Posts Tagged ‘Free Motion Embroidery’

Where can I get a sewing machine that I can do custom embroidery…?

January 28th, 2013 2 comments

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: and the best modern book I know of: 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 (this one was a mere $12.5K when it was first released) or more reasonably, and embroidery only machines like: or a multihead (many needles at a time) machine like: 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.

I am looking for a sewing machine/embroidery that is made in the USA. Is there one ???

January 20th, 2013 2 comments

My hubby wants to buy me a sewing machine that is made in the USA and I can’t seem to find one. Can anyone help ??? Thanks so much

I believe the only company in the US making sewing machines still is Merrow, and they’re industrials — they’re inventors of the serger.

There are some excellent machines out there, though, that are not US made.

You may want to poke around at ‘s sewing machine review section when you get your machine choices narrowed. Some of my friends who do machine embroidery prefer to have separate embroidery and sewing machines — they can keep sewing while a design is stitching out. I only do hand and free motion embroidery, so I haven’t looked at embroidery machines.

i need a sewing machine that can be used for freehand embroidery?

December 17th, 2012 2 comments

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.

I’m would like to start sewing but I need to know a decent & affordable sewing machine to buy. Any suggestions?

December 3rd, 2012 3 comments

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:
And something less fancy:

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 (and take a look around at her site…
there are a lot of nice little tutorials there!). The FAQ she
refers to is at 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

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).

Can a home sewing machine work as efficiently as a industrial machine?

November 29th, 2012 2 comments

I’m a student and i work primarily on a tabletop juki machine. They are very fast and i can get allot done in very little time. But I’m going to be moving soon and i will need a machine that can complete all different types of garments at a relatively fast pace.
Can I complete the same in of work at the same pace with a home sewing machine?

Thanks for the help.

Yes, and no. There are a few models of home machines that are designed for pros and do work at a faster speed than others. Janome produces a professional model, the MC6600P machine that sews 1200 stitches a minute straight stitch. The el-cheapo machine at wal mart or Target…not so fast. Or as reliable. if you are used to the speed and the stitch quality offered by a fast machine then the majority of the home machines will be far too slow and you’ll be waiting for the machine to catch up to you.

Since you do so much sewing the professional model is a much better investment. It looks like a home machine on the outside, but inside it has the speed and stitch quality that a professional advanced sewer needs. It will complete a wide variety of garments quickly and efficiently. It has lots of utility stitches and a good variety of decorative stitches too. It doesn’t do pre-programmed hooped embroidery -which is a good thing! You can do free motion embroidery easily. It is a table top home machine with the motor and head in one unit.

If you wish to buy an industrial machine that does a variety of stitches then the Bernina 950 is a good machine. It is a true industrial meaning the table, motor and head are separate. It offers 14 stitches and a semi automatic buttonhole.

Here are the two machines: and in it’s price for purchase with table, motor, and head:
The Janome worthy of your talents:

I have several industrials and I find many home machines far too slow. I run home machines at a "pedal to the metal" speed and I find the Janome is the closest to industrial speed. Most domestic home machines, even the expensive brands, don’t have the same level of speed that a pro is accustomed to. Hope that helped a bit.

What is your most beloved sewing-plus-embroidery machine yet?

November 27th, 2012 2 comments

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.

Ideas on how to transfer images onto fabric for an eco friendly project?

November 23rd, 2012 1 comment

As part of eco-schools we need to transfer images onto white cotton. I was just wondering if anyone had any new ideas. Eco-friendly ideas would also be excellent. The images might end up being images the kids have drawn, photos and also the fairtrade logo will be on it. These are the ideas I have come up with so far. The pupils are from 11-16.
Embroidery machine,
Use image maker,
Fabric Paints
Printing (lino/ stencil etc..)

Any other ideas???

hand embroidery
free motion embroidery
rust transfer "dyeing"
mudcloth designs
flower or leaf pounding
direct dye methods on pre-mordanted fabrics
altered fabric, e.g., cutwork

remember that the "greenest" methods are usually the most human energy intensive. The less "stuff" needed to accomplish the goal, the less environmental impact. Also remember that white cotton is not exactly environmentally friendly in its own right.

What kind of machine do I need for monogramming?

November 17th, 2012 2 comments

I want to learn how to monogram. What kind of machine do I need? I have heard you can just get a software to hook up with your sewing machine. Is that true? I don’t have a huge budget so a low cost solution would be great.

If you already have a sewing machine you can learn to do this, but it takes time to learn as most will be free motion (you guide the fabric as the needle goes up and down).

Otherwise, you will need to spend at least $600 just to get started.

There are combo (sewing & embroidery) machines that can give you more for the money or you can buy an embroidery only machine.

The embroidery machines have a limited amount of designs, letters, numbers and punctuation already built in.

To add more you can download from the Internet. Some designs are free and some you have to pay for.

You add the designs by sending them to a folder on the hard drive of the computer, a cd or flash drive.

You then select the design you want to send to the embroidery machine and send it via a direct cable hook-up that comes with the embroidery machine.

If the machine does not have this option, you have to purchase a reader/writer unit specifically for an embroidery machine and a rewritable memory card for the specific format of the embroidery machines. These start at about $100 for Brother PED brand (on line) and go up.

The Brother sold at Walmart, plus the software you would be spending around $600 and then you have to have machine embroidery thread, bobbin thread and stabilizer for another $50 or so. The machine will come with extra needles and bobbin spools…which can be resupplied where sewing notions are sold.

This one is a good price –
It includes the reader software and the shipping is free.

Check with local sewing machine dealers. They may have a good price on an embroidery machine that the owner traded in on a more expensive model.

Machine Embroidery on Brother BM-2600 sewing machine?

November 15th, 2012 3 comments

On the Brother BM-2600 sewing machine, can the feed dog drop for free-hand machine embroidery?
On the Brother BM-2600 sewing machine, can the feed dog drop for free-hand machine embroidery?

Yes u can do free motion embroidery but you will need a darning
foot which is sold seperatly for about $15 from brother but u will need the code which is in the your manual so u know you have the right 1

also u will need a hand embroidery hoop ,stabilizer and a design that u want 2 stitch out like a car or a Disney character.

the darning foot is a screw on. and cover feed dog with ur darning plate

How long have computerized embroidery machines been around?

November 15th, 2012 4 comments

And are there new technological advancements in terms of embroidery?

In the early eighties, designs where still being hand punched and the stitched out in factories By the late eighties some where switching to computerized machines.

Few individuals are talented enough to do elaborate free hand embroidery with a sewing machine.

New technologies would include downloading designs from the Internet, software for the home embroidered to digitized their own art work and editing of commercial designs and the USB flash drive which provides large amount of storage space, and connectivity from the Internet to the embroidery machine.

The home embroidery machine has been around since the nineties.

I bought my first one early in the current century.