Leather Strapped Tote Bag

I wanted to share with you all how you can take a basic sewing pattern and use it as inspiration to create the look you want. Before I start a crafting project, I have already found an inspiration photo that I want the final product to look like. I take that photo and then find or create a design pattern that looks similar to the one I aspire to make. From there, I purchase the materials based on my inspiration photo (with a few tweaks in color to match my style and my personality).

This DIY tote bag is a two-part project. I’d love for you to check out how you can customize this tote bag and make it your own. Click the link below for the second part to this post.



  • Canvas
  • Leather Strap
  • Rivets
  • Measuring tape and/or ruler
  • Pen or pencil to create your pattern (dimensions included in this post)
  • Heavy Duty Snap Pliers
  • Brother Sewing Machine


  1. Create your pattern according to the measurements given (or draw right on your fabric with a removable pen or chalk).
  1. Cut out your bag pieces (2 main body, 2 facing)
  1. Starting the with the main body of the tote bag, with right sides facing, sew the side seams and the bottom of the bag.
  2. Take the facing and sew down the sides. Make sure the right side of the fabric is facing each other.
  1. With the wrong side of the bag facing out, attach the Facing to the top of the bag. The right side of the Facing should be facing the wrong side of the bag. (See image) Sew in place.
  1. Turn your bag right side out and pull the facing to the outside. Press the seam down.
  1. Fold the facing under about 1/2” and press. Pin and stitch in place.
  2. It’s time to attach the handles! Before we do that. Mark the placement of your handles with a fabric marking tool. Markings remain the exact same on the opposite side.
  1. Let’s move on to the rivets. With the rivets, you want to make sure you gather the correct rivet pieces for the handles on your DIY bag. You’ll need a front and back for the canvas and front and back for the leather.
  1. You’ll connect the rivets to the bag and strap according to the instructions on the back of the rivet packaging. When connecting, you’ll need the snap pliers.
  1. That’s it!

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA.

DIY Monogrammed Sweatshirts

Take a plain sweatshirt to the next level of style with machine embroidery. From monograms to fun designs, you can customize this cozy wardrobe essential for yourself and others. These DIY monogrammed sweatshirts make great gifts for family and friends alike! Check out the tutorial below on how to embroider a sweatshirt with your Brother embroidery machine.


Step 1

Always prewash your garments before embroidering.

Lay out the sweatshirt and mark the location you want the monogram with a fabric marking tool. It’s a good idea to print out a template or create a sample stitch out to figure out your preferred placement. Traditionally, a monogram is embroidered 6.5”- 7” down the left shoulder seam.  However, I did one on the right shoulder seam that came out great! I also like to place the monogram in the center front as well (typically 3” down from the center neckline line).

Once you find the location you want, mark the center, vertical, and horizontal locations (basically create a rectangle). I like to create a cross and center the design at the center of the cross where the lines intersect. Mark what works best for you.

Step 2

Flip inside out.

Use a Cut Away stabilizer that will cover the embroidery area and hoop size. Spray with a temporary spray adhesive and press onto the area that will be embroidered. I use Cut Away stabilizer on sweatshirts because they’re worn and washed often. This will help the embroidery last a long time compared to other stabilizers.

Step 3

Flip right side out.

Place the outer hoop inside the sweatshirt and put the inner hoop on the top, making sure the design is centered in the hoop.

Step 4

Roll the excess material towards the outer hoop and away from the hoop area. You can use clips to keep the excess material in place (I use hair clips, an embroidery tip I got from a friend).

Step 5

Create your monogram. You can create your own or use the built-in ones that the Brother Machines offer. My designs measured about 3 3 “.  You can use software to create your design and lettering, or just piece it together on the Brother Touch Screen. I have the Brother PE800, which makes it easy to add and edit designs right on the screen.

Step 6

Embroider away!

Once your embroidery is complete, turn the shirt the wrong side out and cut away the stabilizer. I typically cut it about ¼’ away from the design. Over time and after multiple washes, the stabilizer will soften.

