Mattie’s Method for Multi-Hoop Digitizing – Part 2

If you haven’t started with Part 1 of this post, please read that first! It discusses a lot of the concepts we’ll use here which may be confusing without the background and details in Part 1.

In Part 1, we discussed how to plan your hoopings and create guides to aid in aligning designs over multiple hoops. In this Part 2, I want to touch on two scenarios that make the process slightly more complicated.

SCENARIO 1 – Variations in a mirror-image piece.

This bodice front is very similar in shape to the one we looked at in my previous post. The V-shape can be broken into 3 hoops (color-coded for your viewing pleasure); one bottom-center, and two tops, which are a mirror-image of each other. This means I really only need two files, as I can flip the top design mirror-image on my machine to complete both the blue and pink sections.

Except the blue and pink designs aren’t exactly the same! The pink one dips down lower into the gold knotwork. Now I could just make separate files for the pink and blue, but because I am very lazy, I usually don’t. Here’s what I do instead.

I take the whole pink portion and flip it mirror image so it is the “same” as the blue portion. I move it to align perfectly with the blue portion. In this case, it is underneath so where it is visible will be where the two halves differ (left photo). In this case, it’s only that one piece on the bottom. I will delete all but that one piece of pink. The last step is to make the two “versions” of this piece different colors from each other and the other embroidery (right photo). I’m still going to use the same blue thread as the other knotwork, but this will cause the machine to stop before it sews them, allowing me to choose which color (aka version) I want to stitch out each time. Ideally, I try to order these pieces either at the beginning or the end of the blue section they belong with, just so the rest can run continuously.

The only trick to this method is remembering which color is which version (I often check on my computer), and remembering to skip the color you don’t want!

Let’s look at a more complicated scenario.

SCENARIO 2 – Hoops connecting on two sides (+also variations in a mirror-image piece).

So here’s my bodice front.

The dress design
My “master file” for the bodice front
“Master file” with mirror-image top added, and re-colored to show the 4 different hoopings.

What makes this design different from the previous ones is that the orange and yellow portions border two other hoops, rather than just one (the red hoop, but also each other). That means there are more areas to line up.

Going with my “center-out” method, I would start with the red portion. That means that when it comes time to add the orange, I must line it up with the existing red embroidery. This is more or less the same as we did in the previous blog post. The only change I would make would be to make sure there are some general placement guides (GREEN) along the center-front line. That *should* ensure that the embroidery hits that spot precisely.

The yellow portion is where things change a bit. For this half, I need to have guides based off not only the red, but also the orange pieces (BLUE-style). In this case, the neckline V point is probably the most important, but I may put a second one in as well, such as around that big circle. As always, I’ll also have a couple spots of general fabric placement for the other corners (GREEN-style).

You may have noticed that these orange and yellow portions are also “variations on a mirror image piece” like we looked at up in Scenario 1. In this case it’s not a piece that is different between the two, but the center pear stone outlines that don’t need to be stitched out twice (they would just overlap each other). If I were to follow my “lazy method” of using one file for both of these, I would just make those center pieces a separate color (green below). That color would get skipped on whichever side I do first, and added on the side I do second.

Happy embroidering!

If you’ve got more digitizing questions, pop them in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *