Posts Tagged ‘Sewing Machine’

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.

what is the cheapest most effective software for my sewing machine?

January 18th, 2013 5 comments

I have just recently purchased a brother se 270d. I am completely new at embroidery and I am not sure about all of the software available to help download designs. I looked into the ped basic(because it is cheapest) but saw several complaints due to the limited capabilities with it. I don’t want to spend over $150 on something to help me to download designs from the internet. I am really interested n monogramming. Can anyone tell me what else is available for my machine that is not so expensive, yet still do a pretty good job? thanks!

You may be confusing editing software with memory card software.

Without a reader/writer unit and rewritable memory card and you cannot use designs from the Internet or a CD without one brand or the other.

PED Basic or another brand of the same type of software will provide a method of getting the design from the PC to the Embroidery machine via a memory card. Basically, that is all they do.

For monogramming you need fonts (alpha designs). You load as you would any other design and then copy to the memory card. Insert the memory card into the machine and press "start".

For editing, Embird is a popular product and you can download a free demo.

ABC embroidery has a tutorial for combining letters with Embird.

Remember, the design has to be within the limitation of the size hoop your machine is programed for.

what do you think of this sewing machine : artista 200e?

January 16th, 2013 1 comment

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.

What sewing/embroidery machine would suit my needs?

January 14th, 2013 2 comments

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.

Whats the best make/brand of sewing machine?

January 14th, 2013 3 comments

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

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.

How many of you sewers really know your sewing machines?

January 10th, 2013 3 comments

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.

Why is my sewing machine called a chainstitch and what is it used for differently than a normal lockstitch?

January 8th, 2013 2 comments

It is a New Home Model 609. Says CHAIN STITCH on upper left. Probably from the 70’s. It has 29 stitch patterns + buttonhole stitch settings. It is a nice machine. Obviously it must lockstitch, I don’t know. I’m confused. I read about chain stitches and lockstitches. Still confused.

Chainstitch ability is relatively rare among home machines (though it’s now found on a serger fairly commonly). I suspect one of the stitches the machine is capable of is a two-thread chainstitch, which can be useful for something like embroidery or basting. The other stitches are probably standard lockstitches.
You may need an adapter of some sort to get the chainstitch.

Try out the stitches. You’re looking for one that looks like straight stitch on top, but the bobbin thread makes a chain on the bottom:
check figure 1 here: or you’re looking for a 1 thread chainstitch like this, done by a chenille machine:

Here are some chainstitched examples from an old Willcox & Gibbs treadle:
<> Farther down the page is a piece of a Kenmore manual showing converting a lockstitch capable machine to a chainstitch. Some of the older machines did a 1 thread chainstitch.

Lockstitch looks like the diagram on this page– same top and bottom:

My MIL’s clothes, when she was a girl, were made on a Willcox and Gibb chainstitcher she now owns. When she wanted to get sent home from school, she’d unravel part of her dress. She found the chainstitch very helpful in that endeavor. <g>

You might try asking questions specific to your machine in the yahoo group "wefixit" — it’s a group of sewing machine "shade tree mechanics" and includes a number of professional machine repair people. There is a tremendous collective knowledge pool in that group, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find someone might be able to tell you exactly how to set up your machine for chainstitching.

How can I be a fashion designer?

January 6th, 2013 2 comments

I’m turning 12 and I wanna be a fashion designer.
I’m good in math, drawing, and im sort of good in knitting (im learning, but im good enough now)
I ADORE fashion designing specially the part when you end up with alot of clothes 😉
but i need tips.. any help?
thnx in advance!! 😀

psst… the rules of Yahoo answers say you need to be over 13 to post questions…Can you edit out your age? I don’t want your question deleted before seeing my answer.

To answer your question: at your age you should be learning how to make clothes and how to take the clothes you have an make them different and special. You can add beads, trims, appliques, sparkly things, paint…anything and everything creative. At your age you should be developing your imagination and exploring your creativity. You are too young to worry about the business and the technical stuff, you can learn that later…when you are young it’s more important to unchain the imagination and let your thoughts run free and untamed. Pattern making is easy to learn…creativity can’t be taught.

You should be experimenting with a sewing machine and fabric, trying to turn your sketches and ideas into clothes. Try to make a dress form based on your body and then drape fabric on it, pin it together, sew it ups and see how it looks. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from mistakes. All designers are willing to fail, because a failed experiment can pave the way for a successful design. Keep a record of what you have made, fabric samples, and write out what worked, what didn’t any lessons learned, and what you might do different next time or what you will do the same. I have kept a record like that since I was about 13, and I still keep a record of experiments, special pieces, or any new tricks or techniques.

Try sewing from commercial patterns and become the best sewer that you can be. The clothes you make from patterns should look like you bought them in the store. (fashion schools ALL require the student to be able to sew, some will take an accomplished seamstress with few sketches and lots of completed clothes over someone with a thousand drawings. and no clothes. When you sew with patterns try to make each piece unique and add touches of your own personality. As you progress you will discover that you are naturally attracted to certain colors, certain motifs, etc, this is your person artistic style developing. This is a good thing, everyone needs a personal artistic vision and personal artistic style, even fashion designers. You might find you put turtles on everything, or maybe flowers…that’s part of your style. (I put mushrooms on everything and my favourite print is almost always paisley)

Develop a love for fibers and fabrics, all textiles, clothes, sewing and the creative process that goes into creating the clothes. Develop a love for all things hand crafted and hand made. Try other crafts along side sewing and clothing, such as knitting, beading, applique, patchworking and quilting, fabric embellishments and hand embroidery. All these can be used on clothes to make them special

And that’s what you can do at your age. That’s how many of the designers I have met started. If you read designer biographies most will say that they started at about 12-14 making crafts and clothes and discovered that they loved doing it and they just kept doing it until it became their career.

That’s what you need to do at your age.

What is a good embroidery (monogramming) machine?

January 2nd, 2013 2 comments

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. 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.

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

Sewing Machines?

December 29th, 2012 2 comments

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. 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. puts 5 different fonts on sale each week for $3 for all 5 sets.">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.