Walmart

2

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.

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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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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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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I am someone who can't even sew a button. I am a total beginner, but I'd like to learn how to embroider and something about crewel really appeals to me. I know they sell kits at craft stores. What would I need to make sure the kits have? In other words, what would I need to begin? I'm scared I will go into Michael's and spend 4x more than I need to because I don't know what to get. Thanks!

Crewel is surface embroidery with wool on linen — it's fun, but there are some texture issues for some people, as well as expense. Most of us who embroider started with cotton floss (DMC and Anchor are good brands) on cotton fabric. See my answer to: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101122123123AAk0Aft

If you want to stick with crewel, you'll want a beginners kit and a hoop — 6" is a good size for most women's hands — when you get really good you can move to stretchers. Or you may find that you prefer to work without a hoop — some of us are crazy that way. <g> I'd also buy an extra pack of assorted size embroidery/crewel needles, about $1 at Walmart, probably under $2 most other places.

If you want to do embroidery with cotton floss, pick up some colors of floss that you like, a packet of embroidery/crewel needles, and a 6" or so embroidery hoop — the ones I like for beginners look like this: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Bates-Hoop-La-Embroidery-Hoops/dp/B000GBO9M8 or http://www.beverlys.com/plastic-embroidery-hoop-5.html You'll also need a pair of scissors or a nail clipper to cut threads (why, yes, I've embroidered on airplanes, why do you ask??? <g>)

The book I learned most of my first crewel embroidery stitches from, and still a very good one, is Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book: http://www.worldcat.org/title/erica-wilsons-embroidery-book/oclc/657147/editions?editionsView=true&referer=br and Erica Wilson's Fun with Crewel Embroidery: http://www.worldcat.org/title/fun-with-crewel-embroidery/oclc/567395&referer=brief_results — check your local library, they're likely on the shelves.

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I have been given an Embroidery Machine and would like to purchase a low cost software program with several fonts on it. I don't know if there is a card with different fonts on it or if I need to get a software program. Please help me figure out what I need for this machine. It is a Simplicity…a few years old. Has a LCD screen and several animals and things but only two fonts.

It would help if I knew the model of your machine…..but…from what I will guess is that it is a pretty basic model. ( I have one as well and it is a real work horse..) You can download all sorts of embroidery designs from the internet…Lots of freebies out there…first you will need to know what the limitations are on your embroidery field, second, you will need a card writer and card…this will allow you to download all kinds of fonts and load them onto a card and into your embroidery machine…Now the next thing you will want to buy…..software, so you can arrange the letters into words or what ever and make your own design..but first learn to use the card and card writer….then go on to buy the software…I am using sew what pro but there are other programs out there as well…
Oh and in answer to your question…Yes you can buy preloaded cards with different fonts on them….Sorry sometimes I get a little carried away and off track from the intended question…Just make sure you look for cards that fit your machine's format…Mine is Pes and two of my machines read that format….( a language your machine understands)
Oh and the sewwhatpro software uses your computer fonts and can turn them into digitized embroidery…there is a free 30 trial for this software…But you will need the card box first…I am giving you a link to show you what one card box looks like. the one you may need could be different..I don't know because I don't know your model number..
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=2171274

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I am looking to buy an embroidery machine. All I want to do is monogramming, like on ribbon. Do I really need to buy an expensive machine or can I get away with something under $500.00. And if I really don't need an expensive machine, what machine would you recommend. Thank you

it depends on how large you need the monograms to be. i have a kenmore (made by janome) that isn't even an embroidery machine but will do small (probably about 1/4 inch) lettering. if you do need an embroidery machine you could go with just a 4X4 embroidery field. i perfer brother machines for embroidery. walmart sells one that is a basic embriodery machine. it will have a couple of fonts with it. i haven't really checked it out because i have a brother ult2002D. i have been watching some of the prices on e-bay lately and you may want to consider a used machine. here is a great site for embroidery designs. they give away 49 free designs a day. they also give away a free font ocassionally if you joing their yahoo group.
http://www.designsbysick.com/amember/go.php?r=5647&i=l0">Designs by SiCK Embroidery Library

have fun with your new adventure.

