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
about what the little tricks are that they use to get your attention and
- 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
- 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
(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:
Cutaway - used for heavier fabrics and items that will have a lot of wear - children's jeans, elbow patches.
Tear away - used for lighter fabrics that you won't want the
stabilizer to show through the material.
Wash away - used for Free Standing Lace (FSL) and any item that the
stabilizer does not have to remain to hold the stitches.
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!