Behind the scenes.. all of the little things that go into the development of

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Custom Monograms

   Monogram Towel Embroidery Custom BERNINA V7 Software BERNINA 580e

Custom Monograms with BERNINA Designer V7

My grandmother gave me this beautiful, antique mirror and comb set from the 50’s.  I absolutely adore it!
I decided I wanted to take the ornate gold design from this piece and repeat this style in some monogrammed hand towels.
Here’s how I did it:
Open V7 Designer Software
Insert Embroidery BERNINA V7 DesignerSelect Insert Embroidery
Navigate to the Ornaments Folder and select Gold Flower.ART70
BERNINA v7 Software Educator Vanessa Empire Digitizing

Select OPEN.
Next, Select your letter by typing the letter “A” on your keyboard, or simply selecting the Lettering Tool from the Digitize Toolbar on the left side of your screen.
Digitize Lettering Embroidery Custom Towel Monogram BERNINA V7 Vanessa Empire The Tailors Daughter
Monogram Towels Designer Custom Embroidery BERNINA Vanessa Empire
Type your Initial and select the font Microgramma and input size as 1.5”.
Select “OK”.

Next select a new color thread from the color pallet on the right.
Select Lettering again from the Digitize Toolbox.
Type your name and change the height to .30”.
Select “OK”.  
Next, Turn your Grid on by clicking the Grid button with your mouse.
 Turn your Grid on BERNINA V7 Vanessa Empire Software classes
Now use the grid to line everything up straight.
 Monogram V7 Embroidery Custom Design Vanessa Empire BERNINA
Finally, let’s add a basting stitch around the design to help hold the towel down.
Do this by selecting a new color from the pallet to the right. Select the color by clicking on it.
Next, select Rectangle from the Digitize Toolbox on the left.
Finally select Single Outline from the Stitch Types listed at the bottom of your screen.
Draw the rectangle by clicking once at the top left corner, and then clicking again at the bottom right hand corner. 
Learn to digitize Vanessa Empire BERNINA v7 Software Studio BERNINA

The default on this stitch is 2.5mm stitch length.  Since we are basting, let’s make this stitch 4mm so that we can rip it out easily!
To do this, right click on the rectangle and open Object Properties.
BERNINA v7 digitizing software classes Vanessa Empire Studio BERNINA

Change the stitch length to 4.00 mm.

Select OK.
Finally, we want to change the basting stitch to the first thing that sews out in the embroidery machine. 
To do this, select the layer in your Color Film that includes the rectangle. In the image below it is the box that is highlighted in blue.
Learn embroidery digitizing BERNINA V7 Embroidery Vanessa Empire
With the Basting layer selected, press Move to Start button at the top of the Color Film box.
After you have pressed that button, your Color Film should look like this:
Embroidery BERNINA V7 Classes educator Vanessa Empire

Finally, lets lay this out in the hoop.  I am using my B580e, so I will be using the Large Oval hoop with presser foot #26.
Click the Hoop Button at the top:
Hoop selection on Embroidery V7 Digitizing software Vanessa Empire

Select BERNINA Large Oval Hoop, 255 x 145, #26Learn to hoop your embroidery BERNINA V7 Software Vanessa Empire
Make sure you check the box "Show Hoop".
Select "OK"

Your screen should look something like this:

Learn to digitize BERNINA v7 Software embroidery
Finally let’s send this design to a USB stick.
To do so, plug in a USB into your computer.
Next, Select the Sewing Machine Icon.
Send your embroidery design to your sewing machine BERNINA v7 Sofware classes Vanessa Empire Studio BERNINA

 Once you select the Sewing Machine Icon, a Device Selection window will open.
For the B580e, I am selecting the first box on the top left, “EXP” with a picture of a USB.
You will get a confirmation that your design has been saved to your USB, and now you are ready to plus your USB stick into your machine and stitch!
*Note: Make sure you save this design on your computer ALSO so that you will have it for the future.  I always suggest to my students not to rely on a USB stick to save your designs, only to move your designs from the software to the machine!
Happy Designing!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fresh new interiors

As many of you know, one of my very first loves is Interior Design...
Here are some great pics from one of my Residential Design Clients.

Custom Slip Cover and Pillows

Upholstry, Slip Covers & Pillows

Take an old chair and make it work with a new slipcover that matches the rest!

Design services and experience for residental projects include Staging, Space Planning, fabric buying and selecting, and much more!
What will you imagine?
Note: All of these items are custom made... slipcovers, throw pillows, etc... If you can dream it, we can do it!

Custom bench seat

New client!!! I am so excited to help people design their spaces and create the environments they are seeking. This is just a small project, and we made a custom bench seat to give new life to an older piece of furniture..
If you are spending the money to have something be custom and one-of-a-kind, i always recommend to my clients that they have zippers put in so that it can be washed, and its life can be extended.

Heres the supplies:
Piece of 3" foam cut to size. Electric carving knifes work wonds on cutting foam... Just make sure you dont rush!

I love to use this fusible quilted batting in a heavier thickness... It molds well around all of the raw edges of the foam and makes a nice finished piece!
Voila! Beautiful cushion

Friday, May 24, 2013

the secret life of skirts -wardrobe versatility

Speaking of Spring... How about this Boutique skirt...?

Disguised as one skirt this is actually two! The skirt on the top is a pleated skirt made of Liberty of London tana lawn. Don't you love this print!? I feel so fabulous in this skirt, but the secret to the fullness is the boutique skirt underneath. To make this you will need the following


- The Tailors Daughter Boutique Skirt pattern
- Fabric Kit or your own fabric that is appropriate
- matching thread and bobbin
- Bernina sewing machine
- BERNINA Presser foot #86 The Ruffler Foot
- BERNINA Presser foot #35 Invisible Zipper Foot

- Complete Kit $50
Includes fabric & pattern
Limited quantity fabric available

This skirt is so versatile. Its great for a lunch meeting or a summertime game of heavily competitive mini golf.. I wear these under dresses, skirts,or on their own with a slip... Or sometimes as a slip. Here are a couple of different versions i have made while making this pattern for you! I dyed these pieces to get the different color options. Click here to see how!

