How To Embroider With A Sewing Machine? Find Out Here!

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Last Updated on 20 February, 2021 by Shine

Our Guide To Embroidery With a Regular Sewing Machine

If you have a regular sewing machine and want to try out some embroidery, but you are wondering how to do it without a proper embroidery machine, you are in the right place.

Embroidery is a great way to decorate fabric and make it unique, special embroidery sewing machines are usually used for this style of sewing but you can perform this kind of sewing with a regular machine too by using different tensions, marker pens and more. 

We have gone into some detailed steps below about how to embroider with a sewing machine to help you out if it is your first time.

So without further ado, let's get into it!

What Is Embroidery?

So before we get started on how to embroider with your sewing machine, let us reach an understanding of what embroidery is.

Embroidery refers to the process of decorating with thread and a needle, this can be done in numerous styles with feathers or beads too and is seen on numerous different materials such as jeans, blankets or bags.

You can use embroidery to also make products unique and personalised with your patterns.

What Do I Need To Embroider With a Sewing Machine?

Now we understand what embroidery is and that we can achieve it on a regular sewing machine, let's make sure you have all the essential tools needed to stitch embroidery successfully.

  • A piece of fabric.
  • An embroidery needle.
  • Embroidery hoop.
  • A fabric marker pen.
  • Scissors.
  • Tweezers.
  • Embroidery thread.
  • A foot such as free motion embroidery foot.

Steps To Embroider With a Sewing Machine

After making sure you have all the equipment needed for your embroidery, have your design in mind and follow the steps below to understand how you can embroider your fabric with a regular sewing machine.

Step One

First of all, lower the feed dogs (metal gears) on your machine so as you can have free motion and total control when sewing, you can figure out how to do this by looking at your sewing machines manual.

Step Two

You should begin with a full twisted bobbin thread before starting your embroidery, this will stop you from running out of thread halfway through your sewing.

Step Three

If you have a foot, once your bobbin is set you can add a darning foot to your presser foot, this will give better visibility while you embroider and help you do a better stitch.

If you don't want to use a darning foot just remove your presser foot at this stage instead.

Step Four

Now its time to thread your embroidery thread through your bobbin and embroidery needle, make sure your embroidery needle is of the correct size and thickness according to the fabric you are planning to stitch on.

Too small of a needle and too large of fabric can create skipped stitches and make it more difficult to handle with your sewing machine.

Step Five

For this step, you should decrease the top tension on your machine to make sure the bobbin is not visible on the right side of your fabric.

You can also use a stabiliser if you have one, a stabiliser will be a big help if you are planning to embroider slippery fabrics as it can keep them in place rather than the gathering up under your machine.

Just snip off a section of your stabiliser and place it under your piece of fabric where you want to embroider.

Step Six

If you are using a marker pen to add design to your fabric you can do at this point.

At this stage, you should additionally attach your embroidery hoop as this will help move your fabric along while it's being sewn as well as keeping it tight and formed without it getting crumpled under the machine.

Step Seven

Release the bolt and folder the fabric for the embroidery hoop in between the two sides, make sure your embroidery design is placed smack bang in the centre.

You can also tighten the screw at this stage to secure the fabric and make it easier for sewing.

Step Eight

Now you can begin sewing, simply ensure your fabric is beneath the sewing needle and secure the hoop as you start to sew some stitches, use the hoop to guide your free-motion sewing and always keep at a slow speed to avoid any accidents.

What's The Best Way To Embroider Letters?

For embroidering letters on your fabric you should choose thick fonts and either draw it with a marker onto your fabric as we mentioned above or print a template from the internet.

You can also use the tissue method which involves you writing down the letters on to tissue, stitching the tissue onto the garment then tearing away the excess to reveal a guide for stitching your letters.

How To Fix Embroidery Mistakes

Making mistakes when embroidering with your sewing machine is very common and can occur easily, luckily most of these mistakes are very fixable with a few of our favourite tricks below.

Sew From The Inside

If you work from the inside out on your fabric this can make it much easier to fix mistakes if they happen as you will be able to easily remove the threads you have stitched without harming the material layer below.

Use a Seam Ripper

Use a seam ripper to cut the stitches down the centre and avoid cutting the fabric below, then use a tweezer to pick out any threads left and repeat the steps until all the embroidery is gone.

Try a Stitch Eraser

A stitch eraser is almost like a clipper and can be used to take stitches out of your fabric, this can be bought in sewing shops and is great for removing professional embroidery logos etc.

Extract Thread

If any small bits of thread won't budge after removal you could try extracting the last of the thread with tape and tweezers as we mentioned above.

Cleanse Your Fabric

For the pesky thread that keeps sticking to your fabric, we recommend washing and ironing it after taking off the embroidery for a fresh and clean start.

Best Tips For Embroidery With a Sewing Machine

If it is your first time attempting embroidery with a sewing machine then you might be a little nervous and overwhelmed, so we have put together a small list of some few essential tips for embroidery sewing to help you out.

  • Use basic stitching patterns for embroidery, to begin with so as you can get the hang of how your machine works and try more complicated patterns as you progress. A basic stitch pattern to try is called tatami.
  • Keep space around you when embroidering and try not to let the area around your machine become cluttered and overwhelming.
  • Start with a simple embroidery project that only needs basic stitches and isn't too complicated, big complicated projects can be discouraging for beginners.

Frequently Asked Questions About Embroidery On a Sewing Machine

What is an embroidery hoop?

An embroidery hoop refers to a circular frame which adds to your fabric and tightens it, keeping it stable while your design sits in the centre and allows you to move the fabric with better stability.

Is there a difference between an embroidery sewing machine and a regular one?

Embroidery sewing machines allow for embroidery stitching and focus on making patterns and decorative stitching rather than construction stitches on a regular sewing machine.

Embroidery sewing models tend to have a round presser foot with a hoop rather than a square presser foot too for creating these complicated patterns.

What is the price of an embroidery sewing machine?

This depends on the brand and the quality of the model you buy, but embroidery sewing machines can cost between a range of £200-£400 and above, with the latter price end involving higher-end brands such as Brother.

Should I buy computerized embroidery?

Computerized embroidery is done by computerised sewing machines and allows you to select different patterns and shapes from within the sewing machine, making the embroidery process much simpler.

Final Words

To round up our article, embroidery can be done easily on a regular sewing machine as long as you make sure you have the correct tools such as an embroidery hoop and you go at a slow speed for the ultimate control.

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Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.
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