The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Those Perfect Designs in the Showroom

If you need to go out this afternoon for some stabilizer or thread, this is a little caution just for you. 


As you enter your favorite embroidery store, the sales persons are all eager and ready to help you with what you need.  They treat you as a friend (danger - danger) and ask how you are doing, and lots of small talk.  Your clerk is likely trying to remember your name and how to get you excited about some new product. 


Let's talk about what the little tricks are that they use to get your attention and possibly money.

  • here are always a multitude of beautiful designs that they have just sewn out on their new machines.  Each is perfect and without the slightest misstep.   This is an example, but I still don't have it as perfect as they do.  I used a hankie as my discovery sew (aka-sew out) to determine what I can or need to do to make it better.

  • Those machines are checked to be sure that they are always in the correct upper and lower tension, needle, and thread, among other things.  When I get my machine back from the tech's work, it always does an excellent job for the first several thousand stitches.  Then I start to see small (not to me) 'hick-ups' that are not noticeable to others, but they are to me. 


  • The store does NOT use some of the fabrics that you may expect to use.  For instance, every time they put together a design to be sewn on the fancy machine, they use these types of fabrics:
  •       (Pardon me, but I have forgotten where I got this excellent visual for fabrics.  I want to give credit, but alas, I lost the information.)

These are the types of fabrics that your friendly embroidery store will use to make the embroidery the best it can be.  These fabrics are often used in crafts because they are sturdy and fold and lay very nicely. 

·         If you are not using these fabrics, you may experience differing results.  So, that voile that you have been looking at may not be the best for those designs that look so good via those spectacular machines.

·         In addition to using heavier cloths, they often use a heavy weight stabilizer.  I have said this before - I sincerely believe that you CAN under stabilize a project but it is difficult to over stabilize.  Puckering, stitch issues, density, among other things, are under stabilized clues.


·         There are 4 types of stabilizers:

1.      Cutaway - used for heavier fabrics and items that will have a lot of wear - children's jeans, elbow patches.

2.      Tear away - used for lighter fabrics that you won't want the stabilizer to show through the material.

3.      Wash away - used for Free Standing Lace (FSL) and any item that the stabilizer does not have to remain to hold the stitches.

4.      Heat away - used for items like hankies so that there is no stabilizer left attached to the item.


You can read more about all sorts of interesting facets about machine embroidery right here at AnnTheGran.  Here is my take on stabilizers and a comparison of the pricing.  Debbie SewBlest gives us information on Water Soluble Stabilizers (WSS).  You may notice that we don't agree entirely on WSS. There are many reasons for that - one of which is the amount of humidity, which varies a lot, on the time of year and in your location. 


Here is my Hack/Tip for this blog:  I did not believe that rolling up your clothing would make any difference in storing items in a drawer.  However, IT DOES WORK!  This box set is from Ikea and great for organizing your small garments. Note: some items are in boxes and some are between boxes.  Clever!!



Don't judge me, I was born to be awesome, not perfect!

Comments (1) -

This blog does point out one thing (I hope you saw the issue), use of heavier fabric and/or stabilizer will improve your project.  

The digitizer must create a design based on numerous points, one is how heavy the fabric will be.  The method a digitizer uses is called a "Menu."  If you think of it as a menu when you are selecting your project ingredients, you will have a more clear idea of what your planning will produce.  

Sour Cream and Sauerkraut can work together, but you need to adjust the seasonings to make it work.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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