This is the second post (of how many? I’m not sure …) related to this project, Darth Vader Apron.  This post discussed the layout of the font type face for the project.  The entire project download will be made available in it’s own post soon (I promise).

Did you know that Bernina Embroidery Software Designer Studio V7 supports true type fonts? If you’re wondering where all of those fonts in Designer Plus came from, the answer is: Your Computer! Basically, any font on your computer is automatically imported into your embroidery toolbox. So that means that any font on the internet can be embroidered, and the internet is full of people who make free fonts. Just as we are dedicated to sewing and designing, there are people who are dedicated to graphic design! This feature of Bernina Designer Plus (I’m using Version 7) came in very handy for my recent project … a Darth Vader apron.

I wanted the phrase “come to the dark side we have cookies” embroidered on the neck strap; However, I had 2 major issues: 1) I didn’t have a Star Wars font and 2) I would need to draft the neckstrap because the apron pattern I was using had ties. I did research on the history of Star Wars fonts – wow! I didn’t know that there is a rich, interesting history of the Star Wars font! Apparently, this font was incredibly common at the time and was frequently stylized throughout the media in the late 70’s and early 80’s, but it had it’s roots in Nazi Germany as the “preferred font”. Later as fonts evolved in media, ITC Serif Gothic emerged. It became quite iconic due to it’s use in the movies, this is why we remember the Star Wars font, but not the He Man font (the same one). Armed with that, I started searching for the ITC Serif Gothic font, when I stumbled upon actual Star Wars true type fonts! Paydirt!

The most inclusive collection of fonts related to Star Wars was located on Font Space. I downloaded and installed all of the ones that looked interesting. I even found the font on Darth Vader’s panel, but it was too late for this project. You can download the fonts from the internet, but I’ve also just bundled them into an archive and you can download them from this site, too. Click to go to Download.

How to Install True Type Fonts in Bernina Designer Plus (Windows 10)

  • Download the font package and unzip to your computer
  • To install, close Bernina Embroidery Software
  • Double-click the font file and then it will open
  • Near the top left, there’s a button to “install”
  • Click it, and you’re done!
  • Now open Bernina Embroidery Software – your new font will be in there!
installing true type font (ttf) in Windows 10
installing true type font (ttf) in Windows 10

Laying Out My Design

After I installed all of the fonts, I started looking through the typeface documents and instructions that came with each package. I really liked the Star Wars Special Edition by Boba Fonts. This one had some unique connectors in it which would make for a good embroidery design. I opened the guide and started playing with the combinations. As you can see in the photo, the actual character entry is quite different that the displayed phrase. Once I was happy with the connectors, I started to play with size and shape.

Now that I had the complete lettering mapped out, I had another problem … my strap was rounded and my embroidery was in a straight line. I woud have to apply the special effects of the font toolbox to the text. I considered reshaping by hand, but instead decided to use the “circle” effect (with a radius of 5.5”). I added a whole line of spaces so that I only got a fraction of the circle, with the text on top. Now, I needed to be sure that the size was “about right”, so I scanned a similar neckstrap and added it to the background (I had to add and flip another mirror to get the entire piece). I played with the angle rotation until it looked about right (not perfect to the strap, but it was only a starting place).  Once I was happy with the shape and size, I rotated it to fit into a “Mega” hoop prior to saving.

Setting Up the Hoop

Now that I’ve got everything hooped, I just need to set up the machine and press

After selecting my fill and stitch density, I printed out the design to use as my template for the pattern piece. Using the original pattern piece as a general guide, I worked with the printed artwork to change the arc so that the embroidery was centered.  

Now it’s time to stitch out!  I saved the design to USB, and went upstairs.

I have another teeny tiny problem, I’m embroidering on faux leather.  Its very lightweight, and is backed with a fabric, so it should be fine for embroidering; However, there is the minor issue of hooping it.  Leather, Faux Leather & Vinyl are on the “no go” list where hooping is concerned.  It can cause damage to the material that you are attempting to decorate, so you need to use a method that does not sandwich the fabric in the hoop rings. I use a self-adhesive tear-away stabilizer.  The stuff I use doesn’t have a brand, I bought a bulk roll off of Amazon years ago, and I still have a ton left … below are the steps to prepare the faux leather for embroidering.

Step One

Hooping the adhesive stabilizer

Step Two

Checking Placement of Art Work

Step Three

Remove Paper

Step Four

Place faux leather in hoop

Final Stitch Out

Now that I’ve got everything hooped, I just need to set up the machine and press start.  For some reason, the tension on my machine needs to be 3.5, so I set that, import my design and hit “go”!

High Resolution Gallery