Search here...

Designer Necklines!

Wow! There were so many comments on fashion disasters. I’m glad to know that what goes on in my embroidery studio also occurs in many homes across America. It’s funny, many of the ‘disasters’ you mentioned seem to happen after ‘careful planning’. I think I know why. There are so many variables in embroidery. When I’m planning a project, I often repeat the carpenter’s chant, ‘measure twice cut once’ translated into embroidery lingo – ‘measure twice, stitch once’. But I have to remind myself that wood is stable, fabric is not – it’s stretchy (even if it’s a woven) and pliable. Measuring it on a flat surface, and then measuring it on a dress form, then measuring again once it’s hooped, will produce three different measurements! Ugh!

Nancy Zieman and I certainly struggle with placement – everyone does if they attempt to embellish ready-made garments. But we’ve learned to eliminate the measuring. We focus now on matching centers and outlines. This technique nails the placement every time!

A professionally embroidered neckline is only successful when the embroidery is centered (if that’s the intention), symmetrical and pucker-free. Since the eye uses the actual edge of the neckline as a reference point, that’s what we use to make sure the embroidery is centered and symmetrical. I think you’ll find the placement guides included in the Designer Necklines – One Step T-shirt Makeovers irreplaceable! You can use those placement guides for any neckline embroidery – you’re not restricted to the floral designs that come with the collection. You can mix and match your designs – and still be guaranteed perfect placement!

If you aren’t the lucky winner today you still have a chance – actually two chances – to win Designer Necklines. Share with me why you read this blog. Please tell me what you’d like to see in the blog – I want to make sure I’m giving you what you want! If you’re comment is selected you’ll receive a copy of Designer Necklines. Double your chances to win by heading over to Nancy’s blog – she’s also giving away Designer Necklines! Click here

Last Friday we asked about your greatest fashion embroidery disaster.  Our lucky winner of the Designer Necklines is Jean Guenther.  She said…

“I was working on a V-neck t-shirt, purchased for this project, doing a lace cut out around the front neckline.I am always leary about walking away from the machine while it is working away….but on this day the phone rang, everything had gone perfect so far, so I just got up to answer and………. as I was talking I looked at my machine and the shoulder had dropped down and caught on the needle and was embedded into the design. Of course it was ruined. I had to cut a hole in the shirt to get it off the design….and couldn’t match up to finish……plus had a hole where I could not put anything that would match the rest of the shirt. I don’t know which I was most upset about. Ruining the shirt or ruining a NEW shirt!  I can’t wait to read what others post!”

Congratulations, Jean!




  • Jennifer Mead

    I read this blog for two purposes: 1) to get my creative juices flowing. It is difficult to find creative inspiration where I live. I rely on television and the internet for almost all inspiration! 2) I read the blog for basic education. Classes are few and far between in my region, and there are basically no shows or seminars. I learn so much from this blog!

    • eileen

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jennifer. I’ll keep education at the top of my list for future posts!

  • Janice Murry

    I read your blog for tips, inspiration, and news about machine embroidery. I have already ordered the Designer Necklines so I don’t need to win one. I just wanted you to know how helpful I find your posts. Thank you.

  • Mary Gordon

    I enjoy your blogs and the quite frequently accompanying videos because they are so informative. Through both, I have learned a lot about placement, how-to’s (like placement advantages – no matter what size hoop you have), how to set the project up for the best effect and outcome. Your tutorials definitely get me thinking outside of the box and ending with an “I can do this” feeling and attitude. I have also “learned” how to do things as a project I might not otherwise have thought of or taken on in the first place. Keep up the good work – you definitely have a fan here and I read and view everything that has your name associated with it. 🙂

  • Jean A Williams

    Eileen, I love your magazine and the ezine has been even more fun (especially beeing in a treasure hunt!). After several years of working on embroidery, I still only feel proud of my work about 1/2 the time. I am retired now so am able to put more time in so I at last see some hope for greater success.

    I am particularly thrilled about your designer necklines as that is something I experiment with often. I love to match a ready made shirt with pants I have made.

    I have tried different ways of making button holes, etc. to hold a scarf in place. You know how they kind of slip around when you wear them? I had thought I could put a button hole just an inch or two off the shoulder line in the body front and put a button on my scarves. I was lumpy, bumpy and ineffective though. Can you think of a way to solve this problem? I guess I think of the embroidery because of the button hole, but perhaps there could be a loop thing that could be embroidered onto the shirt?