Other examples / Valentine theme (optional images)

I hope this inspires you to give embroidery a try on your garments. It’s a great way to upcycle old t-shirts, sweatshirts, and denim jackets. Here are a couple other examples.

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA.
The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/embroidery/diy-monogrammed-sweatshirts/

Quilted Bed Caddy

Create a beautiful custom bed caddy using your Brother sewing machine and a few Brother accessories. Quilt your own fabrics for a lightly padded finish that will match your décor and unique style. This handy craft will help organize bedside items you reach for on a regular basis. Pick some pretty fabrics, gather up your tools, and prepare to tackle this easy sewing project. You’ll learn more about the use of several optional accessory feet featured in these instructions. Are you ready? Let’s go sew!

Materials and Supplies:

  • Brother sewing machine with basic built-in stitches.
  • SA190 Roller Foot for attaching gripper material to bed caddy.
  • Additional accessory feet for this project, optional but very helpful:
  • SA184 Edge Joining Foot
  • SA160 Stitch Guide Foot
  • SA132 Quilting Guide
  • Basic notions, including thread to match or blend with fabrics and a removable marker. I recommend a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler for cutting fabric pieces.
  • Materials for bed caddy, including fabric, thin fusible craft fleece, and gripper material:
    • Cut one piece of quilt weight cotton measuring 15-inches wide X 26-inches long for base of bed caddy. Fuse thin craft fleece to wrong side.
    • Cut one piece of quilt weight cotton measuring 15-inches wide X 11-inches long for large pocket. Fuse thin craft fleece to wrong side.
    • Cut one piece of quilt weight cotton measuring 15-inches wide X 14-inches long for small folded pocketNote: Fold pocket piece in half lengthwise and press to form a fold line. Next, fuse thin craft fleece measuring 15-inches wide X 7-inches long to wrong side, matching fleece with fold line and raw edges on half the piece.
    • Cut one piece of quilt weight cotton measuring 15-inches wide X 26-inches long for bed caddy lining.
    • Cut one piece of quilt weight cotton measuring 15-inches wide X 11-inches long for large pocket lining.
    • Cut one piece of quilt weight cotton measuring 15-inches wide X 2-inches long for large pocket trim.
    • Cut one piece of non-slip “gripper” material measuring 13-inches wide X 9-inches long for top edge.

See all pieces in Figure #1a and Figure #1b.

Figure #1a
Figure #1b

Fabric tips: Choose two or more coordinating fabrics, mixing and matching as desired. You can eliminate the large pocket trim piece if you choose a third coordinating fabric. I used remnants left over from another project for this bed caddy. Since I only had two fabric prints to work with, I added the trim strip for extra contrast on the pocket.

Tips for using accessory feet listed with supplies:

  • SA190 Roller Foot – The non-stick and roller capabilities on this foot are ideal for stitching “sticky” materials such as the gripper material on the top edge of the bed caddy. In this project you’ll see that I also used the roller foot to quilt single layers of fabric with thin fleece. Note that there are other feet better suited for quilting thicker layers.
  • SA160 Stitch Guide Foot – Marked lines on this foot allow for consistent stitching of seamlines in a wide range of widths.
  • SA132 Quilting Guide – The quilting guide fits snugly into the small hole found in the back of the presser foot holder so it can be used with any foot you choose. Simply slide the guide a measured distance from the needle and line up the guide with a previous line of stitching for consistent and evenly spaced lines of stitching.

Finished bed caddy measures approximately 14-inches wide X 25-inches long. Please read through all instructions before beginning this project.

Basic steps for creating bed caddy:

  • Add fusible fleece to caddy pieces.
  • Add trim, then quilt caddy base and pocket pieces.
  • Layer pieces and add lining.
  • Attach gripper material to top edge to finish. Note: This piece helps keep the caddy from moving when placed between the mattress and box springs.

