Digital Embroidery

Our last class meeting in the Fab Lab for the semester had me exploring the digital embroidery section of the lab. I have not had my hands on a sewing machine since 7th grade Home Ec, so I was a bit hesitant to start sewing, however the gurus at the lab were helpful as always. I have always wanted to put iron-on patches on my backpack, so I took this opportunity to make a patch using the badge from my fraternity, Sigma Chi. I choose a simplified version of the shield, and designed it with white and blue to go for an “old school” look. I think my retro design looks like one that could’ve been worn on the backpacks of students decades ago. Transporting the design to the printer was extremely easy, and once I got my hands on the sewing machine muscle memory kicked in, and I was actually craftier with the machine than I thought I would be. My stitching turned out like this:


I attempted to turn it into an iron on patch by gluing iron-on paper to the backside of my patch. Unfortunately, the ironing didn’t work well with the type of backpack I had. To make sure the patch stayed secure, I hooked my backpack onto the machine and sewed some outer stitches for reinforcement.

This experience was important to me because it showed how computers can be used to create perfectly sized stitches and patches using vectors. Anytime I want to customize a piece of clothing I own, I can bring it into the Fab Lab to add my own logos or designs. This is especially important for those who are less fortunate and rely on making/sewing their own clothes rather than buying new articles of clothing. With Fab Labs popping up all over the world and growing in popularity, I am sure that there will be an increase consumers fixing up their old clothes rather than pouring their money into buying new outfits. Additionally, this technology opens up the field of fashion design. Aspiring fashion designers have the ability to digitally make designs and patterns using their computers, and go into places like the Fab Lab and see their ideas come to life in a matter of minutes. I am sure that this technology’s impact will be felt by major clothing manufacturers around the world. Personally, I will be sure to use the right materials with one another. I struggled with attaching my design to my backpack because my backpack was beaded and old. Perhaps a different type of threading would have worked better with my backpack. Another problem I have found with my creations this semester is that I find myself getting so eager to bring them to life,that I rush through important parts of the making process and mess them up. I learned to be more careful and focused while working with the sewing machine this past week.

3 thoughts on “Digital Embroidery

  1. Good design. I like your analysis of how technology changes the fashion design process and even the clothes manufacturing.I believe, in the future, the customized deign will highly demand due to the improvement of technology.

  2. Hey Nick!

    It seems like you had a ton of fun at this past week’s session in the Fab Lab! I remember I had no idea how to operate the sewing machine, so it looks like 7th grade Home Ec came in the clutch. Also, I just wanted to add that the design you made looks really cool. I hope you continue to utilize the Fab Lab in the near future to create those customized articles of clothing!

  3. Awesome design, Nick! Really glad you were able to put it on your backpack right away, when your friends ask about it you can tell them all about the FabLab!

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