    Thanks anyway for sharing your love & knowledge with us.


    • eileen

      That’s an interesting project – I’ll keep it in my mind. Sounds like a challenge!

  • Robin Mead

    It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why I read this blog. I really enjoyed the Tips and Tools I read sometime last year. I still have the Embriodery Tool Kit on my Christmas wish list. My machine is now clean and working like a charm since I used what I learned in March about cleaning the bobbin area. And the handbag rules in June – priceless. I never buy a handbag without first finding a full length mirror so I can see how it really looks. I’ll be adding the Snap Hoop to my Christmas list, too.

    • eileen

      Oh Robin,
      Those posts you mentioned are some of my favorites too! The handbag rules was priceless – I still chuckle over the subject – and the comments! Thanks for reading!

  • Shirley Rawlinson

    I read this blog because I believe we can never have enough knowledge about a hobby we enjoy. I also love to read of the experiences of others as well as their solutions to problems. Your continuing education through this blog, Eileen, is so appreciated!

  • Karin

    There are LOTS of reasons I read this blog (the giveaways are GREAT & fun, too, but I’d read it even without them) – it’s educational and inspirational (always a new trick to technique), you encourage us to go beyond our current skill set and you let us know that even the PROS face challenges and then you so generously share how to overcome (or at least cope with) them! You make it OK to make mistakes.

    • eileen

      Some days I believe the only reason why I’m considered an embroidery expert is because I’ve made more mistakes than everyone else! But it sure has been fun. Thanks for reading – and commenting on the blog.

  • Marsha

    I am new to the blog and am loving it. I have learned that others have the same problems that I do and I don’t feel so discouraged. The new techniques are wonderful. I can’t wait to try some of them. I also love the comments of the others.
    I don’t know if you have done this before, although I’m sure you have and that I have missed it. Could you please share how you embroidery on knits. Especially ones like sweat shirts. Both heavy and light. I’ve had some success and some disasters.

  • Betsy Cook

    I am also new to blogging. I have found so many helpful sites and free downloads. I have just read your blogs old and new and am amazed on how much information you give out.
    I would like to see more information on everything but esp. working with knits for kids and adults….I have been sewing a long time..started out with Nancy on her TV show…and then of course your magazines…. (which I just can’t afford right now..oops I meant to say subscribe to…I did buy one on the news stand the other day….dealing with knits.
    I just love everything you do…esp. the stipple…
    Blessings Betsy

    • eileen

      Hi Betsy,
      I believe we are all given gifts and it is our duty to use the gifts to the fullest – and to share them. My gift – if you want to call what I do -spend 24/7 on embroidery – is only valuable when it’s shared. I hope this sharing makes other’s journey into this hobby more enjoyable – and successful. Hopefully they won’t make all the mistakes I made!

  • Nancy Drobniak

    I’m a romantic and love the talent and skill high quality embroidery brings to fabrics, projects, and garments. This blog connects me to others who appreciate the effort, skill, and talents embroiderers bring to the sewing and related communities. Reading comments by others gives me the support I need to enjoy what I do and what I accomplish.

  • Enis

    I read your blog because I love all the wonderful ideas, tips, tricks, products, etc! Some of them have really inspired me to try something new or the purchase a new product. I also enjoy reading the comments of others. They are very inspiring (and sometimes funny) as well. Thank you for making this blog available to people who love to craft — like me.

    • eileen

      I think the comments are the best part of the blog! I’m often stumped on how to get readers to comment – more is definitely better!

  • Susan Spiers

    I read this blog because I am new to machine embroidery! I thank you for passing on your experiences, good & bad, you are the light at the end of my machine embroidery tunnel! It is a pleasure to view crafting through your eyes. Keep up the great work! One last note, I always leave with a smile on my face!

    • eileen

      Yeah! A smile goes a long way!

  • Jennifer Su

    I read this blog to learn as much as I can about machine embroidery- there is so much to know! Any little tip I can find to make things easier, faster, or better quality. I also like to find out about new products and designs.
    I would like to have tutorials on some simple one afternoon or weekend projects- things that would make great last minute gifts like potholders, coasters, etc.

