Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How to monogram ribbon for bows and headbands 101

Okay, in an effort to save myself from drowning in requests for this file and technique, I'm just going to post the instructions here and HOPE it helps - God save us all! I know how frusrating it is to see those gorgeously monogrammed bows and headbands, only to have some clumpy wrinkled grosgrain mess starring at you from your machine! HOW, you ask DO THEY DO THAT!!!! I don't have time to completely re-write these instructions (hello! bows to embroider! dresses to sew!) so I hope y'all don't mind if I just post the original email instructions below!

HERE is the file available for download.

This is the original message I sent to the girl who was initially looking for help – I hope everyone appreciates it, not many people share their secrets or designs for free! Basically, this is one of the best kept secrets for making monogrammed bows and I literally researched it for months before MJ at perfectlittlestitches.com graciously answered a desperate email from me inquiring about stitching her designs on grosgrain ribbon for bows. She was doing an article for Stitch Fun News that was similar and gave me the first size ribbon template. I figured out how to do it on my own and added the other ribbon sizes.

Do me a favor and add my website to your ‘favorites’ if you don’t mind! While you are at it, add perfectlittlestitches.com too if you don’t already shop on her site – she has some great ‘little’ designs for embroidering on ribbon. I have used them for embroidered bows and the covered buttons for the pony tails – that is done with the same ‘basting stitch’ principle, just making multiple circles that fit inside of your hoop. I have 2 Babylock BMP8’s and use .pes format – if you need a different format, let me know and I can convert if for you when I get a chance. I would hate for MJ to find out I’m ‘passing’ this idea around without her getting some kind of credit – and when you link to our sites it increases traffic via google searches! Thanks!

preppyinparadise.com is my site – I’m always happy to help other mommy-entrepreneurs and love chatting about ideas with other people. Visit my blog and lets chat – I don’t devote very much time to it, but I’d love to get it up and running! preppyinparadise.blogspot.com

Okay, I'll try to explain the technique quickly, it works great for doing monogrammed bows as well as embroidered headbands and cover buttons. I apologize in advance if it’s a little wordy – I am trying to give as much info as possible and anticipate any questions or ‘vague’ aspects . . . so . . .

1. open the design and you will see the 3 sets of rectangles that represent the placement for 1 inch, 1.5 inch and 3 inch ribbon. I copy and paste the size I want to do onto another open file so I can do multiple ribbons at a time. I do it horizontally across the page – depending on the hoop size.
2. You will notice 2 colors – the first one represents the ‘placement’ – and the second narrower color is the actual basting stitch.
3. Once you have as many copies as you want plotted out, go ahead and sort the colors so that you will sew out all of the placement stitches first, followed by the basting stitches (do you understand what I mean, you don’t want to do a placement, then remove your hoop and baste, then put it back in and do a placement, then remove it . . . you get the idea, you want to do them all at once, lets be efficient here!).
4. Now use your software program to insert the designs within the basting stitch limits – whether it’s a monogram or a mini design, headband or to be sewn into a bow. If I plotted out 6 spots for ribbons, I just go ahead and insert all of the designs.
5. Now hoop up your stabilizer (I use medium weight tear away, or sometimes 2 layers of tear away light, you could get away with one layer if your hoop isn’t too big, but I find the placement stitch sometimes has a hard time starting out if its not thick enough).
6. Now you are ready to stitch out the placement stitch – this just creates an outline of where you are going to place your ribbons.
7. Once all of your placement lines are there, stop your machine, remove your hoop (just like appliqué) but DO NOT UNHOOP YOUR STABILIZER – and get out your spray adhesive (I prefer 505 myself). If, you don’t have spray adhesive, go and get some immediately you foolish girl! Pins are okay, but spray adhesive is the best – I hardly hoop anything, I just use adhesive spray!
8. Now place your ribbons between the placement stitches, being mindful of where you want your design to ultimately be stitched – as in, if it’s going to be a bow, what loop of the bow will the design or monogram appear, or is it going to be on a tail? That’s the spot you obviously want to be on the stabilizer.
9. Now put the hoop back in the machine and let it go! First it should stitch out all of the basting stitches and then move on to your designs.
10. Once its finished, simply remove the basting stitch and stabilizer – some designs do better than others – some ‘pull’ more, some may require a quick pressing – you’ll have to expirement with designs and fonts that turn out the best.
11. Good luck, maybe I’ll make a video!
12. Don’t’ forget to add my site to your favorites, it’s the least you can do!!!

Let me know if this works for you – I’m at home working most days!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this info!! I've been wanting to do this but wasn't sure how to do it! My 3 girls will love these new bows!!