1. Prepare large pocket if you are adding the contrast trim. Add contrast strip as follows:

  • Attach stitch guide foot. Layer 15-inch wide X 2-inch long strip along top edge of large pocket, with right sides together, placing it a scant 1-inch from top raw edge. See Figure #2a.
Figure #2a
  • Sew strip to top edge using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, following a specific line on the foot. See line spaced ½-inch from needle position in Figure #2b.
Figure #2b
  • Flip strip so right side faces up and press toward top edge.

2. Prepare to quilt pieces backed with fleece as follows:

Mark starting lines along lengthwise and cross wise center on 15-inches wide X 26-inches long base piece and 15-inches wide X 11-inches long large pocket piece. Mark a lengthwise line on the center of folded pocket piece. Note: This smaller piece doesn’t require quilting in both directions. I used the fabric print to space lines on my small pocket. See example of marked lines on the large pocket piece in the enhanced photo in Figure #3.

Figure #3

Attach the roller foot if you have it and quilt all pieces, stitching evenly spaced lengthwise and crosswise lines.

Tips for Quilting Stitches: Stitch the first center line and then use the quilt guide set for evenly spaced remaining lines to the left and right of the first center line. I like to stitch all my vertical lines first and then turn the fabric to stitch horizontal lines. Fusible fleece does not require closely spaced lines. I spaced mine 1 ½-inches apart. Straight stitches are traditionally used for this type of quilting. However, I chose the triple stretch straight stitch along with alternating lines of the rick-rack stitch. Stitch settings listed below:

Triple Stretch stitch: Center needle position, stitch length, 3.5mm.

Rick-Rack stitch: Width 1.5mm, length 4.0mm.

See examples of quilting in Figure #4a, Figure #4b, and Figure #4c.

Figure #4a
Figure #4b
Figure #4c

3. Layer large pocket with matching lining piece. See Figure #5.

Figure #5

Sew top edge using a ½-inch seam allowance. Press lining to back side.

4. Layer bed caddy pieces as follows:

  • Bed caddy base piece, right side facing up.
  • Large pocket, right side facing up.
  • Folded pocket, right side facing up.
  • Bed caddy lining, wrong side facing up.

See layered pieces in Figure #6.

Figure #6

Sew layers together using a ½- seam allowance, leaving a 5-inch opening along the top edge for turning right side out. Tip: Use a small round object to mark off a slightly rounded stitching line for bottom corners. This gives a more attractive finish to the caddy and makes it easier to trim excess bulk.

Trim corners and lower rounded edges to reduce bulk. Turn caddy right side out, with lining on back side and quilted pieces positioned on the front side. Press carefully and close top by stitching close to edge.

 5. Center gripper material along edge opposite pockets. See Figure #7.

Figure #7

Sew to bed caddy using the non-stick roller foot. Tip: Make sure the entire foot is riding on the gripper fabric as you stitch. Sew slowly to keep material from shifting. See Figure #8.

Figure #8

You are finished! See completed bed caddy in Figure #9.

Figure #9

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA.
The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/home-decor/quilted-bed-caddy/

Accessory Spotlight: N Foot

This embroidery tutorial highlights the Brother monogramming foot, labeled with an “N.” The N foot is commonly found in the included accessories for many Brother machines. If you’re looking for a replacement, this foot would be listed as a part available from your Brother dealer.

The monogramming foot is designed for decorative stitching and for sewing out lettering and characters, (commonly known as monogramming) patterns in your machine. While there are some utility stitches mixed into the decorative menu, foot N is primarily for decorative patterns and stitches that do not lay totally flat on the fabric. See examples of various stitches from different Brother machine models in Figure #1a, Figure #1b, and Figure #1c.

Figure #1a
Figure #1b
Figure #1c

Important Tips: Unless you are stitching stiff or firm fabric, you’ll likely have the best results when using foot J for utility stitches. If you select foot N in place of foot J, be sure to test your stitching on fabric scraps. Fabric should be well stabilized when stitching decorative and character stitches. Essentially, you are creating mini embroidery without a hoop. Be sure to test stitches on fabric scraps and add stabilizer as needed.

