What is Automatic Threading?
Automatic threading is available on many sewing machines these days. It is where the machine automatically threads the needle for you, rather than you, doing it yourself. This can save time, for someone who does a lot of sewing and changes thread regularly. Of course different brands of sewing machine will auto thread in a different manner, as having different technology and style, but you’ll get the idea.
What is the Difference Between an Electric and Computerized Sewing Machine?
- A basic electric sewing machine has a motor that drives the needle and other moving parts of the sewing machine. They usually have a range of speeds and use a foot pedal that sits on the floor, as an accelerator to make the machine go faster or slower pretty much like the accelerator on your car.
- A computerized sewing machine is controlled by a computer chip that adjusts the settings on the sewing machine – including the tension, the stitch type and stitch size. These machines are operated using a touch pad screen and can store hundreds of different stitches as well as memorizing past sewing work. You are also able to download more stitches and programs for your sewing machine from the internet, via your computer.
What is Free Embroidery Machine ?
Free machine embroidery is the process of creating embroidery using an ordinary zigzag sewing machine and fabric in an ordinary embroidery hoop. Free machine embroidery is, with practice, fun and easy, and does not require the purchase of an expensive computerized embroidery sewing machine. It’s called “free” because the hoop is controlled freely by hand rather than being fixed to the machine.
What Do I Need to Get Started at Free Embroidery Machine?
- A zigzag sewing machine with a drop-feed control. (In other words, you have to be able to lower the feed dogs so they don’t try to feed the fabric.) It’s nice if you can vary the width of your zigzag stitches too.
- An embroidery foot or needle with embroidery spring. An embroidery foot helps by holding the fabric down against the throat plate while nevertheless being minimal – it lets you see what you’re doing because it has very little surface area. You can alternatively get a needle that has a kind of spring built into it, and the spring holds the fabric in place. These can be nice in that they’re even more minimal than an embroidery foot, but they’re also relatively expensive and if it breaks you have to replace the whole thing instead of using an ordinary cheap needle with the special embroidery foot. If you use the needle with spring, you don’t use a while you embroider.
- An embroidery hoop. There are two primary kinds of embroidery hoops on the market. The old-fashioned kind, usually made of wood, has an outer ring and an innter ring. You loosen the outer ring, separate the rings, place the fabric over the inner ring, place the outer ring over the fabric, tighten the outer ring, and pull the fabric tight in the hoop. With the modern type hoop, you squeeze a pair of handles on the inner ring to remove it, place the fabric over the outer ring, place the inner ring (still squeezed) into place and release the handles. The more modern hoop is faster and easier. The old-fashioned hoop provides better tension on the fabric.
- Stabilizer. This helps prevent puckering and slipping while you’re embroidering. There are a variety of types out there. Some are papery and are torn away from the embroidery when you’re done. Only use that on the back side of the embroidery, as it’s almost impossible to get it all off. Others are also papery and also tear away but are dissolvable in cold water, leaving only a few easy-to-remove fibers in the embroidery. Your authors like this type of stabilizer. There is also a transparent plastic-like stabilizer which dissolves completely in water. Your authors have this but haven’t tried it yet, but hear it’s very nice. It’s expensive though.
- Fabric… of course. Make sure that your embroidery hoop fits on the piece you’re going to embroider on. If the piece is to be small, you may want to embroider before cutting the piece from the fabric.
- Thread. Contrary to popular belief, you can use ordinary polyester all-purpose thread to embroider, but it can weaken the fabric you’re embroidering on. (If you do use polyester, you may want to fuse some interfacing to the back of your embroidery when you’re done.) There is plenty of gorgeous 100% rayon embroidery thread available.
- Thread for the bobbin. This won’t be seen on the surface, so you can use anything you want. Trying to find a way to get rid of that day-glo orange thread you can’t remember why you bought? Stick it in the bobbin when you embroider. Some embroiderers feel that it’s best to use a softer thread (like 100% cotton) in the bobbin so as to reduce the possibility that the bobbin thread will break the embroidery thread, but your authors haven’t had a problem with this to date.
How Do I Prepare The Machine and Fabric for Free Embroidery Machine?
Drop the feed dogs and set the stitch length at zero. (If you can’t set the stitch length at zero, don’t panic, it’s not that important.) Install the fabric in the embroidery hoop (with any stabilizer[s] you intend to use) so that the surface of the fabric is at the *bottom* of the hoop. (Note that if you’re used to embroidering or cross stich by hand, this means you’re putting the fabric in the hoop backwards.) When you place the hoop on the table such that the fabric surface rests on the table, the right side of the fabric should face up. Install the embroidery foot or special embroidery needle with spring on the sewing machine. If you’re using the special needle, remove the presser foot. Place the embroidery hoop in the sewing area. (Some machines can’t lift the presser foot enough to admit some hoops – you may have to remove the presser foot temporarily, position the hoop, and then re-install the presser foot if you’re using one.) Set the sewing machine for a straight stitch. Reduce the upper tension until stitches interlock below the fabric instead of above or inside it.
