All Things Bright and Beautiful

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17 Jul All Things Bright and Beautiful


I’ve been practicing my embroidery. After trying out two designs on muslin with no purpose other than to serve as practice examples, I went in to ‘Just Do It‘ mode.

I grabbed a very old denim jacket out of a closet and began to explore with the Pfaff embroidery designs which came with my machine. My plan was to sew whatever struck my fancy….

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and little by little I covered the back of the jacket.


Had I googled ‘Embroidered Denim Jackets‘ I might have actually planned my design…….. but then that wouldn’t really be practicing, and my practice sessions were quite fun.

Pfaff’s Creative 4.5 Embroidery and Sewing Machine makes machine embroidery simple for beginners like me. In a nutshell……

  1. Select the design
  2. Attach the hoop
  3. Thread the machine and push go.

Here’s the details…………

The Pfaff Embroidery Collection book is a catalogue of all of the embroidery designs loaded into the machine.

FullSizeRenderEach design’s size is listed along with color coordinating threads should one wish to duplicate the colors. I went for more of a fantasy design and did my own thing. Below is an example of a design I used twice on the jacket. Beside the illustration you can see the mirrored image in my own color selection in the photo.

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Once the touch screen is activated all of the editing icons are visible, allowing you to resize, duplicate, move  and add  multiple designs to the screen.


In my second session with Ilse, I learned how to apply Pfaff’s “Precise Positioning” feature to each design. The feature allows you to place a design on an exact spot on your fabric. I began the jacket experiment before fine tuning the Precise Positioning feature, but understood it very well by the time I finished.

I saved the front of the jacket to embellish last, and I selected the image below to place on each side, which was mirrored for balance.


Placement was key, but I easily positioned the design so the two sides were perfectly even.

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I might describe the back of the jacket as delightfully haphazard with off-center dragonflies and gigantic butterflies, but oh well……. it’s colorful, cheerful, and I learned along the way.


I also used this opportunity to experiment with stabilizers. I tried cut-away, tear-away and water soluble stabilizers. My preferred stabilizer for this project was the tear-away which was a good weight for the heavy fabric and easier to remove than the cut-away.

A few design details: (LOL)

  • The large agapanthus was my first embroidery application on the jacket and I was delighted it ended right in the center!
  • I’m loving the ‘Endless Fluer Monique’ design (two outer flowers)
  • The dragonflies are embroidered in groups of 5.
  • The 47 small flowers are individual designs. Though I could place several on the screen, the machine stitches one at a time, and I changed the thread for each flower and each center. Same with the leaves.
  • The red/purple upper right butterfly is the first design I strategically placed with the Precise Positioning.
  • By the time I finished the back I knew what to do with the front 😉


Many thanks to Coats and Clark for the fantastic embroidery thread! They sewed beautifully without a single snag. I love the quality of thread and beautiful colors.IMG_6085

In closing I can only think of Picasso’s quote ~
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

Reaching a comfort level is always a good feeling….. as long as we don’t become too comfortable 😉

Until soon!

  • Joyce Latham
    Posted at 06:19h, 17 July Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:30h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you, Joyce!

  • Becky Thompson
    Posted at 06:22h, 17 July Reply

    You did a beautiful job! I’ve been embroidering for years and could never just “wing it” like that and have it turn into a masterpiece. Your machine looks as though it could take a larger hoop perhaps? If so, definitely invest because it will cause your embroidery world to explode. Next thing you know, you’ll be sporting one of those fancy-schmancy designer embroidered bags that run upwards of $300 each – embroider your pieces and sew it up! Viola’! Did you hoop the jacket or float it?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:37h, 17 July Reply

      Thanks so much for your comment 🙂 The machine comes with three hoops, the largest being 360mmx200mm which is serving me well so far. I hooped the jacket!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 05:58h, 19 July Reply

      A reader just explained to me that I floated the jacket ~ like I said – I’m just learning!!

  • Becky Thompson
    Posted at 06:30h, 17 July Reply

    Oh! And let me introduce you to this – embroidery with mylar! The result is spectacular. Behind the threads peeps out little sparkles of mylar that glitter and glint in the light. I wanted to take an old denim jacket and embroider the boots in a circle on the back to wear to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. I think these only work on a larger hoop but it’s something to work toward. 🙂 Or…get Embrilliance to use on other designs, lower the stitch density, slip in some mylar from the craft store and you’re off and running. There’s videos on YouTube of how to. You’re already an inspiration…I’m off to go dig out that old jacket. The rodeo will be here before I know it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:38h, 17 July Reply

      I’ll certainly check out the mylar, and you must show me your jacket once it’s finished!!

