The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Tricks to work with detailed/complex designs.

There are many types of designs. This is a sample of something simple, like a line drawing, often called ‘redwork, whitework, & blackwork. 

Halloween Books Embroidery Design |

Another type is the cartoon style. The lines are simple, and stitches in the fields are often Tatami which gives a basic, repetitive design. Each color can have its own Tatami design, which makes the project more interesting. The more details, the more your design will look ‘realistic.’ Natural details bring depth & dimension to a design.  

Casper The Ghost Embroidery Design | 

Realistic can be a “photo type,” including feathers, eyes, and items that are a minimal number of stitches. Even for the small dots, you may have to change colors, thereby slowing down your sewing time. Another realistic type might be a drawn design with the artist giving you detailed spots.

Colorful Rooster Embroidery Design |

The green indicates specific embroidery tips. 

There are a few recommendations/tricks you may want to be aware of:

·        Using a single piece of stabilizer is recommended for dense projects. Using a quality, heavy-weight cutaway stabilizer is suggested. If you feel the need to use more than a single sheet, you may want to consider basting them together or applying glue. A stable stabilizer is a key to professional embroidery.

·        It is also recommended that you trim any jumps as you go along. Those can get entangled with other colors & still need trimming, a daunting task. The additional benefit is that you don't need to go searching for them because once it is completed and hung, you will see them & possibly not be able to get to them.

·        It is not recommended to resize a complicated design. Assuming the digitizer is well trained, they have made adjustments for ‘pull compensation,’ correct placement of stitches, & certainly, carefully reviewing the registration of one section to the next. Many of us have had a registration issue which is normally the result of poor stabilization.

·        Your fabric needs to be commensurate with the ‘weight’ of the number of stitches. Detailed designs will have more stitches, & that weight needs to be well supported. Therefore, fabrics like denim.

(I always use denim when I am trying a new design or teaching someone their first project while learning to embroider. It allows them some excitement, confidence, & pride in their first attempt.)

·        Other great, heavy-duty fabric such as canvas, decorating fabrics, corduroy, and even chamois is good for that heavier job. High stitches don’t work well with a lightweight fabric like chiffon unless you can leave the heavy cutaway stabilizer in the project, permanently.

·        For your needle, use a fresh, sharp needle. Embroidery needles are slightly dull and it is recommended to use a sewing needle. That may sound counter-intuitive, but you will be making many more penetrations and sometimes stitching multiple colors in the same spot.

Dull needles create their own set of problems like creating a large hole. A torn line in the fabric will eventually fail for the whole project.

·        If you are doing brocade type of stitching, even when the design is not particularly high in the number of stitches, you will still use these tips. Keep the end in mind. i.e., if it is for a shirt with a 3-D style effect, it needs to be stabilized, heavy fabric, sharp needle, & certainly hooped very well.

·        Hoop the fabric with the stabilizer using a spray adhesive which keeps the fabric flat, and will keep a tight bond. You can machine-baste them together as well.

Whew, that was more than I foresaw at the beginning of this blog! And, speaking of a more complex design, I created this one to give some detailed stitches. My software normally will remove the bottom stitches for any place that has over laying stitches. But, the software is being stuborn, and sometimes it will remove extra stitches, and sometimes - not so much! 

Thank you so much for joining me. My work is important to me. When you are reviewing material it is to learn, reinforce, and remember tips. 

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