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Embroidery tips for a newbie

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Old January 16th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
mommyforhire mommyforhire is offline
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Default Embroidery tips for a newbie

I just recently purchased a brother 620 machine. I am trying to familiarize myself with it and also get any tips of the trade. My husband and I are doing this together and trying to find a way for me to stay home with our 4 kids...how can I make this machine work for me? Any information for a newbie would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 10:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
SunEmbroidery SunEmbroidery is offline
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Default Re: Embroidery tips for a newbie

Do you know what type of items you want to embroider? If you have a niche you can charge a lot more. I would get subscriptions (free) to Stitches and Impressions magazines. These journals contain lots of helpful articles.

http://www.impressionsmag.com/impressions/index.shtml

http://www.asipublications.com/Stitches/

If you can attend a trade show that would be great:

http://www.issshows.com/

http://thenbmshow.com/
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Old February 1st, 2011, 09:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
Dru Dru is offline
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Default Re: Embroidery tips for a newbie

These are a few of the TIPS FROM DRU'S SEWING SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS...

1. Use CUT-AWAY stabilizer on the wrong side of any knits or stretchy fabrics
2. Use TEAR-AWAY stabilizer on the wrong side of woven fabrics.
3. Use pointy, sharp, standard needles for woven fabrics.
4. Use ball-point needles for knits.
5. Use Aqua-Magic or water-soluable stabilizers on the TOP surface of any velvet, velour, terry-cloth, fleece, or deep-pile fabric...any time you want the stitches to sit ON TOP of the fabric instead of getting buried in the deep pile. When you're done sewing simply spray it with water or wipe it with a wet clean washcloth, and it melts like cotton candy...and waa-laa, you'll have a super looking professional design.
6. Use the SMALLEST hoop possible to get the job done...if you're sewing a small design, pick a small hoop to ensure fabric stability and prevent shifting.
7. Don't grit your teeth and stretch the fabric onto your hoop to make it like a drum. This will lead to a puckered mess when you go to un-hoop your design...instead smooth the fabric and stabilizer across your bottom hoop frame, ease your inner hoop in and gently pull out any sags or wrinkles, tighten your outer hoop, and then push your inner hoop a tad further into the outer frame to give your fabric a smooth and relaxed spread in the hoop.
8. Change your needles any time you feel a burr on the tip or shaft.
9. Use lubricated monofilament polyester thread for your bobbin...white for your lighter embroidery thread colors and black for your medium to dark embroidery colors.
10. If you buy a software system, try to stay away from PE Basic...it only reads PES versions 1 through 4, and lately most modern or up to date digitizers and designers write their PES designs in V5 or V6. If you already HAVE PE Basic, download the Wilcom Resizer program for free from the Wilcom site. Open your V5-V6 designs, and then resave it as a PES file. Wilcom will "dummy it down" to V4, and then your software &/or machine can read it.
11. Oil your machine every 4 hours of embroidery sewing time. (unless it is a self-lubricating model) If 4 hours of sew-time isn't up, and your machine is making a clackity-clack (metal smacking on metal) sound, it's time.
12. Pop off your throat-plate and brush out the fuzzies every 4 hours of sewing time, otherwise you'll be sewing dust-bunnies into your designs, which is very bad form.
13. If you catch the fever to download every free design from every free embroidery forum, be very careful. There are some weirdos out there that load viruses into their work just to be malicious. Most sites will have a thread recommending who to stay away from and all their alias names. There are a number of us ditizers and designers who are very giving and honest, but unfortunately the crack-pots spoil the fun of sharing freebies.
14. Although polyester thread is LESS bright and shiney and pretty than others, it is the strongest. You will have the BEST luck with POLYESTER...it breaks less easily, it fades less easily, and doesn't bleed in the wash making it more laundry-proof, and it is a little more wear-resistant and kid-proof. Don't buy a huge collection of giant spools...thread actually goes bad if you keep it a long time. If you suddenly have a certain color that keeps breaking, it's time to give it the boot.
15. Once you get good, don't be afraid to take pride in your work and charge clients appropriately. I've had folks say "Geeze, I can get that at Walmart for less"...I say, "go for it, but it won't be made with the same loving quality". (then they buy their junk at Walmart and come crawling back to me complaining how their stuff was shabby) The other thing to remember is that YOU are paying about $7 per spool for your thread, so your prices should reflect it.
16. Once you master the basics of polyester embroidery, get a little crazy...try some of the metallics, holographics, neons, and some of the heat and light sensitive threads. Try not to jump on them right away, because most of them take a special knack. Metallics do better if you have a special needle for them. Be aware that some of the specialty threads don't do well with being repeatedly twisted as they come unwound from their spool. I use one thread that is plastic, and I let the spool fly around on the floor to prevent it from breaking from getting too twisted.
17. Always try to back-up your designs. I had a Dell computer hard-drive fry a few years back...I lost about a hundred thousand designs. I had bought a $68 dog embroidery set (gone), and when I tried to get a replacement from JoAnn's, their answer was "too bad-so sad". Lesson learned. If you don't want to jerk around with disks, you can always save design collections on other computers in your home. Another great way is to simply email them to yourself, and store them in your email files. (I have 4 computers in my home, and I back up my entire collection every month to the computers in my home, plus I make disks every 6 months, AND my Yahoo email file gets quite a little work-out) Since I promise free replacement files to my clients, you can bet I back up everything.
18. ALWAYS do a test-sew, especially if you are sewing it on an important garment that you cannot replace.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 02:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
Robert Young Robert Young is offline
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Default Re: Embroidery tips for a newbie

Awesome advice DRU! Thank you for posting such an important list.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 12:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
Gilligan Gilligan is offline
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Default Re: Embroidery tips for a newbie

Bumping this back up as I also just got into the biz and it's a little daunting all the little things.

I have a PR-650 if that helps guide the help to me any.
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