Below are features that make foot N ideal for stitching decorative patterns and characters.

  • The N foot is a genuine Brother Accessory, made from quality materials and designed to use with patterns included in the Decorative and Character/Monogram menus of your Brother embroidery machine.
  • This wide, snap on foot has a 7mm opening in the center.
  • The clear view in the center provides excellent visibility.
  • Designed with a deep groove on the bottom side, the monogramming foot slides easily over bulky decorative stitches.
  • Use the monogram foot for satin stitching with a dense zigzag, and your stitches will flow smoothly under the deep groove on the foot.
  • Dash lines on the foot show where stitching starts and can also be used as an alignment guide when pivoting a corner.

Notice the clear view in the center of the foot along with dash lines that show where the stitching starts. See Figure #2.

Figure #2

The deep groove extends from the front all the way to the back of the foot. See Figure #3.

Figure #3

Decorative sewing stitches on some Brother models fit within the 7mm opening on the foot. On other Brother models, you’ll find multi-directional stitches where the feed dogs move from side to side as well as front to back, forming large decorative patterns. The oversized base of sewing foot N helps keep the fabric flat and secure while these large stitches form on the fabric. See examples of 7mm stitches in pink and large, and larger multi-directional decorative patterns in purple in Figure #4.

Figure #4

Now that you know more about your Brother N monogramming foot, experiment with the wide variety of decorative patterns and character stitches built-in to your machine. Have fun sewing with presser foot N! See Figure #5.

Figure #5

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA.
The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/accessory/accessory-spotlight-n-foot/

Free Design: Baby Bear Bib

With Spring just around the corner, I thought I’d share how to sew a fabric Easter basket. These homemade Easter baskets aren’t just for Easter though – they make great gifts for all different occasions, holidays, and themes! I sew these DIY fabric baskets for everything from baby showers to teachers’ gifts and more. Add machine embroidery for a nice custom touch. Use these homemade fabric baskets for custom storage bins as well! Get the tutorial below on how to sew your very own fabric Easter basket.

Materials and Supplies:

  • Brother sewing and embroidery machine. Note: Machine featured in this project is the Brother NV180D. You can use any machine with 4-inch hoop capability.
  • Brother Embroidery Threads and Bobbin Thread for embroidering.
  • SA5929 Brother Cut-Away stabilizer cut to fit hoop size.
  • Temporary adhesive spray specifically for machine embroidery.
  • Plain low nap baby bib, sized large enough for featured design.
  • Brother Free Design for MarchSee Figure #1a for original thread color and stitch information. See Figure #1b for modified colors.
Figure #1a
Figure #1b

Basic steps for creating embroidered baby bib:

  • Prepare bib for embroidery and hoop with stabilizer.
  • Create design using edit mode of sewing machine for changing size and configuration of lettering.
  • Embroider design and remove stabilizer.

1. Transfer design to machine. Create a combination design with bear and lettering as follows:

Select design, touch Set and then touch the Move key. Use arrow keys to move design to bottom of hoop and touch OK. See Figure #2a and Figure #2b.

Figure #2a
Figure #2b

Touch Add and select a block style font from the font menu. See Figure #3a and Figure #3b. Tip: Block style fonts work better than fonts with thin columns on this low nap fabric.

Figure #3a
Figure #3b

Program lettering using small font size, using arrows on machine to navigate through the lettering screens to select both upper and lower case letters. Add a space between the two words, and an exclamation point at the end. Tip: Be sure to select S for small, right after selecting the first letter. See Figure #4a, Figure #4b, Figure #4c, and Figure #4d.

Figure #4a
Figure #4b
Figure #4c
Figure #4d

Tip: I like to start with smaller, rather than larger lettering and then use the sizing feature to increase the lettering size to fit the hoop area. This is especially helpful when using the Array feature, as larger lettering will sometimes prevent you from using various array functions. Here is my formula: Start small, add the array, and then change sizing last.

