A little over a year ago I unboxed my first embroidery machine and have been sharing my frustrations ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my embroidery machine. I am simply stating that now I finally feel that I have somewhat mastered the machine. The first few times I used the machine I was nervous to do basically anything but now it’s more of an after thought / fun to create.
When I first opened the machine I searched for tutorials and there were not that many that actually showed how to use the machine. This is something I really wanted to change because it can be hard to simply learn through trial and error or understand the instructional booklet. So, when I was asked for guidance on some starter tasks with the machine I knew it was something I wished had been there for me.
Below is a video of mini starter tutorials that are straight through. I hate fluff in between when I am looking for guidance; which is why I hope it will be beneficially for beginners or even people who are just interested in learning more about machine embroidery. Since the fluff is out of the video here is some fluff or more background.
The first tutorial is how to change the needle which can be intimidating. Things to consider are that you have the correct size for the machine used, and it has to be screwed on, not too loose or too tight. Only tighten until the bar with the screw is no longer able to be pushed up. Second is how to thread the machine’s upper thread. Incorrect threading can cause the needle to break so make sure each step is correct. In the tutorial I mention that I am not a fan of the stoppers that come with the machine. The stoppers in the past have caused the thread to catch and thus snap the needle in pieces. Last is the bobbin which can mess up the outcome of the embroidery stitches if it is not installed properly. I’ve talked about it in another video but that small silver piece is so important! Make sure it clicks because if is does not it will break off the thread, bunch up stitches or even break the needle.
While I have created an appliqué post before of my first time creating one I thought it was time to share what I have learned thus far to help those who are also learning embroidery. Appliqués can be intimidating so just like any other file the first tip is to test and take notes on the file. Notes can be for referring to the color numbers used, if there is a trace layer and if there are steps you would prefer to skip to leave out a specific detail of the design. These will make the process run smoothly without ruining finished projects.
If there is a trace layer included in the file it will be easier to pre cut the fabric pieces needed, however, creating the test run through will also aid in this. Next, take the appliqué pieces and prep them with heat and bond. Yes, at first I thought it was an over the top step as well but it really is a game changer. Heat and bond acts similar to botox for fabric as it freezes the fibers in place to prevent fraying as well as stretching.
After the appliqué is tacked down it is time to trim the access fabric with scissors. For this I recommend a curved pair that allows for close cutting; beware not to cut too close or too far. To prevent any issues pull the appliqué fabric away from the base fabric so that there are no incidental cuts that puncture the base fabric. You want a small amount of fabric past the tack down stitches. If you cut too close, when the border is stitched it could rip out the tack down stitches and make the appliqué look messy.
Let me know if you have created an appliqué before and if you have what your favorite tip is for creating them even if I did not mention it in this post. For a full walk through of these tips click on the video linked below.
Learning how to use an embroidery machine is tricky enough so, let’s discuss some basics to make it easier to design with fonts. Softwares for embroidery are pricy but luckily there are some free options. Embrilliance’s free tier is called Essentials which allows you to add and edit fonts together. This means that all the designing is done on the computer rather than on that tiny screen of your machine. The program even allows you to add multiple font styles together to make it one step on the machine. Set a guide for your specific hoop size that will alert you if your design won’t fit. Simply design and then export it onto a USB just as you would with a design file.
Although I would not say I am anywhere close to being an expert at embroidery, looking back I have learned A LOT. If you recently purchased a machine or are curiously researching machines, this next mini series is full of helpful information to get you started. Today’s focus is on digital embroidery files, which seems like an easy concept, however, there are things that can may catch you off guard if you are not careful. First realize that each machine has a set size limitation so depending on how large your embroidery field is depends on which files the machine is able to read successfully.
This tutorial was requested awhile ago however I have been procrastinating making it. In the tutorial you will see the raw footage of me winding my first bobbin on the PE550d. While I had created bobbins on my sewing machine I never really thought of it being any different, but it is a little. What I mean by that is there is a vital part that differentiates the average embroidery machine from a sewing machine, the foot pedal. That being said it is relatively easy to do as the machine prompts you through the entire process, so do not let it intimidate you.
Starting a new hobby always adds up fast and embroidery is definitely not an exception which is why when I first ordered my machine I sought out a cheaper thread alternative. Popular thread brands add up way too fast but is it really something to skimp out on? Well today I finally decided it was time to do a THREAD WAR and purchase one of the most popular craft store threads for embroidery, Sulky, and see if it is worth the hefty price tag.
Throughout my embroidery journey there has been many struggles, some I have shared others I have not, simply due to if I have found a solution or not. No, this is not a post ranting about the machine however, I must state that the customer service for Brother has not made a good impression thus far. When I first started having issues with my bobbin thread showing up on the top side I read the manual for quick fixes and then reached out to their service department with a photo and description of the issue. All I was given was links to their FAQ section. After three attempts to get a real solution I was then directed to find a service department to take the machine in to be properly looked at. FRUSTRATING.