machine embroidery

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I am just starting out, although I took a class years ago, I was not very good – especially in adjusting tension and all those little things. I am getting a sewing machine now that I am retired – what would be the best? I'm thinking of a Brother XR 7700

What features do you want? Are you on a budget? Most machines will sew just fine with the upper tension set on 4 and left there. IMHO, it's easier to teach you what a balanced stitch
looks like than try to fight through the screens of some programs to adjust something that the computer is doing "wrong".

My personal experience with Brother machines has not been good, but ymmv. I'd strongly urge you to consider trying out a number of machines at local sewing machine dealers if at all possible, and finding the machine(s) that will work for you.

My minimal criteria (I do a lot of garment making, some quilting, no machine embroidery other than freemotion): Very good straight stitch, at least a pretty good zigzag, non-jamming bobbin case, buttonhole that doesn't drive you nuts, adjustable presser foot presser, at least a fair range of presser feet made for the machine. For my own use, I also want stretch and regular blindhem, a couple of stitches I can use for fagoting, a couple of hemstitches, and some stitches that are good for faking blanket stitches for applique. My primary machine is a 10 year old Viking electronic, middle of the line.

Because I sew so many garments, I also have a serger and a coverstitch machine — personally, I'd sooner have a good serger and a so-so sewing machine than a fancy sewing machine, but again, that's personal preference.

Some help:
http://www.cet.com/~pennys/faq/smfaq.htm
http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/tvt046.asp
http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/t00130.asp
I also urge you to read the first and last chapters of Carol Ahles' book Fine Machine Sewing (available from most libraries).

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I'm new to sewing and don't know too much about it & the machines, but I'm looking for something that will let me do different fonts and adjust the size of the stitching. Hoping for something that's no more than $400.. Would Amazon or perhaps Walmart sell ones like this? Thanks

There are two major methods of machine embroidery — free motion, where you guide the hooped fabric, and can be done on any sewing machine, and computerized, which requires a special machine. I do some free motion embroidery — here's sort of the great grandfather of textbooks of machine embroidery. free motion on a treadle machine: http://archive.org/details/singerinstructio00sing and the best modern book I know of: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Machine-Embroidery-Creative/dp/0801976480/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 done just before embroidery machines became commonly available to home sewing.

The other method is computerized embroidery, and there are several types of machines there: combination sewing/embroidery machines like http://www.bernina.com/en-US/Products-us/BERNINA-products-us/BERNINA-Sewing-and-Embroidery-Machines-us/BERNINA-8-Series-us/BERNINA-en (this one was a mere $12.5K when it was first released) or more reasonably, http://www.amazon.com/Brother-SE400-Combination-Computerized-Embroidery/dp/B003AVMZA4/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1359239253&sr=1-1 and embroidery only machines like: http://www.amazon.com/Brother-PE770-Embroidery-Memory-Stick-Compatibility/dp/B002MQI2NM/ref=sr_1_2?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1359239253&sr=1-2 or a multihead (many needles at a time) machine like: http://in.bernina.com/product_detail-n3-i258-sIN.html which sews many colors at the same time, and is typically used by an embroidery business.

Most of the people I know who do computerized machine embroidery have started with a 4×4" hoop combination machine, then discovered that 1) they wanted a bigger hoop and 2) if they didn't have another machine, they couldn't sew while the machine was laboriously stitching out a design. The folks I know who bought embroidery only machines plus a sewing machine didn't pay much more (if any) than the ones who bought a single combination machine, and most of them seem happier with their initial purpose.

On top of the machine, you usually wind up buying several types and weights of embroidery stabilizer, perhaps a digitizing program so you can make your own designs, another program to help convert predigitized designs into a format your machine can use, and thread. Lots and lots of threads. So the machine is only the tip of the iceberg.

If you can, see if you can find a basic machine embroidery class where they supply the machines. There's a fairly steep learning curve at first, I understand, and see if it's something you really want to invest in. Me? I'm happier doing embroidery by hand.

2

Ok so ive been watching youtube videos and i came across some that teach you how to make handmade totes, wallets, and coin purses. Im really starting to enjoy it. My husband is in the military and selling ACU bags is a huge hit here on base… I kinda wanna start doing that. Ive never used a sewing machine in my life non the less an embroider so my question is… What would be best for me? I dont want a professional machine since ive never used one and i dont even know if my "business" will even become successful, i just need if possible a machine that will do both sew and embroided because the ACU bags come with last names and would need to embroid that on them. Any suggestions would help! Thanks

Why not start with the Brother SE400. It is a combo, so if one craft does not suit you the other might. A combo can be used as a sewing machine or as an embroidery machine.

Brother is an excellant brand and the leader in home embroidery machines. This model sells for under $400. A professional model will cost several thousands.

Find out if someone will help you learn to sew. Embroidery is a little easier as you hoop the item and then the machine does it's thing.

Embroidery Library has several machine embroidery tutorials to help you learn.

Most embroidery machines will have a few designs and fonts built-in, but are usually not what you will want. But good for practice and learning. There are many Internet sources for downloads and some are free. You have to be sure the design will fit within the hoop size of the EM and in the correct format for the EM. Brother is .pes format.

