MCS Featherstitch for You & T-Bonnet

UPDATE: Barbara Skimin’s My Custom Stitch book is available at  Allbrands. 


T Bonnet MCSAll BR

This bonnet was featured in an earlier post, but since I’ve become a teeny bit more blog savvy, I decided to post it again for Faded Charm Cottage’s White Wednesday.

Why? Well, I wanted to create a tutorial page and thought I would make the zig zagged feather stitch available for download there.   It was created in Brother’s My Custom Stitch and will only work on machines with that feature.

Oh, I had big plans indeed.  I would include that stitch in my new Tutorials page, shown under the Janice Ferguson Sews title at the top of each post.  I managed to create the page and–I thought!!!–included a .pdf file for Florence Roberson’s smocked pocket pattern  shown in an earlier post. I was on a blogger roll and feeling rather pleased.

As I tried to add the zig zagged feather stitch file, a message popped up that this file type was “unrecognized” and could not be downloaded…  groan…..Okay.  I will e-mail the file to readers who request it.

Then I discovered that the .pdf smocked pocket pattern file does not show up on the  newly created tutorial page at all!#$%!!!   But I am determined to figure this out sooner or later—but probably later.




Back to the T-bonnet and the zig zagged featherstitch….   If any of you  would like this file, just post a request in the comment section and I will e-mail it to you.

If you have this feature on your Brother machine and are unfamiliar with it, I suggest you check your instruction manual.  This file can be downloaded onto a floppy or memory stick–whatever your machine reads– and loaded into your My Custom Stitch memory. Then you simply call up the design and start feather stitching.

The instruction manual directions seemed  a little skimpy to me.  I  found more detailed information in Barbara Skimin’s  very helpful book on the subject. I was fortunate to meet her at one of the Brother conventions where I was teaching and her enthusiasm for My Custom Stitch was contagious.




Copying crazy patch stitches from antique quilts would be so easy with this book at your side.




If your machine is another brand and has a similar capability, I suggest you try it out.  By manipulating classic hand embroidery stitches to change direction and repeat, you open a whole world of creative possibilities.

Any machine can make a T-bonnet with one sort of embellishment or another.  I hope you all will enjoy this post and the directions for the bonnet.

If you would like the zig zagged feather stitch, please leave your request as a comment.  Below is the original post on the T-bonnet and how the diamonds were created.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~




Just before my first grandchild, Laurel, was born, I made this T-bonnet for her.  Is there any sweeter sight than a baby in a bonnet?  And she did look absolutely precious in it.  Why I have no picture of her wearing it,  I don’t know.  I suppose I was so overcome with the emotion of holding my first grandchild that I missed many photo opportunities.

Like so many of my projects, this T-bonnet incorporates two of  my favorite techniques, heirloom sewing and machine embroidery. A genuine classic, the T-bonnet is named for it’s shape rather than an occasion suitable for its wear.


MCS Tbonnetscan


It is obvious from my previous posts that I love feather stitching.   And while the sewing side of many machines come with a built in feather stitch, turning the corner is very iffy business.   Not only must you know exactly where in the stitch pattern to pivot, but also you must be at the precise location of the desired pivot when you reach that point.   But I love the look of a zig zag feather stitch down the front of a yoke or a little boy’s dress shirt so I was motivated to figure out a way to do this more easily and more accurately.

So I decided to try out the My Custom Stitch feature on my sewing machine.  I thought if I could take the time to design a feather stitch with one turn, I could just repeat it for a zig zag pattern.  All top of the line Brother machines, beginning with the ULT series, has this feature which enables you to design your own decorative stitch.  I’m sure other machines have similar programs.  So I created one feather stitch pattern, one half of the diamond shown below, and then sewed it continuously, making a zig zag.




From there, creating a diamond was an easy next step.  So on this T-bonnet, I stitched one side of the zig zag feather and then went down the other side, matching centers.

This must be stitched on heavily starched fabric (I used cotton batiste) with a very light weight stabilizer .  My favorite is the 3″ wide Stitch’nDitch.  Still,  the joining points might not match up perfectly.




Placing a machine embroidered flower over each of those intersections covers any imperfections.  If the match up is pretty good, you might choose to embroider a flower at alternate intersections.  The flower shown is from Fil Tire’ and Fancywork Elements, a collection by my good friend Suzanne Sawko and me.




That same flower was used in the center of the tatting and ribbon rosettes which cover the ribbon tie attachment.  Tatting was tiny zig zagged to 1/4″  ribbon, a gathering thread was stitched on the opposite edge of the ribbon,  joined into a circle and then gathered to make the rosette.  The ribbon, however, is too bulky to allow the circle to be closed at the center.  So it was hand whipped closed and then machine embroidered with the little flower.

A T-bonnet is very versatile.   It can be tailored for a boy or frilly for a girl.  Just make two sections of fabric, one 12 1/2″ x 4″ to reach from ear lobe to ear lobe and another 6″ x 3″, to reach from the crown to the neck and embellish as you like.  Then add  ties, one on each finished corner.



That’s all there is to this easy bonnet.  The addition of the feather stitch diamonds is a nice touch.



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