Machine embroidery is a real perk of home sewing. Being able to do your own personalizing, monogramming and stitched designs really adds a special touch to things you make or add extra style to store-bought stuff. It's also a lot cheaper than paying to have it done. It's actually the reason I chose my first sewing machine, a Brother SE-270D, nearly 4 years ago (I've got a full "meet the machine" here). I'm just a bit embarrassed that it's taken me almost that long to get going on embroidering!
Truth be told, I was a bit afraid to get started & kept putting it off. Getting some of the new Pellon embroidery stabilizer finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to give it a go and I discovered how much fun it is to do.
There are some fancy, pricey embroidery machines out there that can do just about any design and size imaginable. Which is nice if you've got a big budget. My sewing/embroidery machine combo was really reasonable in price at just a couple hundred dollars. It came with a load of programmed designs (even licensed Disney ones) and has a card slot to be able to download more (which more than meets most people's needs and means).
After 4 yrs of serious daily sewing use that machine finally died, but I immediately bought the Brother SE 400 model to replace it, which is even better (it has the ability to download embroidery files as well as use cards).
Now, I'm going to share what I've learned so machine embroidery isn't so scary for anyone else wanting to give it a try.
Ready? Let's embroider!!
The first step to successful embroidery is setting up the fabric. The stabilizer always needs to be larger than design being embroidered. If using something like a fusible or stick-on variety it can be adhered in place on the wrong side of the fabric. For non-adhering stabilizer, cut a piece larger than the hoop so the hoop will hold it in place:
The fabric is placed over the stabilizer and hoop bottom and the top of the hoop pressed in place on top. Then the hoops are tightened together so the fabric taut like a drum (pulling the fabric at the edges to remove any ripples):
Then the hoop is locked into place on the machine. Next the design is selected. My machine has a digital screen where it's easy to choose the font, lettercase, size and letters:
I threaded my machine with embroidery thread and hit start. After about 6 stitches it's time to pause the machine to clip the thread tail (so it doesn't get tangled in the design):
The machine does it's thing for all the letters:
And when done the thread is cut and then the threads connecting the letters are cut off too. Using variegated or ombre thread is a way to add a colorful look without any extra work. My kids were thrilled to see their names sewn into their stuff:
Doing more complex, multi-colored designs is just as easy. The machine will tell you which part of the design to load first (I wasn't using lime green thread, but knew from the image which leaves would be done first and used my own color choice accordingly):
Follow the same steps as for the letters to get the design going.
When the machine stops, cut the thread, load the next thread color and repeat the starting steps. Do the same for each color change until done:
Then clip any of the connecting threads that are not part of the design:
Gently tear away the stabilizer on the back if it's a removable variety. There are also some water soluble ones or leave-ins (great for baby & kid's wear for a soft underside). You can choose which ones to use based on preference and fabric type.
And a beautiful, made-by-you custom embroidery is done!
Sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too so click HERE to check them out!