I am learning a lot about sewing decorative stitches. I wish I would have done this earlier. Decorative stitches on the sewing machine do not always stitch like one would expect and that alone has kept me from using them on garments. Here are a few things that I figured out.
#1 The fine tuning knob should be employed to line up stitches as a last resort. First try the stitch with the needle up. I know, I know, it is so much nicer to stitch with the needle down. Just try it. If it makes a difference in the quality of the stitch then putting the needle down manually is the price I am willing to pay.
#2 Instead of trying to re-stitch little mess ups on the machine, it is so much easier just to fix them by hand. A few minutes of hand-embroidery is so much better than ripping out machine stitches that do not line up. I put in a half motif by hand after I ran out of bobbin thread mid-row and had to start again. Also I fixed some places that were slightly off just by pulling the two miss-aligned stitches together. My hand embroidery practice is paying off.
#3 Some stitches need a little guidance through the machine. A few stitches I could never get to look right just letting the machine have its way. Now as they stitch I actually gently guide the fabric along with the machine. Gently, very, very, gently is the best way. It makes the sewing more fun too.
#4 When I go a little off course, which tends to happen to daydreamers like me, single stitched lines in the design are the best place to bend the decorative stitch back into place. Never do it in the middle of a satin stitch part, or a part that will be backstitched over. In a satin stitch part there will be a space between the stitches and with backstitching the two rows won’t line up.
#5 This is obvious, but I messed up doing this. Make sure nothing will stop the fabric out the back of the machine, or that the weight hanging down in front will keep the fabric from moving. I wondered why the ends of my rows always had mistakes. My project was hitting some junk I left on the table in back of the machine. Duh.
I finally found an acceptable red poplin for the lining. I am going to put black piping in the seams so the reds won’t actually touch. The ties will be black grosgrain ribbon.