Set your lettering, touch move key, and use arrow keys to move lettering above the bear head. Touch OK. See Figure #5.

Figure #5

Touch font edit key. Touch array key. Curve lettering over bear head. Touch OK, then OK again to return to embroider edit screen. See Figure #6a, Figure #6b, and Figure #6c.

Figure #6a
Figure #6b
Figure #6c

TipThere are many more options for editing embroidery fonts. Watch for more in future tutorials!

Touch size key and increase lettering until the machine stops at the maximum size. Touch OK. See Figure #7.

Figure #7

2. End editing. Center combination on the screen, then touch Embroidery. See Figure #8a and Figure #8b.

Figure #8a
Figure #8b

3. Hoop cut-away stabilizer and lightly spray with adhesive, following manufacturer’s directions on the can. Note: It is very important to avoid over spraying. Tip: To keep adhesive from getting on the hoop, I like to cut a window in a piece of scrap paper and tape it over the hoop to protect the edges. Spray over paper, then remove and discard. See Figure #9.

Figure #9

4. Center bib in hoop, securing it to the tacky surface. Place water-soluble over the bib to help tame the nap and keep the design from sinking in. Tip: Lightly dampen the outer edges of the stabilizer to make it tacky and it will adhere to your fabric. Embroidery design on bib. See Figure #10.

Figure #10

5. Remove from hoop and trim stabilizer, leaving a margin of ½ to 1-inch of stabilizer around the design. Tip: Bonding from temporary spray adhesive will usually disappear within 2 to 5 days. To dissipate earlier than that, iron the sprayed fabric with a warm dry iron. This type of adhesive does not wash out. You’ll want to make sure spray adhesive is gone before thoroughly washing out water-soluble as recommended on the package.

You are finished with embroidering your baby bib! Enjoy!

Options and ideas:

  • Feel free to sew your own multi-layer bib. Embroider on the top piece then add a lining to hide stitches on the wrong side.

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA.
The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/free-design-of-the-month/free-design-baby-bear-bib/

Sew a Fabric Easter Basket

With Spring just around the corner, I thought I’d share how to sew a fabric Easter basket. These homemade Easter baskets aren’t just for Easter though – they make great gifts for all different occasions, holidays, and themes! I sew these DIY fabric baskets for everything from baby showers to teachers’ gifts and more. Add machine embroidery for a nice custom touch. Use these homemade fabric baskets for custom storage bins as well! Get the tutorial below on how to sew your very own fabric Easter basket.


  • Brother A150
  • Brother NV800E was used for the embroidery
  • 1 yd. cotton fabric exterior
  • 1 yd. cotton fabric liner
  • 1-2 yds. fusible fleece
  • General sewing/cutting supplies

Exterior: 2 pieces that measure 17” (wide) x  13” long
Liner:  2 pieces that measure 17 x 13”
Fusible Fleece: 4 pieces that measure 17 x 13”
Strap: 1 piece 17 x 6”
Fusible Fleece: 17 x 6”

For the 2 piece (Blue Checkered)
Exterior: Top section: 17 x 3 x  ¾”
Exterior: Bottom section:  17 x 10 ¼”
The rest of the pieces measure the same as above.

Fuse the fusible fleece to the wrong side of all pieces.

Use a grid ruler and mark off a 3” square at the bottom corners for both exterior and liner and cut.

Place exterior and liner pieces right sides together. Stitch the sides and bottoms with a 1/2” seam allowance.

For the corners: With right sides together, connect the seam so it’s centered to the other side and clip or pin.

Stitch together and repeat for all corners. (1/2” seam allowance).

The bottom should look like this when complete.

Now let’s sew the handle.

Fuse the fleece to the wrong side.

Fold the sides into the center and press.

Fold in half so the edges are together and press.

Top stitch down both sides (about 1/8” from the edge).

Find the center front and center back  of the basket and mark. Place the handle right sides together with the basket over those marks and sew (1/4” seam allowance).

Flip the basket so right sides are out including the handle.

Place the basket into the liner so the right sides are together. Attach seams to seams and pin or clip all the way around.

