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Embroidering a camping bucket hat

by Shaelagh Kirkey

Welcome back to my ‘Beginner on the Brother Luminaire XP series’! How did you like yesterday’s idea of making custom patches? I made the cutest Trousers the Squirrel Fan Club crest to try and market to my fellow students at university… and today I have another idea to share with you, one that just might blow your mind like it did mine!

Brother Luminaire XP

The Brother Luminaire XP

So, again, here’s the backstory. My family’s group chat is called The Turkey Clan. The name is a little odd, but with the last name Kirkey, we get the ‘Kirkey/Turkey’ joke all the time! So, we may as well embrace it, right? That’s why when I saw the turkey design, I knew it belonged on a bucket hat for our family camping trips! The design is another freebie from Brother’s website so if you’d like, you can grab it for yourself by clicking the photo below and searching for ‘turkey’.

Turkey embroidery design. Brother Luminaire XP

Brother Luminaire turkey design – a free download

So I downloaded the design to a USB stick, then uploaded it to the machine. (Sounds funny, doesn’t it—downloading and uploading all in the same breath?) I edited the design by resizing it. Okay! Let’s talk resizing vs rescaling: here’s the lecture as I was given it: resizing takes the design and shrinks or grows its dimensions while keeping the same number of stitches as the original design. Rescaling actually recalculates the number of stitches to try and maintain the stitch integrity. The Luminaire imposes tight limits on how much a design can be resized, while rescaling can handle greater range of design size changes.

Two screenshots each showing a turkey design in the middle and the resize function and rescaling function on the Brother Luminaire XP

Resizing your designs is so easy!

Anyways, after resizing (I only wanted it a little smaller), I added the design baste in the Embroidery screen. Remember, that’s gonna sew first, which is kinda the key to making this project as easy as it is. Ready, Set… but can’t Go quite yet…

How does one hoop something as awkward as a bucket hat? I myself was wondering the same thing. Turns out… you don’t! The trick is sticky tearaway and a bit of patience. Want the details? Of course you do: First I hooped a cut away (one should almost always use a cutaway stabilizer, especially for designs this stitch-dense, made denser yet by resizing it down). Then I topped that with a 4”-ish square of sticky cutaway, paper side up. I slid that setup onto the machine and stitched the sticky in place with the basting stitch; I talked more about the basting stitch in my very first article, and just know that it’s a game-changer feature! After basting, I just tore away the paper backing, exposing the sticky side.

Basting stitch on sticky tearaway, hooped on the Brother Luminaire XP

Sticky tearaway: possibly the best thing since sliced bread

I turned on the projector feature once again and used it to line up my bucket hat just perfectly so I could stick it onto my sticky tearaway—see? Once it was stuck in place, it was smooth sailing from there on in!

Using the projector feature to help line up the turkey design on the bucket hat. Brother Luminaire XP

Lining up my turkey

Because the hat isn’t flat, I didn’t want to risk it catching and coming unstuck from the sticky, so I actually backed up to the beginning of the design and basted my turkey. (Okay, I basted the hat, but the pun was too fun to pass up!)

I picked different colors than what was pre-assigned to give the turkey a more realistic appearance, and just made my color change choices as I stitched them out. The Luminaire screen shows you a preview of what areas are being stitched before each color is sewn, so I made my decisions based on that. I changed the yellow feathers to a cream color.

Once the embroidering was complete, I removed my layers from the hoop, trimmed them and tidied up the loose threads. Using tweezers to hold the threads in place while you snip them makes cleaning up your finished projects so (sew?) so much easier!

After I got those pesky rogue threads taken care of, I put this bad boy on. I love my goofy new hat, and it’s going to be so great at keeping the sun outta my eyes while I’m birdwatching with the Turkey Clan fam!

An outdoor photo of a girl modeling a turkey bucket hat made on the Brother Luminaire XP

The littlest Kirkey Turkey modeling my new hat for me

I’ve wanted a bucket hat for the longest time, and never imagined that blogging would be the incentive to finally get one! And I certainly never thought it would be so easy to embroider, either! And guess what? I have another project lined up for tomorrow that might sound like another hooping impossibility… but you’ll just have to wait and see. I hope you can join me again tomorrow as I wrap up this series with my final project using the Brother Luminaire XP. I’ll give you a hint, though: this one will be the biggest one yet, after which I’ll have the perfect accessory to enable me to sit on my ‘laurels’ and rest a while!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3:

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