DIY Doodle Stitch Table Set
Hosting dinner parties and gatherings seem to be up on the list of priorities now that we have lovely long light evening to enjoy.
There is nothing more fun than picking out the menu, working on some new cocktail ideas and setting the place all lovely for guests! Even the most informal of gatherings can look pretty and unique with the addition of your own custom place settings with just a few simple supplies!
These place setting a bright and colourful and with a little bit of doodling and stitching you can completely customise them to your own style! You can find this step-by-step project in the latest issue of Sewing World Magazine!
I always add in a layer of Vilene Thermolam when I make projects that need to insulate or to protect from heat – often layering with a soft cotton batting to give a lovely finish to the make. Doodle stitching is perhaps my new fave thing to do with the machine, if you’ve not tried it before give it a go! You will need to lower the feed dogs on your sewing machine – you know, those little teeth that help to draw the fabrics through the sewing machine.
Most machine will have a small sliding switch or button on the underside of the machine, quite likely you’ll need to remove the free arm to get to it.
Now, before you get stuck in, you will need to switch to a Free Motion Embroidery Foot – sometimes these are called Quilting Feet or Darning Feet – you’ll recognise them by the small circular section that skims over the surface of the fabrics and give you maximum visibility of what you are stitching.
I won’t fib to you, free motion stitching can take a little bit of getting used to if you’ve not tried it out before…so here are my Top Tips For Success When Free Motion Stitching…
1 Swatch Stitch
Even if you are familiar with free motion work, alway make up a swatch of scraps of the fabrics as they appear in your finished make – so if you have cottons layered with batting, recreate a mini version. Work across the swatch to test out the stitching, you’ll be able to check and perfect the tension, and the stitching style before you begin on the finished piece.
2 Slow & Steady
There is something about free motion work that makes me want to put pedal to the metal – so to speak – and work the design at a 100 miles per hour. You know what, this can go wrong pretty fast! The key to balances and neat free motion is to get the pace at which you move the fabrics in time with the speed at which the machine is stitching – if these aren’t in harmony, the stitches will become irregular.
3 Presser Foot
Changing the presser foot is a must – these specialist feet are designed to make the task a whole lot easier, as you can see where you are stitching. Always check that you have lowered the presser foot, as this foot slightly skims the surface, it is all too easy to leave this up when you start stitching!
4 Avoid Tangles
When starting ease the needle through the fabric and draw the threads up to the surface, this means that you can push them to the side and out of the way of the stitching to help prevent you from getting into a tangled knot while you work.
5 Needle Down
Some sewing machine have a setting that allows you to select that when you stop stitching the needle is in the down position, so that it is through the fabric. This might sound like a really small detail, but you know, it’s pretty handy. I quickly found out that even if your design is small, it can be tricky to work the whole area in one smooth, consecutive motion. Stopping and starting while the needle is in the down position, means that the fabrics of your project are held in place, so when you begin again, there wont be any messy jumps in the stitching.
Boom! That’s pretty much all there is to it. Well, practice sure, but with free motion it’s a whole lot of fun to try out new doodles and designs!
Have you tried free-motion embroidery – have you got any rad tips to share?
ps – Remember to raise the feed dogs when you finish and switch back to your standard presser foot – or, chances are your next project will go a bit wonky!