Crafts: Recommended Equipment for Machine Embroidery

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This is the next in my series of recommended equipment lists and this concentrates on the equipment I would recommend to a machine embroidery beginner. As a fashion and textile designer I often have to produce work using freehand machine embroidery techniques. This is my must have equipment list, some of the items have appeared in other guides I have written so I apologise for any duplication.

  1. Small scissors – For snipping thread ends without damaging your work.
  2. Dress Making scissors – For cutting your main fabrics and remember to keep these in a piece of cloth, so that they avoid rusting.
  3. Embroidery hoop – wooden or plastic is fine. Always put what you are working on in a frame which is large enough to fit under the machine and move around whilst you are working on your design.
  4. Pins – Pins are essential to hold fabrics in place while you work. Just be careful that you take these out before you sew over them!
  5. Stitch unpicker/ripper – An essential for any mistakes, as you can get into tight corners and carefully undo mistakes!
  6. Hand sewing Needles – I always have a variety of sizes in stock.
  7. Spare sewing machine needles – I always keep a spare box of basic needles and some with more specialised tips for example stretch fabrics, or leather. You probably are best to start with the basics and see how you go from there.
  8. A scrap of fabric – I always test my stitches on a scrap piece of fabric before I start, just to make sure my machine tensions are correct. I usually use a simple cotton, or piece of calico. I don’t recommend synthetics or sheers, as these are too delicate to get a feel for the machine.
  9. Spare bobbin cases (the thread holder for the bottom thread of your stitch seam) – Just in case I need to change my colour threads in a hurry and don’t want to roll off new bobbin.
  10. Bondaweb (or fusible interfacing) – this can sometimes be useful to hold fabrics in place if you are missing or not confident with your pinning.
  11. White and Black cotton reels – these are you basic colour threads, which you will probably use more often especially when practising a new seam or technique.
  12. Note pad & pen – I always keep a notepad and pen with my work, just in case I am running low on something I can write the correct codes for colour threads, etc.

Always remember to have an iron and ironing board set up, you will need to lightly press pieces as you go. This will help your work look more professional and well finished.

I hope this helps… Sara's Texture Crafts.

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