I was recently gifted the incredible Bernina DesignerPlus V8 Embroidery Software from my friends at Bernina.
It has opened so many new opportunities for me and is an amazing tool to take my custom garments to a new level!
The first design I created was of course a dragonfly.
You may have noticed that I love dragonflies. They can often be spotted in my jewellery, in the background of my pictures or incorporated into the fabric of my garments.
I may have mentioned before that they are a meaningful symbol in my family as they represent my Gran. I feel like my passion for sewing and fashion came from her. She taught my mom to sew who in turn taught me.
When I saw the Aida Blouse from the Inspiration Magazine, I knew it would be the perfect garment to try out my new embroidered dragonfly design.
What will be needed:
- Sewing machine
- Aida Blouse Pattern
- 1.4m – 1.8m lightweight fabric
- 3-4 threads to match
- 0.4m – 0.5 m elastic, 1 cm wide (if using the original pattern use 4cm wide elastic)
- 35cm x 15cm Iron-on Vilene/Fusing (called Fabric lining G 785 in the instructions)
- Embroidery supplies:
Hoop (I used the Oval Hoop but use a size that best suits your deisgn)
Embroidery design (check out some of the free designs from the Inspiration Magazines)
Embroidery Foot #26
The Aida Blouse pattern is from the Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Bernina’s Inspiration Magazine.
Please note that unless specified, the pattern does not include seam or hem allowances.
Add the necessary seam and hem allowances to the pattern pieces before cutting out the pattern.
I would recommend using 1.5cm for the seam and hem allowances, but use what you prefer.
The size chart can be found on the pattern as well as on the Inspiration Tips & Tricks page.
Remember to add seam and hem allowances.
In the original pattern, the Cuff is a band of exposed Elastic.
For my Blouse I chose to make the Cuff in the same fabric as the blouse and have the Elastic hidden inside.
I also wanted a narrower Cuff and Elastic.
This is how I altered the Pattern:
Cut-on Elasticated Cuff Hack
I made a Facing for the Back neckline as I didn’t have a bias binding to match my chosen fabric and it was quicker than making my own binding.
Here are the steps I followed:
How to draft the Back Facing
I chose to use wash-away stabilizer as it wouldn’t add weight to my light-weight fabric. The fabric has such a lovely drape which I didn’t want to affect.
My embroidery design also doesn’t have a high stitch count, so I could get away with using this type of stabilizer.
I created my dragonfly design on the Bernina Embroidery Software 8 DesignerPlus Full Version.
As this was the first design I have made, I kept it simple.
Before embroidering, mark out the dart with a few tailors tacks on the Front Bodice piece.
This way when you place the Front Bodice piece in the embroidery hoop you can easily see the dart and avoid embroidering over it.
You may also need to baste the garment to the stabiliser to prevent it from moving during embroidery.
I have made a video with steps to embroider a garment. Please feel free to refer to it for tips.
Remember to mirror and repeat the design for the other half of the Bodice if necessary.
If you experience “Hoop Burn” try using the steam from the iron to remove it. You may need to lightly dampen the mark before steaming to further help loosen the fibres.
Don’t iron directly on to the fabric during this process as that will further compress the fibres.
Otherwise often a trip through the wash will remove the mark.
Hoop Burn is no fault of the hoop. The fibres of some fabrics just compress under the pressure required to hold the fabric in the hoop which causes the mark.
For the most part, I followed the instructions provided with the pattern.
This is my in depth interpretation of them. I made a few adjustments where I had altered the pattern.
Unless otherwise stated, I used a 1.5cm seam and hem allowance as that is what I added to my pattern.
- Iron a small strip along the base of the Front neckline.
Optional: Iron the fusing/vilene on to 2 mirrored pieces of the Front Facing.
Remember to put the fusing on the wrong-side of the fabric.
- Sew the darts and remove the tailor tacks.
Press the darts towards the Hem.
- Attach the Facing to the Back neckline:
Finish the bottom edge of the Back Facing.
Sew it to the Back neckline.
Trim the seam allowance and snip around the curves
Under-stitch around the neckline just in from the edge along the Facing.
Press along the Neckline.
- Assemble the Front Facings:
Match up the respective Facings.
If you used vilene, they should each have one fused Facing and one non-fused Facing.
Place the wrong sides together and sew along the longest edge.
Open them up and stitch just in from the seam along the non-fused Facing
Fold them right sides out and press along the seam.
- Attach the Front Facings to the Front neckline:
Stay stitch around the base of the neckline to reinforce the corners.
Lie the Front Bodice down with the right side facing up.
Place the Facing pieces along the respective sides of the neckline.
The fused Facing piece should be touching the Bodice.
Sew along each side of the neckline to attach the Facings. Do not overlock yet.
Stitch up to the seam allowance at the base of the Facing.
If your seam allowance was 1.5cm, stop stitching 1.5cm from the base.
Turn the Bodice over.
Snip into the corners of the Front at a 45 degree angle to meet the stitch line. Be extra careful not to snip through the stitching line. Do not cut the Front Facings, just the Bodice.
Turn the Bodice over again.
Arrange the Facings so that they are lapped right over left.
If the base of the Facing is too wide like mine, you may need to unpick at the one corner. Don’t restitch it just yet.
Roll the hem up toward the neckline to expose the seam allowance at the base of the neckline.
Pin this to the base of the Facings. Make sure the Facings lie nice and flat.
Stitch between the notches you made earlier from snipping the corners.
Try not to catch the folded fabric at the corners.
If you had to unpick the one corner earlier, now is the time to restitch it.
Overlock the raw edge around the neckline and thread the overlocking tails into the stitching.
Give the neckline another press.
- Pin Front and Back Bodices at the Shoulder seams.
Sandwich the Front Facing between the Back Shoulder seam & Back Facing.
Sew and overlock the Shoulder seams.
Press the seams towards the Back.
- Lightly gather the Sleeve Heads.
- Attach the respective Sleeves to the Bodice.
Remember to match up the notches.
Press the seam towards the Sleeve.
- Join the respective side seams from Sleeve Hem to Bodice Hem.
Press the seams towards the Back
- Sew the Sleeve Hem.
Overlock the raw edges of the Sleeve Hem.
Fold the Hems up by 1.5cm and pin in place
Stitch the Hem in place along the overlocked edge, leaving a 2cm gap open.
Feed the Elastic through the channel in the Sleeve Hem.
Try the top on to check the fit of the Sleeve Cuff and adjust the Elastic tightness if necessary.
Stitch the ends of the elastic together & close the gap.
- Sew the Hem.
You can sew a normal fold up Hem or try this one I did. I prefer this method as it won’t add bulk or weight to my drapey top.
Sew a line of basting stitches 1.5cm from the Hem edge.
Use your Hem Allowance measurement.
Press the Hem edge towards the basting stitch line on the wrong-side of the fabric.
Press the Hem up again. The basting stitch line will now be the Hem edge.
Topstitch the Hem in place.
Remove the basting stitches.
- For reference: I made a size 34 without any fit adjustments.
- I chose to not use vilene on my facings as I felt they would look too stiff in comparison to the lovely drape of the rest of the garment.
I would love to see your Aida Blouse, please feel free to share with me!
I’m sure the Inspiration Magazine would love to see too @inspiration.sewing.magazine