Okay, I’m really proud of this one! You may recall that I said I can’t draw. (See Freestanding Lace 1)
To make these earrings, I started with some basic shapes, drawn with the Create Circle tool and the Create True Elipse tool. I merged them into one object and used Adjust with an Arc to create the shapes I wanted. I ended up with a pretty good gingerbread man, but he wasn’t symmetrical. I thought about leaving him as is (have you ever seen a symmetrical homemade cookie?) but in the end I decided it looked like it was a mistake. I used Divide with Line(s) to split him down the middle, ungrouped the two halves, duplicated and mirrored each one and used the identical halves to create two symmetrical gingerbread men. I chose the one I liked and ate the other one.
For decorations, I experimented with the Motif Border. Big mistake. (Imagine Julia Roberts here.) It looked great on the screen but it was way too dense. I think the scale was too small for this type of stitch.
After I did the boy, I created the girl by slicing off the bottom half of the boy and drawing on a skirt and feet. Once again, I cut her in half and mirrored her so both sides would be the same. (You do remember that I like quirky earrings, right? It’s fun wearing an assorted pair. Maybe next time I’ll do one with an arm or leg bitten off.)
For the boy, I let Generations create the satin border and it was fine. On the girl, I ended up with a funny place under the arm, which is odd, now that I think of it, because that part of them was the same. You can see that the green stitches aren’t perpendicular to the edge as they should be. I tried to edit it, but it was too much of a pain. I ended up using the satin border created by Generations as a guide for a hand-drawn satin border using Create Satin Side-to-Side so I could control the angle of the stitches. I think this is a weakness of Generations (or else I just don’t know how to do it). As far as I can tell, if you use Create Outline From Area Edges, you can’t adjust the angle of the stitches later. (Generations, are you listening?)
I discovered that if you select a stitch and press the up or down arrow key, it will select the next stitch for you. This is a great feature that I will use a lot. If you look at the photo to the left, you can see that it’s difficult to locate the next stitch.
Pressing the arrow key not only identifies the next stitch, it selects it for you which makes it much easier to adjust. You can hover over it until your cursor changes, then left hold and drag it wherever you want.
Here’s a photo of my first attempt. You can see the strange stitching under the girl’s left arm. You may also notice that the facial features are too light, especially the mouth, her collar looks bad and there’s a bit of a mess at the bottom of the dress where the first border I had was too light so I added another one on top of it.
Here’s the second attempt. I think this one came out quite a bit better, although I realized that the girl was a little taller than the boy. I’ve corrected that in the file I’ll share with you. See how much better her underarm looks?
I keep forgetting to trim the loose ends from the back before I stitch the border. I think doing so will prevent some of the little pokies (that’s a technical term) you see, especially on him.
Each element is a different color to prevent jump stitches. There may be a ginger jump stitch between his knees. You can see where I trimmed it in the photo above. However, I couldn’t find it in the stitch file, so maybe it went away when I resized him. You could do the hanging loop and final border in white if you like the look of the icing outline.
Settings for this design
Density of lace base: 2.0 (in Generations)
Satin outline: 2.0 mm for the boy, slightly wider for the girl (I probably should have fixed that, but it’s not really noticeable when the earrings are worn.
Two layers of WSS (not the clear kind you use on top of napped fabrics)
Finished size: 1.″ X 2.25″ including loop but excluding wire
I used ginger embroidery thread in the bobbin throughout. Resizing FSL is not recommended and may lead to unreliable results.
Trim the stabilizer from the finished item and soak it in warm water just long enough to tear the remaining WSS away from the edges. You want to leave as much as possible in the threads to stiffen the earrings. Don’t empty the water down the sink. I’ve heard it can do bad things to your plumbing.
Here’s a link to the pes file. Drop me a note if you need other formats and I’ll see what I can do. You are welcome to use this file to make objects for personal use or for sale. You may not resell or distribute the embroidery file. Gingerbread Boy and Girl
Dropbox may ask you to create an account or sign in, but there’s a ‘no thanks’ link that will let you proceed to the download.