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Sewing the embroidery block onto the Vest Back


    • Machine embroidery thread same as used to sew the designs
    • #60 weight cotton thread top
    • superfine bobbin thread same as used for making the designs
    • #60/8 Microtex needle
    • #120 Wing Needle


Figure 9
Unless otherwise stated, I recommend a size-120 wing needle when stitching any of my wing needle machine embroidery designs from Laura's Sewing Studio
  1. Begin this stage of the design by setting up the machine with a #60/8 Microtex needle and #60 weight thread in the top.
  2. Set up for straight stitch, 2.5 mm length.
  3. Sew down the embroidery block, atop the block alignment outline of each design, but just the part of the outline along the outside edges of the block.
  4. Move the needle to the right 2 marks
  5. Sew around the patch again, only this time it is about 1 thread-width outside the original line.
  6. Now, set the machine for a zigzag stitch - 2 mm length x 1 mm width.
  7. Zigzag sew on top of the two previously stitched lines.
  8. The patch is now tacked down to the vest back. Remove the project piece from the machine and put it aside.

It is now time to choose a wing needle stitch with which to secure the four-block embroidery patch to the vest back. Your sewing/embroidery machine will have some hemstitches programmed into it from which to choose, so take a break and explore which hemstitch inspires you to finish the flourish on your vest.


Figure 10
A hemstitch sampler from my machine

Figure 10 is a sample of some of my machine's hemstitches. Should you be interested, I stitched this sampler onto sheets of ultra-firm sew-in stabilizer, using a regular top stitch needle, hence the lack of any wing needle effect.

Since this is actually Part 2 of my Mad Flourish Vest Project, I opted to use the same stitch, stitch settings, and needle size as I used in creating the front of the vest front. I chose the Double Overedge stitch shown in Figure 11.


Figure 11
I chose the Double Overedge Hemstitch for this phase of project

My machine set up is 6 mm length x 6 mm width. However, if the front of your Wing Needle Madness Vest is already underway, I suggest you review your notes and use the same stitch and stitch settings in this stage of the project, to give the project overall continuity.

Should this be your first time using a wing needle with the feed dogs, here are some guidelines I hope will help you with your decision.

Making a practice sample “test strip” of your machines hemstitches

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” – Yogi Berra

Take this opportunity to road test your choice of hemstitches sewn with a wing needle before committing it to attaching your Flourish embroidery block to the vest back.

  1. Cut two pieces of fabric 2 x 12 inches. Use the same fabric as the vest back and/or the embroidery block to best gauge the wing needle effect.
  2. Add one layer of tear-away, approximately the same size to the backside of test strip.
  3. Keeping the same threads and needle in the machine as you used to tack down the patch to the vest fabric, sew a straight stitch 2.5 mm length 3/8 of an inch from each edge, move the needle to the right two points and sew each line again, tacking the fabric to the stabilizer.
  4. Sew two additional lines equidistant from the previous two – about half inch. Then, move the needle to the right two points and sew each line again
  5. Sew a tiny zigzag over each line with the machine set up 2 mm length x 1 mm wide.


Figure 12
Four parallel straight-stitch lines, equidistance apart, overlaid with a zigzag stitch

The practice strip is ready for you to practice sewing hem stitches with the wing needle and with the feed dogs of the machine.

Practice sewing Wing Needle Hemstitches with the Feed Dogs

  1. Insert a wing needle into the machine.
  2. Use the same super fine bobbin thread as used to stitch the Flourish embroidery designs.
  3. Use the same machine embroidery thread as used to stitch the Flourish embroidery designs.

Look at the hemstitches your machine has to offer. You will need to select a stitch that will cover the raw edges of the fabric on both sides. The backside of the project (the vest back) will have a raw edge and the front side of the vest back will have a raw edge, so this design has to accommodate covering both raw edges.

As a review, refer back to your hemstitch sampler. Examples of these stitches are shown in Figure 13.


Figure 13

Examples of hemstitches that will work for this project

Depending on the fabric you are using, the design can be sewn as narrow as 4 mm for lightweight fabrics or up to 6 mm for heavier fabrics. My fabric is linen/cotton blend and considered lightweight. However, the weave is a little coarse and as a consequence I chose a width of 6 mm.

  1. With the far left stitch of the design sewing directly on top of the stitches, sew down the stitched lines you made on your test strip.
  2. Start with sewing the hemstitch 4 mm wide and 4 mm length. Sew about 2 inches.
  3. Increase the length to 5 mm. Sew another 2 inches. (4 mm wide x 5 mm length)
  4. Increase the length to 6 mm and sew another 2 inches. (4 mm wide x 6 mm length)
  5. Keep the hemstitch at 6 mm length. Increase the width to 5 mm. Sew about 2 inches. (5 mm wide x 6 mm length)
  6. Increase the width to 6 mm. Sew about 2 inches. (6 mm wide x 6 mm length)
  7. Using a fine point sharpie, record these settings alongside each section, directly onto the fabric.
  8. Next, choose another hemstitch and repeat the previous steps. Don't forget to record your machine's settings for each run. Each practice stitch will end up with a stitch that is 6 mm wide by 6 mm length.
  9. If there are more hem stitches to choose from that you like then choose a third hemstitch and repeat, then a fourth.

After the sampler is made select one that you like best. For purposes of this tutorial select one that is 6 mm wide. After you have made a decision which stitch you want to use, continue on.

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Laura's Sewing Studio embroidery designs and any instructions are for personal use. Designs and copyrighted images are intended for private, non-commercial use. Laura's Sewing Studio entitles the purchaser only to make projects for personal use. The embroidery designs and any instructions are the copyrighted property of Laura M. Waterfield. No design, documentation, or associated graphic distributed as part of this collection may be shared, re-sold individually, re-packaged, or used in any commercial endeavor or instructional presentation without the written consent of Laura's Sewing Studio. Any modifications of these embroidery designs or instructions are for the personal non-commercial use of the purchaser only and may not be sold or distributed under this licensing agreement.
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