My Sewing Machines – Part 3: The Art of Embroidery:
(Updated: June 13th, 2105)
Once you have decided that you want to get into machine embroidering, the purchasing of an embroidery machine is a big step in getting started that much is true, but it is far from the only step.
And don’t let the sales people tell you any different.
They try to tell you that the only money you will be out to get started is the cost of the machine. They say they will give you free classes and teach you how to use it and now for a limited time only even the $2000-$5000 design software is included for free. That is great that they offer that, but what if you don’t live close to the store, or you don’t have the time to go to their free classes?
Like I said before, once you have the equipment, now you have to learn to use it.
Using the machine involves the purchasing of embroidery supplies and teaching yourself to use the machine by using it.
As mentioned earlier, the purchasing of some kind of embroidery editing software to make this all work is recommended but can be expensive and isn’t needed if you always plan on stitching out pre-made designs only.
The purchasing of designs is another big expense.
There is also the purchasing of embroidery top thread for the designs (I now have almost 400 spools of various colors), and a special embroidery bobbin thread, and many different types of stabilizers for all of the different designs and fabrics. Even though these items may seem inexpensive by themselves, trust me they added up quickly. And then there is the specialized bent scissors that make trimming the jump threads easier, the specialized tweezers to hold the threads still while you cut them, the assortment of rulers and guides needed to help you hoop straight and the number of reference books to help you get it all right.
And so on and so on.
I have several thousands of dollars invested in threads, bobbins, stabilizers, tools, patterns, designs, etc. and that isn’t counting the amount of money spent on the machines themselves.
I didn’t learn to sew or embroidery overnight and neither will anyone else. It will take a lot of time, patience, and money.
After you purchase your first machine, I would recommend that you purchase the book Embroidery Machine Essentials by Jeanine Twigg and read it. It’s the one I started with on a recommendation from a friend. Jeanine does a good job of covering what you need to get going and how to get started. She writes a whole series of books on machine embroidery that are all very good.
Once you have done that and had a little time to flip through the book, go to your local store and buy a small amount of embroidery thread, the standard colors of black, blue, white, green, yellow, red, etc.. Pick up some stabilizer too, both cut away and tear away types, and then just come home and get started with a design that is already in your machine. I feel this is the easiest and best way of getting started learning to embroider with your machine.
This also gives you a chance to work with different threads and stabilizers and see what types you like and what works for you.
After you have decided that this is the right hobby for you and you figure out what supplies you like the best, then get on the internet and search for the best prices on all of the supplies you need.
I have had good luck with a company called Marathon threads for thread and stabilizer and another company named All Brands for various hoops, tools and designs. Amazon has an ever increasing number of these items as well at great prices.
You can then buy in bulk, save some money and time.
As far as pre-made embroidery designs, there are a ton of designers out there that I like. I usually look for designs that I might want from the websites of OESD, Amazing Designs, Cactus Punch and Dakota Collectibles (My Snoopy designs are all from Dakota). Recently I have found a fabulous new site, with some really unique designs called SmartNeedle Embroidery Designs and I have been purchasing several of their embroidery packs.
As you can tell from my blog, I love to sew and embroider things for myself and for my family and friends. Sometimes I start with an embroidery design that I want to stitch on something and work out a project around it but, sometimes I had a project idea already designed first and then I have to find the perfect embroidery design to put on it.
Sewing is a way for me to relax (except when it is teaching me patience) and to enjoy life.
I hope to continue to do this for a long time as it is something that I really enjoy and I hope you will too.
If you missed the previous parts of this post you can find them here: Part 1 and Part 2.