Sunday, December 30, 2012

Etsy Shop: MonogramsandLilly

Hello everyone, I have created an Etsy shop and I am hopping to sell some great items and crafts! Here is the link!

Thanks for the support! 

My First Monogrammed T-Shirt

Today I Monogrammed a simple White V-Neck T-shirt that I purchased at our local Wall Mart! This was a pretty easy project to do with my Brother PE500, step-by-step it only takes about 30mins to complete. 

The first thing you want to do is lay your t-shirt out flat on a table or even surface.

Next, you want to insert and tighten your hoop, because this is the first one I have done I am not quite positive about the spacing yet. I use stabilizer on both sides of the design, I have found that stabilizer on both sides make the design pop a little more as well as it is more stable. 

Because a T-shirt has a back and it is not flat, you must group the rest of the shirt around the hoop so that you do not embroider trough the back of the shirt! It will look like this...

After this is done you can go ahead and put your T-shirt on the machine. I suggest going through the back because there is less fabric to pull through that way. Make sure your hoop is secured on the machine.

You can complete this step before or after you import your design onto your machine. I create my designs using Embrilliance software. This is convenient because I am able to see what my designs will look like before they are embroidered. Once your design is imported it will show up in your machine, from here you can select and edit your design.

Thread your needle, and then lower your foot (the lever is in the back). The green light will come on and if you are satisfied with your design hit the green button. Let the machine do the rest of the work! 

When your machine is completely done embroidering it will stop and a message will appear that says "finished sewing", select OK and remove your hoop from the machine.

You need to make sure you cut the thread from the front and from the back of the deign, I find it is easier to do this while it is still on the hoop. Once you remove the T-shirt from the hoop you can remove the stabilizer from the front and back. 

Once you have removed all of the extra thread, the hoop and the stabilizer your project is complete! Since this was my first T-shirt my spacing was about half an inch off, the hoop needs to be placed with the right side lined up almost perfectly with the point of the "V" in the shirt. Overall, this was a great first T-shirt!

Most of these steps can be followed with almost all items that you want to monogram/embroider. Remember, use 2 pieces (top and bottom) of stabilizer when doing anything thin, or any type of towel, washcloth...etc. Please feel free to comment with questions or any other comments. I hope you enjoy your PE500!! 

Registering for iBroidery

When you first receive your Brother PE500 you want to make sure that you register for your iBroidery account. While you are not required to use those designs you want to make sure you have the account, you will receive coupons and it is specifically formed for Brother machines. They also have fantastic Disney designs as well as many others.

When first looking at the website you should click my account near the left corner, then create a new account. 

 Click the "Create An Account" link then fill out the information. 

After you have completed this step you must register your machine with iBroidery. Under "My Account" select "add or edit".

Once you have done this, You will need to choose your machine in the drop down, I have chosen PE500.

The next screen that will appear will prompt you to enter in your machine's serial number, the machine number and also where you purchased the machine. You can find your machine number by following these steps.

Once you have entered all of this information you will be prompted to "register your machine".

Once you have selected "register" your machine will appear in a list, showing that you have registered it. 

After this you can continue shopping...etc. If you attempt to purchase something and have not registered a machine you will be prompted to register your machine, and from there you will follow these same steps. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Emboridery Essentials

