Ok, so let me preface this a bit...
I got my embroidery machine in, but so far haven't really had an excuse to use its embroidery functions. I thought about making custom tags to put in my outfits (kind of like what God Save the Queen Fashions does, if you're familiar with Cathy's work), especially when the day comes that I'm comfortable doing commissions, but the built in fonts are far too large for something like that...I digress....
What this is really about is an outfit I've wanted to do for about 6-7 YEARS now, but have so far refused to because I'm very particular about how I want it done. Now that I have the tool(s) to do it that way, I'm willing to attempt it, provided I can get some advice on how to set this up.
(I actually went re-installed FFXI from a disc so I could use the model viewers again...my Steam copy isn't detected for whatever reason despite being pointed to the right filepath)
Reference images (Using Hume Male even though I played Elvaan)...pardon the low resolution, FFXI IS 11 years old now!:
The triangles on the cuffs and the design down the front of the chest piece...and this is why I've avoided this cosplay for so long...I want them done in full embroidery
. The majority of the chest is meant to be leather/suede (pleather would have to do with my budget). I assume the collar would have to be left alone or it would be too stiff. I'll just find a material that blends well with the other parts. I am also planning on changing the hat to the more traditional hood, partly because I always hated that look (we used to call it the condom cap) and .dat swapped the model out anyways.
Call me absolutely crazy if you want--the sheer amount of thread this would take is kind of staggering, because it's something like a tapestry or a giant patch in my mind--but it's what I want. I understand I could get a similar-ish effect with applique, but...this is something I want to at least try to do. It has another, more complex, implication (*cough*Princess Zelda*cough*) later on, so I'd like to try doing something relatively simple in comparison first. I already found a rayon embroidery thread in the right shade...only have one spool right now but it's enough to do some test pieces.
Here's my bottom line: How can I set up my machine for this?
I don't have any of the design software to make my own files to upload to my machine. I'm open to suggestions, but bear in mind that I'm currently broke, so even $200 is out of my reach. Granted it'd be an investment (at some point I'm going to get out of the food service industry...and I always wanted to work for myself...), but I'm not in a position for it. And while I'm currently on a 4x4 hoop, I can either split the design in two+ pieces or get a bigger hoop (the latter preferred).
Machine is a Brother SE400
. That means I'm limited to .PES and .DST files.
And that staff...I already have plans for. Assuming I can sculpt clay, that is.
EDIT: Grammar check.