If you are an advanced seamstress that knows how to sew, here are the advanced instructions. For the pattern you can copy a yoke pattern that is your size.

1. First gather the selvage edge of the trim. Gather with the 3 seam method, or use your Bernina Ruffler Foot. For this one, the Ruffler foot was used with a 3mm-3.3 mm stitch legnth and the Ruffler set to ruffle at every stitch.

2. Next cut your yoke pieces out of the desired fabric.

3. Now sew left side seam of yoke... Attaching front yoke to back yoke.
Repeat this for yoke lining.

4. Pin yoke and trim right sides together at raw edges of skirt. Sew this seam at 2.2mm stitch legnth and be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

5. Next attach the invisible zipper using the 2 seam method with BERNINA Presser Foot #35.

6. Pin yoke lining right sides together at outer yo Sew. 7. Press seam opss seam open and then press lining to the back.

8. Handstitch yoke lining at zipper and voila!

A beautiful boutique skirt / pettiskirt valued at $300+, at a fract price... Plus yours is custom! custom!

Post pics of your garden pettiskirts to and recieve a free TheTailorsDaughter tote! *

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Marilyn Bag

This is the Amy Butler Swing bag pattern, which is one of my favorite bags to make! Actually i have made so many of these i needed to spice it up a little bit.

Im a sucker for a bow, and contrasting prints and polka dots... So i decided to make this a tribute bag to one of my favorite icons in this feminine combo of pink and gray.

The supplies needed for this bag include a cotton twill (home dec weight). I think this is a nice trick to adding weight and stability to the bag so that it isnt so flimsy. It also prevents warping when it is washed. This is a great solution, but is not mandatory. You could also use firm interfacing, or nothing at all. Whatever you decide to use will dtermine the feel and weight of the bag.

I recommend trying all styles for bags while you are practicing this pattern. After all they make fabulous gifts!


This was a photo I found of her that i manually digitized in my Bernina Version 6 design software. This digitizing software is the best, in my opinion because it takes the mystery out of vector drawings and is so easy to edit one stitch at a time. Im so please with the way it turned out!
This project has opened a world of creativity to me... In thinking of embroidery as much more than a canned design.

Nobody else will have a bag like this! How super exclusive of me... I love it!
I think i need Audrey next...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Strawberry Bacon Mixed Greens

I am so excited to share this new recipe! I call it the Craving Rx... Because it satisfies any craving I have! It is a balanced meal with fruits, veggies, healthy fats, protien, dairy and antioxidents.

- 2 cp. organic mixed greens
- 1/2 sliced cucumber
- 1 slice morning star soy "bacon" cooked
- organic strawberries 3-4 sliced
- 1/4 red apple ( i like gala or pink ladies) * make sure its organic!
- 1 tbsp organic parmesean cheese
- 1/4 cup chickpeas
Girards Champagne Vinnegrette dressing to taste!

Mix greens, apple slices, strawberries, and cucumber in large bowl. Next, add chickpeas

Garnish with crushed soy bacon and parmesean cheese.

Add dressing

This is so great for you, and the complex variety of flavors are quite satisfying. Especially if you are adjusting from a sugar addiction.

Add gluten free rotini, chicken, salmon or even tofu to make this a filling and satisfying meal.


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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dyeing for-Rit!

Once... A long time ago I attempted to use Rit dye to make a light blue pair of jeans, a dark blue pair of jeans. Needless to say, the results were less than satisfactory, the jeans were ruined... And it left a huge mess in the bathtub...

I dont really give up easily though... And finally my persistance has paid off! I am now much more confident with the art of fabric dyeing. I realize that with a little more effort...and a little more attention, Rit dye can do exactly what you want it to do.

In the world of fibers black is the most heavily pigmented color. What that actually means is that it has to alter each fiber with the weight of heavy pigments. You might notice a slightly heavier handle on the fabric after dyeing it black. You may also notice your sewing machine gets "lintier" when you are sewing with black or dark colors. This is due to the fact that the altered fibers are slightly weaker and therefore the rubbing of the needle can shave those loose fibers into your machine. If you think your sewing machine needs a deep cleaning after all of the sewing on black, please let us know!

The first color I wanted to master was black. This can be one of the most difficult colors due to the fabrics ability to recieve pigment. Make sure you are dyeing only natural fibers!

Here is how to do it:

- Put fabric to be died into large pasta pot.

- Fill pasta pot with water making sure to cover the fabric, leaving it fully submerged.

- Place on large burner and turn on high to start boiling water.

- Remove fabric and set aside until water begins a slow boil.

- Add 1 cup of sea salt to water

- Once slow boil is reached add fabric, and dunk into water. I used a metal spoon that wouldnt be ruined by the dye.
- Add large bottle of Rit Dye.

- Boil for 2-3 hours. Stirring every 15 mins gently. This continually disperses the dye so that it is even, without splotching.

- When time is up carefully take the full pot to the sink and remove the fabric. Run under cold water until the water runs clear.

- Soak for 5 mins in White Distilled Vinegar to lock in the pigments.

- Rinse again.

- Hang dry

I am hooked on this! I love that i have all of these petti skirts. It is going to enhance the clothing i already have!

Chanel Number five could not sleep either, until we saw the results... Lol

Recently i have decided that i need another tTD Boutique Skirt in Valentino Red to accent this cute belt i picked up from Nordstrom Rack.
What do you think?