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3

I've noticed that companies charge $10 and up just to put a name with a mega phone and pom-poms on a jacket front. I'd like to buy my own and embroider them myself. What type would be helpful. I don't want to go over $800.
I only want to embroider names on the front of jackets at most 4 inches long, and logo's that won't be more than 4 x 4 inches.

You can do this with the Brother 350 sold at Walmart and it is less than $400.

You also need Ped Basic. More info below at Allbrands.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-Se350-Sewing-Embroidery-Machine/8033273

So there you have it. For around $500 you can have a combination sewing/embroidery machine and the software for downloading.

You can use the remaining budget to purchase thread and stabilizer and still have money left over – that's always a good thing!

Eight years ago, I started with the first Brother embroidery machine that Walmart sold, but at that time the additional software (like Ped Basic) needed for accessing designs from the Internet sold for $200 – $300.

Later, I purchased a Babylock with a larger hoop and sold the Brother on Ebay for about 80% of my original expense.

The embroidery machine will come with a few tools for maintenance (cleaning), needles, bobbins, thread nets (keeps thread from feeding too fast from the spool – it may, or may not be needed) and a small pair of scissors.

If you use polyester thread for machine embroidery, it will withstand chlorine bleach. If there is no chance the item will come in contact with chlorine bleach you can use rayon.

Be sure to use machine embroidery bobbin thread – this comes in white and black. I use NEB prewound bobbins as they hold more thread.

You can find good prices on stabilizer at Allbrands or JoAnn Fabrics when they are on special. Start with a medium weight cut away and a medium weight tear away. You should also include a tricot iron-on to cover the back of the embroidery if the garment is going to be worn next to the skin.

Rayon and Polyester machine embroidery thread can be purchased online as well, but you may want to buy a few of the basic colors at a fabric shop – JoAnn Fabric has thread on sale from time to time at 40% off. Thread that comes in kits sometimes leave you will colors you may not use.

If you embroidery a design that has lots of black or other dark color – buy Madeira brand as Coats & Clark and Sulky tend to fray as the machine stitches. This is due to the dying process used by the manufacturer.

Embroidery Library has a great section that provides tips and techniques as well as sales on designs. This is worth downloading or a least flagging it as a favorite site.

Embroidery Designs is another site that has a variety of designs for cheer leading as well as access to other vendors of machine embroidery designs. Download freebies and use them for practice, if nothing else. The embroidery machine will have some designs and fonts built-in.

When you get your embroidery machine home – open the manual and lay it right next to the machine. Then read and follow each step of each feature of the machine – this is the easiest and quickest way to learn how to use the machine.

Be sure to use the right stabilizer (see embroidery library); practice on old shirts or fabric scraps and in no time you will be expert at this.

JoAnn does not have any specials on embroidery supplies right now, but you can sign up for notices – http://printable-coupons.blogspot.com/2005/12/jo-ann-coupons.html

http://www.allbrands.com/products/abp01060-0145.html – check your PC's operating system for compatibility.

http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/elprojects/holder.aspx?page=techniques – be sure to check the charts for placement and stabilizer recommendations.

http://www.embroiderydesigns.com/DesignSearchResults.aspx?SearchText=cheer%20leading&ddsearchid=Stock%20Designs – downloads, check the vendors on the side bar for more possibilities.

Never leave the machine as it is running and if it sounds like it is jamming – stop and remove the hoop and check for thread snarls in the bobbin area (maintenance section will show you how to clean). This can happen with any machine and at any experience level. All sewing and embroidery machines with a drop-in bobbin need to be cleaned after a few stitch-outs.

Take some quiet time and have fun. This is a hobby that can shortly lead to a business.

I do my answers on a person-by-person basis and if I missed something pertinent to your situation, or if you have more questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

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3


The Brother 400SE at Walmart is a good bargain. You get a quality name brand machine that you can use as a sewing machine or an embroidery machine (EM).

There are designs and fonts for names and letters built into the EM.

You can select letter types, size and enter on the screen.

As long as the size is within the size of the hoop that comes with the EM, no additional software will be needed.