How Do I Lock The Thread at The Beginning and End of My Embroidery so It Doesn’t Begin to Unravel?
Make several stitches in place to lock the thread.
How Do I Practice Free Embroidery Machine ?
- Using a pen, On a piece of fabric draw several straight lines, a corner, a curve, and a circle. Lock your thread as described above, then set the machine for zigzag stitching. While running the machine, slowly move the hoop so that the machine forms satin stitching up and down some of the straight lines. Move sideways across other straight lines and observe how this line of stitching is different. Follow the curve without turning the hoop (move it ONLY from side to side) and observe how the line formed gets thicker and thinner as you follow the curve.If your bobbin thread is showing through to the upper surface, reduce the upper tension until it doesn’t. Move on to the circle. You’re going to fill the circle in. You fill area by moving the hoop from side to side while the machine runs zigzag stitches, coloring in the area with the side-to-side lines. Watch the color thread being stitched down by the machine. Think of it like a magic-marker – it’s putting down color while you move it (or in this case while you move the fabric under it) but you want to keep moving so it doesn’t put down too much ink (thread) in one place so you don’t form a spot (or in this case a tangle or lump).
- If you notice open areas in your coloring, go back and fill them in. You can get across filled-in areas by moving the hoop quickly so as not to put down too much thread and cause a lump.
- It takes practice to evenly fill an area and to make nice satin stitching, but once you get it right you’ll find it very easy.
What’s a Serger?
- A serger is a sewing-machine-like device that simultaneously trims the fabric with a blade, sews a seam, and finishes the cut edge of the fabric. According to “Sewing Secrets From the Fashion Industry,” such a device can only be considered a serger if it both forms a chain stitch to make the seam and also overlocks the edge – this implies that only five thread sergers are really sergers, and everything else is just an overlocker. Opinions on this matter vary widely.
- Sergers allow you to quickly sew and finish a seam, eliminating the step of going back to overstitch the raw edges or installing bindings or french seams. On the other hand, the process of using a serger limits somewhat the techniques you can use – for example, turning a 90 degree corner or curves is really rather difficult. Comparing a serger to a sewing machine is like comparing a microwave oven to a conventional stove/oven set – yes, you can do things a lot faster, but you have to learn new techniques to do them, and it’s not always the best solution.
My Sewing Machine is Doing Something Wrong! What Do I Do?
Try a different or new needle. Remove all thread from the machine and rethread it from scratch. Open all service panels and clean out all lint. If the manual directs you to oil the machine, do so according to the manufacturer’s instructions using quality sewing machine oil. (Do not use standard household oils or automotive oils. Only sewing machine oil should be used on a sewing machine.) Use a better quality thread. Adjust the thread tension. Hold onto the loose ends of both the upper and bobbin threads as you begin the seam. Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate. Do not run with scissors. Do not play with fire. Where has that finger been?
Do I Need a Serger to Sew?
What Serger Should I Buy?
It’s best to go look at your available choices, try some different models with different features, and decide what you like. The list of manufactures above still stands.
A few things to keep in mind when test driving a serger:
- How Easy Is It to Thread?
Sergers are usually harder to thread than sewing machines, so you want to find out before you buy just how hard it is and if you can live with it. Have the dealer unthread and re-thread the machine for you and then do the same (trust us, dealers have an awful lot of practice with the machines and can make the whole process look much more painless than it actually is until you got the same amount of experience). Also, many times, you have to re-thread the machine to change from say, four-thread mock-safety stitch to two- or three-thread overlock. What if you buy one of the funky new designs with self-threading, you may ask? Make sure that it will auto-thread the threads you’d like to use — many sergers can’t auto-thread wooly nylon or very thick or very thin threads and now the mechanism for auto-threading is right between you and the loopers, making the process even harder. For further considerations regarding auto-threading, also see the section below entitled, “Does it have a free-arm?”
- How Thorough Is the Manual?
Some manuals are very helpful and complete, but we heard of people on the newsgroup complaining that their manual didn’t mention threading the machine — just casually told them to tie the new threads to the old ones and pull them through — and while that works most of the time, if one of the threads breaks you’ll have to begin from scratch.
- What Is Differential Feed and Should I Have It?
The short answer is you probably want differential feed and it usually doesn’t add enough to price to avoid it. Sergers with differential feed have two sets of feed dogs, one right behind the other; the feed dogs can work separately so they either gather the fabric (extremely useful for easing in fullness) or stretch it slightly, producing several interesting effects (such as self-ruffling edges), and helps when you are sewing knits or very light fabrics that tend to misbehave.
