perfectly round one in a matter of seconds?

5) Next I ironed the sunshine and it's center onto the outside of the onesie and some fusible interfacing onto the inside of the onsie. The interfacing makes fabric more sturdy for when I stitch around the shapes.

6) Finally I get to sew stuff. You might be wondering why I need to sew the sunshine even though I just ironed it onto the onesie. Well, I want to throw in some hot pink and I want it to look more finished. Plus, I think stitching around the edges helps prevent fraying or something like that.

So here is where my nightmare began. I'm happily sewing but realize the tension is set wrong because the white bobbin thread is showing. I pick out the thread. *Adjust tension* Start over.

Something is still wrong. Pick out more thread. *Adjust tension the other way* Start over. Yes, something is still wrong because at certain points the needle just won't come back out of the fabric like it is stuck on something. I check the underside of the garment. The freaking bobbin is all knotted up! What gives?

Apparently the tension was only half the problem. I was using embroidery thread and the spool didn't fit properly on the spool holder thingy so the thread was jerking and pulling around as the needle went up and down. Dang it! FINE. I'll pick out the thread AGAIN and use a different spool and a different section of the design. I am NO quitter.

*Happily sewing sewing sewing.*

Things seem to be going great. Until I flip the onesie over to check on the bobbin thread and see THIS. Gaah! *Bleeeeeeeep*

I gasp in horror at the idea of picking out the thread one more time. And I can feel the sewing machine mocking me. It's like it knows I'm about to lose it. Yet I carry on. Clipping away another failure but determined to finish what I started.

*more fiddling with the tension settings*

Well, finally I get the tension right and finish the project. Do you smell that? I believe it's called V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

I can't quite say whether it was worth it or not. This project should not have taken so long. But I did come out having learned some things about my sewing machine. And I do love prettifying my daughter's clothing, but when I walk through Target and see adorable clothing with elaborately stitched designs that I can buy for $7.00, yeah it kinda makes me wonder why I do this.

Yet on I go. I am NO quitter.

Until next time, stay pretty.


  1. So cut - love that appliKAY! Love your posts Bec - always make me COL!


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