Mostly resting my wrists after completing the dragons, but I whipped up another little freebie snap tab design. Apparently my lavender dragon was close enough to an Aerodactyl for someone, so one of these will get tucked in with that.
This isn’t much of an embroidery design; it’s just Ink/Stitch’s built-in font. But if I wore ball caps* and had a hat hoop, this is what I’d wear. Not in red** but maybe teal or purple. The file includes a 4×4 size for hats, and a 5×7 size for totes or whatever, in case you still haven’t tried Ink/Stitch out yourself.
*I wear sun hats; I was born a redhead and while my hair has darkened, my skin has not.
**For the obvious reason, but also because again, redhead coloring.
I’ve been resting my wrists a bit before working more on the art doll dragons; I’m a week or two late in getting them posted, but this batch is kind of a step up in complexity and I want to make sure they’re done right.
I’ve been restocking beanies and experimenting with different colors for the bronze and/or greens; those will likely show up in the limited-edition slot after the lavenders sell out.
When we realized the kid’s birthday fell on D&D night, clearly it was time to make some party favors (or if you prefer: hobbit-style birthday presents). I made use of the ampersand from the dice tray which, I just realized when I tried to link there, I never blogged about! Let me fix that briefly:
It’s pretty much the same as the Jayhawk version, scaled up. It’s a 4×4 inset, but the tray snaps to a little under 8×10 as I recall. I did the rest of the stitching on a conventional machine because, as you can see from the String Theory one above, you can barely squeak out a 3×3 tray doing it entirely in a 5×7 hoop.
Aaaaanyway, I should probably update that one and publish it too. I think I may have been planning to redo it as an applique first, because it is an absurd stitch count.
I remembered this when I scaled it down for the snap tab: making ten or fifteen of those would take forever and at the smaller size was just a little too muddy. I switched it to a bean outline and I’m much happier with it, other than picking out the stabilizer. (As you can see, the black one isn’t done but I decided to rinse it out instead.)
I also went to town with some other String Theory designs. The dice are larger than I really like (maxing out a 4×4 hoop) but it wasn’t worth making my own design just for the sake of this.
Appropriately, the critical-failure die gave me fits. Nothing wrong with the stitch file, it was either the vinyl or I might need to clean out the machine. It kept breaking thread. I rethreaded the bobbin a couple of times, then changed out the bobbin. It wrapped the top thread around its spindle a couple times. Then it broke the needle. Eventually I got it done, and then realized I hadn’t backed the stitching up enough and there was some missing satin stitching right in the middle of the 1. No problem, I thought, I haven’t unhooped so I’ll just run all the way back and pick it up.
Yeah, that doesn’t actually work when you’ve already put the backing on.
(Luckily I wasn’t doing this for the shop because that is NOT up to my quality-control standards.)
If you don’t know what anything in that subject line means, it’s okay. It’s a Warframe thing and you can basically skip the whole rest of this post.
I only roughly know what it means, but Warframe is the new obsession in my house (and I’m not even talking about the teenager). I was regrettably behind the times and got my husband an Overwatch LEGO set for Father’s Day awhile back, so I whipped up a snap tab to make up for it.
The files are on the embroidery files page as usual. There’s an instruction file in the archive, but it’s pretty straightforward. If you’re not using white vinyl, there’s a template and placement stitch for an applique. Advice: if you use hologram vinyl like I did, use non-holo stuff for the back like I did, or prepare to go blind trying to cut the thing out through the dazzle.
I have a stash of 10mm cabochon rhinestones I picked up on clearance as possible dragon eyes, so I scaled the design to that. If I was buying them for the project, I might pick up 8mm instead. These are clear matte, but gold pearl would work too, or regular faceted rhinestones if you can’t find cabs.
Today was a “learning from my mistakes” sort of day.
I have been dialing back on things a little to give my wrist a rest (since I worked all through Memorial Day weekend), but after a trip to Aldi I thought I’d do a little something for myself.
Aldi requires a quarter deposit to free up its shopping carts. There are no cart returns in the parking lot, and no employees running around collecting abandoned carts. It’s a small store and a small lot, and you just take your cart back yourself or, if it’s busy, someone will come up to you as you’re unloading, brandishing a quarter and offering to “buy” your cart from you.
Occasionally they sell little official quarter keepers, and I bought one which I hate. The quarter goes all the way in and a little past the slot, and requires prying back out with fingernails. Plus, I always want *two* quarters, because you’ll often run into someone fumbling for a quarter or just staring at the chains in newbie confusion. So I made a little bi-fold quarter keeper.
My first draft (the white one) was a little large. Clearly I’ve been traumatized by my too-small official keeper, but I wanted to make sure the quarter didn’t get stuck. Instead, the quarter falls out too easily and unpredictably when you’re opening it. I also decided trimming the curves was too finicky, so I opted for a more angular design. Lastly, since I got hold of some Gritty fabric, I decided to make an applique window.