Since I have received my Brother PE500 I have began collecting supplies to use as well as different nick-knacks here and there that I have come to realize I need to keep on hand in order to keep my machine up and running (I have spent a lot of time behind my machine since Christmas Eve). I have put together a list of these essentials in hopes that it will help you begin your embroidery adventure!
Embroidery Thread - I have been using the Sulky Rayon brand, but anything on sale works perfect. I prefer to use the embroidery thread rather than the common thread you would sew with because it gives a more shiny finish to your projects. I would purchase common colors, red, blue, green and then other fun colors like pink and lime green, gold; different things to play around with.
Stabilizer - I use lightweight tear away stabilizer, water soluble, or heat-a-way works too, any brand. I would advise you to purchase this when it is on sale and a lot of it, it can be pricey depending on the brand.
Bobbin Thread - Bobbin thread is different than the embroidery thread, Brother uses a 100% polyester thread, white. You only see the Bobbin on the bottom, it does not need to be the same color as the embroidery thread. This can also be pricey, so purchase when it is on sale!  
Extra Machine Needles - the PE500 uses a universal needle and the size just depends on the thickness of the fabric, I have 11, 14, 16, and 18 needles.
Hoops - The PE500 comes with a 6x4in hoop with a 4x4in embroidering area, but I would suggest purchasing a smaller size in order to complete smaller projects more accurately.
Notebook - Of course mine is Lilly, but I find that having something devoted to your projects is great. You have it sitting right there so you can take notes, or write measurements down and keep them all in one place without worrying about where "that piece of paper with that stuff on in went."
Extra Fonts - Purchase extra fun fonts that you can use over and over again. I have purchased a circular font from Apex Embroidery, and am looking at others to purchase from this site. I know these fonts seem pricey but most of them offer multiple sizes and each monogram font has letters that are pre-sized for the monogram. It is good to have a couple monogram font options as well as different alphabets, and of course Greek letters!
Carrying Case - It is important to have something to carry your machine in, you don't want to have to take the box out every time you want to go somewhere with it, and its not something you want to leave sitting around the house unless you have a room specifically for sewing! I have purchased a pink bag combo, it is important to make sure that your machine will be protected when traveling. With embroidery machines the embroidery arm often will not fit in a bag sized for a sewing machine this is why I choose to get the combo, it is a little more pricey, but I know my machine will be protected.
Storage - In the last few days, after purchasing more stabilizer and different threads, I have come to realize that storage is key! I purchased a simple plastic drawer unit, it was only about $15 in the store. I plan to add some scrapbook paper and decorate the drawers so that I know what is in them. It is also large enough to store other craft supplies you might have laying around.
Measuring Tape - I have a plastic measuring tape on hand so that I can measure the distance from the hoop to the side, and then again on the other side to insure that the design will be centered evenly on the item.
Tools - There are a few tools I have found handy in the last few days. A mini Screwdriver, this is helpful when trying to adjust your bobbin tension. Tweezers, these are helpful in case your machine jams and you cannot get the thread out with your fingers. The PE500 comes with multiple tools to assist you such as mini scissors, a seam ripper, a stylus for the screen and other things to help keep your machine running smoothly.
Items to Embroider - Of course you need something to embroider and practice on! I started with an old pillow case that I cut up into squares and practiced different designs as well as different letters on. Things such as cheap washcloths (these are 49 cents at Wall Mart) are good to use too. I also picked up a pack of white t-shirts, and Hanes Crew Sweatshirts. (Hint: When using thicker material like a towel, sweatshirt, fleece blanket...etc. use stabilizer on the top and bottom to insure the piece is stable, this also makes your monogram come out cleaner. Hint: Use a larger needle for thicker items, I would use a 14 or 16 on any towels, possibly an 18 depending on how thick the towel is.)
As I continue to do more with my machine and acquire different fonts and threads, I am sure there will be more things to add to  this essentials list but for now, this outta do it!

Post Christmas Cheer

With this fast moving holiday season coming to an end, I though I would share some of the exciting Christmas presents I received! (They are in no particular order, just in the order of what comes to mind, except the last two are my favorite)
1. Wool Blend Pea Coat in Ultra Green by New York and Company. This is such a perfect and classy coat to own. I know I will get very good use out of it. You can wear it anywhere from to work, or to class on a cold winter day, but I am most excited to wear it to our first chapter meeting of the semester. (The picture below is not the color I have, use the link to see all the bright fun colors)
2. Lilly Pulitzer Kappa Delta Murfette Scarf. My new scarf is just what I wanted! I love all things Kappa Delta and Lilly, and when the two come together there is nothing better. I am in love with the amazing KD Lilly print and could not have asked for a better item. The scarf is warm enough to wear in the winter but perfect to break out in the spring when you need that extra bit of Lilly!
3. Lilly Pulitzer Pink Leighton Blazer. Not only is it pink, but it is Lilly, could not be more perfect! This blazer is perfect for dressing up to wear to work, or dressing it down a little with a pair of jeans. I love things that you can dress up, or down they are so versatile and perfect for any occasion.

