Free Design of the Month for August - Sundress with Embroidered Accents
There’s still plenty of warm summer weather left to enjoy! Why not make the most of it by sewing your own custom sundress embellished with embroidered accents? I started by selecting an embroidery pattern with wide straps and a front band. The featured narrow strips are perfect to showcase the elegant embroidery design. These embroidery instructions show you two easy ways to embroider on narrow pieces. Follow along and learn how to add a special touch to your custom-made clothing. Are you ready? Let’s sew!
Materials and supplies for desk tray:
- Brother sewing and embroidery machine. Note: A single design motif fits within a 4-inch hoop. Stitching multiple motifs with this size hoop will require multiple hooping's. To stitch multiple motifs in just one hooping, this project was created using a 5” X 7” inch hoop for the front band and the 8” X 12” hoop for the straps.The achine featured in this project is the Brother Luminaire.
- SA5810 medium-weight tear-away stabilizer for stabilizing interfaced front band.
- SA5815 medium-weight adhesive-backed tear-away stabilizer for embroidering on strips cut for straps.
- Embroidery threads embroidery bobbin threads.
- Size 11- 12 needle for embroidering. Note: I prefer non-stick needles when embroidering with a sticky back tear-away stabilizer. Standard embroidery needles may require cleaning with rubbing alcohol to remove adhesive build-up during the stitching process.
- Wash away marking pencil, pen, or chalk. Note: Test the marker in an inconspicuous spot before using it to make sure marks are completely removable.
- Fabric, notions, and pattern for a sundress with wide straps and flat front band area for adding embroidered embellishment. I selected new look pattern #6446. Disclaimer: New Look Pattern is a product of Simplicity Pattern Company Inc. Brother International Corporation makes no representations or warranties regarding such products.
- Brother Free Design of the month, See Figure #1 below.
Note: I chose to stitch the design using just one color.
Instructions for sundress:
- Gather your supplies. See selected lightweight denim fabric, pattern, and tear-away stabilizer in Figure #2a.
- The embroidery instructions include a couple of different ways to embroider a narrow design on a small piece of fabric. Let’s start with method one.The method I used for the front band piece. Note that this method may require purchasing a small amount of additional yardage.
• By using a printed template, I determined that the band piece had enough room for two motifs embroidered end to end, with one of the motifs rotated and mirror imaged. As an alternative, you can also use careful measuring to see if designs will fit your selected area.
• Next, I cut a piece of the fashion fabric, backed with medium weight fusible interfacing, cutting the piece slightly larger than the pattern and sizing the piece to fit a 5” X 7” hoop. See Figure #3.
• Trace the pattern in the center of the oversized fabric piece, mark the center of the front band, and then remove the pattern piece. See Figure #4.
• Use template grid included with 5” X 7” hoop to align fabric in the center of the hoop and securely hoop fabric. See Figure #5a and Figure #5b. Embroidery Tip: Keep the fabric straight in the hoop but don’t worry if you are slightly off center. This can be corrected using jog keys on the machine to fine-tune position before embroidering.
• Remove the grid. Cut a piece of tear-away stabilizer to slip underneath the hoop while embroidering this piece. See Figure #6.
• At the machine, create a combination design using two motifs placed end to end with the second motif rotated 180 degrees and mirror imaged. Place the hoop on embroidery machine and use the layout function and arrow keys to adjust so the needle points directly to the center marking. See Figure #7a and Figure #7b.
• Embroider design, then remove from the hoop and tear away excess stabilizer. See Figure #8a and Figure #8b.
• Place pattern over embroidery and cut piece with design aligned in the center. See Figure #9a and Figure #9b.
- I used a second method for the straps, securing strap pieces to adhesivebacked stabilizer and using a larger hoop to embroider both straps. Tips: When using a sticky stabilizer, it is impossible to use the template grid for perfect positioning. However, by placing the hoop on a gridded table mat, you can see through the stabilizer and position the narrow strips so they are perfectly parallel and perpendicular to the hoop. This makes it easy to embroider narrow designs on narrow strips of fabric. You can use this method on any hoop included with Brother embroidery machines. Of course, if you have a camera and other features such as a projector, you can take advantage of using them to perfect your design placement.
- Remove any markings before pressing your embroidered strips. Now you’re ready to construct the sundress with your embellished pieces, using pattern instructions to complete your garment. Enjoy your beautiful, embroidered sundress!
• Hoop adhesive-backed tear-away stabilizer with the shiny side of the paper facing up. I used the 8” X 12” hoop, embroidering three motifs at a time to fill the main area on the straps. Lightly score the paper and peel away the protective sheet to expose adhesive. See Figure #10.
• Create a combination design for the straps. I spaced three motifs approximately ½-inch apart. See example of completed combination design in Figure #11.
Tip: You will need to re-hoop for additional motifs if you are using a smaller hoop. Mark the center of the design for each new motif and maintain the same spacing so motifs are consistently spaced.
• Mark a center positioning line on the fabric strip, placing the line between the fold line of the strap and the stitching line for seam allowance. You will need to align the center of the design combination along the center line drawn on the fabric. Place hoop over gridded mat with center notches of hoop aligned with a center grid line on the mat. Carefully attach strips to stabilizer with raw edges of strips aligned with center line of hoop. Note that front edge of strap is positioned at the bottom of the hoop. See Figure #12.
Tip: If you are using a smaller hoop, you’ll need to stitch one strip at a time, aligning the center marking with the center of the hoop. As an alternative,you can use method one to embroider one motif at a time until you have enough to fit your strip.
• Place the hoop on the machine. Move the design using jog keys, aligning design so center of design lines up with drawn center line, and beginning of design is slightly above the seam line where the strap attaches to the front band. I used the trial key and laser to help adjust the position. See example in Figure #13.
• Embroider first combination design on strip positioned on left-hand side of the hoop. When finished, mirror image design and move it so it’s aligned to stitch in the identical marked location on the second strip. Note: It is possible to create two sets of the combination design and stitch all at once. However, I find it more foolproof to stitch one at a time, positioning each one separately. See completed pieces in Figure #14.
• Carefully remove strips from stabilizer and peel away excess from fabric.
Tip: This sundress pattern and many other current patterns feature concealed zippers for the closure. Watch Brother sponsored It’s Sew Easy TV show and learn how to effortlessly insert a concealed zipper. https://www.youtu.be/qsKU9QSR7X8
Tip: Optional but helpful embroidery tip: print an embroidery template using Brother software to view the position of your design. This is especially important if you’re use a different pattern with different strip dimensions. See an example of a printed design template with a shoulder strap pattern, showing lines marked for both seamline and fold line in Figure #2b.