  • Vivian M Katz
    Posted at 06:36h, 17 July Reply

    This is the perfect jacket for the Summer of Love (1967) 50th anniversary. I love it.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:39h, 17 July Reply

      Aha! I knew something was driving me to take the flower power route! Many thanks for the comment, Vivian 🙂

  • Becky Bagwell
    Posted at 06:40h, 17 July Reply

    I want one!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:40h, 17 July Reply

      Just a few thousand stitches away! You’d look great in one, Becky 🙂

  • Rianna Brown
    Posted at 06:49h, 17 July Reply

    Just gorgeous…and the “pops” of color are so transforming of an otherwise same old, same old denim jacket!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:41h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you, Rianna! These colors make me smile 🙂

  • Sue leonard
    Posted at 06:56h, 17 July Reply

    Enjoyed your embroidery story. The result is beautiful.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:42h, 17 July Reply

      Many thanks, Sue 😉

  • Marla Cooprider
    Posted at 07:01h, 17 July Reply

    Very pretty! I need to embroider more often. I don’t have a Pfaff but my Janome 15000 does a terrific job as well! 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:45h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you, Marla! I’m having great fun with the embroidery portion of the machine, and love how well it sews too 🙂

  • Margaret Schulz
    Posted at 07:22h, 17 July Reply

    You are so talented! Your “practice” jacket turned out amazing! I love your design, it’s not at all cutesy,but sophisticated whimsy, colorful and just all around lovely!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:46h, 17 July Reply

      What a sweet comment, Margaret! It was such fun to do, I definitely plan to do another 😉

  • Cissie Wellons
    Posted at 09:28h, 17 July Reply

    Looks to me like you have mastered your new machine! Your jacket is fantastic. Makes me want to get out my embroidery module, not used in years, and see if I can relearn! But first to finish a flower girl dress!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:47h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you, Cissie, but I have a lot left to learn 😉 Would love to see the flower girl dress!

  • MaryEllen
    Posted at 09:37h, 17 July Reply

    Amazing practice jacket -you definitely have mastered embroidery.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:48h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you Mary Ellen! I’ve yet to master embroidery but am loving learning all about this technique 😉

  • Kathy
    Posted at 10:02h, 17 July Reply

    Great job and fun application! Also love the color selections you made. I too have an embroidery machine (Bernina) purchased a few years ago. The first few times are such fun. After awhile you learn a few tricks. As mentioned by Becky, floating is a great one.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:49h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you, Kathy! I look forward to learning some embroidery tricks and more. 🙂

  • Denise Reed
    Posted at 10:06h, 17 July Reply

    Wow! what an inspiration, just lovely. The way you describe the process, it shows you really enjoyed yourself. Thanks for sharing.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:51h, 17 July Reply

      Many thanks, Denise! It’s truly an enjoyable process 🙂

  • Ann
    Posted at 10:13h, 17 July Reply

    That is so lovely! I bet you will get tons of compliments wearing this. Your design looks like a gorgeous summer garden..

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:52h, 17 July Reply

      Ahh…… many thanks, Ann! It’s much closer to a summer garden than my yard for sure 😉

  • Lone Star Couture
    Posted at 10:23h, 17 July Reply

    Yep, you’re hooked! Great jean jacket. Cute designs.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:52h, 17 July Reply

      Hooked and hooped, Dorcas! Many thanks 😉

  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    Posted at 10:49h, 17 July Reply

    I love your jean jacket! I think making your own random designs was perfect. Some machine embroidery I’ve seen is too contrived and look too canned (rather like canned laughter it lacks authenticity and originality) but yours is unique and intriguing!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:54h, 17 July Reply

      Hi Kathleen! Thank you so much 🙂 I much prefer bright and/or clear colors to muted hues. What I loved was discovering some great designs to use later ……

  • Gayle
    Posted at 11:18h, 17 July Reply

    You did a fantastic job Sarah! I don’t know how the machine could embroider perfectly through the thick seam in the back but it did! Kudos

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:59h, 17 July Reply

      It was amazing to watch it stitch through the thick denim seams without breaking the needle or skipping a stitch! Many thanks, Gayle 🙂

  • Ann Thanos
    Posted at 11:53h, 17 July Reply

    I’ll bet the sales representative, who chose you as the happy beneficiary of a Pfaff machine, is feeling very good about him or herself, particularly after seeing this post. Your descriptions of the way the machine works, and how your gorgeous jacket evolved, are exceedingly inspiring. By the time I had finished one paragraph, I was already fantasizing about buying a Pfaff, so that I can create beautiful embroidered garments too. As with everything you try, you have certainly learned how to do machine embroidery, and I suspect this jacket is only the beginning. Brava!!! (P.S. I love the Picasso quote.)

