Machine embroidery is pretty neat.
I’m not just saying that. Really. This stuff is awesome, and there are lots of folks out there who think so. However, there are lots of misconceptions out there about what it is, what it’s for, and how you do it.
One, it is NOT just for your Great Aunt Bitty to embroider pictures of cats on things. Sure, she can do that too. Cats are all the rage these days, just ask the internet. Also, it’s not dark arts wizardry, thought you might be forgiven for thinking that the first time you tried to get something to stitch out correctly. Embroidery machines are neat little gizmos of technology that sometimes take on a personality of their own when embroidering your favorite designs, and ESPECIALLY when embroidering on your favorite shirt. If you just grab one out of the box and hope for the best, you and your machine may have issues. Plus those suckers can be complicated beasts to set up sometimes.
So for your ease and enjoyment, here are 5 easy tutorials if you’re just starting out that should make your journey a bit more pleasant, and stop you from throwing that magic technology out a window the third time it eats a design.
First up, we go old school UT! Yup, this is one of the first tutorials I ever did (and that’s our old studio… so pink!) and it’s all about how to set up an embroidery machine. All embroidery machines are different, but it covers some basics of what it’s like getting that shiny new toy out of the box, and the first steps to setting it up. It breezes over some of the embroidery basics, so for that, I’d really recommend…
This tutorial on machine embroidery basics. Once you’ve gotten a little more familiar with your machine, you need to understand some very important things like proper stabilizers, hooping techniques, and proper fabric choice to really get solid results out of this cool technology. This is an absolute must read for anybody just starting out.
Next is for those moments you feel like defenestrating your machine. (That means throw it out a window… word of the day!)
Gotten your machine all set up, followed all the instructions, and you’re still getting terrible results? Well, this tutorial all about preventing shifting and gapping in designs should help. I hope for you sake your stitch outs aren’t looking quite as bad as that example above, but if you’re getting wrinkled fabrics and edges that don’t line up, try out these tips for getting great looking embroidery every time.
For a little extra finesse, try using templates to perfectly line up your designs! This tutorial teaches you how and where to get your templates, and then easy steps for using them to get perfectly aligned designs. We use templates quite a bit in our tutorials, so it’s pretty handy to know to print and use them when the time comes.
Finally, if you’ve learned to set up your machine, know a bit about stabilizers and hooping, figured out how to get a template, AND you haven’t thrown your machine out a window yet, congrats! You’re well on your way to becoming a seasoned embroiderer. Now comes the fun part… experimentation! Check out this tutorial for design hack ideas, basically super easy ways you can change up designs to get totally unique results and make them your own. It’s everything from changing up colors to specialized threads. The design is just the beginning… what you do with it is a whole different thing!
Got all that? Great! Welcome to the world of machine embroidery. If you’re looking for more ways to get started, there’s a whole section dedicated to it in our tutorials. They go beyond the basics and start talking about specialized tips like for stitching perfect freestanding lace to using applique designs.
Good luck! Your machine will thank you for it. No matter how cool a word you think defenestrate is.