Size matters if
you have a design that’s 5 inches wide and your largest hoop is 4 inches wide.
Size matters if you want to make a border along the edge of a tablecloth.
Size matters if you want to combine two or three designs, each the size of your
largest hoop, into one big design.
First the cardinal rule for hooping. Always use the smallest
hoop possible. In other words, if you’re stitching a 2” by 3” design, use your
4” by 4” hoop rather than the largest one you have. The less play in the hoop
the better it is for the stability of the stitch-out. In addition, why use a huge
piece of stabilizer when you can use a smaller one?
Now, that said, if my largest hoop is 5” by 7” and I want to
stitch a design that’s 6” by 9 inches, what should I do? Well, of course, I
could always reduce the size of the design using Catalog XPress or any other
software program what will re-calculate the stitches. But I’ve found that
machine embroiderers like designs larger, rather than smaller. My solution is to
cut the design into two pieces, save them as two separate designs and sew them
out in sequence, re-hooping between the first and the second. Okay, you’re
going to need some kind of embroidery design editing software to do this, and
you have to choose a design that has an obvious place to split it like the one
on the top left side of the page. I’ve drawn a bright pink line to show the place
I’ve chosen to split the design.
import the design into your software, showing your hoop.
slide the design over to the side so that only the first portion of the
design rests in the hoop.(1)
zoom in closely and, using your cutting tool (2), carefully draw along the
edge of where you want to split the design.
the two pieces apart. (3)
now, pay attention. If you goof up this part you’re going to have to start
click on the part of the design that’s out of the hoop and select “Cut.”
- Save this
design as “design_name-1.” (4)
either Undo (Ctrl>z) or right click and Paste (Ctrl>v). You’ll now
have both pieces back on your screen.
the pieces back together, using your arrow keys, if possible, to insure
that the pieces stay in the same plane.
an open path running stitch in a color that is not in the design (5) and
draw carefully along the edge of the first design that meets the edge of
the second design. Take in as much of the first design as you can. A
preview of this step won’t show in a small thumbnail, but you’ll see it
in the next step.
the first design (the one you’ve already saved), slide the second part,
along with the running stitch you just drew, into the hoop.
the sewing order so that the running stitch will stitch first. The first
segment must be a different color from the next part of your design
because you’ll need the machine to stop after the line is stitched, but
you can make it a color that will match part of the design. (6)
- Save this
design as “design_name-2.”
both design pieces. (7-8) I like to print from Catalog XPress because it
will put cross-hairs in the centers of the designs.
- Cut out the designs and put them
together with tape. You’re going to use this as a template for centering
the design when you sew. (9)
Stitching it all together
You've done the hard work. Now it's time to stitch your design. PLEASE sew a sample first. We don't want to be ruining any brand new silk blouses.
- Hoop your garment, tote, or whatever. I'm sewing this on a fairly small t-shirt so I've hooped stabilizer, sprayed it with temporary embroidery adhesive and placed the shirt, centering the first part of the design in the hoop. (10)
- Carefully attach the hoop to your embroidery arm and center the needle exactly over the center of the first design. (11) Close is good enough. We're just making sure that the design fits in the hoop here.
- Remove the template and start stitching.
- When part 1 is finished, remove it from your hoop and hoop another piece of stabilizer. For this part you must use either a sticky stabilizer or temporary embroider adhesive. In order to line up the designs you won't be able to actually hoop the garment.
- Put the hoop on the machine and sew just that alignment line. (12)
- Remove the hoop from the machine and place it on a flat surface.
- From the back, fold back the part of the design you've already stitched and carefully place it on the hoop, snugged up against the alignment line. (13)
- Very carefully smooth down the rest of the garment, being careful to not pull it away from the line you've stitched on the stabilizer.
- Return the hoop to your machine and stitch the second part of the design. (14) Your garment is already properly aligned, so you don't have any measuring to do. Just start stitching.
- When you're finished, well, here it is! (15)
A few quickie tips
Because I was stitching this for a child I used soft nylon stabilizer and cotton thread in the bobbin. Ordinarily I would have used an adhesive backed stabilizer, but this was a knit and the adhesive backed stabilizers are tear aways. Had I wanted to use an adhesive backed stabilizer I would have hooped cut away stabilizer underneath. That way, when I tore the adhesive backed stabilizer away, the cut away would remain to stabilize the knit fabric.
Again, because this was a little shirt, I turned it inside out before placing it in the hoop. I wrestled with hooping little t-shirts for several years before I realized that if I just turned the shirt inside out it would be a lot easier, and much easier to keep the excess shirt from getting caught in the stitching.
Which brings me to . . . You have to baby-sit garments with spare parts hanging around. The minute you leave the room your machine will see that you're not there and grab a sleeve or collar or hem and catch in up in the stitching. If that happens often the only way to get the hoop off the embroidery arm is to release the foot and cut it out of the garment. You don't have to stare at it, but stay nearby.
I see that we finally have the new and improved cordless Peggy's Stitch Eraser in stock. I may have to spring for this one. I keep mine in a drawer with the cord going out the back of the drawer to the plug. Cordless is a good thing!
I'm hoping everyone's summers have gotten off to a good start. We'll have 3 of the grandchildren with us for a few days. We haven't seen them since Christmas and my hugs are achingly empty.
Click here for a printable PDF file for this project.
That's all for now! TTYL,