Sew ½” seam allowance all the way around the edge leaving a 3” opening just an inch off one of the handles. This will be the opening to flip right sides outs.

Flip right sides out through the opening.

Press the basket. Top stitch with a 3.0 stitch length and just off the edge (1/8” or so) around the top edge of the basket, closing the opening as well.

Now fill your homemade Easter basket with all sorts of goodies. I sew these fabric baskets for gifts, but they’re also great to use as homemade storage bins. You can add some machine embroidery to customize them. For the blue checkered basket, I embroidered the name on the top section. I also embroidered a sash to tie around the floral basket. Make these for all different occasions: I love sewing them for party favors, Mother’s Day gifts, and more. Use your imagination and take your homemade gift baskets to the next level of fun!

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA.
The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/projects/sew-a-fabric-easter-basket/

Update an Old Shirt with Embroidery

Hello everyone. Laura here from Trash to Couture. For this post, I will share with you how to embroider onto a collared shirt with the Brother SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine. This is a great way to update old or boring clothing. The SE625 has a set of built in floral patterns that I will be using on this denim shirt. Get the details below on how to embroider you own custom look.


  • Brother SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
  • Stabilizer: Choose the best one for your material
  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery pattern
  • Shirt to embroider
  • Marking tool
  1. Begin by pressing your garment. Then use the template to mark where you want your design to be. I mark both right and wrong sides with a fabric marking tool. Choose an area of the shirt that is flat. For this design, I will be using the yoke and the back panel.

Tip: Use a stabilizer that works with your fabric and place at least 1 inch over the markings. I love the ones that you can cut to measurement, peel and stick it right on.

2. Hoop it. Hooping Tip: You don’t want it too tight or too loose. It should sound like a drum when tapping it.

3. Set up your machine to embroider. You can adjust the size and placement of the pattern which makes it easy to place the design exactly where you want it.

4. Once the first set of embroideries is complete, continue to repeat the previous steps for more designs wherever you’d like. The SE625 makes it easy to mirror images to create patterns like I did on the yoke.

5. If the yoke isn’t enough, the back panel is another great place to embroider.

The options and ideas are endless on what you can add embroidery too! Watch my video to get the steps on how to embellish your shirt with embroidery:

Watch Video:

Speed simulated for demonstrative purposes. Actual speeds will vary.

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA. The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/embroidery/embroider-shirt/

Sewing tips and ideas

Sewing Machine:

If you don’t have a sewing machine it’s a good idea to find one that best suits your sewing interests. Do you plan to sew garments, quilts, clothing, or something else entirely? What type of materials do you prefer working with? Are you interested in embroidery? So many options, and Brother has all the different machines to fit your needs. Also feel free to reach out to us ambassadors, we are happy to help!

Use your resources:

If you’re a hands-on learner like me, I suggest you look around your area for sewing studios that offer classes and camps. These are great for everyone! It’s ideal to have a space and time set up to learn without distractions.  I taught sewing for adults, and it was such a great way to learn. Within a week, students went from threading their machines to sewing simple projects (zipper pouches, tote bags, doll clothes).

Another great option is to learn sewing virtually! There are many resources offered online through sewing blogs and sewing websites. Check out Stitching Sewcial, where you’ll find step-by-step sewing tutorials, patterns, and tips to use that range from beginner to expert.

Start small:

It’s a good idea to start with a simple project before diving into a more advanced one. I remember one of my first sewing projects was to pick a pattern and fabric to go with it.  I went with a dress that required all the fixings and on top of that picked a plaid chiffon fabric.  BOTH of these were not “beginner friendly” and I found myself in over my head.  I was 12 and I can remember the frustration I felt when sewing that dress. Perhaps a gathered elastic skirt would have been a better first project at that time.

Consistency is Key:  I like to say “a little each day goes a long way!”  It takes time to hone your skill. Even the busiest of days I try to find 25-30 minutes to give to my craft. Whether it’s browsing a sewing blog for tips on using a cover stitch machine or laying out a sewing pattern and prepping to cut the next day. It surprises people how long even a simple sewing project can take and this is how I like to break it down.