    • eileen

      Great idea – last minute gifts. I’ll add it to the list.

  • Jean Guenther

    I was so excited to see that I had won your new Designers Necklines! I can’t wait to receive it and get started. I definately will not walk away from stitching.
    I love reading all your emails as you always come up with new products that offer new ways to use our machines to their fullest. For the amount of $$$ I have invested in the machine, thread, and stabilzers I want to make quality looking items to show it off. Your books and products have certainly helped me reach that goal and the blog pushes me to think about why I love machine embroidery.
    Thank you

  • Jackie

    I love that you share mistakes you have made as well as suggestions. Hearing that others have done the same thing helps me to try something once again even if it didn’t work out correctly the first time. I love that you show us different things which then makes me want to try it as well. I really enjoy doing machine embroidery and want to get as good as I can.

  • Jan Boggan Henson

    Information comes from every direction, thanks to the internet. It is important to me to only read what truly helps and inspires me. That is why I read your blog. No one, including me, has time to waste. Thanks, Eileen!

    • eileen

      Time is really the only thing we have to give one another. How very valuable it is – the older I get, the more I treasure how I spend my time.

  • Karen Trott

    I enjoy Eileen’s Blog. I look for new ideas, tips, inspiration, and a good read. I would appreciate a little less merchandising in the blog. I get the blog, Ann the Gran and other Designs in Machine Embroidery emails, and they all seem to have the same merchandise . Some variety at least would make me feel a little less like just some one you want to sell to.

    • eileen

      Good point, Karen. The blog is written independently of all other marketing materials (blasts you receive from Designs and other partners, like Ann the Gran) and I do try to avoid ‘selling’ here. But sometimes it’s hard to resist talking about hot new products. The Designer’s Necklines is a good example. Nancy and I worked for months on it and during that time, I referenced the project on the blog so it made sense to me to talk about it and give away two free copies when it was first released.

      On another note, embroiderers ask me for tips and techniques on embroidery. Since I’ve actually developed all of the embroidery products here at Designs, I can’t provide advice without referencing our tools/products. I use them every time I embroider and they are the reason why my embroidery processes are streamlined, efficient and successful.

      My goal for this blog is to build a community of embroiderers who feed off of each other – learning and sharing. I hope you’ll continue to stop by and participate.

  • Valerie Usowicz

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us. I really appeciate it and don’t mind at all if you mention the tools you’ve developed to help to make your (and our) embroidery projects easier to do. I’m fairly new to embroidery and to this blog. I read it because I love to learn all I can about quilting and embroidery and you share so much and you are so enthusiastic. As others have mentioned, the tips are great and knowing that we all make mistakes helps us all to keep trying to improve. I have saved several t-shirts to practice on. You know the ones that get a stain on them, but they are perfectly good otherwise. Well I have them ready to practice new techniques on, and I’m putting your new Designer’s Necklines on my wish list. Keep up the good work. I’ll be retiring soon and I’m looking forward to more sewing time.

  • Jean Cardinal

    I read your blog for the information in it, for the inspiration, and because I have no quilting or embroidery friends here and enjoy hearing most of the opinions shared by others.

  • Fanchon

    I am new to your blog. Although I have been embroidering for many years there are always new things to learn, new techniques and new ideas to be shared. I am always anxious for any kind of new ideas and techniques. 🙂 I have been a fan going back to 1997 when you first did your Creative News. How far we have come from those days! Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge with us on this blog. It is great and I love it. I have added the Designer Necklines to my Christmas list. I love t shirts, to wear and embroider…but hate those crew necks that so many t shirts are made with. If I should be so lucky to win…I can think about getting your new snap hoop. I have to have that too!!!!
    Thanks, Fanchon

  • Prema Sweezey

    Dear Eileen,

    I have been your admirer for a long time. I bought the Designer Necklines package from you. I some how misplaced the CD which had instruction on working with the designs. I have looked for it all through my stuff and cannot find it. Is it possible to get a replacement CD so that I can work with this package again. Any help from you would be greatly appreciated.

  • Radhe Krishna

    There are a few intriguing points on time in this article but I don’t know if them all center to heart. There may be some validity but I am going to take hold opinion until I look into it further. Very good write-up , thanks and that we want a lot more! Included with FeedBurner at the same time