Sunday, February 12, 2017

Personalized Embroidered Easter Bunnies - Two Methods

Last year, I finally embroidered names on stuffed Easter bunnies for some of the kids in my family after seeing the posts on the embroidery pages the year before.  I kept my notes to share here for doing this both ways:  (1) by sewing straight through the ear and (2) by opening the ear, embroidering, and stitching closed.  Both methods have merit and are quick and easy to do!  I was so late to the party last year that I decided to post this nice and early this year to be helpful to someone wanting to try this for the first time!

Method 1:  Stitching Straight Through the Ear
The first time I did this, I simply stitched through the ear, allowing the wrong side of the stitching to show on the back of the ear.  The deep pile of the fake fur will somewhat hide the stitching on the wrong side and matching the bobbin thread to the fabric color will also hide the wrong side of the stitching a bit.

First, I measured the ear to know the approximate size of the space where the name will go.

I picked out a font (this is Stitchtopia's Daphne) and used the virtual hoop grid to make sure the name fit the measurement I took.  I printed it using my Embrilliance embroidery software in order to see what it would look like at the size I picked.

I pinned the bunny ear onto hooped tearaway that I marked with crosshairs to show the center.  I matched the center of the ear making sure it matched the paper printout's cross hairs.  I pinned the ear in place.

 I placed the hoop on the machine and added a piece of water soluble stabilizer (WSS) before stitching.  WSS is the filmy topper-style of stabilizer to keep the stitches from sinking into the pile.

Once the stitching was complete, I removed the hoop, removed the tearaway, and the WSS.  I wanted to be sure the ear would hang to best show the name so I folded the ear open and put in one stitch to keep the inside of the embroidered ear visible. I didn't want it to flop over.

I put the finished bunny in a metal bucket with an embroidered patch I adhered.  Directions for doing that are on my blog.  Click here.  

Method 2:  Opening the Ear to Hide the Backside of the Stitching
I was fine with the finished bunny I did above but really always prefer for the backside of my stitching to be hidden.  I was promised that it was much quicker to do than my imagination allowed me to believe so I tried it once and was hooked.  I will always do my bunny ears this way, in fact! These are my notes on doing one ear at-a-time as well as multiple ears on a single hoop.

First, like above, I printed the name from my Embrilliance Essentials software.  This font is from Itch2Stitch Magnolia Sky.  I used a pen to extend the crosshairs to go all the way to the edge of the basting box to aid in lining up later.  Adding a basting box makes it easier to hold the WSS in place. The corners of the box may stitch right off the edge onto the tearaway, but that will not be a problem at all.

I trim the the name so I can see it with the edges of the ear.  I also make of habit of marking left and right just to be sure it all goes as designed.

I use a seam ripper to open the ear, centering it based on the crosshairs on the printout, matching with the crosshairs I draw on the hooped tearaway.  (A ruler can help to match them up perfectly).

I remove the paper printout and pin the ear in place.

I place the hoop on the machine, add a piece of WSS, and stitch.

Once stitched, I remove the hoop and then remove the basting box.  I tore off the tearaway and pulled off the WSS.  A rubber-tipped tool (even an eraser will do) to help remove the WSS without adding water.

Next, I pinned the ear back together right sides together and used my regular sewing machine to stitch all but about 1" closest to the bunny's head.  I turned the ear through the hole to make it right side out.

 And the cool thing:  all the embroidery's wrong side is enclosed and the backside of the bunny ear is untouched...

...and the embroidery is pretty on the inside of the bunny ear!

To do more than one ear on a single hooping:
The key to this is the printout from the Embrilliance software to know exactly where to pin the ears!

I added the names to the screen, adding a basting box to each and printed off the design.  I actually made the names upside down (just to make it easier to get the bunnies on the left side of the machine.

I opened up the ears and found the centers of each.

I put a little tag on each bunny with the direction of the lettering and so that I wouldn't mix up which was which for each name.

I hooped with tearaway and marked the crosshairs on the tearaway.  I placed my printout under the hoop, matching crosshairs.

I used my lightbox to place the ears on the hoop, matching the crosshairs on the ear to the center of each name.  I made sure the name was not inside the seam allowance!

I added WSS and began the stitching.

Again, it was an easy process pinning the right sides together on each ear and stitching while leaving a hole to turn.  After turning the ears right side out, I had my finished bunnies.

I hope that these notes are helpful as you experiment on bunnies for the kids in your life!  I love how this turned inexpensive bunnies from Walmart and Kroger into custom toys!  To see my other embroidery projects, check out my Embroidery page, or click here.

Links to products mentioned in this post:
  • Stitchtopia Daphne font:  click here.
  • Embrilliance Essentials embroidery software:  click here.
  • Tutorial on making customized patches for Easter baskets and anything else:  click here.
  • Itch2Stitch Magnolia Sky font:  click here.


Dk said...

Thanks for the deatiled instructions. I love all you posts!

Scrappin' Playground of Dreams said...

You do fabulous creating!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to show the detailed instructions!!! Now I want a computerized sewing machine!!! LOL

flynn37 said...

I am about to attempt this, and your tute is very helpful. The best part for me, though, is mentioning that you stitch the ear so it hangs open and shows the name! I kept trying to find bunnies where the inside of the ear would show, and couldn't, and that was bugging me! So obvious, and yet it never occurred to me... :)

Beth said...

This is great!! Where did you purchase your light box from? I think I need one, too!

Nadia ( said...

Beth, I have had my light box since college...almost 30 years ago. I am not sure but I know most craft and art supply stores sell them.

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