You will need a basic machine embroidery software program for at least viewing your design files. Embird is the least expensive.

Do not download designs from foreign countries are they are forgeries of licensed designs and against the law in the US.

Follow the manual that comes with the machine very closely. Manual in hand in front of the machine with thread and fabric. Read and apply and you will soon have the basics mastered.

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3

i do art-textiles at a-level and i do a lot of free machining/embroidery work , so will need it to have that feature plus the foot, also do normal machining, would like it to be quite straightforward, nothing tooo complicated
any suggestions would be great
thanks!!

I would suggest getting an older second hand machine, I do art and design A-level textiles and my all time favourite machines come from viking (also known as husqvarna). Bernina, the old ones i would say are the best for machine embroidery and last a lot longer, in one session without dying on you than the newer models :). I know quite a bit more about machines than most teenage girls doing textiles as my mum is a textiles teacher, from sweden where the teaching degrees for textiles require a lot more knowledge, also i have experience with both old and new viking machines, both great, an old bernina, especially used in our house for machine embroidery (all these three we have at home). and a Janome, a new one from school, which to be perfectly honest did not agree with me at all.

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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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4

The machine only came with one pre-programmed applique' design, I would like to by a memory card for the machine with alphabet applique' embroidery designs and can only find one standard font that I am not interested in. The customer service at Brother told me that if I loaded applique' designs on my blank memory card from my computer and put the memory card in my machine that it may not recognize it as being an applique' and I would end up having to do it myself! Not what I wanted to hear. Furthermore, I am upset because I have an amazing Apple laptop which I love but is not compatible with my sewing machine software. I am stuck, and upset any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

I do not think you can even load designs from your MAC to a blank memory card due to everything machine embroidery being Windows based.

Preloaded memory cards can soon add up to the expense of purchasing additional software (Windows to be used via Boot Camp) or an inexpensive PC.

Once you have a method for reading Windows, you can purchase a reader/writer unit with a re-writable memory card for around $100 and forget the preloaded card.

I am guessing this would be $600 minimum for a PC and the reader/writer/card for machine embroidery. That's about 8 preloaded cards.

PC – http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rlz=1T4TSHB_enUS260US260&q=toshiba+satellite&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=17423045610550159094&ei=ecdhTJT1HciUnQeg0r3NAQ&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CFMQ8wIwBA#

Reader/Writer/Card – http://www.amazon.com/Brother-PED-Basic-Software-Downloading-Embroidery/dp/B000GTNEEO

Once you can download and send to a memory card, there are thousands of designs (many free) that you can download from the Internet!

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3


You can start machine embroidery (ME) for less than $600.

An embroidery machine (EM) can be purchased for around $500. You can start with about $50 in supplies. A reader/writer/card unit can be purchased on-line for around $120.…this can be added later.

Visit sewing machine dealers or purchase from Walmart or Costco. I started with a Brother EM from Walmart, then about five years later, traded up for a Babylock with more bells and whistles.

Brother and Babylock are very user friendly and the most compatible with software and design files.

The lesser expensive EM most likely will have a maximum embroidery area of 4 x 4.

There will be built-in designs and fonts, but for more selection the machine will require a reader/writer unit with a rewritable memory card in the format of the EM for sending designs downloaded from the Internet to the machine. You do want to be able to take advantage of products on the web where you can find thousands of free designs to download.*

If you go higher in the price of the EM, you will get a larger embroidery area, and USB compatibility.

USB compatibility offers USB Direct Connect – a cable will come with the EM to directly connect to your PC and/or USB Flash Drive/stick drive. Either of these devices will indicate to the PC that a removable drive has been installed and that is where you will send the designs you want to use on the machine.*

Purchase supplies as you find them on sale – check the ShoppersRule and Allbrands websites – they usually have the best prices and variety. JoAnn Fabrics has thread on sale almost every month and if you sign up for the store flyer, you will know when the thread will be on sale. The flyer usually has at least one coupon. Also, check the Internet for JoAnn printable coupons.

Start with ME thread in basic colors. Polyester can take bleach, Rayon cannot. Bobbin thread comes in black or white – buy both….white for most items and black for darks.

Embroidery machines are designed to slightly pull the top thread to the back of the design, so the bobbin will only show on the back of the embroidered item.

Purchase medium weight stabilizer in tear-away (white is fine as the excess will be removed), cut away (white and black) and a water soluble stabilizer for placing on top of napped fabrics, such as towels. This provides a smooth surface for the stitching and helps prevent the stitching from sinking into the nap.

The machine will come with extra needles, tools and a manual – keep the manual handy. When learning to use the machine, open the manual and go step-by-step through the entire process, then refer to the manual as needed.

Excellent resources are: Jeannie Twigg’s book, Embroidery Essentials. Websites – Embroidery Library, ABC Embroidery and Ann The Gran.

*Before downloading embroidery designs/files, create a folder on the hard-drive of your PC. Name it Embroidery or EMB Downloads….something easy to find.

When downloading, select the design in the format of the EM and save to the folder you created on the hard-drive. Also, keep in mind the hoop size. A 8 x 6 design will not be accepted by an EM that is limited to a maximum 4 x 4 hoop.