- What About Tension Control?
Sergers often use the thread tension to produce different stitches, so for example, the difference between flat-lock and overlock three-thread stitch is often merely how the tension is set. Some designs have auto-tension, which makes it much easier to use, but that’s often twice the price of a standard serger — so make sure that there’s actually something there (a computer, for example) controlling the tensions as opposed to just a LCD telling you to manually adjust the tensions yourself.
- What about specialty stitches?
You often want to do things like rolled hems or, the latest craze in the industry, cover-hem stitches. Some designs make it absolutely easy to do it by, say, just flicking a switch. A lot of sergers, however, make you change the throat plate, which can be more than 20 steps. The thought of stopping one’s sewing, removing screws and changing coverplates just makes your authors give up on the idea — if you have the feature, it should be not only useful, but used. Your mileage may vary.
- Does it have a free-arm?
It seems silly to suggest checking that, but a lot of sergers don’t ofter one. Your authors happen to find a free-arm very useful for finishing tight spots in garments. The problem seems to be that some designs trade a free-arm for some other feature (frequently auto-threading) and you have to balance the advantages and disadvantages of one feature over the other — in our opinion, one threads a serger rather infrequently compared to the number of times you need a free-arm. On the other hand, if you intend to use the serger entirely to finish edges of pieces before sewing (there are people who do this) you may not care. On the other hand (the other hand? That makes three…) there are people who use the serger strictly for the application of decorative threads and want to change the threads often to match every different garment. If that’s your goal, you might consider features that help you to thread the serger more quickly to be more important than a free-arm.
Should I Buy a Toy Sewing Machine for My Child?
- Probably not. Most, if not all, toy sewing machines made today are of very poor quality and will not produce a result of quality acceptable to the child. This may very well discourage the child from actually learning about sewing when they’re ready to.
- Some toy sewing machines may also actually be so poorly made as to be more dangerous than a real sewing machine – remember, a needle is a needle, and if the machine isn’t rigid enough to keep the needle in place, it could snap or come loose and injure the child.
What Brands of Thread are Available, and How Do They Differ?
- Coats & Clark
Coats & Clark thread is very widely available in many colors. Unfortunately many people feel that it’s poor quality thread and not worth using. Your author’s sewing machine won’t even actually sew with it – it just jams up on a huge mess of thread every time your author tries. However, your author used it extensively with a different sewing machine and would have continued to do so (because it’s usually cheap) if he had not purchased a new sewing machine.
Gutermann thread is manufactured in a number of countries around the world by a German company. The thread is thought to be of higher quality than Coats & Clark and many people feel that it’s good all-purpose thread. It comes in very many colors, and several colors are available in very large, very economical spools. Your author has extensive experience with it and uses it most of the time, but notes that it does seem to have regular but minor imperfections. This hasn’t stopped your author from buying it regularly.
- Mettler thread is manufactured in a number of countries around the world by a Swiss company. The thread is widely thought to be of superior quality with practically no imperfections. It comes in many colors and is manufactured of several different materials. Mettler brand 100% cotton thread is widely used in quilting. Mettler 100% polyester thread is sold under the brand name Metrosene. Unfortunately it isn’t as commonly available as other brands, which is why your authors don’t use it almost exclusively. It’s also slightly more expensive than Gutermann.
- Sulky thread is (usually) rayon thread intended for embroidery. It has a shiny finish and generally looks very nice in finished embroidery
- Coats & Clark
Will My Machine Let Me Embroider, on a Vinyl Surface?
- Sewing machines that are equipped with computerized designs and have a considerable level of control over it stitching control, can easily be used on vinyl surfaces, such surfaces are often decorated with various embroidery stitches to make them look appealing and different. You can sew or embroider the vinyl fabric or surface with the help of following simple, yet helpful tips:
- Always use a thin needle that has a fine tip and easily pass through the vinyl surface. You can also find a needle lubricant to lubricate the needle for better and easy sewing.
- Make sure you use a sticky liquid that would let you keep the vinyl in its right position on the platform.
- Don’t try to run your machine fast, and never use a basting stitch on a vinyl due to the fact you’ll have permanent holes in your vinyl. Try using light embroidery stitches and not the dense one.
- You can stitch or embroider a vinyl surface with the help of your sewing machine, if you take care of the above mentioned things.
What is a Presser Foot?
- A Presser Foot is the metal or plastic foot that holds the fabric down on the feed dogs while it is being sewn by the sewing machine. There are many different types of presser feet available that are designed to make doing specific sewing tasks easier.
- When you are looking at buying a sewing machine, unless you are only buying the machine to do simple general repairs, the presser feet that are supplied with the machine is something to be considered. Some cheaper machines only come with a couple of the most basic presser feet, which means that if you have to buy additional presser feet separately, this can increase the price of your machine quite substantially. As individual presser feet can cost anywhere between $5 and $50 each. So, as you can see, adding a couple of presser feet, to the cost of your sewing machine can really bring the overall cost up and this is something that should be considered.
