This patch is the logo of the Burners, a gang of freedom fighting teenagers with fast cars, from the cartoon Motorcity on Disney XD (which you should ABSOLUTELYWATCH if you get the chance). This particular patch is a commission for someone who's going to be cosplaying Chuck, the Burners' programmer.
Step 1: Stuff You Need
- a vector graphics editing package like Illustrator or Inkscape
- embroidery software (I'm using DRAWings and old Husqvarna VIP software)
- a USB drive (or whatever hardware you need to get your embroidery files onto your machine)
- an embroidery machine (I have a Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond)
- embroidery hoops that work with your machine
- stabilizer (I'm using water soluble Aqua Magic)
- fabric (I'm using white flag nylon)
- polyester embroidery thread
- polyester bobbin thread
- iron on backing (I'm using stuff from Colman and Company)
- parchment paper
- an iron
- some damp paper towels
- a heatproof surface of some description (I use a small glass mirror I got for $5 at Michaels)
- a hotknife (essentially a woodburning tool with a small chisel tip)
Step 2: Creating Your Design
Once you've created your vector drawing, you may need to save it out as a legacy format or a really old version of your usual format if your vector to stitch software gives you error messages. I generally save my .ai files as the oldest version, Illustrator 3, to keep DRAWings happy.
Step 3: Turning Your Design Into Stitches
I import my vector file into DRAWings and it turns it into stitches. If you see any errors in your stitchout here, you may need to go back into Illustrator and fix any open paths or other issues you may have. You can also do some minimal editing in DRAWings to change the type of fill stitch you use on an area, the stitch pattern, underlay stitching, and whether or not there is stitching at all. If you can't delete an area of stitches in DRAWings, you can delete it in the next step when editing the stitch file directly.
Step 4: Editing Your Stitch File
Once you are satisfied with your stitch file, save it out as a format that your machine can read and put it on your USB drive or whatever hardware you need to use to get your stitch files onto your machine.
Step 5: Hoop Your Fabric and Stabilizer
Step 6: Setup Your Machine to Sew
Change colors whenever your machine tells you it's ready for the next thread color.
Step 7: Processing Your Patches
Remove your stabilizer (if applicable) as per your manufacturer's instructions. With the stuff I use, Aqua Magic, I run my patches under hot water until all the stabilizer is dissolved. If you're using water soluble stabilizer, wait until your patch is completely dry before proceeding.
If you're using iron-on backing, follow the directions from the manufacturer. With the stuff I use, I set my iron to the wool setting and sandwich my patch and iron-on backing between two sheets of parchment paper with the patch back facing up. I press down with the weight of my upper body for 10 seconds, then flip the whole thing over and firmly give it a once-over with the iron. Then I peel off the backing paper and trim my patch so that there is a small border all around the edges.
Step 8: Hotknifing Your Patches
Once your hotknife is hot, trim the excess nylon from around your patches. Wipe the melted gunk off your hotknife whenever you finish a cut stroke. You can run a clean part of the hotknife along an edge to further seal it.
Step 9: Patch Get!!
I actually sell these Burner patches here, in case you want one/don't have a machine and are a Motorcity fan. It's pretty awesome what you can do with a bit of equipment and a laptop, huh?