So you have just bought your first embroidery machine and you are sitting there looking at it wondering what to do next. It all looked so easy in the showroom when the salesperson snapped a hoop in place pressed a few buttons and produced a wonderful embroidery design. The truth is, it is easy but you will need some skills and some basic understanding in order to get the fabulous results from your machine. Before you get started here is my advice for people who don’t read manuals, Read the manual. you at least must know how to correctly thread your machine, how the bobbin goes in. how to attach your hoop, how to clean and oil your machine.
Now, what are you going to embroider? you might have bought a machine with some designs built in or you may have received some design CDs with your machine. But, are they what you want to sew? Maybe you have some project in mind that is different from the usual florals and Disney characters that come with your machine. If you are looking for designs there are lots of them on the internet just do a google search. Most sites have free designs for you to try out. A lot of people will say that the number of designs to choose from is wonderful, I personally find it quite overwhelming. If you are looking for something in particular, type exactly what you want into Google, for example. “Embroidery designs Baby’s first Christmas”. This will save you a lot of time looking through a bunch of designs for what you want.
Now you have the design you want to stitch you know what you are going to stitch it on but wait, don’t do it. test stitch it first, I know this seems like a lot of bother but it if the design is not what you want or it doesn’t stitch properly you will have to throw your item away or unpick it all. While you are still learning about your embroidery machine it is a good idea to use stable fabrics to start with, lightweight and knit fabrics are a bit tricky to work with and you will need some practice before you move onto them, think back to the showroom where you bought your machine, what fabric did they use to show you it working? It was most likely a nice stable weave like homespun or calico.
The next thing you need to know is how to hoop up correctly and which stabilizers to use. There are many types of stabilizers on the market but a quick guide is “Cutaway” on unstable fabrics (e.g. stretchy or knitted); “Tearaway” on stable fabrics (e.g. woven); and using “Washaway” on freestanding lace or garments, or some really cool 3D stuff with organza – this is, if you want to get rid of the stabilizer altogether once the embroidery has been completed.
You should cut enough stabilizer to fit into the hoop then hoop that together with the item you are going to embroider. Now put it into the machine being careful that no other parts of the item are going to get into the path of the needle. So now off you go get stitching. Remember; be patient and have fun