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Tips for Embroidery Sewing Using a Regular Sewing Machine

Embroidery can be done on any sewing machine with zig zag functions.

Machine Embroidery. Image courtesy of Commons.wikimedia.org, User Ryj through a Creative commons license.

Machine Embroidery. Image courtesy of Commons.wikimedia.org, User Ryj through a Creative commons license.

Tips for doing machine embroidery on a standard sewing machine

  • Lower the feed dogs. Use the owner's manual and find out how to lower the feed dogs. Some machines will have a special darning plate to actually cover up the feed dogs. By covering up or lowering the feed dogs, you'll have free movement during sewing, and you'll guide the sewing rather than the machine pulling and moving the fabric for you.
  • Use embroidery thread. Using rayon embroidery thread will not only look great on the finished garment, but will provide strength to the garment as well. Other threads can also be used, such as cotton or polyester, if rayon is not available.
  • Any thread can be used in the bobbin, but make sure it is a full one to begin with. This is a great way to use up thread in colors that are not going to be used for anything else. Also, when using up thread for bobbins, always use fully wound bobbin thread for machine embroidery. You don't want to be in the middle of the embroidery project only to find out that the bobbin is completely embty.
  • Use a stabilizer if necessary. There are many different styles that can be used, such as those that tear away around the embroidered area, those that dissolve when it is washed in water, and those that can be trimmed around the embroidered area when stitching is finished. Stabilizers are very useful for slippery fabrics or thin fabrics that tend to pucker up when embroidered.
  • Use an embroidery hoop. As basic as it sounds, an embroidery hoop needs to be used for machine embroidery. Just pulling and moving the fabric from side-to-side and along curves by hand will not have the same effect. The embroidery hoop help keeps the fabric taught, smooth and the hoop will make it much easier to move the garment as it being sewn.

Video on using a regular sewing machine for embroidery work


Ruby Shelton (author) from California, USA on June 22, 2013:

Thanks #keepyouinstitches!

Erica J from Seattle, WA on June 14, 2013:

Perfecting embroidery in this method takes a truly artistic eye and hand to master. Kudos for the informative article