Fun at Last: Decorative Stitches

Not that I didn’t enjoy the first 3 chapters in the Dream Machine Owner’s Manual, but it is the decorative stitches which I think of as fun. Yes the set up and utility stitches are necessary and probably will be the most used, but the decorative stitches are F-U-N.

In years past, I would stitch out each stitch and test variation possible through width and length changes, but today I spent my time with just a few stitches and the alphabets looking for what my Dream does differently and alike from other machines I have used.

I attached a tricot knit stabilizer to a scrap of quilting cotton. For a real project I might use several layers of water-soluble stabilizer but I knew this would be a sample. I knew I wanted  the best stitch I could achieve using minimal stabilizing.  I concluded that I would probably use both a layer of permanent interfacing and some WSS for real garment projects.  The “N” foot does admirable work but afterwards there was slight puckering.  There was no creep over a 10″ long sample.  Also it moved right and left accurately as evidenced by the last stitch at the bottom which is 3 motifs sewn one after the other.

I was pleased to find the normal mirror functions.  I didn’t find a copy or an ability to edit individual points at the machine. Neither are they available if I save the sequence to Thumb Drive and use Buzz Tool or Embird. As a matter of fact, neither program recognizes the stitch.  I don’t know about PED or other programs.  Both copy and edit are nice edits but it’s easy enough to touch the button and add another copy of a motif.  I was very pleased that unlike the Viking, a special ‘editing’ screen is not needed to combine different motifs into one stitch sequence.  I added the first stitch, touched my second choice and the screen automatically changed the first to single motif and added a single second motif, ready for a third and even more.

It was easier and less confusing to add stitches to the sequence (as compared with the Viking) but editing was not as easy.  My Viking Ruby has the capability of moving between the stitches and editing characteristics. Not points but things like mirroring or inserting.  To edit on the Dream, the motifs have to be deleted until the one I want to edit is displayed. Then I’m able to make changes similar to what the Viking allowed but had to restore my sequence by touching the pictographs one at a time.  I liked the Viking method of moving the pointer to select the stitch to edit, but I don’t think of the Dream’s procedure is a big horrible deal.  I normally combine 3 or less stitches.  On occasion I may have combined about 10 which included repeats of several and even positioning instructions.  Yes Vikings procedure is nice when you have that many to  edit. But still very doable at the Dream with Brother’s delete, edit, add routine. I frequently use a short series (2-3) of stitches to replace plain top stitching on hems and facings.  I mean, those things are going to show up anyway. Why not make them a feature?

I like the Dream’s Alphabets. I do indeed.  I use monograming (the Alphabets) mostly to create my personal label.  I prefer to stitch labels on grosgrain or other ribbon both of which are easier to handle on the sewing side and much quicker than digitizing, hooping and embroidering. I’m happy with the way the letters stitch and appear except for spacing.  I add a capital B in the middle of my ‘sdBev’ (first line of my label). There is a larger gap between the lower case d and the capital B than the gaps anywhere else.  I tried several things to close up that space, but was not successful. I’m not sure if I just missed something because while I did read the instructions, I was not in the read/execute mode. I could have missed something.  As it stands now the first line of my *label will read ‘sd Bev’ as seen above. Not so bad, but not exactly what I wanted. I’ll keep looking. I can always switch to machine embroidery if it bothers me that much.

I’m anxious to move onto the next chapter in the manual but know this will be one of the chapters to which I return.  I know for a fact that stitches can be changed drastically and seem like a completely different stitch just by manipulating length, width or both. Create a sequence and you have yet another stitch.  I still have my Spanish Foot which creates incredible crochet-like picots through the use of stitching on air or WSS.  I will return to explore the Dream’s Decorative Stitches.

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*my label reads:

sdBev

(Date Sewn) — (Pattern #)

With the info between parens () filled with data taken from calendar and pattern envelope.

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