Category Archives: Embroidery Machine

Exclusives aka Why You Can’t Have That Design


The phone case is from the Dejah Vue Designs, but the bag, that is an exclusive.


You go into a cute shop on Etsy, or on the net someplace, and you see an item, that you instantly realize, has been done on an embroidery machine. That means there is a design for it, and now you want it.

So now you “copy” their picture, post it in the groups with “NMP where can I find this design” only to learn, it was an exclusive to that creator and isn’t for sale.

Cue tantrums and tears.


Well, you can’t have it. It is that simple. That is an “exclusive” to the shop, or that designer, and the person carrying that item is the one who worked tirelessly with a designer, giving ideas, drawing pictures, testing the design and finally, listing it.

It is a process that can take days, weeks, or even months.  And yes, you might have thought of it, but in the end, it was this creator and digitizer that worked together and got in there first. Harsh? Yes. But that is how in some areas of selling, you lock up a market, or at least make sure you are in there first for a while.

Of course, this doesn’t mean much, if you’re that determined, you can of course go and have it copied, losing the respect of your fellow crafters, and gaining the amusement of the person who was smart enough to have it designed for them.  You are even risking having designers refuse to work with you on legit projects you have ideas for. And trust me, you really don’t want any of that. Machine embroidery is a small world, word will get out.

So how can you go about getting your own “exclusives” for your shops? Approach your designer of choice. Many of them actually enjoy this kind of work. The designer of my TARDIS bag up there isn’t even a pro digitizer, but she is an incredibly talented one. Whenever I want a bag exclusive, I head to her. (talks are in place for genetalia bags)

Just ask the designer you enjoy most, if they’d work on this with you. You will have to pay for the project, but it usually isn’t too high a cost, and worth it in the end for a fantastic product that only you will be offering. You’re also removing any potential competition from others who bought the same design, because now suddenly, they can’t do that.

Be sure when you talk with your digitizer of choice that you make sure they understand you do not want the design out there for others. But again, keep in mind, the unscrupulous will often “copy” your exclusive, sometimes less than a week after you show off your new work. (this comes under my famous “don’t be a dick” statement, but is often ignored by the dicks)

Along with that, if a certain digitizer is good with certain items, like my girl who rocks with purse designs, go to that designer. Don’t go to someone who does mostly words and phrases for ITH toys. Go to the designer best suited for your design. You won’t regret it.

I personally love exclusives. In my own shop, and in the shops of others. It shows me that free reign on creativity is taking place. And yes, every so often, I’ve been a little bummed I couldn’t also have that design, but I respect both designer and store owner for wanting such a cool item and I’m often willing to buy it from them, showing my support of a seriously cool item.



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Filed under Business, Embroidery Machine, Musings

Don’t Be a Dick Part 2


I at one point had a goal for my blog, that it was going to be about me, my life in crafting, my business, and occasionally, these posts that discussed how to be a better crafter.

But I’m slowly learning that what people enjoy most from me is these rather tart reminders to not be a dick. And while that’s funny, in a way it really isn’t. It saddens me that I have to discuss basic things that take place between human beings that are in business themselves, or are dealing with small businesses.

And today, I got handed a topic that horrified and angered me. And  I was trying to avoid this type of post so soon after You Want How Much?? and Don’t Be a Dick (part one obviously). Seriously, I was going to do a nice pretty post on some Russian caps I’m working on for a SCA member. But nope. Some people had to ruin it.

So the topic? Sharing. And no, I don’t mean sharing a cookie, or a meal, I’m once again, back into the world of machine embroidery, and the designs many of  us buy to use with our machines. (seriously, the designs on our machines are boring)

Sharing is when someone who has paid for a design, either gives it to someone else, or sells a machine with the designs they have paid for, and keeps additional copies for themselves.  I’m not speaking about the folks who entirely get out of machine embroidery, and sell everything and gives the designs and never buys or touches designs again. I’m talking about the people who throw in thousands of paid designs to “sweeten the deal”.

First? You’re an asshole. And I refuse to sugar coat that. How effing dare you? Do you enjoy stealing? Because that’s what you are doing. You’re not “sharing”, you’re being an accomplice in thievery.  You aren’t being nice, you aren’t generous, you’re a thief.

