New Website

Hello all,
I am in the process of getting my designs up on a new website. As usual, I slow myself down by getting into the files and deciding to change and update things instead of just putting them up! You can see the site here: https://taoknitterarts.com
 
As most of you know, these are designs that have already been digitized, and they can be bought as a set, or I can split up the whole dress if you only want certain parts. I send the file type you need. The designs are sent in one general size for you to re-size and revise. If you cannot do it yourself, I can provide that service.
 
I am also posting this because I would like to gather pics of work that any of you have done using my designs over the years for a new gallery. I am thinking I would like to organize the pics by dressmaker since some of you have used so many of the designs, so this can be a way for you to showcase a gallery for yourself. If you want to send pics, please include how you would like to be named and the date of the dress.
 
Thank you all! Happy sewing!
Advertisements

Splitting a digitized design

Here is a pic of Andrea Whitrow’s son in a vest she made using my dragon design. Such a cutie!

connor whitrow vest1

Here are the directions I sent to Andrea for this design in her max size hoop:

This  front vest design will be split into 4 sections. Below is a pic of the design on the pattern, and another pic of the  4 splits with the necessary basting boxes and placement lines for re-hooping so you see how this has been broken up.

 

front

front splits

Notice in the center of the vest that there is a vertical line with a horizontal crossbar on the top and a V to mark the neckline from the pattern piece… this marks the bottom of the neckline for the center front. You want to draw this same line onto your bodice fabric.  You will need this line to place your fabric in the hoop.  (You can read more about this here: https://taoknitter.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/re-hooping-for-large-bodice-designs/ )

Here are the 4 separate files

#1

pt 1 left front

But in the hoop, it will look like this:

pt 1 left front in hoop

#2

pt 2 right front

But in the hoop, it will look like this:

pt 2 right front in hoop

#3

pt 3 center front

#4

pt 4 center front

Part #1:  You will start with “pt 1 left front.”  Below is the pic of the file and the placement lines in the file.

pt 1 left front in hoop

The center placement lines (the longer line with the crossbar on top) will stitch out onto the stabilizer first to help you line up your fabric.

pt 1 left front placement marks

Then, place the fabric onto the stabilizer (sticky back or use temporary adhesive spray) lining up your drawn line with this stitched line.  The basting box will now stitch, followed by the design and then the placement stitches for the next part.

Part #1 is complete.  Remove from the hoop and remove excess stabilizer.  Remove the first basting box but be careful not to remove or pull on the first set of placement lines.  Re-hoop the sticky back and the tear away for the next part.

Part #2:  You will continue with “pt 2 right front.” Below is the pic of the file and the placement lines in the file.

pt 2 right front in hoop

The center placement lines (the longer line with the crossbar on top and the placement crosses) will stitch out onto the stabilizer first to help you line up your fabric.

pt 2 right front placement marks

Line up the placement lines from Part #1 on the fabric piece with the new lines.  Use the points where the lines cross as your center points for each placement.  You want to be as precise as possible because this section includes split lines that cross the design parts stitched first. Finish stitching part 2: the basting box will stitch, followed by the rest of the file.

Part #2 is complete.  Remove from the hoop and remove excess stabilizer.  Remove the first basting box but be careful not to remove or pull on the first set of placement lines.  Re-hoop the sticky back and the tear away for the next part.

Part #3:  You will continue with “pt 3 center front.”  Below is the pic of the file and the placement lines in the file.

pt 3 center front

The center placement lines (the longer line with the crossbar on top and the placement crosses) will stitch out onto the stabilizer first to help you line up your fabric.

pt 3 center front placement marks

Line up the placement lines on the fabric piece with the new lines.  Use the points where the lines cross as your center points for each placement.  Finish stitching part 3: the basting box will stitch, followed by the rest of the file.

Part #3 is complete.  Remove from the hoop and remove excess stabilizer and all placement stitches.  Part #1 is complete.  Remove from the hoop and remove excess stabilizer.  Remove the first basting box but be careful not to remove or pull on the first set of placement lines.  Re-hoop the sticky back and the tear away for the next part.

Part #4:  You will continue with “pt 4 center front.”  Below is the pic of the file and the placement lines in the file.

pt 4 center front

The center placement lines (the longer line with the crossbar on top and the placement crosses) will stitch out onto the stabilizer first to help you line up your fabric.

pt 4 center front placement marks

Line up the placement lines on the fabric piece with the new lines.  Use the points where the lines cross as your center points for each placement.  Finish stitching part 4: the basting box will stitch, followed by the rest of the file.

Part #4 is complete.  Remove from the hoop and remove excess stabilizer and all placement stitches.

Bodice Neckline Applique

This is how I add an applique to the neckline of a bodice.

I used to use sticky back stabilizer exclusively, because I could not stand when the embroidery shifted and the Celtic knots did not line up. About a year ago, though, I got over myself mainly because the number of thread breaks and the slow stitch speed had finally driven me nuts. Now, I hoop my stabilizer and use temporary adhesive spray.

Since I float all of my fabrics, when it is important I first stitch out a placement cross onto the stabilizer. This same cross has been drawn in chalk on the back of my fabric. I then lightly spray the temporary adhesive onto the stabilizer.

IMG_4902

After I line up the cross on the back of the fabric with the stitched lines on the stabilizer, I run a basting box around the area to be embroidered. Then, an outline of the applique area is stitched. (I have digitized all of these lines into my embroidery file.)

IMG_4904

Next, I spray the stabilized applique fabric with the temporary adhesive so it will not shift on the base fabric…

IMG_4905

…and then lay it over the applique area, making sure to check that the area is covered.

