Monday, July 25, 2016

Digitizing and Embroidering a Logo

As I mentioned in my Intro to Embroidery post I just started digitizing my own designs for embroidering.  I was learning a lot from Digitizing Embroidery Design Craftsy class but wanted to try doing my own project.  My main push of signing up for this class was for a gift I wanted to give to my dad for Father's Day.  My dad runs a pole vaulting club called G Force Pole Vaulting.  He is one of a few coaches and I thought it was a perfect project to try and digitize the logo.  I thought I could put the logo on one of the C9 Men's Golf Polos.  These shirts are super comfortable and breathable and would be a great coach shirt.

I first tried using the auto digitizing function that was available in the software that came with my embroidery machine.  This didn't work at all.  I think part of it may have to do with the quality of the image I used to begin with but ultimately I didn't get the result I was looking for and decided to try some of the techniques I learned in the Craftsy class.

I started by importing the photo into Embird Design Studio to use as my base for tracing.

I used the fill object tool to create rough shapes that matched the letters on G Force.  Once the rough shapes were in place I went back and did some fine tuning by editing the points.

Because this was going to be a smaller logo I was ok with select column stitch for my fill.  Once the G Force portion of the design was completed I started on the yellow swoosh and the remaining lettering.  This is where I began to struggle a bit.  The lettering for Pole Vault Club was so small I couldn't effectively get a good trace on it.  I don't have the font engine add in for Embird but I did get the Font add in for the native Singer embroidery software.  I found out the the font used for this lettering was really close to the font Conthrax.  I created the final phrase in the Singer Futura
Software using a column stitch.

Once this was saved I opened the design in Embird and copy and pasted it into my G Force design.  I am sure there is probably a better way to do this through merging but I hadn't played around with that function to determine the best way to do this.  Now that my design was all together and spaced to my liking and did the stitch simulator.  This is when I saw all the jump stitches that were going to need to be trimmed and found that my design was not properly thought out.

I should have known this was going to happen and I needed to do some planning on layout because Cookie mentions this multiple times in her class.  A properly thought out design means you don't have to go back and readjust.

I tried adjusting the order of the stitches to create a streamlined stitch but was struggling with getting my start and stop points where I wanted to  so I decided to start over on the G Force portion and this time added connecting lines to ensure I would start and stop where I wanted.

I still had a few jumps but this was way more efficient and reduced the random strands I had with the previous design.

Now it was finally time to test this design out on my actual embroidery machine.  I was nervous and excited all at the same time.  I new from doing a little research that embroidering on the dri fit knit shirts was going to be a little difficult and somewhat finicky.  So I definitely wanted to test on a similar type of material.  I happened to find a dri fit shirt in our donation pile that would work perfect.

I was impressed with how this turned out for a first run but was a little concern with the pulling on the top of the letters and was struggling to see the words clearly.  I did a little more researching and found that adding an outline underlay might help stabilize the design on this type of material.  I added this to my design using the outline object tool in Embird.  This provided a little more stabilization for the design on the shirt but I was still struggling to read the words clearly.

I decided to add an additional outline around the design that would be done in the yellow.  I thought this might help contracts that words from the darker grey shirt I was ultimately going to put this on.  I also added some additional stabilizer to see if that would help the design.  I used a 65/9 ballpoint needle with PolyPro Embroidery Backing and Pellon Sheer Knit Interfacing.  I started by fusing the Sheer Knit to the PolyPro.  Once this was done I took the Poly Pro and applied a temporary adhesive to help it stick to my shirt.

I marked the shirt using the buttons as a guide to ensure the design would be straight.  My hoop grids were really helpful in ensuring I had my shirt hooped in the right space.

Now time to sew the design.  I only had two colors on this design but wanted to be sure I didn't have issues with the jump stitches so I would pause the design during sewing to trim threads I saw might get in the way.  I did the same for the yellow outline as it sewed.  Altogether the stitching went pretty smoothly.  I am sure you probably aren't supposed to put a column stitch border around a column stitch especially when it is this small but it did provide the look I wanted.