Embroidered Denim Jacket

When I bought this DenimΒ Dress I knew immediately that it wouldn’t take much to refashion it into a jacket. I think Jean Jackets are quite versatile and they seem to be a timeless staple to any wardrobe.

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No undershirt. Zit cream on my face. I have no shame.

The zipper is completely broken. It’s not jammed or stuck. It’s just broken so I felt no guilt whatsoever when I cut the material at the waist (through the zipper and all)…

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Monogram & Fringe Pillows

“Not ANOTHER pillow, Laura! For the love of all that’s holy!”

Yep. Sorry.

If it’s any consolation, these are a bit more “advanced,” technically speaking.

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These pillows that came with our sofas are just blah. We’ve been updating our color scheme to include, drum roll please, blue. Never thought I’d live to see the day I’d decorate with blue as it’s my least favorite color (reminds me of winter…). But guess what? Blue can also be very SUMMER inspired.

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“Cat in the Bag” Embroidery

Hubs surprised me with an adorable Gray Tabby kitten back in September. Well, ever since that fateful day I’ve turned in to one of “those” crazy cat ladies… What can ya do?

For those of you who also fall in to “that” category you know the drama that takes place when you have to take said furry friend to the vet. It’s not a pretty picture! I don’t know what it is about crates… but cats freak out just by the sight of them. Our little Loki was no exception. I saw something on Pinterest about a “friendlier” way to transport your kitten to the vet.

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It’s Cats in the bag!

I was intrigued by this and I went ahead and purchased one for our Loki.

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Embroidery: It’s not that bad…

As you may have surmised, today’s post is a little different πŸ™‚ Today, I venture into uncharted territory… And it features the new Embroidery only machine from Janome.

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Let me set this up by saying that my best friend Vicky is a shift manager at Starbucks. This is a double-edged sword for me as 1.) I’m addicted to coffee and this fact only enables that addiction. And 2.) I can get coffee ANY time I need it! πŸ™‚ You can see how this might be slightly conflicting…

Word has gotten around that I do a bit of sewing and Vicky’s Manager asked me to embroider all her baristas’ names onto their holiday aprons. Embroidery terrifies me! The machine does all the work for you, sure. But, logistically speaking, it’s kind of a nightmare! Setting everything up takes time and patience and I don’t possess either of those qualities (is “time” a quality???).

I typed up a reasonable yet competitive estimate for her… to my dismay, she approved it.

Crap.

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Box O Aprons

This is happening whether I like it or not…

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Did you count the names? It’s 17! I had to do 17 aprons. I’m not ashamed to admit I was scared to death. Embroidering on a sample while I’m demo-ing a machine to a potential customer is one thing. When I’m being commissioned to embroider on real garments for a major corporation… that’s a different story all together. The pressure’s on!

Per the request of Starbucks, I used white thread (ExquisiteΒ is my go-to!) and I marked the aprons one inch from the top seam and one inch from the left side seam of the apron.

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I used chalk; comes off super easy.

The last letter of the name had to be right on the edge of those measurements. I’m still shocked I managed to pull it off!

Templates make all the difference! The grid marks on the hoop template match the grid marks on the edit screen of the machine. As long the baristas’ names are the same (on the machine grid/template grid), the embroidery will be exactly where you want it to be on your garment. Make sense?

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Hooping is my least favorite part of the embroidery process. The placement of the Baristas’ names made me hoop the apron at its thickest (the strap). Can you see it? Not only is the strap thick, the name is dangerously close to the edge, so the apron couldn’t be hooped “centered.” It was quite tricky. One apron actually came unhooped in the middle of embroidery!! I had to stop the machine, rehoop it, and backtrack the stitches a little bit.

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The Janome 500E has different hoops than other Janome Embroidery machines. That little black knob on the right side of the picture is where the hoop fastens in to the embroidery arm. You slide that black knob down, line up the holes to the corresponding metal knobs and boom! It’s hooped. If I can do it, anybody can! #EasiestHoopingEver

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Plus, this is embroidery only (in case you forgot), so the bed of the machine is quite large. This gives you a stable platform for larger garments/cloths. If you need more room, though, it comes with an extension table.

The names took 3 to 6 minutes to embroider. It was the marking, measuring, hooping, stabilizing, and fretting that took up most of my time. In a way, I’m glad I was “forced” to do this because now I’m not as scared of embroidering as I used to be πŸ™‚ Also, I got to know this machine very well during the day-long process, which will only make me a better/more relate-able salesman (how can I say something is easy to use if I don’t know from personal experience?).

To see this machine in action, I’ve uploaded my very first video. I make a cameo appearance at the end. It’s only 1:04 minutes long and it’s super, uh, not-professional πŸ™‚ I uploaded this for my friend Gema, more than anything. She’s been begging me to do a video and, uh, here it is! πŸ™‚

Better videos to come πŸ™‚