Even a single mistake can cause an embroidery project to go south. Failing to take the appropriate steps to prepare could end up costing you more time and frustration to undo embroidery mistakes than it would to do the job right in the first place. With the versatility of patterns and techniques that sewing machine embroidery has brought to crafters, it can be even easier to take the technology for granted. What many crafters fail to realize is that the only way to get their projects to turn out right is to use the right materials, techniques, and stitches for each project. Five of the most common mistakes are listed below:
1. Failing to Check Needles Until They Break
There’s a reason that the needles in your sewing machine can be changed. The more you use your machine, the faster they are likely to wear, become dull, and bend until they finally break off. Some types of fabric can also speed up wear. The best approach is to keep extra needles on hand and determine how long you have used them without problem in the past. It is better to change them prematurely than to let the machine pick the time and place to fail.
2. Cutting Corners on Thread
That isn’t to say that you should only buy the most expensive brand name thread. There are some good quality brands that cost a lot less that are still compatible with your machine. Look for those that are made of the same content, with the same weight and denier, and which color coordinate with the name brand threads recommended for your machine. Also, read reviews to find out what users have to say and you will be able to get the best embroidery thread at a price that gives you more options for creating a broad range of patterns.
3. Neglecting the Bobbin
The bobbin thread is essential for securing stitches to the top of the fabric but it relies on having the right amount of tension to do its job flawlessly. Too often, sewers don’t really pay any attention to the bobbin case when they drop a newly loaded bobbin into place. Not only should you make sure the bobbin case is free of dust, lint, and spare pieces of thread, but you should check the tension regularly. If you get into the habit of checking the bobbin tension and cleaning out any extra matter every time you put a new bobbin in, you can prevent the loose or puckered stitches that come from too tight or too loose tension.
4. Follow Recommendations for Materials
Many embroidery designs come with the recommendations for the type of fabric to use them on and which type and weight of thread to use. Failing to follow these recommendations and trying to put a heavily stitched pattern on a lightweight fabric will result in a failure of the fabric to support the embroidery stitches. If you are set on a certain fabric that is more likely to be prone to puckering or becoming distorted when embroidered, look for a similar design that doesn’t require as much thread.
5. Failing to Properly Mount the Hoop
Start by reading the instructions for your specific sewing embroidery machine. If the hoop is not in place, the embroidery will be crooked too. Even if the hoop feels firmly in place, it may not be. If there is any “bounce” to the hoop while sewing, it definitely isn’t mounted properly. Most projects are meant to be embroidered with the material “straight and centered.” Those that are not should be left to the most experienced sewers. While sewing, you should also watch the item being embroidered to ensure it doesn’t get hung up on any part of the machine and interfere with hoop movement.
No sewer starts an embroidery project with the hope that it will turn out “okay.” You want to create a masterpiece with every project you put your time and effort into. Prevention can go a long way towards avoiding these top mistakes and others that could undermine your embroidery. Just slow down and take the time to make the right decisions about your materials and techniques, and create habits that will stop mistakes before they ever have a chance to happen.