Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Sewing and Embroidery Project

Subtitle: I Did Not Realize I Could Mess Up So Many Things In So Many Ways, Incredible. 

Other possible subtitles: Embroidery Machines Why Don’t You Love Me, How Did I Lose The Pupils??, I Should Really Figure Out The Ladder Stitch, and Why Don’t I Own Fabric Scissors.

I’m not proud of this project as much as I would like to be (which is even suckier considering its late, oops), but I still learned a lot.

First, the in-class stuff:

I seriously love this bag. I’d love to have another. I might make another, honestly.

This is the embroidery: It’s a head of a white wolf, from japanese folklore called Amaterasu, the sun god, It’s specifically a video game adaptation. It’s called chibiterasu. its adorable.


Final Product!


He’s a kitty bean, and a lovely mint color (although it doesn’t come out super great in photos). Also, yes, his pupils are not there. I have no idea where the eye shines went. More elaboration later.

This is the embroidery part; I was worried about embroidering on the softer mink fabric, so I decided to make him a lil cape. I was gonna put a hood on it too, but due to me not having fabric scissors, I don’t want to risk cutting the black fabric more than I have. 

The embroidery did /not/ come out good. I would like to redo it entirely, but the embroidery machines gave me a surprising amount of trouble and I didn’t have time to iterate on it. 🙁 Per Duncan’s opinion, that white etchy-look was due to the bobbin thread being loose. It’s supposed to look a lot cleaner (a picture of the PES file is also below). I debated turning it over and using the white side instead, but opted against it in the end.

I might redo the embroidery at some point, just for me, once I have time. I like embroidering, but I have a weird amount of difficulty with the machines. After not having enough time + breaking a needle on a machine + the weird threading issue + starting over a few times on embroidering, I think any time set aside for embroidery needs to have at least an extra hour or too to account for my inability to use the machines properly,

I spent a good amount of time putting together the design myself. Once I knew what fabric I wanted to use, and that I wanted a cape, I wanted some kind of sprawling plant design with maybe some scattered stars but couldn’t find anything I wanted online so I, (admittedly panicking at this time because i was already running on limited time), threw something together. The mess at the top is supposed to be a cluster of mint leaves, while the ferns encircle a line of stars going down.

Sewing wise: The entire plush was hand sewn. In a small part because the fab lab was closing and also I wasn’t entirely sure I trusted the machine for plushie work, and I had….. some… experience with hand sewing.

My stitches are… not great. Admittedly. I also don’t have the best instinct for facing things the right way. or putting the “good” sides together, so…. things took way longer than they had to, honestly. Pictures from the process below.

THESE EARS. These are included because I redid the stitching, I kid you not, 7 times, because I kept on sewing it so that they weren’t mirrors of each other, or so that the good fabric was facing the wrong way, or both. I /kept doing it/. 7 Times. It was a mess. 

Last known sighting of the pupils (a little white fluff in the top left corner). I swear I stuck them with th rest of the fabric when I stuffed it into my backpack to take home for sewing. but they’re gone.

Ladder stitch! Mentioned because I “learned” it and went “oh wow! thats really neat!” and had a moment of “i can do ANYTHING now that I know this!”. It was nice. I’m still very bad at it, but its nice knowledge to have.

“It was at this point, she squinted at her handiwork at like 5 in the morning and went: ” why…….. are the legs……. off center………………….”

Additional fun things: I don’t own fabric scissors, and realized at one point I forgot to cut out a second of one of the pieces, and that I needed to cut the cape so it could be fastened properly. Things that can cut but do not work as well as fabric scissors: Multitool knife, art knife, my spare knife. 

Anyway, funtime goodtimes. 

Lastly, I set up the cape (having brought the fabric home). I cut some of it off so that I could make a little button fasten.

Me, abruptly, at this point: …………. wait, do I know how to sew on buttons? (thankfully, the answer was yes).

It comes unbuttoned!


Overall, not my best work, definitely. I learned a lot, have a lot of respect for anyone who works with fabric regularly. I’d like to do more fabric work, but I definitely need more time than I gave myself for it.

Fun though!

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