There’s something about water that helps me create. No, not drinking it—when I’m immersed in it! Swimming, taking a shower, and washing dishes are very contemplative opportunities. (Frankly, I prefer the swimming and shower options to the washing the dishes choice, but that’s beside the point.) Don’t get me wrong, not every shower or swim results in a new idea. Yet, every once in awhile a thought runs through my subconscious that turns into something interesting. Here’s a tale, or should I say water saga of one of those creative water opportunities.

One Saturday morning while doing the sidestroke at the local YMCA, I kept thinking about embroidery. I had purchased knit tops on which to add embroidery. The shirt style was a crew neckline, but didn’t know exactly what design to add. Truthfully, knit shirts with a crew neckline never look good on me, so why I purchased them was a mystery!

I knew how I was eventually going to position an embroidery design to the knit shirt. I’d use one of the Place & Stitch Embroidery placement guides that the Sewing With Nancy team and I designed three years ago. I’d choose a neckline shape that I’d stitch on the stabilizer and then center the knit shirt over the outline stitches. Yet, I still wasn’t enamored with the knit shirt neckline shape.

Then the creative wave came! If I could combine placement guides with decorative embroidery (Place & Stitch), maybe I could also add a neckline transformation—all in the hoop!  (If you’re baffled, just hold on…)

Later that day, I sketched out my water-inspired idea and waited a few days to mull over the process to make sure all the dots connected before sharing with anyone. Sure enough, the dots connected. One of the first people to hear my thought was Eileen Roche, editor ofDesigns of Machine Embroidery. Eileen said, “Let’s do a CD with the designs.” And so we did.

So that you can see first hand what this process is all about and how easy it is, I videotaped a segment for Nancy Zieman TV. Sew-Easy Designer Necklines is just a click away!

Eileen and I designed four merged neckline transformations with three unique elements IN ONE EMBORIDERY. Here are the elements that are included:

•          Placement guidelines

•          Decorative embroideries

•          Neckline Transformations

The transformation that I demonstrate in the video is the Placket Transformation with the sunflower design. Here’s what the embroidery looks like and a summary of the simple process.

Stitch the first thread color directly on a hooped stabilizer, I like to use the No-Show Mesh Fusible Stabilizer.

Match the knit shirt to the outline and press. Learn Eileen’s terrific ironing-boarding hooping technique in the video.

Stitch all first colors of the decorative embroidery, plus the first transformation embroidery—the inverted “Y” shape.

You’ll then learn how to create placket pieces and align the plackets on the stitched lines. The second transformation embroidery is the placket seam—it’s a computerized stitch. (How’s that for ease and accuracy!)

The third transformation is another horizontal seam to attach the second placket.

Next, remove the shirt from the hoop, cut along the inverted “Y” stitching.

Then, stitch the side seams of the placket pieces to your knit shirt, using your regular sewing machine.  Ta-da, finished!

I’ve given you a summary of my water-inspired embroidery. Remember you can view the entire process at Nancy Zieman TV.  This is our fifth video on Nancy Zieman TV. Thank you for watching! Also, thanks to all the Sponsoring Baby Lock Retailers. Remember, if you sign-up on your local participating retailer’s e-mailing list, you’ll receive notices of the new videos on Nancy Zieman TV. Plus, you’ll receive coupons for select products featured in the online lessons.

Bye for now!  I’m going to take a nice warm bubble bath….