Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I Made Wednesday: Pumpkin Patch Apparel

(Warning: Long explanation about problems with my embroidery machine, followed by pics of Halloween Shirts.)

My embroidery machine and I are not friends right now.

Back in July, I started having some trouble with the alignment-- the machine would embroider the bottom half of a letter then move ever-so-slightly to embroider the top half. It looked awful. I was able to complete the design on Liam's birthday shirt, but when it came to adding his name, I had someone else do it.

Fall is so event heavy-- that means I make Halloween shirts, a Birthday shirt for Jack, Thanksgiving shirts and Christmas shirts for the boys. So, it was time to get the problem taken care of. Last week, I took my machine to a local sewing shop and had it serviced & cleaned. I described to them what it was doing and they determined that there's not a problem with the alignment of the machine-- they said it was a problem with the memory card.

So I bought a new memory card. I brought it home, loaded my designs & did a test. No go. I thought, maybe it's the design that I created-- maybe the file is corrupt? So, I recreated it. Nope, still doesn't look right. I noticed that there was a recently released update to my software, so I installed it. Nice try.

Out of the 20-something tests I did, at one point, it appeared that if I did an applique design in one file and the lettering in another, it would work. But then, when I tried it tonight, the lettering is still skewed. I thought, well, I could try the built-in fonts on my machine... but even those seem to be hit or miss.

It's really frustrating and I'm not sure what my next step is. I'm definitely going to take back the new memory card, because it's obviously not the issue... but if the repair guy says he can't find anything wrong with the machine, what do I do? These machines are VERY expensive. I make a lot of the boys' clothing (and save a lot of money by doing so!) and I NEED it to work.

Here's the silver lining-- even though the lettering is messed up (Goodbye personalized stuff! Grrr!), my appliques seem to be stitching just fine. So, while I'm not necessarily making the shirts exactly how I want them, I can still do some holiday designs for the kids. And if I *have* to put their names on them, I could always have someone else do them-- although this kills me. I know it'll get fixed eventually-- I just need a new plan. 

So... Halloween Shirts! I sat down today to work on these-- a little late, considering Halloween is two weeks from today, but what else is new? (I rarely make the boys' holiday stuff early enough for them to get a lot of use out of it, unfortunately.) We're going on a train ride to a pumpkin patch this weekend & I wanted the boys to wear their shirts! 

I did Liam's this afternoon & will do Jack's on Friday while the boys are at school. Last year, I did all of the truck appliques: Pumpkin in a Truck, Christmas Tree in a Truck, etc. I wanted to do something different this year. 

A Spider!
(This design had so many stitches-- it took FOREVER, but I think it was worth it!)

First time I've ever appliqued on a tshirt that's not white!
Also, I can't get enough of gingham. Ever.

 Liam LOVES this shirt. When I showed it to him after his nap, he immediately asked to put it on.  When he and Rob went on their nightly walk & I tried to get him to change his shirt, he threw a fit said said "Want to wear it!"

He kept walking around, pointing to it, saying, "Spider!"

Kid Approved-- Liam's Pumpkin Patch ready!
(Maybe this weekend, we'll get shots of him in some pants!)


  1. The spiders web is just amazing. Something interesting and creative. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Awesome! How great did it make you feel to have him love it so much?

    1. Just awesome. His caterpillar birthday shirt was the first time he's ever really noticed what he was wearing and he kept saying "That's a caterpillar!"... but to have him love this one so much that he didn't want to take it off? That was awesome.

  3. Utterly adorable. Love the colors you chose on the shirt. And ugh, so sorry about the machine troubles- I know that's maddening!

  4. It’s a good thing you were able to make some designs minus the letterings. It’s still so cute! I’m not surprised Liam was drawn to it. Kids are usually engrossed with shirts that are printed all over, or plain shirts with cool prints in front. But isn’t it the same with us adults? :D