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:04h, 17 July Reply

      Ann ~ Such a great comment 🙂
      During my 6 years of blogging I’ve not seen a blogpost to familiarize me with an embroidery machine, although I’m sure several have been written and I’ve just missed them. I truly did not realize what these machines can do.
      This jacket was such a fun experiment !

  • Glenda W
    Posted at 12:11h, 17 July Reply

    I love, love, love that! You did an amazing job. I’ve wanted an embroidered jean jacket forever but have never found one I really like that I could afford. Now I’m inspired to do my own 👏👏👏

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:05h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Glenda! Click on the google link to embroidered jackets for lots of inspiration – I think you’ll find the project easier than expected 🙂

  • Alice Elliot
    Posted at 12:53h, 17 July Reply

    That is really impressive! How much fun to be learning a new machine and having a gorgeous result you can be pleased to show off!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:06h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you, Alice! I’m truly having a blast 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Gerhild Turner
    Posted at 15:20h, 17 July Reply

    Great job. I know how difficult it is to embroider directly onto a finished garment, especially a jeans jacket. How difficult was it to hoop the jacket?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:10h, 17 July Reply

      Many thanks, Gerhild 🙂 Since I kept adding designs to the jacket I hooped it several times. Seriously I used different sized hoops all over the jacket. The Pfaff rep taught me to hoop the stabilizer and attach the jacket with a temporary adhesive which was much easier than enclosing it in the hoop. Is this what you were asking?

      • Gerhild Turner
        Posted at 20:05h, 29 July Reply

        Yes, it was. I have been upcycling jean jackets by adding embroidery to it. I embroider onto a separate piece of fabric and attach it later to the back of the jacket or wherever I want designs, cutting away the denim. I only embroidered one time directly onto the back of the jacket and did not like that a great portion of the jacket was laying on the embroidery unit. I was afraid I would damage it with the weight of the jacket. It came out looking very nice, though.

  • Debi
    Posted at 17:18h, 17 July Reply

    It is absolutely beautiful and so cheerful! Love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:10h, 17 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Debi!

  • Lisa G
    Posted at 18:33h, 17 July Reply

    Absolute perfection!! I love it! If you hooped the stabilizer, then used spray-adhesive to attach the jacket and didn’t actually put the jacket in the hoop, then that is what would be called “floating” the jacket. It tends to work better with thick/heavy fabrics! I have a magnificent magnetic frame that is SO much easier to hoop with than the ones that came with my machine…I highly recommend you look into getting one for your machine!

    Thank you for a great post, and just in general for your always-inspiring blog. It’s one of my favorites!


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:24h, 18 July Reply

      LOL – I told you I was a novice! Many thanks for enlightening me on embroidery terms, Lisa 🙂 I will certainly look into the magnificent magnetic frame !

  • Maggie ecger
    Posted at 19:29h, 17 July Reply

    Can’t wait to see some of Birdie’s clothing when you sew for her. Your jean jacket is so much fun. Beautiful colors. A Maggie

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:25h, 18 July Reply

      Thank you, Maggie! The first romper I made for her was a learning experience in terms of sizing – goodness it’s been a long time since I’ve made baby clothes 😉

  • Margo Bergman
    Posted at 20:36h, 17 July Reply

    So fun Sarah!! Love it. I must learn to use the embroidery on my machine!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:26h, 18 July Reply

      Thank you, Margo! I think you will love it 😉

  • Elaine Smith
    Posted at 21:50h, 17 July Reply

    This is stunning! I now regret having passed on the Creative for my Performance 5.0. While I enjoy the same IDT feature and a nice array of embroidery stitches, I never could have imagined using the embroidery feature as you have done.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:31h, 18 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Elaine! Honestly, I was clueless about embroidery machines until receiving this one. I’m most excited about eventually using the embroidery feature for tunics ………. and I bet the Pfaff dealer will cut you a deal on a trade 😉

  • Lucy
    Posted at 22:46h, 17 July Reply

    It sure looks like you had fun with all the designs and colors! I’m guessing you will get many compliments on your jacket. It looks great!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:33h, 18 July Reply

      I had a blast with the jacket. Right now I’m only wearing it to the grocery store to stay warm – LOL 😉 Many thanks for your comment!

