Carol’s Blog

Machine Embroidery on a Vest Part 2

To combine the design elements and size them to fit on the pattern, I loaded an image of my pattern pieces into Art Canvas in my Bernina Designer Plus software and then went straight through to the Embroidery Canvas so that I had the pattern pieces as a backdrop. This was easy because I had used Valentina software to draft my pattern, and was able to export a vector file of the pieces.

If you have an E pattern on a PDF, you could use the Windows Snipping Tool to make a jpeg to import. The PDF pattern pieces will probably be randomly placed to save paper when you are printing, so use edit bitmap to crop out the individual pieces and save them, so that you can rotate them and position them as you would like.

If you are working with a paper pattern, you could scan the pattern, but it is a lot of work to do the whole pattern and then line up all the pieces. You might just want to scan the areas that you plan to embroider.

It is a good idea to check that your pattern pieces have been loaded at actual size. I used the measure tool and checked several of the measurements to be sure. My pattern did not have seam allowances, so if yours has, remember to allow for them.

This is what my screen looked like after I had arranged the designs on the pattern.


I got a bit carried away, and didn’t end up doing this much embroidery, but at least I knew my designs would fit on the vest. The next thing was to see what I could fit into my hoops and make templates so I could position the designs on to the actual vest. Stay tuned for the next post.

Course 3 now open, and Version 8 released in the US

At last I have launched Course 3 which covers all the features added to the V7 release. This includes Raised Satin, Stump Work, Trapunto, Support for the Punch Tool and many other improvements to the existing functions.

So far I have covered some of the improvements to the interface and looked at the Raised Satin tool. There is a bit more to come on that before moving on to the other topics.

Now that course 2 is completed, I have released it on DVD for those who prefer that option.

Version 8 has been released in the US and it looks exciting. I’ll have to wait though for the Australian release. The release notes for this version are now available from the Bernina USA site. I believe a free 30 day trial is available from dealers and should be available from the Bernina USA site some time this month. Also check out the Yahoo group for info and comments from users of this software.

Machine Embroidery on a vest Part 1

The top front embroideries.
The top front embroideries.

I’m working on a vest for a workshop I’m running in October, and as I haven’t posted for a long time, I thought I would share the process with you. There will be a few posts about this as I work through the process.

I was running out of ideas for things to put my embroideries on. There are only so many bags, towel toppers, table runners etc. that a person needs. I originally trained as a dressmaker/pattern maker so decided to revisit those skills and start making some garments with a view to embellishing them with machine embroidery. I decided to draft my own pattern and have discovered Valentina, an open source pattern making software. This software is not for the novice, you do have to know how to draft patterns, and have some understanding CAD type drawing programs. However the software is very poweful and is actively being worked on with the roadmap of new features looking very promising. The advantage of working on the computer to create my patterns is that I don’t have to have a wardobe full of blocks/slopers that become obsolete if I gain or lose weight. I can also use the same designs and simply enter someone elses measurements to create a pattern for them. Comment below if you would like to hear more about this software.

Rose PatternHaving made my pattern, I was now ready to decide on the embroidery. As usual I wanted to digitize a new design. The Antique Pattern Library has some wonderful old embroidery books available as PDF’s with a Creative Commons-Non Commercial-ShareAlike license. I found this design on the cover of Motifs Pour Boderies, a DMC publication. Using the Windows Snipping tool, I saved a .png copy to load into my digitizing software. I digitized various sections of the design so that I could re arrange them to suit the vest. I kept it simple by doing the whole design in satin fill. In the next post, I will talk about how I arranged the design and sized it to fit the vest pattern.

FAQ’s about my On Line Classes

Here is a video showing how to enrol and an overview of what to expect in the course.

Current Courses Available:-

Course 1 For versions 6 and 7 of Bernina Designer Plus

This course caters for beginner to intermediate users of the software. You can find an outline of the contents here.

Course 2 – For versions 6 and 7 of Bernina Designer Plus

For intermediate to advanced users. Follows on from Course 1 and includes:-

Lace, Cross Stitch, Quilting, Carving Stamp, Morphing, Multi Hooping, Ripple and Contour Fills, Sculptured Fancy Fill

Course 3 For V7 of Bernina Designer Plus (V8 users may also find this useful)

This course will cover all the features added to the V7 release. This includes Raised Satin, Stump Work, Trapunto, Support for the Punch Tool and many other improvements to the existing functions.

New Features in V8For people who have upgraded from previous versions.

This course will cover all the new features added to the V8 release.

Beginners Course 1 for V8 – For those new to digitizing, have limited skills in digitizing, or have come from another brand of software.

How long do you have to complete a course?

You can take as long as you like. You are enrolled indefinitely. Work at your own pace.

Do you need a Pay Pal Account?

No. The payments are processed securely through Pay Pal protecting both you and myself, but you are given the option to use a credit card.

What if I don’t understand something in the course?

There is a Q and A Forum where you can post questions. I try to answer the questions within 48 hours.

What if I have Problems with the enrollment process?

Click on the Contact Me tab at the top of this page and let me know what your problem is. I will try to sort it out ASAP

What if I forget my password?

Click on the Contact Me tab at the top of this page and let me know. I will issue you with a temporary password via email so you can log in and reset your password.

Do I need fast internet?

As much of the content is made up of video, you do need good internet speed and download capacity. If this is not the case, consider buying the DVD’s. You will still have the option of asking questions via email.