4. Lilly Kappa Delta Picture Frame. Again, you cannot go wrong with Lilly, and Kappa Delta :) I can't wait to find an amazing picture to put in it and show it off in my dorm room!
5. Brighton Charms. My stepmom got me a charm bracelet when I turned 16, and we have been adding to it ever since. These pink and green charms were the perfect addition this christmas!


6. Utility Tote by Thirty-One. My tote has an M embroidered on the front of it, and is in a multi colored circle pattern. These totes are perfect for carrying things to the bathroom in a dorm or to take to the beach, or to even have a picnic. I know mine will get good use!
7. Lifeguard Press Lilly Pulitzer Portable Speakers. These Lilly speakers have great sound and plug into your phone or ipad, or any other mp3 device. They are small enough that they fit in a purse and can be taken anywhere. I have been using mine at work the last couple of days.
8. KD Fleece Blanket. I love blankets and this one was perfect, it is pink with green chevron letters in the corner. Perfect for keeping warm at football tailgates, or to take on a long trip! (The picture below is just an example, mine has the Kappa Delta letters and a different pattern)
9. Personalized Phone Case. My stepmom made me a personalized phone case with pictures of my boyfriend and I on the back. Such a cute idea and is a hard case so it has great protection! It is also pink and green!
10. Now, if I didn't already receive enough KD items I received a KD sweatshirt with our Lilly print, and I could not be more excited! I am pretty sure my cousin got a perfect picture of my face when I opened it too! I am unsure of the place where she got it, but there are so many places where you can get Greek items done it is not even funny, my favorite is Gone Greek, they are fast and have great quality! 

11. Kappa Delta Emerald Crest Ring. This present from my dad and my stepmom means so much to me. It is the perfect way to keep KD with me all the time, and is constant reminder of seeking the honorable, beautiful and highest everyday in my life. I could not have asked for a more meaningful or perfect present!

12. Last but certainly not least, Brother PE500 Embroidery Machine. The most amazing thing I could never think to ask for, my new embroidery machine and inspiration to my blog. Every sorority girl's dream is to have monograms galore, and I am slowly getting there! I cannot believe that I own my own monogram machine and I am so excited to use it for all that I can. My boyfriend is a saint!
Now obviously I received many more, smaller items, but these are the larger items that I thought might interest you, because they are perfect for me! I hope you enjoy all of the presents you received for Christmas, and that you had wonderful times with your friends and family, I know I did! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A New Beginning

As the new year comes nearer, and everyone as started to settle down after Christmas I have decided to start something new. This is the first blog I have EVER created, so please excuse the mess! Working on this blog will be as much of an adventure as the posts that come with it!
For Christmas my amazing boyfriend (James) bought me a Brother PE500 Embroidery Machine (Yes it is pink, and yes I am ordering a vinyl monogram for the front).
When I opened this amazing gift I thought what better than to start a blog, to help others who own this machine, while also sharing ideas, crafts and all things Lilly, southern and monogrammed along the way. While I learn more and more about my machine I am also hitting more obstacles, my hope is, that with my posts y'all might be able to avoid these same obstacles and enjoy your machine to its fullest extent. Owning a embroidery machine is every sorority girl's dream, and please understand that my machine will be working at least five nights a week, you can never have to many  monograms!
Please feel free to ask questions, leave comments or give any advice, I may need ideas or help just as much as you do! I cannot wait to begin blogging about my embroidery adventuress along with the adventure that is my life!