Here’s where I started making mistakes. Quick and dirty little thing, right? Good time to try out wax paper on top of the vinyl to see if it keeps things from sticking. It does, but it is kind of a pain to get out of the stitching so it’s fine for fill embroidery, not so much for topstitching.
Then I was in too much of a hurry and forgot to put in the ribbon until it was almost up to that point in the stitching. I didn’t have any black or orange or even white ribbon narrow enough, so I cut a piece of vinyl and stuck it in without taking the hoop off, and of course it didn’t end up straight.
Then I was too lazy to walk across the room and get the good applique scissors (the Mundials 📦) and so I used Mom’s Ginghers, which are much coarser, so the (reverse) applique window isn’t as neat as it could be.
I also lined the quarter pocket with more of the Gritty fabric which was probably a mistake; it’s going to fray around the edges in the 1/16″ between the topstitching and the edge. I could have gotten around that with some fray-check (and still can, but the stuff is nasty) or by ironing some Heat-n-Bond onto the back of it. The fabric only had the words in one size and they were a little too big for the space, but it still amuses me.
I also realized, come snap insertion time. that the vinyl “ribbon” was almost down to the snap insertion point. Since I only have regular orange snaps instead of longs (and only round, when 🧡 would have been ideal), the snap came together at an angle and broke off instead of inserting. After trying (and failing) with three of them, I finally gave up and put in a black one.
All of which is to say: the design is fine, but I’m going to make a nicer version before I write up the instructions. It’ll go on the free embroidery design page when I do.
I sold the last of the Pernese dragons in the Etsy shop this weekend; there are still a couple of non-Pernese ones left. I’ll restock a little when I make the instructional photos for the design, but that’ll probably be it (though the kid has expressed a little interest in piecework, and presumably they’ll be available from other sellers using the design).
In any event, it was to a repeat buyer so since she already had a Renegades of Pern key fob, I needed a second. This one’s the primary dragon of the cover of Dragonquest so he’s a little more detailed (more than the stitching can capture at this size). I’ve put up all four variations on the Dragonrider Snap Tab page.
I got an email request to revive an old pattern, and by “old” I mean several generations back in the blog. Somewhere I have the text that goes with it, but I’m not sure where, so here are the pictures. And no, that link doesn’t work.
Aside: Hotmail is bad. I tried to answer the request by email, but in my experience Hotmail just silently discards mail from small operators like me. No spam folder for me, no rejection notice to you, it just accepts it and then doesn’t deliver it. Maybe the person got it and just didn’t have anything further to say, but I can’t tell.
It’s my take on the type of pattern in Sewing Tiny Toys by Carolyn Vosburg Hall (https://amzn.to/2YhtKuX 📦) so you’d need to buy or track down a copy of that for more detailed instructions. (It’s also a pretty great book worth owning.)
But to sum up: it’s made to be cut out of felt, sewn together on the cut edges with an overcast or blanket stitch (no seam allowance). The dotted lines are generally folds, except the curved one on the body is a center belly seam: make two underbody pieces, feet and all, sew them together and then to the outer body. The eyes and nose are seed beads (the nose is two pink beads sewn side-by-side).
I don’t remember the exact scale but if you print it at about 8″ long that will be about right.
I think people have sewn it larger, adding seam allowances (including between colors) and using faux fur, but it’s really not designed for that. The larger a stuffed animal is, the more it needs darts inside the legs to keep them from sprawling out to the sides. I would start with something like this:
You’d cut a single belly piece on the fold, then sew the legs on (the belly piece will only go halfway down the hind leg, and then the two hind legs will be sewn together after that point), and otherwise it would work like the felt version (don’t forget to add seam allowances all around). That’s completely untested though, so sew up a muslin before you commit to any expensive fabric.
If you sew one, especially the leg-dart version, send me pictures!
We interrupt the mostly-boring stretch of fine-tuning patterns to bring you a new upload: a Pernese dragon silhouette, shamelessly swiped from the cover of Renegades of Pern.
Pernese Dragon Snap Tab files
The SVG source file is in the zip archive so you can edit it if you want, say, an eyelet version instead.
My sister’s husband and in-laws are bigtime University of Kansas fans, so when I needed a little something for my brother-in-law’s Easter basket it was a good excuse to digitize a Jayhawk. The more usual full-body side-view ‘Hawk is a bit complicated for a quick design, but the minimalistic face view fit the, uh, bill.
The nickname for a Kansan is a “Jayhawker,” for not-entirely-clear reasons, and so the mascot for the university is the imaginary “jayhawk” bird.
It’s a pretty simple stitchout.Continue reading