Art Embroidery


i liked it So much , and i want to learn how to sew stuff so i could be a designer in the futur . But what do you think ?

The Bernina Artista series are all good machines — and Bernina partisans will tell you there is nothing better than a Bernina. I'd disagree because they just don't feel quite right to me, but they are indeed mechanically sound machines, though they tend to be quite pricey for features compared to some other good brands. I'm also not into computerized embroidery. (If I want to embroider I do free motion or hand embroidery).

Some things you might want to consider:
1) if you have a combination sewing/embroidery machine, you can't sew while the machine is stitching out a design. Quite a few friends who do computerized embroidery have an embroidery machine and a sewing machine. In some cases, two machines are less expensive than a combo machine.

2) If you're going to be spending that much on a first machine, you might also want to look at some of the offerings from some of the other good home machine makers like Elna, Janome, Pfaff and Viking (in alphabetical order). That way, you can know you've made the right decision for you, no matter what brand or model you wind up choosing.

It's generally not the machine, it's the brain and the hands operating the machine, that really control the quality of the sewn product. See if your library can get you a copy of an old, old book called "Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery", done in several editions. Every stitch in the book (and there's some magnificent work) was done on a straight stitch treadle sewing machine.

While there's no point handicapping yourself by buying a crummy, balky, hunk o' junk sewing machine, if you're working on a budget, you might want to consider putting some of that sewing machine money towards lessons and going with a machine with fewer bells and whistles. In the long run, it may be more beneficial to learn to use a simpler machine well, particularly if you intend to go to design school.

You might also want to start reading at — lots of things there for new designers.


Do you use all the attachments or just the basic ones,?
Do you use your machine a lot or just in rare occasions ?
Is it really worth spending a lot of money on a machine when at the end you only use it so rarely?
What is your opinion ?

I sew virtually all of my family's clothes on a Juki 5 thread serger and a 12+ year old midline Viking electronic sewing machine with 30 stitches. I rarely use the decorative stitches (just not our style), but do use the utility stitches. I don't use any attachments (if you're talking about stuff like a Griest buttonholer) because the machine has a good keyhole and straight buttonhole included that can be made any size. I do use a lot of specialty presser feet, including joining, blindhem, edge stitching, narrow hemmers, zipper feet and cording feet. I do not do machine embroidery except for a bit of freehand work — I don't like the flat look of machine embroidery.

If you're interested in exploring what a machine can do with (mostly) utility stitches, there are three books you should consider from your library:

Carol Ahles: Fine Machine Sewing

Nancy Bednar: Encyclopedia of Sewing Machine Techniques.

Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery and Lacework (an amazing book that's been reprinted several times, showing decorative techniques done with a straight stitch only treadle sewing machine. Remarkable stuff.)

If you're considering buying a new machine, buy one with the basic stitches and a few decorative stitches — don't buy a machine by number of stitches per dollar spent… you'll probably regret it. And please distinguish between stitches and "stitch functions".

If I were to lose both of my main machines tomorrow, I'd probably replace the serger with another good 5 thread machine, perhaps a tier up in the Juki line from what I've got, and I'd probably buy a straight stitch only industrial needlefeed machine, and stick a Greist buttonholer on a garage sale straightstitcher for buttonholes.

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is there a specific type i should buy, or special needles. Any further info greatly aprecited, thanks.

Embroidery needles are often useful. All you need to do free motion embroidery is have a machine that allows you to drop or cover the feed dogs — the rest is up to you. Having a machine that allows you to do a stitch at a time and stop with needle up or needle down can also be useful, so you may wish to pay special attention to electronic machines (as opposed to mechanical):

Best book on FME that I know of is Robbie and Tony Fanning's Complete Book of Machine Embroidery, now out of print (but commonly available at libraries). While you're at it, see if they can get you a copy of "Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery" — reprints are fine — the originals were done on treadle sewing machines.

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My mother has always wanted one of those. She doesn't have a business or anything but she likes making crafts at home–curtains, shirts, pillows, etc., and she's quite advanced at sewing. What machine do you reccomend for her to get? She's got a budget though, so nothing TOO pricey, please!

Does she have a sewing machine she likes currently? If so, I'd suggest she think about an embroidery only machine to supplement it. That way she can still sew while she's waiting for the design to stitch out.

Or consider taking up free motion embroidery, which can be done on any straight stitch sewing machine…
here's a simple sample: and a more complex one:
and some information on bobbin work, using heavier threads and embroidering "upside down":

Suggested reading on free motion embroidery: Robbie & Tony Fanning's Complete Book of Machine Embroidery, and any of the many editions of Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery (the originals were all done on straight stitch treadles, ca. 1910)

Then head to a sewing machine dealer and try some of the machines… and check the prices of supplies, too… if she's on a tight budget, the supplies may be a significant factor in costs.


I have a ton of excess denim from making a purse out of my friends never woren jeans she got rid of. Now I decided to make a bracelet with embroidery… how do I do it with a sewing machine? Also, have any other ideas on what to do with the scraps?

Sure, you can do free-motion embroidery with any machine. You need to drop the feed dogs or cover them in order to do it, but that's easily accomplished. Best beginning book I know of is Robbie and Tony Fanning's Complete Book of Machine Embroidery — you'll probably have to get it from your library, as I believe it's now out of print. Want to knock your socks off? Check to see if your library has a copy of Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery — everything in the book was done on a straight stitch treadle machine, and it's gorgeous.

Here's a professional free-motion embroiderer at work:

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I want2do free motion embroidery using a embroidery hoop,so tht i can make my own designs.Pls advise as i want2buy a machine.

The 4220 does have droppable feed dogs, I'm not sure about others also bearing the "inspiration" tag. Check the features for the exact model you're interested in. Generic low shank or snap on darning feet are easily available.

Doesn't really matter, though, as you can set the stitch length to 0 on any sewing machine and cover the feed dogs with something like an old credit card that you've punched a hole through for the needle, then taped down around all edges. Sometime when you're at the library, look for "Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery and Lace Work", first published in 1911, and republished a number of times since — the work was all done on a treadle machine, with non-droppable feed dogs.