Off Center?

 I hope everyone is having a great summer! We are in denial over here that SCHOOL starts back in 2 WEEKS. In 2 weeks I will be crying over enjoying my very last day of summer 2013. I have mixed emotions as I do every year. On the one hand, all 3 of my children will be at the same school on the same schedule. But… my youngest also starts REAL Kindergarten which makes me a little sad. Not looking forward to getting up at the crack of dawn and doing carpool twice a day. But… we are already getting up sort of early (see later part of post) and entertaining them all day can be exhausting. Looking forward to the routine. Not looking forward to homework X 3 and all the tears that first month or so which I like to call the adjustment period. You know.. the “I can’t BeLiEvE you are making me do homework when it is so pretty outside!!!” (lots of drama and tears)

Anyway… I have been doing a little work the past 2 weeks. This morning I had on my to-do list a Baby Elephant onesie with “Blake” underneath. I did a post a couple of years ago about designs that are centered, but have features that make them APPEAR off center. It’s not a design flaw. It’s just that some designs have tails, noses, trunks, vines, etc. that throw the main part of the design off center while the entire designs itself IS, in fact, centered. Here is a great example!

This is my screen in Sew What Pro, and as you can see, the elephant is centered and the name is centered underneath. (p.s. I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Kazoo” font) So everything is centered, but because the main body of the elephant is to the right a bit, the whole thing appears off center. The name needs to line up more with the feet of the elephant to make it appear centered.

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I kept Blake centered, and moved the elephant to the left. Even though the elephant is now NOT centered, it appears centered because the name and feet line up more. I could save this as is and stick it on my machine to sew, but my machine is going to center the whole thing again so it will turn out off center. Are you confused yet?? Before I save a design, I press the CENTER button in SWP one last time, and had I pressed it it would have shifted this whole design to the right and then Blake would have been off center (to the right). So…….

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I thought… why don’t I add something to the design that I won’t sew, but that will make and keep the design centered on the onesie. In the previous blog post I mentioned, I added a word or name underneath and then centered the applique and did not sew the name or word underneath. Today I thought.. why not add a “.”? So as you can see below, I added a dot (MWP Motif SySerif 26) to the right. My name and design is “centered” looking on the screen so it will appear centered on the onesie. The dot is also last in all of my steps, so I will just skip it!


Here is the finished onesie. As you can see, the name Blake is centered and the legs of the elephant are centered over the name, therefore the whole design appears centered on the onesie!


I also did a backpack today so I snapped a few pics to share. This is your typical Jansport backpack. I used a seam ripper to remove the Jansport label (which did not “go” with the cute hot pink backpack). It took me all of 3 minutes to get the label off.


Here it is after I removed the label. A lint brush took care of the loose threads.


This picture is a smidge blurry but I covered where the label was with our Frame Patch 5 (minus the inner patch) and MWP Party Time monogram. Keep this in mind when you are out backpack shopping! I also did this last year with some mini designs ~ see this post!


We have also been working on new designs, and this is a Mini Applique Pumpkin I did on a onesie the other day. Mini designs are great for onesies & baby gowns.


And now to the reason we are getting up early… we added to our family last week! Our kids have been b-e-g-g-i-n-g for a dog for the past few years. We kept saying “when Mallory is older” “when Mallory is 5”. Well, Mallory turned 5 in February so they put us under some serious pressure. We were able to put them off until August so that we could enjoy our vacations this summer out of town, and I found this little girl while at the beach a couple of weeks ago. All of the kids were out of town last Thursday when I picked her up, so Jeff & I were able to enjoy {and prepare} her for a couple of days with no kids. Browder got home from camp Saturday morning and was shocked and surprised when he saw her! The other 2 got back Sunday afternoon and were also shocked and surprised! They LOVE her, although I think the newness is wearing off a bit. She is a Maltese and we named her Maggie (or Maggy as Browder spells it on Instagram). She is teeny tiny but has already grown since we got her!

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If you have any puppy training tips, please let me know! We are crate training her to sleep and potty training her to go outside. The tee tee part is going well with only 1 accident (that I have FOUND). The poo poo part is a bit more challenging. Those are NOT raisinettes we keep finding all over the rug. She likes fabric! We try to keep her busy and entertained with her toys.

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Mallory gave her this little stuffed pink puppy, so they took a nap earlier today.

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The kids LOVE her!

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This is where we found her the other night after she first met Mallory & G and had all 5 of us swooning over her. This is the back corner of our den behind the chair. She is precious, and hopefully the potty training and sleeping-all-night will kick in. Again, any tips? Email me!!

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  1. I LOVE your blog, & designs of course!! You have taught me a lot in the past 2 years! (: & i thank you for that! Maggie is super cute!! hope the kids enjoy her love! (:

  2. Carol Nichols says

    Maggy is precious, I have a Maltese and he loves EVERYBODY, I am told that they are the sweetest dog you could have. as for the potty and pee pee training, I got a small can put pennies (Two) in it and when I saw that he wanted to go out I would shake it and he finally put this together and when I would shake it he thought it was time to do potty stuff. I also made a hanging for the door that he goes to the yard and put bells on it. When he went out I would shake the bells(hang it so that he could reach it) She will associate it with going out and will ring it herself. They are really easy to train. You made a smart choice. Maltese are just about anything you could ask for in a dog.