And just know, some designers actually feel you shouldn’t transfer designs at all. Period. End of story. And they have it in their terms (you should read them sometime, just sayin’) so think carefully, read the TOS on a designer, because many, really don’t want you sharing, or selling (why should you make a profit twice anyhow?) and in many ways, I agree with them 100%, you’re not only stealing once by using and making items you sell with the designs, but then you’re stealing twice by giving someone else the ability to make more money off these designs.

And if you’ve done this and not thought of it as stealing, rethink. If you go up to a website, such as Urban Threads, buy a bunch of designs, then turn around and send the files to a friend with an embroidery machine, you’ve now stolen money from Urban Threads. Who yes, they are bigger than some designers out there, but they are still people. They are a team of creative designers, who all work their asses off so that people can have awesome designs.

Now let’s say you head up to A Creative Medley. You buy a bunch of designs, and share them to the same girlfriend.  You know what? You’ve just stolen from a mom with kids, who is running her business single handed,  who not only spends time creating creative designs for your machine, but raises her kids, takes care of her man, cleans her house, AND also runs her own small embroidery business with her machine. You’ve just taken money from her that could pay for ballet lessons, groceries, not to mention, the software she has to pay for to even design these designs you enjoy so much.

Don’t share free either. Share the links. The reasons designers offer freebies is to get traffic and possible customers to their sites. When you bypass this, you’ve lost that designer a customer. Way to go. 

I woke up this morning, to a note in a group, that a rather large designer, well known in the embroidery world had killed her bandwidth on Dropbox. This confused me until I learned this.

Some assholes, and misguided jerks, with the morals of an alley cat, no, wait, I take that back, at least the alley cat cleans it’s own fur, so, my apology to alley cats, shared the Dropbox link of designs that others had PURCHASED, and PAID FOR, legitimately.

This designer had run a sale yesterday. A cumlative sale. People bought designs for about 4 hours, and at the end of the sale, anyone who purchased, received all the designs that had been purchased that day. An amazing deal, and incredibly generous of this designer.

And why did she do this? She has a bad furnace, she has unexpected medical and legal bills. She is a generous and kind person on her worst day, yet she threw open this sale out of need. And some selfish jerks shared her link, making it that much less money she would get for her furnace, her legal bills, and worse, her medical bills.

And now the understanding is this low life posted this link in a GROUP.

May all your needles shatter.

Develop a conscience. Do not be slimey.  Do not share designs you’ve paid for. Do not share FREE designs. Do not share download links!!


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Filed under Business, Embroidery Machine, Musings

Bright Blue Dresses


So, obviously, I got some of the dress done I’m planning. This is the center back, and back sides. I’ve still got the front sides, and center front to get done. But it will be the same kind of theme, clocks, and time.

I’ve got an idea for the skirt, but it’ll require collaboration from someone I know, since it will be using a fabric I’m not very good with, but I can say, it probably isn’t what people are expecting me to do.

So, hopefully today will at least be cutting the last two bodice sections, and the sleeves, and then I want to flat-line the entire thing with some muslin.


Filed under Costuming, Embroidery Machine, Sewing

I had an Idea…

Apparently to the people I hold near and dear, this 4 words can inspire terror.

I had an idea.

You’d think they’d at least admit, my ideas are in the main, very good. I have no idea what they are worried about.

So for my holiday gift this year, my friend Jennifer got me a dressmaker’s dummy. Or rather, she is helping me to get a dummy, something I’ve needed for a while now, and am incredibly grateful to have coming. In theory, it is supposed to be here tomorrow. But given my long standing feud with UPS, we’ll see.

Anyhow. So, my idea was pretty basic. I *wanted* to do a Doctor Who themed bustle dress. But after going over the pattern, and glancing over the fabric I have on hand, I’ve changed my mind. Doesn’t mean it will never happen, just means it won’t happen with the fabric I have here.

So, my idea is, you’ve got it, a Doctor Who/Moulin Rouge inspired dress.

Why? Who knows, there are some great Steampunk inspired Whovian dresses out there, and I think there can never be enough, because each designer will have a different take on such a concept.

But I want to do something else entirely. So using this fabric, my embroidery machine, and this pattern, I hope I can pull it off.

I haven’t done anything yet with embroidering clothing before I make it. I’ve done t-shirts, and I’ve done jeans, which, in the grand scheme are actually fairly easy. And I got this machine with the intention of using it for exactly this kind of thing.

