Starting any endeavor can be quite challenging. More than a decade ago, I decided to explore the world of embroidery following the steps of my sister who is very good at it. At first I thought embroidery was not for me, but the moment I got introduced to machine embroidery, all my inhibitions were gone.
As a starter, you would definitely appreciate help from others. For that, I have come up with 10 tips in machine embroidery that you will particularly find useful:
Start with something small
At this point, you may have read a lot of things about machine embroidery, and saw a lot of patterns as well. While there is nothing wrong with dreaming big when it comes to producing a good output, it is often best to start with a project that is good for beginners like you. Start with something small, progressing gradually to more challenging patterns and techniques as your confidence and skills also grow.
Now that you have invested in an embroidery machine, as well as the other supplies you need, you may find yourself both excited and nervous at the same time. Trust me, a combination of these feelings are natural. However, if you fail to relax, you might end up throwing any project that you find disappointing and start over. Keep in mind that mistakes can give you that opportunity to learn.
Learn by practicing more
Most successful scientists in history had to go through several unsuccessful attempts before they finally created something with value. This is the same with machine embroidery. Do not expect perfection on your first try. You are ALWAYS bound to commit some mistakes, but will always learn from them.
Take down notes
Taking down notes mean that you need to make your own ‘recipe’ book for machine embroidery. After all, there are some techniques that might work comfortably with you, and you might want to use that as part of your standard process. Document them, including any completed embroidery projects you have completed. Include details such as the thread color and types, fabric blend and type, as well as machine setting adjustments you made.
Make time for research and practice
Make sure that you give yourself enough time to spend on embroidery. If possible, set a schedule that you can dedicate to this craft, including any time needed for reading, taking some classes, or actual sewing. The time you spend on these things may sound a luxury, but based from personal experience, it is all worth it.
Avoid getting tricked into buying all gadgets and gimmicks out there
When you are starting, it is quite easy to get carried away and eventually spend money on some things that are not really necessary. As a beginner, all you need are scissors, fabric, thread, stabilizer, machine/hoop, and a design. Make a research first before deciding to buy extras. With access to the internet, it is very easy to see different offers in the world of embroidery. You may need them, eventually, but for now, hold your horses, and concentrate on honing your skills first.
Be organized in your working area
Everybody can be really busy. However, a dedicated and well-organized sewing area can make the time that you spend on working on a project more productive and pleasant. This does not mean, however, that you have to dedicate an extra room at home for this. Even though you just use a closet to store your things, it helps you to become more productive if you know where to get and put things accordingly.
Do some test stitching
There is a huge possibility that a particular design will eventually stitch out differently depending on the stabilizer, digitizer, need, fabric, and even thread that is used. Even the design files may also become corrupted as you download them, or during conversion. However, you can avoid these problems by spending time to do some test stitching on designs on a fabric before you start embroidering a piece.
Do not be afraid to explore!
After perfecting a certain pattern, do not hesitate trying something else, something new. As you search through the internet, you will discover that there are actually a lot of free designs that you can use. Why not try cutwork, applique, or even freestanding lace. Successful machine embroiders are those who were not afraid to at least, try. Here is one good source for you: https://www.embroiderydesigns.com/freeembroiderydesigns.aspx
Think of the reason why you have decided to explore machine embroidery. Basically, you want something to spend your time with, or to just enjoy as a leisure activity. Do not forget this, and just have fun. Forget perfection at this point. As a beginner, do not be afraid to commit mistakes and just have fun! By choosing to do so, you will end up discovering the tricks and techniques easily. Take a look at this video for some sample designs: VIDEO URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0VxaLoQPZI
If you have made up your mind to explore the world of machine embroidery, one thing that you have to particularly give consideration is choosing a good machine. This is just like a baker choosing the right baking tools, or an artist gathering the best equipment needed in order to produce the best output.
In my case, I viewed choosing the best embroidery machine as an investment. After all, everything that is produced by this machine becomes my personal output. The quality of such outputs heavily depend on the type of machine used to create them. As such, I would make sure that I have everything that I need in a machine.
Later on, you can also choose to add some accessories and extras. As you continue to improve in your skills, you will discover the fun world of machine embroidery. At first, you may depend on free designs that are available. But, keep in mind that you can also explore and use your creativity in order to make your own patterns. Machine embroidery is a worthwhile activity, indeed.