New Sundress, NewTechniques


The past two weeks have been very, very hectic.  Aside from an increase in the busy-ness of everyday life, I’ve been learning more about my Brother Quattro sewing/embroidery comb machine.  This little sundress is the result of my first attempts at using a few of the amazing features.  I’m just blown away with the impact of technology on today’s sewing machines.

Somewhere, I have a booklet printed in 1900 which celebrates the advances in Singer sewing machines up to 1900.  In that little publication, it was stated that every advance possible had been included in the newest Singer sewing machine model. Again and again, it stressed that there were absolutely no more improvements possible!  The machine stitched forward and backward and stitch length that could be adjusted.  What more could sewing women want?  The machine of 1900 was perfected.

They were wrong.

But first, here are the specs on the dress.  The pattern is Martha Pullen’s Summer Separates.   Now that my granddaughter, Laurel, is 8, I am happy to have a pattern that reaches up into the big girl sizes.



The fabrics are white Swiss pique, Liberty of London tanna lawn print, and pink pima cotton for trim.  The pearl buttons (4 in the package) were purchased years ago at an antique mall and are a near perfect match to the pink pima.  Hurrah!

There are three 1/4″ pin stitched tucks on either side of center.   Four strands of twisted cord are woven through the pin stitch holes.




Like the front and back yokes, the hemline band of Liberty is trimmed with a foldedstrip of pink pima cotton.  I tried to pinstitch the trim piece, but even with a 100 sharp, there was too much bulk with two layers of starched pima broadcloth and one layer of pique.  So the trim is held in place with a little blanket style stitch.

Now, on to the technology.  See the embroidered flower on the bodice?  That is a pretty close copy of the flower in the Liberty print used to border the yoke, armscyes and hem.

So what’s the big deal about that?  Digitizing programs have been around for many years now.  Right?

Well, yes.   But the learning curve for that application was a little too steep for techno-challenged Janice and others like me.  I’ve always simply edited existing designs with BuzzEdit2, though it sometimes takes me hours to find one suitable for tweaking.   But there are no designs exactly like the flower in the Liberty print.




Pen tablet to the rescue!  With this little marvel, design creation is easy peasy.  You simply slip a drawing or photo or whatever under the clear flap and trace it!  You have options–size and color of outline, color and direction of fill stitches, size of design.  Maybe more.  But that was enough for me.

I simply scanned the fabric, printed the image, slipped it into the pen tablet, selected a flower to copy and traced it.  Bam! The flower was saved in my machine memory stick or thumb drive ready to be embroidered!  Pure magic.

Now I’m thinking about special pictures that my children (long, long ago) and grandchildren have drawn and how I now can capture them in thread.  There is no limit to the things that can be copied and stitched, but I especially love the ability to take an image from a print fabric.  Moving on…..

Next, I explored the machine’s  edge stitching capability.  This was put to the test making the tucks.  I’ve always used the edge stitch foot for tucks, but the maximum width of the tuck is dictated by the distance from the “wall” on the foot and sometimes I want a wider one.

You simply place a special sticky sheet over the throat place and attach a special foot.  Set the desired width from edge to sewing, such as 1/4″ seam allowance used by quilters, and turn it loose!  Check out this short video.  You have to scroll down the page until you come to “The Perfect Seam Allowance.”  The scanner on the sewing machine reads the texture printed sheet and then, via its computer,  compares it to the image with your fabric in place.  It maintains the seam allowance regardless of curves or irregularities in the fabric edge.  How handy is that???

Brother describes this feature.  “Edge sewing is so simple. InnovEye™ follows the edge and—guided by a pre-set seam allowance—keeps stitches smoothly hugging the edge whether they are straight or curved. Sew a long, thin piece of material, like a ribbon, with ease.

After all six perfect tucks were finished, I went back and pin stitched over the seam line.  Because I used 80 wt. thread for the first pass, those threads were nearly invisible as they melted into the pique so there was no need to remove them.

Finally, a 4 strands of cotton sewing thread were twisted into cord with the bobbin winder and then woven through the pin stitch holes.

Technology never ceases to amaze me, but now, as Will sang in the movie Oklahoma, “Whats next?  They’ve gone about as fer as they can go!”

What more can our sewing machines possibly do?  Are you wonder struck by the capabilities of your sewing machine?  How does it compare to the one on which you learned to sew?  What features do you like best about your machine?

7 responses to “New Sundress, NewTechniques

  1. June Mellinger

    I love what you have done with this pattern Janice. You are so darn creative. Enjoy your week!

  2. Very sweet dress! Your birthday is right around the corner. Bet you just can’t wait! Act like you’re the Queen of the Universe (Brian Andreas) and dance on the cake. Actually, never waste a cake. Dance on the table and eat the cake! Happy birthday!

  3. Love the dress! The colors really pop.
    I have a “similar” machine…and the edge stitching is one of my favorite sewing features. Just line it up and sit back and watch. Always a perfect and even stitched line. You are going to love all the features of this machine.

  4. Genie Zappanti

    I have a question about the tablet, I just purchased a used Quattro 6000D and the pen and tablet were included. The machine has kits 1,2 & 3 but when I plug it into the middle usb port the design screen doesnt come up. the light does come on on the tablet. am I missing something? I saw on Pinterest you have a tablet so you are my shot in the dark I hope you don’t mind me asking. Genie

  5. Recently purchased a used Quattro 6000 which had several upgrades already installed. Unfortunately I did not receive the cd that came with the upgrades so am having difficulty figuring out how to use some features. I have upgrade 2 which is the pen and tablet. When I hook it up, I see the cursor move but no lines are drawn. I must be missing a step. Unfortunately also live in an area that doesn’t have a brother dealer to go to for help. Have searched YouTube videos but they also skip some steps. Can’t wait to get started but need a little help.

  6. Patti, congratulations on your purchase of this fabulous machine! I have loved mine but since The Dream Machine moved into my sewing machine, I don’t use it for much more than embroidery. So I’m afraid I cannot be of much help. I confess that I am a VERY slow learner and have come to rely heavily on Keith Lord’s videos to answer my many questions. You said you have already searched Youtube. But I searched for Keith Lord Brother Quattro and found many videos that might be helpful to you. I surely hope so. And I hope you can get the help you need to access all the wonderful features of this exceptional machine. It is a marvelous technological wonder.

  7. Genie, lucky you to own such a fine machine! I know you will love this technological miracle/workhorse. I love mine. But as I told Patti in the message above, that since I got the Dream Machine, I have used the Quattro only for basic embroidery. What I did know about the extra features, I have long since forgotten. All this technology is amazing and useful, so it’s worth learning it all. Again, I suggest Keith Lord’s videos at Youtube. It’s so nice to stop the video and walk through his steps or check your manual for the same information. Click on this link link to his Youtube videos. You might also benefit from the wisdom of owners on the yahoogroup, Brother Quattro-Babylock Ellisimo, Dream Machine, Destiny. The list owner is Early, Irwin, a retired Brother educator who is very knowledgeable about all the machines. Click on this link to go to the site. Good luck finding answers. I know you will enjoy the capabilities of the pen and tablet as well as the other amazing features on the Quattro.

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