But, I took a year off from sewing in order to get used to the machine, and a needed hiatus from costuming sewing in general. But, now I’m ready to get back to it. The addition of the dressmaker’s dummy (I’m thinking I might call her Zipporah) is going to make things easier since it’ll mean not only not having to fit on my own body, but to be able to take much better photographs of my work.  Selfies and sewing on your own body is very hard.

I’ve got a few designs in mind, and some ideas for the bustle and under skirt, we’ll see where it goes, I’m only going to worry about the main bodice for now. Then we’ll worry about the bottom.

Oh, and since this pattern includes one for the tights, count on some embroidered tights to match.

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Filed under Costuming, Embroidery Machine, Musings, Sewing

Braga aka The Bra Saga

Well, the last few days have been allergy hell. My bi-annual sinus infection showed up. I was actually very productive all week so far, but the bra wasn’t something I worked on.

Last I’d said, I’d done a mock up of the Danglez DB7E which at first had confused me on everything from instructions to constructions. I finally figured it out (after some d’oh moments) and put together two sizes using some old pajama material.

$22 later, and I had most of the materials for a new bra in the bigger size (I decided to go with a 110E) and I cut it, and pinned it, and then promptly got sick.

Sidebar, I want to thank my friend Sarah at my local JoAnn’s. Not only is she a “real life” friend, but she’s also just one of the best employees a JoAnn’s can have. She’s helpful and always cheerful and uncomplaining when I drag her from one side of a store to the other searching for fabric for one of the oddest things an Oswegonian can sew, bras. Her enthusiasm for my projects never fails. She also can lay out the best Power Point on kink that I’ve ever seen this side of a dungeon party. That was one hell of a class Sarah.

But, good news, I now have antibiotics and am hoping that tomorrow I can sew the bra together. No straps, and no wires yet, so this’ll still be a temporary fit. I also ordered another pattern, this one for a t-shirt bra that’ll require foam cups that I am SUPER excited to attempt, I love t-shirt bras.

Anyhow, on to the new pinning.


First is always fabric. I picked out a 2 way stretch knit that happened to be two sided. The pattern calls for being lined, but I decided that the knit was fairly sturdy, so I’d skip that step. I might be wrong, we’ll see when the wires are in if I was way off. Some pretty little velvet flowers with pearl centers, some pink piping, pink double fold elastic, and some pretty wide pink ribbon “just in case”.


Pinning went fast now that I get how it goes together, I used the polka dots as the band and center front, stripes for the cups. This was the look I was going for, and I found some hot pink plush for holding the wires.

Now, the piping. It goes all around the band and I need to pick up more, and yes, I realize it might be a mistake, but I added piping to the cups. I do know this’ll show under thin shirts and don’t especially care. Ain’t no shame in my girls.


And last, I set the flower just to show how cute’ll it’ll look, along with using the pink ribbon as temporary straps.

So, so far so good, tomorrow, I sew!

I figured I’d also share some other sewing I’ve been working on, I have an embroidery machine and want to design my own patches eventually, meanwhile, I use those that are out there. So, yesterday, I made these two “Hit Like a Girl” roller derby patches. I love RD, have many friends in the sport and am always happy to cater to them. Check these out, I’m seriously fucking proud.


How awesome are these? The next one planned is in lime green and black. That’s the colors of Medusa Place a proud New Hampshire Roller Derby babe.


This was a “for the heck of it” project. No reason other than I could.

Last thing to share, felties. These honestly, are not my things. I do not cater to kids, and my sales to people with kids are off Etsy. I do not feel people want to come to “Dirty Girl Designs” for kid’s toys, and I’m totally fine with that.

Anyhow, felties (which, yes, I totally have adult ones) are cute little felt embellishments that are mostly done by people like me on their embroidery machine by designers out there who specialize in this sort of thing. I had two requests, one was zebras, which I found at DejahVu Designs, and another which isn’t ready to be shared yet. Here are the zebras, and also that stupid grouchy cat Tard, who I’m seriously just not into.


People tell me these  make them think “Yipes! Stripes!”

I know these just look pastel……


But they actually glow in the dark.


Then you have Grumpy Cats from Bobbin for Appliques. Yes, I made his satanic eyes red.

And lastly, these are also done on my embroidery machine, I’m using up felt scraps to do up some pillow covers. I don’t have the wherewithal to do an entire quilt from 4×4 squares, but my nerves can handle 40 squares. (20 per pillow)

IMG_0950 IMG_0951 IMG_0952

Pretty cool eh?


Filed under Bra Making, Embroidery Machine, Sewing