Discussing machine embroidery · Projects

Guest blog: Natalie’s wedding day shawl

My name is Janis and I have been doing machine embroidery for about 10 years now. I own a Brother Dream machine 2 and I prefer to use Floriani threads for my embroidery.

A while back I was asked to make a shawl for a customer who was going on a cruise. I used Royal Blue crepe back satin with chiffon layered over it and stabilized it with wash away stabilizer – 2 layers of Exquisite wash away and a Schmetz metallic needle.

I test stitched to try out different silver metallic threads.  I ended using Floriani which best matched the dress it was going to be worn with.

I made this harder for myself than necessary. I used the Natalie’s Wedding Collection and did not see that there was a single rose available so I edited one from a grouping to use for the continuous border.  The larger groupings down the middle came from the same collection.  I had #3 and #4.

I printed out the designs in Floriani Total Control-U embroidery software in order to place the motifs down the middle.  Then I printed out about a dozen single roses and played with the placement to determine what my overall size should be in order to make the continuous design around the outside come out even.  I was off about one inch which I just divided up at the corners.

I chalked the outline on the satin and put some chalk marks to define areas on the shawl so I could keep track of where I was.  With the sheer on top, those chalk marks didn’t last long.  I ended up putting in tailor’s tacks. 

I began by embroidering the large motives down the middle from the center out.  Then I began working on the border. I found that a long narrow continuous design hoop worked best for the border as it allowed me to move the fabric and stay aligned correctly more easily.

It took about 50 hours of embroidery time over two weeks and the cost of the project was around $150. The most challenging part of completing the project was figuring out how to make the border design to fit the shape that was desired.

If I had to do a similar project again, I would leave a lot more fabric extended outside the planned finished area than I thought I needed.  There was one section where I literally had to pin on stabilizer in order to get the correct size to hoop for the border. However I was very pleased with the finished result, but it ended up taking a LOT more time than I anticipated. In the future I will be careful to quote a higher price than I expect it to take.  When I realized the amount of time it was going to take, I went back and renegotiated the price.  It’s easier to drop the price than raise it but the customer was glad to pay it after having priced retail and still not finding what she wanted. 

My creativeness is only limited by my imagination and willingness to stretch my abilities. 

This is an amazing project Janis. Well done. I am sure that the lady loved wearing this on her Mediterranean cruise. I love your comment when asked what you learned from making this scarf – “my creativeness is only limited by my imagination and willingness to stretch my abilities.  This isn’t something I would have tackled two years ago.” You have inspired us all. Thank you for sharing this project with us all.

Happy embroidering from Hazel

11 thoughts on “Guest blog: Natalie’s wedding day shawl

  1. Larger projects like this are very tedious with embroidery. I commend you on your hard work and creativity. Love the thread choice you made. It’s an absolutely beautiful wrap.

  2. What an undertaking! Exquisite work. What stabilizer did you use, and what needle? I’m a newbee.

  3. The shawl is Beautiful!!!  I was so inspired and totally impressed!  Thank you for sharing.


  4. Very beautiful and your placement skill for each hooping is amazing. You have a have a lot more patience than I.

  5. I would have thought the shawl was professionally made! It is just stunning! And it matched so perfectly with the dress as well! I know your customer or friend was more than delighted with your craftsmanship. wonderful job!!!

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