  • Eileen Baker
    Posted at 11:28h, 18 July Reply

    Wow! Love that jacket! 😍 So whimsical without being too cutesy! Can’t wait to see what you do for your precious grandbaby and how you embellish your beautiful tunics! You and your tunics were my inspiration to start my recent sewing journey.. Mostly researching and dreaming so far but you make it all seem so doable.!! And now you’ve just kicked up the excitement with this new embroidery layer!! I’m off to the thrift store to find a great Jean jacket (that’s not cheating, right?) so I can “practice” my embroidery !! Please keep up your great work!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 05:51h, 19 July Reply

      Eileen ~ You’re my kind of woman – a thrift store jacket is PERFECT for practicing embroidery! It is all very doable! I did not embroider the jacket all at once – more like a few minutes here and there. Many thanks for your nice comment and good luck with your sewing 🙂

  • JS
    Posted at 22:09h, 18 July Reply

    It looks wonderful.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 05:51h, 19 July Reply

      Thank you, JS 🙂

  • Marilyn Kelly-Clark
    Posted at 23:47h, 18 July Reply

    Wow, I’m so impressed! I have an embroidery attachment but have only ever used it in simple classes because I live in fear! You might have convinced me with your wonderful project to just go for it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 05:53h, 19 July Reply

      ……definitely just go for it, Marilyn!! Good luck and many thanks for the comment 😉

  • Leitner Winstead
    Posted at 10:56h, 19 July Reply

    Beautiful! I like that it is a random design. As Heidi Klum says-“don’t go too matchy, matchy.” Your choices make it you! I am starting one by hand. I sew for a living and I enjoy the handwork of embroidery when I have the time. Sew on!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:58h, 20 July Reply

      Thank you, Leitner, for your comment! I can’t imagine embroidering one by hand but can only imagine how beautiful the outcome will be. You MUST send me a photo 🙂 🙂

  • Jeanne Walker
    Posted at 12:50h, 19 July Reply

    Love the mixture of designs. I going on a trip soon (next month) and did the same thing. Got an old olive green demin jacket from the closet and tried embroidering on it. I find the wash away is good for my heavier fabrics. I did one of my bigger designs (on my Janome). I plan on adding more cause it seem to say so. I hand embroidery a denim jacket (which) I made back in the 70’s. I received lots of complements on it, as I know you will on this. I have been reading your blog for sometime and enjoy your darling outfits for your grand daughter. Just saying hello too, from an old roommate at the spa in Morocco last November. Can’t believe it’s almost been a year with Amy. What a great time we all had. Jeanne

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:00h, 20 July Reply

      So nice to hear from you! I like the wash away stabilizer very much too. Bet your jacket is gorgeous. Where are you off to this time?

      • Jeanne Walker
        Posted at 10:27h, 26 July Reply

        To the Mediterranean Cruise for 2 weeks and then off to Ireland for a week on a land tour with Mark Sherman, Quilt Designer. Really looking forward to it. I saw your post on your blouse you embroidery, love it on you! I would like trying embroidery on a fabric for a blouse one of these days. Enjoy reading your post. Jeanne

  • Susan Vinson
    Posted at 09:56h, 20 July Reply

    I’m curious–what size needle did you use and did you have to replace it during the process? Looks like you even sewed over a thick French seam at least once–did that give you any trouble?
    You have helped make my decision of getting am embroidery machine next instead of a longarm machine–let Pfaff know that you have made another sale.

  • goodbyevalentino
    Posted at 20:10h, 20 July Reply

    Oh wow – I’m delighted to know I played a role in your machine selection, Susan! You will love it for sure.
    I bought a pack of Organ embroidery needles and changed often – sometimes due to pilot error and other times when the machine told me to 😉 Sewing over the thick seam gave me no trouble at all. It was amazing to watch this machine embroider the jacket without skipping a beat!

    • Susan Vinson
      Posted at 09:00h, 26 July Reply

      But what size were the needles you used?

      • goodbyevalentino
        Posted at 11:04h, 26 July Reply

        Susan, I’m not sure. I used the needles that came with the machine and a variety of sizes with the Organ needles. Sorry not to be more helpful.

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