Tiffanie’s Take: Tips for Embroidering on Knit Fabric

 No one taught me how to machine embroider.  I did not take a class, no lessons whatsoever. I learned from trial and error, and the internet. And many times I have been ready to throw in the towel (literally) and give up. The two readers I have on this blog know about my tyraids with “sewing gone bad”.  I am one of those people who tries once and gives up if I can’t do it right or it turns out looking like the cat got a hold of it.

There are many many tips that I have learned over the past four months on the internet (most of which I learned . . AFTER I made the mistake) . Mostly from other bloggers like Lisa at The Domestic Diva and many others. If I could remember the blog names I would mention them but my brain is a big gooey mess today. So please don’t unsubscribe just because I’m having MBS (Mommy Brain Syndrome) today. And don’t worry I will give you linky love soon.

So, here are a few of my tips for embroidering on knits. Pay close attention. And raise your hand if you have a question. Ready?

1.   Do not hoop your knit fabric.

I have done it.

Don’t do it.

Trust me on this.

Why? because when you take the fabric out of the hoop you get these “hoop marks” that are hard to get out. And knits stretch which can cause the design to come out a tad distorted or even puckered. And when you see that “embroidery gone bad” (cue evil music) you will probably throw the most unlady-like (or unmanly) tantrum. So let’s avoid the tantrum dance . DON’T HOOP KNIT FABRICS!

2. Spray adhesive and Sticky Stabilizer are your friend. Become very acquainted with these tools. They are a must. Knits can be just like a wet two year old in the bath tub. Even if you hooped it (which I just told you not to do) it will move out of place and then your design will be wacky. Want to see an example???  I’m willing to embarrass myself here. I’m laying it all out on the line.

See where the fill doesn’t meet the outline on the moon and some of the stars(the design is by Dakota Collectibles 970341)? Yep it’s the slippery toddler syndrome. You can hold on to them as tight as you can but they are going to slip anyways. Hoop the stabilizer, which by the way should be a no-show stabilizer (the sticky kind or not). If you use the non-sticky, then spray a light film of spray adhesive on the hooped stabilizer and lay or “float” your fabric on top. 

3.  I would recommend that you use a “cut away” stabilizer rather than a “tear away”. Why you ask? Did you raise your hand? Just checking to see if you’ve been paying attention. You do laundry, right?  Those knits are going to be washed a lot. While they are going through the cycles the stabilizer can get caught on a zipper, hook and eye, a pen (check those pockets people!!!),etc and tear. So you are better off with a stabilizer that can not easily be torn.  What would happen if it did tear? Well ummmm I’d imagine that your thread might start to break, fray, or unravel. I wouldn’t know the answer to the question but I would welcome any experienced embroiderers to comment on this.

That’s it for the tips this week. If your like me and can’t focus for too long on any one thing, then I know you can’t handle insanely long post. Keep it short and simple. I’m nice like that. Next week, I will continue with more tips for machine embroidering with knits. So stay tuned!!

That’s my Take!!