The hoop that come with the EM indicates the largest area that the EM is designed for.

In addition, this model has USB connectivity, which means you can connect to your PC and send designs that you have downloaded to your PC to the EM.

Create a folder on the hard drive of the PC and name it Emb Downloads.

Then search the Internet for free downloads and save them to the Emb Downloads folder.

Make sure they are .pes format and sized within the hoop size of the EM.

Then as you want to use one of the downloads, connect the cable that comes with the EM to the PC.

A new drive letter will appear on the screen of the PC.

You send the design from the folder to new drive letter and then to the EM.

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3

I want to learn how to sew. i want do be able to make dresses for my two little girls and start selling some I make but first I need a sewing machine. I saw a Singer Futura CE-150 Sewing and Embroidery Machine at walmart because I would also like to embroider but costs $539 and I cannot afford that. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good sewing machine.

For embroidery, consider learning to do free motion embroidery on a sewing machine… any sewing machine will do. Here's a pro working — though his setup is a little easier, it's the same idea:
http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3833/video-manuels-free-motion-embroidery-technique
And something less fancy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8hFRab26BE

As far as a sewing machine, I'd definitely suggest you want to get a model with a blindhem stitch… otherwise my basic suggestions are below. Please note that using a home sewing machine for business voids the warranty (they're not meant for the duty cycle of sewing for a business), and that as soon as you learn the basic machine operation, I'm going to strongly suggest that you want to borrow Carol Ahles' book, Fine Machine Sewing, from the library and at least learn her methods of machine blindhemming — it'll save you lots and lots of time.

If you truly are going to use home machines to make stuff to sell, I'd buy a basic sewing machine (see below) and a decent 4 thread serger ASAP. Add computerized embroidery to that if you wish later.

My basic beginner sewing machine rant:
Take a look at Kate Dicey's essay on choosing sewing machines at
http://www.katedicey.co.uk (and take a look around at her site…
there are a lot of nice little tutorials there!). The FAQ she
refers to is at http://preview.tinyurl.com/l5rzu6 now.

What I want for beginners in sewing:

– a machine that doesn't scare you

– a machine that isn't balky (cheap new machines are often very
balky or need adjustments often and are rarely repairable — just
too frustrating to learn on!)

– very good straight stitch

– good zigzag (4-5 mm is fine, more than that is gravy)

– a method of making buttonholes that makes sense to you

– adjustable presser foot pressure (which helps some fabric
handling issues)

– accessory presser feet that don't cost an arm and a leg
(machines that use a "short shank foot" typically handle generic
presser feet pretty well. Some brands of machines use proprietary
or very expensive presser feet)

If the budget stretches far enough:

– blindhem and stretch blindhem stitches

– triple zigzag (nice for elastic applications)

– a couple of decorative stitches (you won't use them nearly as
much as you think)

– electronic machine because of the needle position control and
because the stepper motors give you full "punching force" at
slow sewing speeds — mechanical machines often will stall at
slow speeds.

Please go to the best sewing machine dealers around and ask them
to show you some machines in your price range, *especially* used
machines you can afford. You'll get a far better machine at a
specific price buying used than new and a good dealer is worth
their weight in sewing machine needles when you get a machine
problem — often they can talk you through the problem over the
phone. While you're trying things out, try a couple of machines
(sewing only, not combo sewing-embroidery) over your price limit,
just so you can see what the difference in stitch quality and
ease of use might be. You may find you want to go for the used
Cadillac. Or you might want the new basic Chevy. Might as well
try both out.

Suggested reading: John Giordano's The Sewing Machine Book
(especially for used machines), Carol Ahles' Fine Machine Sewing
(especially the first and last few chapters) and Gale Grigg
Hazen's Owner's Guide to Sewing Machines, Sergers and Knitting
Machines. All of these are likely to be available at your public
library.

Used brands I'd particularly look for: Elna, Bernina,
Viking/Husqvarna, Pfaff, Singer (pre 1970), Juki, Toyota

New "bargain brand" I'd probably pick, if new, decent and budget
was my choice: Janome (who also does Kenmore).

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