The downloads will most likely be a zipped/compressed file. This has to be opened before it can be used. Highlight the zipped file and open or extract the file. Give the opened file an appropriate name and then delete the zipped file.

Should the design not come in the format you need, there is a free software program – Pulse Ambassador that you can download from the Internet, then open the design in question and save it in the format needed.

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2

I have been wanting to purchase my own monogramming (Embroidery) machine. I do not sew or use sewing machines, but I would love to own my own embroidery machine to make items for myself o for gifts. I do not plan on making items to sell or anything….just personal use (bags, bath towels, t-shirts, etc….). Does anyone know a good machine to recommend to me? (I'm pretty sure I will have to buy a sewing/embroidery machine). Thanks!!!! Also, is embroidery machines hard to use (for someone that doens't really have any experience with sewing machines).

Embroidery machines are easy to use. Start with small, simple projects to help you learn the machine and the different techniques.

This is long due to the explaination regarding how to download designs from the Internet.

The sewing/embroidery combos are usually more expensive. However, the Brother se400 sold at Walmart is a combo and a bargain at less than $500.

There will be several designs and fonts for monogramming built into the embroidery machine.

This model has USB connectivity, which means you do not have to purchase additional software to send downloads from the Internet to the machine for embroidering. And you will want to download as there are thousands of free downloads, plus many more for sale.

There is a cable that comes with the machine that you connect to the machine and your PC – all embroidery software programs are Windows supported, so Mac users have an added expense when using these programs.

To utilize the downloads, you create a folder on the hard drive of your PC. Give it a name you can easily find. Then as you find designs you want to down load (be sure they are .pes and within the hoop size of the embroidery machine) save them to the folder.

Many, if not all downloads are zipped files. You will have to unzip or extract before the embroidery machine can read the file. Mouse over the zipped file and a mini screen will come up. Select unzip or extract all. This will provide the file you need to keep. The zipped file can be deleted.

To send to the embroidery machine, hook-up the cable. A new drive letter will appear. Select the designs from the folder on the hard drive and send to the new drive letter. This will then allow you to access the designs from the embroidery machine.

Once the transfer to the embroidery machine has been made, the embroidery machine and PC no longer need to be connected.

Some of this will be addressed in the manual for the machine. There are also several forums you can join (free) and ask questions. http://www.sewforum.com is an excellant one.

A great one for tips and techniques (free videos and print-outs) is Embroidery Library. Take special note of the type of stabilizer and hooping techniques for the different types of fabrics that are to be embroidered. http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/elprojects/holder.aspx?page=techniques

PS: All embroidery machines have formats and pes is used by Brother and Babylock. The other brands of embroidery machines have different formats.

All formats, except Bernina's art format can be converted to that of the embroidery machine, meaning if you have an art formatted design, it will only work on a Bernina embroidery machine that has the art format – confusing, but that's Bernina!

Pulse Ambassador is a free software program that I have used for conversion of machine embroidery formats. Here is a tutorial for this software http://www.annthegran.com/cs/forums/t/4745.aspx

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2

What is the best sewing machine to purchase to stitch words onto shirts and hoodys?

you didn't say how big you want the letters and words. are you planning on doing this commercially? most home embroidery machines will void the warranty if you use it commercially. i've used the janome, pfaff, viking and brother embroidery machines. i personally prefer the brother line. i still haven't read completely thru the manual. it is really easy to use. my machine is a ult2002d and i have heard that the new brother self threading is tricky to learn to use. i've heard good things about the brother se270d that walmart sells for $350 is a good machine. if i remember right it comes with a 5" x 7" hoop. since you basically want the machine for lettering i would suggest purchasing a hoop-it-all for your machine. www.hoopitall.com it will give you a much larger embroidery area without having to re-hoop. i will also say i haven't really heard anything good about the singer embroidery machine. there are many yahoo groups for machine embroidery. some are machine specific. you may want to search yahoo groups for the specific brand of machine you are looking at and see what the people on the yahoo groups think of their machines.

here are a couple of embroidery websites i would like to share with you.
http://www.astitchahalf.com/ puts 5 different fonts on sale each week for $3 for all 5 sets.
http://www.designsbysick.com/amember/go.php?r=5647&i=l0">Designs by SiCK Embroidery Library has many fun fonts. they have 49 free designs per day and the membership fee to all the designs on their site is very reasonable.

good luck and if i can be of further assistance please feel free to e-mail me from my profile.

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1

Prefer "Cat in the Hat" but anything Seuss will do.

If you are looking for hand embroidery, then you can find
free coloring pages online that you could use at~~
www.lucylearns.com
www.seussville.com
www.gpschools.org

For machine embroidery, try www.eBay.com
or try one of these,
www.pleasingpillows-plus.com/embroiderydesignchoices.htm

www.christmascarnivals.com/quotes/dr-seuss-christmas-quotes.html

www.website-design.cafeuk.com/free-pes-pokemon-embroidery-designs.php

And then there is the Dr.Seuss Store~
http://www.hatful-of-seuss.com/

Hope this helps!!!

Nana07

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