Machine embroidery is “difficult,” but the really difficult part is that people do not allow enough time to get accustomed to their embroidery machine. If you don’t have the proper tools at your disposal, it makes the process a lot harder and more intimidating.
But it’s possible to master your embroidery machine while improving your speed and efficiency.
We’re going to be providing you with a multitude of tips that will help you master your embroidery machine, and do so while having fun.
#1 Master Your Machine
Before you can expect to have any success with embroidery, you need to learn how to master your own machine. You’ll need to learn the following information, at the very minimum, to excel at this craft:
- Which foot is the proper one to use, and how to attach it to your machine
- How to select and load designs on your machine.
- How to choose a design that fits into your machine’s hoop setting.
- How to thread the machine, including the needle and bobbin.
- How to attach an embroidery unit to the machine.
You also want to look through the user manual to learn all the extra controls that will make embroidery easier for you. And, most manufacturers have a helpline or forum where you can go and ask questions about a feature you don’t know enough about.
If you want to find out which unit to buy, go here: www.grandmalikestosew.com/best-embroidery-machine-one-comes-top
#2 Start Small
Beginners are often too ambitious and sabotage themselves when starting a new project. You need to take small strides before you tackle a larger, more complex project. It’s always best to start small with something that is easy and beginner-friendly.
Lettering is one of the easier options and will help you get accustomed to your machine.
You can also choose to do smaller patterns, such as a pumpkin square for Halloween or autumn. These are fairly easy projects that anybody can do given enough time. So, stop sabotaging yourself with difficult projects that are outside of your skill set.
Pinterest has a great selection of beginner patterns to give you inspiration.
#3 Use the Appropriate Needle
There’s a major disconnect between embroidery professionals and beginners. Professionals know that you need to choose the right needle for the job. Beginners believed they could choose any needle and it would work just fine, but that is not the case.
The right needle for the job will:
- Go through the thread without causing damage.
- Enter the thread without too much flex and stressing the needle.
You’ll find needle sizes that are smaller provide a more accurate stitch. Normally, you can get away with the needle size of 70 to 80 for the embroidery needle, but you also need to know when it’s time to replace your needle. After every session, inspect your needles to see if any have weakened during the session. Some needles may even have a crack in them, which will let you know that it’s time to replace your needle before breaks.
If the needle is too fine, it will cause friction against the fabric, which is not ideal. You want a needle that is just fine enough that it does the job, but not too fine that it rubs against the fabric. If rubbing is allowed to continue, fraying will occur on your fabric.
You also want to pay attention to:
- The point of the needle. A pointed needle is used for closely woven fabric, but if using linen or canvas, you would want to use a blunt needle.
- If you’re going for speed, you’ll want to choose a needle length that is shorter. A project that requires wrapping thread around the needle will demand a longer needle.
When you find the perfect needle size for your project, make sure you buy a pack of needles that includes several of the same sized needles for the job. This will allow you to continue with your project without having to stop if the needle is broken in the process. I also want to make note that some manufacturers provide stronger needles than others, so shop around and find the one that you like best.
#4 Learn How to Hoop Properly
The hoop is what stabilizes your pattern. Fabric should be placed between the hoop’s rings, allowing for neutral tension. The goal is to use:
- Fabric that is neutral tension.
- Fabric that is not stretched or loose.
A major mistake that most beginners make is that they use the wrong fabric. Ensure that the fabric is not a sewing fabric, but an embroidery fabric instead. You need to use the right embroidery supplies for the job. And, to learn more about embroidery stitches, go to this link.
When making a hoop, start with a test piece of fabric because you will not be able to go back and fix the hoop once the project is in motion.
You also want to familiarize yourself with:
- “In hoop” embroidery
- Hoopless embroidery
Once you fully understand how to hoop, you can move on to tip number five.
#5 Take an Embroidery Class
Most people forget that embroidery is very popular. You’ll find classes in your area that are either from the dealers themselves, like Singer, or classes from your local fabric store. Michael’s, a very popular fabric craft store, often advertises free embroidery classes that people can take.
The best part is that you also learn from others and find friends with similar interests.
If you don’t want to take one of these classes, there are online embroidery classes that are available that will familiarize you with the best basic embroidery machine practices. This will allow you to make bags, quilts and other fun projects without having to do it in front of somebody.
Embroidery communities also exist that will help you if you have a specific question about your embroidery machine.
A few great forums for embroidery include:
You’ll also find several more great places where you’ll be able to connect with others who are having fun with embroidery.
#6 Just Dive In
Sometimes, you’ll find that you’re reading more sewing books and trying to learn more techniques without ever touching your embroidery machine. This happens to everyone at some point, but you want to avoid this is much as possible.
When you learn something new, jump right on your machine and give it a try.
There is no better way to learn the art of embroidery than by taking a hands-on approach. You want to dedicate some time every week to practicing and working on your project. What this will allow you to learn is how to use your specific machine and pick up the basics of the machine.
As you learn the basics and master them, you will improve your embroidery.
The biggest mistake you can do is let your embroidery machine collect dust and never actually give it a good try. Working on a project, no matter what type of project it is, every month will allow you to refine your craft and eventually succeed in embroidery.
And, when you run out of ideas, it’s great to know that embroidery is a hobby that can make you money. There are many people that are just starting out or that are rather new to the industry selling their creations to others.
If you just dive in, you’ll be able to make all your own creations and even sell them, if you choose to, for extra money.
But, it all starts with mastering your embroidery machine from the basics all the way to the advanced features.