Using an embroidery machine to bring your creative designs to life can be easy and fun rather than doing it all by hand. However, you will need to know how your machine works, be able to select the right thread and needle, know how to hoop, select appropriate stabilizers for both topping and backing and have a clear idea about how stitches affect the fabric (by thinking like a digitizer). Though you can always learn on the job, it would help if you already know how to stitch before you buy your embroidery machine. If you are ready to have fun with embroidery, here are some ways that can help you make the most of it:
- Most Common Stitching Hacks
Quick tips from experts can let you avoid the common pitfalls and enhance your stitching experience. With each stitch, turning the needle a slight quarter turn can prevent the thread from twisting. If you find your thread twisted, simply drop the needle to make it hang freely until the thread unwinds. You should keep the fabric’s backside clean and not run the thread across to a new stitching area as it can show through on the front side. Avoiding eating and drinking while at work as it can mess with your fabric and the design. Keeping your tension even, stabbing the needle vertically (not at an angle), ensuring the stitch is neither too tight or loose, learning to use both hands while stitching and using thread conditioners are some other hacks that can help you with your embroidery project.
- Combine The Craft Of Embroidery With Electronics
Using some online software and open source tools that generate embroidery patterns, you can create cool designs by combining embroidery with technology. Since these tools generate a pattern of how the finished design would look like, you can have a clear idea of the end product even before starting work on it. Be it sewing simple LED sequins to make the stitched scene light up or creating other embroidered designs, electronic embroidery can expand the limit of what you can do with a thread and needle.
- Editing Software to Copy the Design
Embroidery catastrophes can happen to anyone at anytime. Accidently clipping the fabric while clipping away the surplus stabilizer is one such mistake that can make many scrap the entire project and start afresh. But you can work smart and avoid doing it all over again. Simply use your editing software to copy a small element (say a pompom) of the design and stitch it over the cut area so that it goes well with the entire pattern. Not only would it look beautiful but also let you avert a catastrophe.
- Electronic reminder to stitch a zippered bag
When stitching a zippered bag in the hoop, forgetting to move the zipper tab to the center before attaching the bag’s back would mean having the zipper in the bag’s seam allowance when the bag is turned right side out. Thus, you can’t unzip the bag. You can avoid this mistake with a simple step. Just add ‘open zipper’ to your design using the editing software before the final step and you can end up saving precious supplies, effort and time, not to mention avoiding a lot of frustration as well!
- Cutwork Bag
Though a majority uses cutwork for decorative stitching, you can use it to beautiful effect with sheer organza too. For instance, if you want to create a cutwork gift bag, you should be aware that it won’t work well with open areas. So, once you have put stitches on places where the fabric will be cut away, place a piece of organza atop and make the cutwork placement stitches run again on it. Similar to what you do with appliqué, simply cut away the fabric and trim the organza near the stitch line. You can use satin stitches to finish up with a sheer effect.
- Glitch Knit – A Creative Idea
Glitch Knit is a knitting machine hack that brings together handicrafts and hacking to create beautiful embroidered patterns. Being the brainchild and collaborative project of So Kanno, Nukeme and Tomofumi Yoshida, Glitch Knit can be used for both textiles and fashion. From creating glitch textiles like binary blankets from iTunes, Word and OSX binary files to working with image patterns developed from short circuited cameras, Glitch Knit extends the scope of your embroidered work.
- Ideas For Converting Your Pattern Into Dress
From embroidering your pattern on the bodice front or back part of your tunic, to using appliqué on your dress to spice it up, you can convert your patterns into beautiful elements of a dress that grab attention and eyeballs. It would be a good idea to practice drawing your pattern on paper and trying to stitch some test swatches before drawing it directly on your dress (using a water erasable fabric pen) and embroidering it. From simple, symmetrical patterns to complex ones, you can let your creativity take control and give your dresses a different personalized look with embroidered designs.
With some simple embroidery hacks, you can give your embroidered patterns a different look, feel and sometimes even customize the designs to suit a home’s color scheme or a person’s favorite colors. Be it changing the color schemes (using color shifts or stitching on a different colored fabric), using variegated thread that change color, making your designs glow at night with glow-in-the-dark threads, adding text (names/phrases) above or below the design, using monochromatic color, resizing the design (down or up by about 10-15% without causing any distortions), mirroring a design element, or changing color in the middle of a pattern – you have endless choices to get the best of embroidery. So take your pick and create unique designs that wow people and make embroidery a fun and highly satisfying activity.