Don’t skip the in between steps: When I first started sewing I would speed through my project like it was a race! I would skip the “annoying steps” I felt were unnecessary like pressing, and pattern markings, etc. These steps are as important as the sewing itself and can be the difference between a wobbly hem and a professional looking garment. While it may not get done as quickly you will see the difference in the overall result.

No rules:

At the end of all of this there are no rules. Have fun and be creative. Sewing is a personal journey after all and you will find your own ways that work for you. Perhaps “that fabric doesn’t work with that pattern” but it never stopped me anyways.

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA. The original article can be seen here:http://blog.brothersews.com/sewing/national-sewing-month/

Quick Tip: Exploring Options for Elongation Stitches

Elongation style stitches are much more fun than their rather technical name implies. The term elongation simply means that patterns in this category of decorative stitches can be re-sized in a range from 1 to 5. As they are re-sized, the pattern or shape of the stitch is maintained. Examples in the photo above show patterns stitched out in all the different sizes. Although the size varies, the density remains the same and the general shape of the stitch does as well. Depending on the size and the stitch selected, different sizes can produce interesting variations. In addition, changing the length of the stitch makes the pattern denser but also shortens the length of the pattern. One of my favorite tricks is to select a larger size pattern and then shorten the stitch length. This results in a fuller looking stitch that is a bit shorter than the original pattern. See examples of sizes below in Figure #1b:

Figure #1b

You’ll find these 7mm satin style elongation stitches built into many Brother machine models. They’re located in the Character/Decorative stitch menu of the machine. See examples of stitch menus below in Figure #2a and #2b:

Figure #2a
Figure #2b

The size key allows for elongating the stitch in a range from 1 to 5.

Some machine models include an additional feature for creating step stitch patterns. This technique allows for moving stitch patterns left and right to sew wide patterns with multi-directional stitching. See Figure#3 below:

Figure #3

Remember to change to presser foot “N” when sewing these decorative stitches. This foot has a groove on the underside, so it flows easily across bulky satin stitches. See Figure #4.

Figure #4

It’s also important to be sure fabric is firm and well stabilized before sewing these decorative stitches. A layer of tear-away stabilizer is a good choice for many situations. Be sure to test stitches on scraps before sewing your actual project. Have fun experimenting with elongation stitches, trying different sizes, patterns, and combinations. Enjoy!

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA. The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/tips-tricks/elongation-stitches/

Get Creative with a Customized Cell Phone Case

Need a little pizazz? Time to get busy and dial in your own cool style with a customized cell phone case!


Note: Smartphone sizes change so quickly, so we recommend basing measurements to the size of your
preferred phone model. This sleeve is supposed to fit very snugly to keep the phone from falling out. If you want to make it larger so it does not fit so tightly (or to accommodate a larger phone in the future), you could add a tab closure to the top.


1. Choose 3 different types of fabric—one will serve as the main pocket of your phone case and the 2 layers will be for your cards and earbuds. You will want to cut the main pocket to be twice as wide as your phone (with case if you keep it in a case) plus about 2-3 inches. For example, the phone we used here is 2.5 inches wide, so we cut the fabric to be 8-9 inches wide. The other 2 pocket layers will be 2-3 inches plus your phone size.

2. Cut 3 piece of felt the same size as your phone and pin one to the back of each piece of fabric, with the long edges pinned over. This will add an extra layer of protection.

3. For what will be the 2 smaller front pieces, fold the 2 layers on a diagonal and sew along the top edges. Keep the larger back piece unfolded for now.

4. Sew the two front-pieces along each side at one edge of the back piece. Then, fold over the back piece to
cover the entire case.

5. Sew along the bottom and sides, then cut off any extra fabric from the sides after you’re finished sewing. Turn inside out to reveal!

6. Grab your cards, phone and earbuds. You’re ready to go!