Sunday, May 1, 2016

Octoberfest Prep: Or, That Darned Dirndle

Ever since I fixed the joints and slapped a shiney blond wig on Arita, my Soom Super Gem/Only Doll head hybred, I have been wanting to go all out on an Octoberfest set.

Why?  Well, the embroidery!  So for two months now, off and on, Hubby has been trying to get this sorted with the design program (while I threw in suggestions).  We left it alone for a few weeks, after the whole rent hike thing, and then decided to put every Saturday into it as a break from other worries.

What it was doing to him was refusing to sew the layers of color in the right order.  Having got that sorted finally (who ever wrote the instructions was insane, I have come to the conclusion) the leaf and vine bit kept stitching over and over up to six or seven times for ONE layer.  Solution, set each stitch one at a time. Then there was the distortion factor.  What looks good on screen is not always what you get depending on your fabric's weave.  I usually stitch out on a nice muslin, and the difference on quilting type cotton is not that much, but this was doing a number, turning all those round flowers into egg shapes.  Stitch length changes have to be done an mm at a time.  And sometimes you get stitches you do not want, no matter what, because the program says so.  And with the one program you can control jump lines, the lines between design that have to be cut, and with the other program you can't.  You have to decide which program is the one that isn't going to drive you the craziest.  One sucks power and crashes like a Mac on Photoshop, and one lets you at least listen to internet music without crashing, but sometimes the save does not take.  It's insane.

So here is a screen cap of a traditional skirt hemline design: rose, cornflowers, and edelweiss, in the actual design program.  You can right click and open in a new tab for a larger view on all the photos.

And what the resizer program (to tweak it to fit my machine's frame as well as edit other programs) does to the colors when you look in there.  Wilcom True Sizer shows you an almost virtual stitch out though I think hubby must have forgot to set the size of the thread, because my thread is usually thinner in the program.  You can see some of the jump lines on the 'blue' flowers.  

To save fancy thread for the real project, it gets stitched out with left over thread from a serger hem project I did and used embroidery thread in the same size I will be using.  All that little thread cutting is not time efficient right now.  The real project always gets de-jump threaded.  The finished design is to be stitched out at 2.75 inches, and repeated.

So now I just do a better job of lining the design up on the skirt fabric and stitch it out in the real colors.  Then I need to get the bodice of the dirndle patterned and decide what size and how many flowers to put on those pieces. I want to get everything, blouse, apron, dirndle, etc. cut out and in a ziplock bag before we hit the road so it will all be hand sewn.  I might make her the old fashioned black  and flower trimmed hat and a shawl to go with the outfit.  It's also traditional to wear silver jewelry with the outfit.

Some very good news, re the sewing.  I have been researching RV and Camping blogs and forums when I can't sleep (I have insomnia but yeah, lots more now..) and found out that a lot of people take their machines on the road.  Even industrial multi-thread machines don't suck that much power!  Most people just use a power inverter from their DC12 V battery plug in.  I checked and I have to make sure I get one that changes to 120, not 110 with a long cord that will go through to the back.  A heck of a lot of them that work for laptops and things are just 110, but the 120 are a bit more.  On the other hand, it is not the nearly 300 for the solar panel and power pack I had been thinking about.  We could put that money into getting the truck plug in fixed and maybe a dual battery set up (it puts in a smaller battery that does not get used unless you need it to start the vehicle.)  I have to ask the mechanic if he has done that before.  We know him as a long time neighbor and a tow driver, but have not gone to him for work yet. I do know he works on classic cars!  Anyway, it's rather a relief.  Once we get used to things and figure things out, I may be right back to work, apartment or not!

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