  3. Melissa Tiller says

    Love this! I encounter this dilemma all the time with centering. Using the dot is a great idea. ????

    • Melissa Tiller says

      Lol! I put a smiley face and the computer translates that into question marks.

      Maggie is just precious! She looks like she is settling in great.

  4. Hey! Thanks for posting a new blog. Love your new ‘baby’ in the family. I think its so good for children to have that bond with an animal to be responsible and just to love it unconditionally. They (as Molly is too) so excited to come home to see her! They help feed her and she plays outdoors with them. Its all around a great addition to a home. We had the same thoughts as u all did.To wait until the little one was a decent age 4-5yrs old.

    We adopted our 1st dog ( a Boston Terrier)in Sept. of 2012 and she is a handful…I mean a babydoll.wink wink !We also crate trained ours, and in the beginning, it was all 4 paws sticking out not wanting to go inside the crib(as I call it) sounds better than cage or crate:) We left(leave) the door open to it during the day(while we are home) so she could (can)get in it and relax. Now, she loves it! I will find her lounging in it occasionally. & she knows when its time for bed, she just heads that way.I fluff her blanket and she is happy. I cover all 3 sides of the (crib) to make her feel calm,safe and warm with blankets but obviously want her to breath(LOL). The other side is facing a wall. this way, she gets good rest and is not distracted. “Crate” training has been easy.

    The potty training…..well….that is another story. Just be patient. Our dog was about year old b/4 it finally clicked! whew! The vet said to take them out often! I tried pads, I tried the spray. You just have to get them outside A LOT! Little dogs like yours can not wait as long to go as bigger dogs. I would try not to get up with her at night to go…or she will always wake u up to go forever. I learned this from experience and stopped it quickly. We also have put our dog on a meal plan. We decided to feed her better food and feed her 2x’s a day. Morning and night but that way, her body is more regular.

    Our girls have enjoyed her so much as have I! Seems our lives are somewhat similar (getting new puppies) and our youngest has started Kindergarten. Im sure we are feeling the same bittersweet/happy/sadness moments. I just can NOT believe we are already facing Kindergarten with our baby girl! Needless to say our home was so strange and quite this morning. Even Molly(our pup) seemed sad:( Maybe….just maybe those pups were for us …to keep us company when our babies are at school?! lol!

    Good luck! If you all have a Petco nearby, they are wonderful with training and full of info if u have questions. We love our Petco here.

  5. Such a cute puppy! My toddler saw the photo and immediately started saying ‘doggie! doggie! doggie!’

  6. I just found your blog on Facebook. Thank you for the tips on centering on SewWhatPro. I am still learning how to use this software. The elephant is so very cute. Please, stop by my Etsy shop and see what I have made with the SewWhatPro software. I mostly do hand smocked items, but I do a little embroidery and applique.

    The little puppy is so very cute. You are smart to do the cage training. I have cage trained 2 dogs and it has gone well both times. Just keep in mind that if the puppy gets use to going out, it will become a habit. Also, make sure that the puppy has one person giving instruction. I know that is hard in a family, but the dog will figure out “who is the boss” real quick. Also, with a puppy, when there are too many different people directing the little guy he will get confused. Other than that, it is just trial and error.

    Good luck with him and love him lots.

  7. OOPs, my etsy shop is at this link:

  8. Brie'n Miller says

    Hi! Love your blog, and have learned so much from it! I was curious if you could offer some tips… I appliqued a onesie yesterday, and it appears like the fabric is almost streched between letters?? Any thought or recommendations?

    • What type of stabilizer did you use? Make sure the onesie or shirt is tight in the hoop without pulling or stretching the onesie. Also, you might try a layer of solvy on top!

  9. I love the look of the patches, but can you give me a little guidance? I know how to do appliques, but I want to be able to make an actual patch from the frames. I don’t want have it sewn directly onto my item. For example, I have a lunchbox that I cannot monogram on. I would like to be able to use the frame applique and make a patch out of it, and then adhere it to the lunchbox. I just don’t know how the steps would be different from making an actual applique directly onto an item. I use the exact method of applique that you do… advice?

    • I would use a tearaway and hoop that, then sew the patch on there and then tear it away. You might add a layer of medium cutaway to keep the patch thick enough and firm? Might play around w/ that. Not sure if just fabric would hold up. I have heard E6000 glue is great for gluing on patches.

  10. Hi! What type of stabilizer(s) do you use on a onesie? Wondering if it’s the same as a tshirt with comfort cover added so it’s softer to baby skin. Yours look so good and I’d love to try some.

  11. I constantly spent my half an hour to read this web site’s articles everyday along with a cup of coffee.

  12. Where do you find comfort cover, please?

  13. Hi, what is the best way to add and center a name on an older child’s shirt under a 5×7 hooped design? I just finished my 5×7 design, rehooped my stabilizer, folded my shirt in half again to center, stitched a name out in my machine, and the finished name ended up shifted up at an angle.

  14. I forgot to add that I created the name to go under my 5×7 design with sew what pro. Maybe I for got to center the name in sew what pro?