IMG_4907

Now, I run double lines to tack down the fabric.

IMG_4908

Here’s a closer look at the double lines. Why double? I have found that the two lines keep the fabric from fraying (even if the outside line gets clipped here and there) and then pulling away from underneath the covering satin stitch line. Because there are 2 lines, I can trim as close as possible so I can avoid any fuzzies showing.

IMG_4910

Trimmed.

IMG_4911

Finished and ready to be cut out.

IMG_4912

Sometimes, when both fabrics are thick, I might lay the applique first, and then after tackdown of the “base” fabric, trim the larger piece of fabric away from the area, but I always worry that the 2 fabrics might pull apart. I tend to do the above as often as possible.

Moving forward

Yes, several years of reorganizing my life has made me silent. But, I am finally moving forward. There is a new online store in the works. I am figuring this out myself, so it is moving slowly, but it feels good to take control again.

If you want to check it out, it is here: Taoknitter Arts.

There is much to be done to update this blog, and as soon as the store is truly up and running, I will get to it.

Thank you for your patience and for hanging with me.

Slàinte mhath!

So…

I haven’t written in a long time. Thinking about it today…could just be a brain fart.

I have been knitting a lot. Thoroughly enjoying it. Started thinking about blogging about it (as if the world needs another knitting blog), and remembered that when I started this blog over on Blogger way back when, it was a place for me to write about my knitting and Irish dance dressmaking (there were no ID dress blogs at the time). The name, “Taoknitter,” made perfect sense then. As Irish dance dressmaking began taking over my life, the name traveled with me.

I love the name and the creative person she is. Perhaps SHE needs to start writing again.

Sequin Appliques

(Bitch alert: On the ID voy boards, someone used the word “sequence” when they meant “sequins”…makes me want to take my red pen and mark up my computer screen!)

I could have sworn I did a post about sequin appliques years ago, but maybe not.  And sequins are back…I cannot tell you how happy I am not to be making dresses anymore.  I know, there are worse things than sequins (tissue lame, acetate, lycra, silk velvet, brussel sprouts…), but satin stitching over the edges of sequin appliques was always an activity that left me twitching because it was NEVER as smooth as satin stitching over flat fabric…no matter what I did, and I did it all.  It was a lesson in artistic humility…do your best and then stop looking at it!

Susan taught me to use the same solvy topper that we use when embroidering on velvet.

This works in 2 ways: first, it keeps loose sequins from flying off wildly and blinding you or getting into your machine works or ending up in your dinner casserole (ask me about that sometime); and second it can help smooth out the edges of the applique where you have cut the sequins…notice I used the word “help.”  Cut sequins have a mind of their own and never lay flat so your satin stitching looks like it has been done by a toddler even if you have digitized it all perfectly!!

So,  is it possible to have great looking sequin appliques?  Yes, with a little extra work.

I use two separate running stitch lines for the applique tackdown which helps keep the perforated sequins flat. Then, when cutting the applique after tackdown, I take the time to remove loose or especially sharp sequins around the edge. In my more OCD moments, I have totally removed all sequins from the edges, but this is time consuming and really not cost effective.

If satin stitching by hand, go over the edge twice.  I suppose you could digitize the design to go over the edge twice, but I have found that most home machines can get stuck with the extra bulk and/or put holes in the fabric because the stitching is more dense. My commercial machine can handle the bulk, but I do not care for height of the resulting satin stitch.

If the design is digitized and the computerized machine is doing all the work, I have found the edges look best when I use a tearaway on TOP of the applique after trimming.  Since the tearaway is stiffer, it is harder for the sequins to move and poke up, especially if there are two running stitch lines for the tackdown. This does of course run the risk of leaving you with some fuzz when you rip off the tearaway, but that is easily removed and wears away rather quickly.

I used the tearaway on top of this cute little patch:

Photobucket

(I always think these ID dresses and patches are so delicate, but I actually found this test patch a few months later after it had accidentally gone through the washer and dryer, and it looked perfect!  It was a quiet, proud moment for me and my patch…)

I did use the solvy on the sequins on this sleeve, but this is one that I sat and removed every last loose sequin…it served to calm my mind at the time since all the fabric on this dress was so delicate and expensive.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I used tearaway on these appliques.  I also had extra help keeping the edges smooth because there is another copper fabric covering the edges…you can see it in between the copper satin stitching.

 

There was a long post about satin stitching in general here: SATIN STITCHING AND APPLIQUES

Happy sewing!

New things are happening!

Slowly but surely, yes, new things are happening.  I decided last year that I needed to make Taoknitter Arts designs available for automatic purchase and download…and the site is up!  Little did I realize what an extreme undertaking this was going to be!  The sheer time involved in just getting designs ready, converted and then uploaded has been staggering.  So, the site does not have the full catalog of designs up yet, but we will get there.

You can see the new site here – Taoknitter Arts: Irish Dance Dress Designs & Embroidery

Photos of all the designs can still be seen on Flickr.  If you want to see all of the design parts with dimensions and prices, just write to me at taoknitter@gmail.com and I will make it happen.

And I have recently updated my Customer Creations gallery with all of the fantastic work done by dressmakers using Taoknitter Arts designs.  I am so impressed!  Please visit Customer Creations to see all of the creativity!  If you have a dress and a happy dancer to add to the gallery, please just let me know.

So, the old Taoknitter Arts is now a blog for my Irish Dance dress embroidery information to separate it from this Taoknitter blog about actually sewing Irish Dance dresses.  I am still trying to organize the information, but you can get to that embroidery blog here: Taoknitter Arts

I hope I can keep it all straight!

Previous Older Entries