Things WILL go wrong. If you're patient by nature, Embroidery is a great hobby for you. If you're not, Embroidery is going to greatly help improve that area of your life. All you can do is learn from your mistakes, be more careful in the future and try again!
#2: Make Sure Your Fabric Matches Your Design.
A dense, high stitch count design on a lightweight fabric will completely ruin the fabric's flow. Choose delicate designs when working with lightweight fabric. And when stitching a design on a towel or high-pile fabric, choose a dense design that won't disappear into the pile. Last but not least, for stretch fabrics, don't try anything too large. Remember, the fabric will stretch, but the Embroidery won't.
#3. Understand When to Use What Types of Stabilizers.
There are many different Embroidery-backing choices today that will stabilize your fabric while sewing designs - both permanent ones and temporaries you remove once the design is done. While the best way to discover what stabilizers might be right for you is to try them yourself, here are some fabric/stabilizer pointers to get you started in the right direction.
I recommend using "Cutaway" on unstable fabrics (e.g. stretchy or knitted); using "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. Again, like everything else, try some out and discover the possibilities for yourself.
#4: All Bobbin Fills Are Not Created Equal.
Every Embroidery machine works best with different bobbin fills. Ask your machine supplier for their recommendations, and don't be afraid to experiment until you find the one that works best for you. Also, bobbin tension can loosen over time, so make sure you know how to adjust this. There is usually a little screw that you can turn on your bobbin case. Your machine manual should have instructions on this. And if not, your supplier should be able to show you.
#5: Thread Breaking is a Warning Sign.
If your thread breaks, there's usually a reason. Either your tension is too tight, or it's not properly threaded. Your machine manual may give you some troubleshooting ideas, but here are some of mine. Don't just rethread the needle and hope for the best. Check that you're threaded properly the entire way, and also check the tension. If your thread is dry, you can use a very small coating of silicone spray on the spool of thread. But, remember, a very small spray will do. I don't recommend you do what I once did and spray it all over your machine, up the wall and on your curtains! Also, remember to change your needles. If you have been using them for a while, they can get blunt and bent. If in doubt, change them!
#6. How to Color Sort
My advice is quite simple. Don't! At least, if you can avoid it. Every machine Embroiderer knows the pain it takes to keep changing the thread in your machine. That's why, at Embroidery Allsorts, I keep that in mind with my designs. My goal is to have the least number of color changes necessary to create a great result. If you color sort a design, you may experience some very strange results. For instance, your outline may disappear, or you may experience unsightly pathing stitches across your design. So unless you have great Embroidery Digitizing
software, and really know what you're doing, leave the design the way it is.
#7. Take a Test Drive on Your Design.
The greatest advice we can give you when you get a new design is to test-stitch it. Unless you are very confident in the digitizer and have used their designs before, test stitching is the best way for you to be confident that the Embroidery Design is exactly what you want and will work on the fabric you plan to use.
#8. Your Work is Only as Good as Your Machine.
A poorly maintained machine WILL produce poor results. That's why it is very important that you know how to maintain your machine. Make sure you oil it regularly according to manufacturer instructions, and clean the bobbin race often. And right after you oil your bobbin race, wait for a bit before you start stitching, or you may end up with an oily design. If you, like me, have been silly enough to do this, here is how to fix it. Take two sheets of absorbent paper towel and fold them up a few times. Put one underneath and the other on top of your stitch out, and put something heavy on top. Leave it there for about a 1/2-hour, and the towel should soak up the oil.
#9 put your garment into the machine with care
Well of course you are going to put it in the right way up and make sure that you have no other part in the path of the needle! Why am I telling you this? because we all get into a bit of rush from time to time and mistakes happen, so be careful when you are putting you hoop in your machine that the Embroidery design is orientated the correct way for the item you are embroidering on and that all of the other parts are clear of the needle.
#10 Now it is your turn, let us know what your helpful hints are.