Click on the Contact Me menu item at the top of this page if you wish to purchase the DVD’s



Course 1 now available on DVD

You can now purchase the entire content of course 1 on DVD. If you have insufficient bandwidth or internet speed to watch lots of video content on line,  here is your chance to get an in depth set of tutorials. There was too much content to fit on one DVD so there are two in the package. Online participants seem to be very happy with what I have provided with many of them continuing on to Course 2. When Course 2 is complete I will make that available also.

Included on the DVD are instructions for emailing me with any questions regarding the course content, So I can support you through the learning process just like I do for those enrolled in the on line Classroom.


Click here to purchase.

Course 2 is now Open

Following the success of Course 1, I have opened Course 2. The price remains the same $60USD for 6 Units of content.

Topics that will be covered in Course 2 are

  • Lace
  • Cross Stitch
  • Quilting
  • Carving Stamp
  • Morphing
  • Multi Hooping
  • Ripple and Contour Fills
  • Sculptured Fancy Fill

Not in this order

Course 1 Outline

Well it has been a long time since I posted directly to my website. I have been flat out running my online classroom. It has been a huge success with over 150 people enrolled. Although the course was supposed to be six months long, it actually took me nine months to add all the content. Now that all the content is there, it is time to move forward with Course 2. While it won’t be compulsory to do course 1 before you do Course 2, I will be assuming you know what I have taught in course 1. I have compiled an outline of what I included in Course 1 below. Course 1 will remain open indefinitely so you can still enrol and work through it at your own pace. There is no time limit on how long you take to complete it.

Here is what a few kind participants said about their experience with the course.

Carol, Thank you for all your hard work. I have received more than I ever could have wished for in your course. Your have opened up a whole new creative world to me with all the tools that need. I cannot wait to redo your course one with the V7 edition and then I am sure I will forge ahead with Course 2.. Kind regards “

I have enjoyed your course very much. Our last few months were unexpectedly hectic and we were gone a lot so I am BEHIND but I have them downloaded except for this last one. I am anxious to catch up so I can do another course with you. Thanks “

Here is a video showing how to enroll and use the course, including an excerpt from one of the video tutorials included in the course.

Course 1 Outline



Calibrate Your Screen

The Help Menu

Open a design

Saving Designs

Sending designs to your machine or memory stick.

Digitizing Project

A Coin Purse

Practical Embroidery

Instructions for the embroidery and construction of the Coin Purse.



Accessing Corel Clip art

Loading a Picture

The difference between Raster and Vector Graphics

Where to get Graphics and Copyright

The Convert Tool

The Auto Digitizing Tools

Using an image as a backdrop

Setting up your scanner

Open and Closed objects

The Reshape Tool

Digitizing Project

Digitize a doodle

Practical Embroidery

Pattern and instructions for a notepad cover embellished with your doodle design



Editing Bitmaps

Art Canvas page set up

Editing Auto digitized designs

Other Manual Digitising tools

Underlay and Pull compensation

Different fills and outlines and their settings

Blackwork Fill Options

Digitizing Project

Digitize a Blackwork Flower

Practical Embroidery

Positioning your design on your project

Printing a Template



Advanced Applique

Creating a graphic for applique in Art Canvas

Exporting your graphic

Blanket Stitch Applique

Inserting a fill stitch into your applique

Other Outline stitches for applique

Using the Carving Stamp to add interest.

Digitizing Project

Digitize an applique rooster for a towel topper

Practical Embroidery

Instructions for the construction of the Towel Topper



Editing Lettering

Speciality Fonts

Identifying Fonts

Lettering in Art Canvas

Elastic Lettering


Pattern Runs

Digitizing Project

Digitize a monogrammed lingerie bag

Practical Embroidery

Instructions for hooping and constructing the lingerie bag



Thread colors

Color Bar/Palette

The Freehand Tools

Textured Edge

Removing overlaps with textured edge

Gradient Fill

Digitizing Project

Digitize a Daffodil from a photograph

Practical Embroidery

Create an applique outline to apply your successful test sews to projects.

Version 7 now included.

I have uploaded all the version 7 content for month 1 to my Bernina Designer Plus online classroom. Month 2 will be up by the end of next week, but don’t worry you can take as long as you like to work through the course.

A big thank you to those who have already enrolled. I know some of you have already completed the purse project and are eager for next months content.

Newbies can get started by clicking on the Classroom menu tab at the top of this page.

On line Classroom

At last I have got my online classroom up and running! At the moment the Course 1 only includes content for Version 6, but my Version 7  is on the way. As soon as possible I will add V7 material to the course so that it covers both versions.

Version 7 is now included.

Each course has 6 monthly sections. Only Month 1 is currently visible. Each month a new month will be revealed.

Each month has three Sections

  • Digitizing Theory – A step by step guide to using the software, starting at the very beginning. Great for people new to the software, but as it is very detailed, experienced users should browse the content for anything they haven’t picked up on yet.
  • Digitizing Project – Step by step instructions to digitize a design, and instructions and patterns to complete a project using that design. Suitable for all levels of experience.
  • Practical Embroidery – Suggestions for suitable fabric, stabiliser and hooping etc. for the project.

The course content consists of videos and notes. The notes are in PDF format so that you can save them to your computer or print them.

There is a Question and Answer forum where you can post if you need anything in the course clarified.

The cost is $60.00US per course (6 months), but you will remain enrolled in the course permanently so you can always return to go over the content, or re download any PDF’s you may have lost.

After 6 months if you would like to continue, you can enroll in the next course.

Just click on the Classroom tab in the top Menu to get started.