Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fat Boys, Hogs, and the Devil

In the "to be continued…" department, the FAT BOY shirts have been enhanced. The pig-bulldog has been reworked to look more like a pig-hog and has been added underneath the Ride a (real) FAT BOY. We have pinky-fleshy shades so I didn't have to use grey again. That WAS just a test, after all.
Notice, if you can, the earring. We were able to do this in shiny gold metallic thread…mmm, so shiny and sparkly!

The front of the shirt has a left-front above pocket hit that says HOG using the pig-hog eyes and nose from the back design. I really didn't want a Harley logo there.

Besides, the HOG is way more fun!

The final touch is a hit above the left front hem with the "big ass dude" logo. No, the photo is not upside down, I had to stitch it upside down because of how the shirt had to be placed in the hoop. That's a lot of stitch work for just one shirt, but that's our goal. We want to make really cool stitched, not screen-printed shirts with some fun built in!

I'm working on these shirts and all I can think about is going for BBQ!

Today's project has been completely cursed…and curse I did! There was a slight redesign for the devil-skull to make it slightly larger as the new frame would accommodate it. Lining shirts up on the new frame is much easier than using a traditional hoop. The shirt lays flat on the tabletop and then is clipped in on four sides. If I have placement measurements they are much easier to line up because I don't have to worry about the fabric shifting as I'm down on "all fours" pressing the hoop with both hands and both knees.

The center of the devil-skull design turned out to not exactly be the center of the shirt. This really matters as it is a panel shirt with a red back panel, black sides and red front panels. If I'm off on either the right or left, it's going to show so accuracy here is a must. As usual the devil-skull design was as big as possible and there is a very limited area it will fit into. If I'm off to the left or right the machine will just beep at me anyway.

It was going along pretty well, I had everything programmed correctly, the appliqué was easy to cut out, and everything was going beautifully—then there was a strange noise. I looked over and it was still sewing, no problem, I let it go. A couple minutes later I wandered over and yelled, "What the f*ck?!" then put another quarter in the swear jar. The right devil-skull horn was stitched up and to the right of where it should have been. Then I remembered the noise and that the machine had hit a limit, skipped, and the pantograph was thrown out of alignment. I wondered what it could have hit. I hadn't left my magnifying glass on the table to be trapped again. Then I found the bottom of the shirtwound up in the gears of the right-hand side of the machine. After making another deposit to the swear jar, I pulled and tugged trying the whole time to not rip the shirt. I freed the shirt, eventually no holes or tears, but a little bit of grease.

Then it took me, an ultra-sharp pair of scissors, a pair of tweezers, and a magnifying glass to unpick the stitches that were out of place. Yay me! Then I had to find "center" again. Since the machine had skipped forward a few gears I had to run the pantograph to the right a few times to "knock it back into place". Then I had to find the center of the design, realign the needle, etc. This takes some time!

Next, I was running the machine along and something just didn't seem right. Why were the teeth being outlined when I hadn't placed the applique yet? This was odd to me yet BigAl said, "Trust Me". I still thought something was wrong. Maybe one of the kernels of popcorn he was eating got lodged in his brain. But it finished out. I thought he was going to make the devil-skull teeth a stitched background rather than appliqué. He didn't. He added more top-stitching…ugh!

Need to make appropriate corrections to this project tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.

Something else happened but I can't remember what it was.

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