What is a Feed Dog?
The feed dog feeds the fabric under the presser foot while you sew. They are kind of like metal ‘claws’ if you can see, that are directly below the presser foot. They move under the foot and cause the fabric to move forward while being stitched. The feed dog regulates the stitch length by regulating how much fabric passes under the presser foot with each stitch.
How to Deal With Different Styles of Button Holes?
- Once upon a time there was only one way to do a button hole on a sewing machine and it was a process that required you to turn your garment and change your zigzag stitch size several times and for all this work you only got one style of button hole at whatever size you decided to make it.
- Now many sewing machines have various styles of buttonhole and they can often be done with one step.
What is a Free Arm?
A free arm allows you to remove some of the flat sewing bed on your sewing machine leaving a narrower surface, with a space between the sewing machine and the table that allows you to sew around tube type shapes such as sleeves.
What is Zigzag Stitch used for?
- Zigzag stitch can be used for a number of tasks and is very useful on a basic sewing machine. Zigzag stitch can be used to edge seams to prevent the fabric from fraying. Professional and more advanced seamstresses will generally have an over locker that does this job very professionally and even trims any excess fabric. However the zigzag stitch will do the job very well for those who don’t have the luxury of an over locker just by sewing along any cut edges of your fabric with a zigzag stitch.
- Zigzag stitch is also used to make button holes. It is a very tight zigzag that is used, so that with each stitch, the thread sits almost on top of itself and makes a very tidy edge. A buttonhole presser foot must be used, and the zigzag stitch is used to go down one side of the buttonhole then is set at a wider stitch width to go across the top of the button hole. Then the fabric is turned and the narrow zigzag is used to come down the other side of the button hole and then a wider zigzag stitch is used once again at to close up the bottom of the buttonhole.
- Scissors are then used to carefully cut the fabric between the two sides to create the opening (being very careful not to cut your stitching) and the result is a One buttonhole!
Why Does My Machine Skip Stitches or The Thread Becomes Coagulated at the Bottom Side?
This is one the most common issues when people start sewing by using a computerized sewing machine or even the simplest one. Beginners and sometimes the pro also face this kind of issues. The most common cause of thread accumulation and stitch skipping is the wrong threading of your machine. If you have thread your machine through the wrong path or have not placed your thread correctly in its right place, the tension of the thread will be affected and it will not be pulled in, the way it should be. For this you should make sure that you don’t thread your machine carelessly without lifting up the pressor foot. As, if you do so, the tension controlling plates would not open, to accept the thread correctly. While if you make sure the pressor foot is not put down and you have got the machine in its right condition for threading purpose and the thread will get the desired tension and correcting flow to give you uniform, and steady stitches.
How Can I Choose The Right Needle for My Sewing Project:
A needle is a crucial component in any machine, and the way you stitch your fabric highly depend upon the way you choose the right needle.
There are two main things that you will need to determine
- The right size or thickness of the needle with the help of its number
- The tip according to your fabric in process
These two factors are determined on the basis of the weight and type of the fabric that you have to sew.
If you have got a light weight cloth that is not very thick, then you can use a thin needle with a lower number value. While if you have a slightly thicker fabric, then choosing a thick needle with a greater number value would be your best shot.
Though the exact number of the needle that you should choose can be determined with the help of the guide given along your sewing machine or the needle box.
The tip of the needle is also very important. As the needle would be able to enter or pierce through the fabric only, when it has the capability to pass through the fabric easily. Like sharp pointed and thin needles are best to be used for light weight and thin fabrics. While round tip needle with a slightly thicker body would be best for sewing knitted fabrics or jersey cloth.
In addition to it, you can also get specialized needles for various specialized tasks, like stitching a denim piece or sewing a quilt or very thick surfaced cloth.
What is the average Sewing Machine Price?
That really depends on what you’re looking for. Sewing machine prices can vary, It can be under $100 for a basic model or can be of thousands of dollars if you need to buy commercial level machines. However, for the average home user looking for a domestic sewing machine, the average prices would probably be in the vicinity of $200 – $600. You will often find that, more expensive machines have extra gadgets and tools included that you may have to purchase separately with cheaper machines.
Why I Am Unable to Make The Stitch Pattern That I Have Selected Exactly The Way It Has Been Shown?
Most of the beginners who are not familiar with the nuances of the stitching and embroidery tactics, would get into this situation. If you are also in such a situation, you should look for the following settings:
- Check for the threading, if it has been placed correctly
- Secondly, check the length of the stitch. Because most of the stitch pattern requires a minimum to small length to form the exact stitch pattern you need or that has been shown in the manual or your sewing machine panel