Embroidery can add a creative and decorative touch to any project, and it’s an easy craft to take on for beginners. Much of this craft is done with a Brother sewing machine, an easy to use, reliable machine specifically designed for those just learning to sew. If you have a Brother sewing machine and are looking to learn how to do embroidery with it, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Threading the Machine
Threading a Brother sewing machine is relatively straightforward. Begin by turning the hand wheel to the right until the needle is in its highest point. Then, take the thread spool and slip it over the spool pin. Take out the end of the thread and pass it through the thread guide located near the spool pin. After that, loop the thread through the first thread guide and then the second, in the same direction as the arrow on the guide.
You will then bring the thread through the eye of the needle from the top portion of the machine. To be certain everything is working properly, you will want to pull the thread up to ensure a strong tension.
2. Changing the Needles
When embroidering with a Brother sewing machine, it is important to change the needle after each project. This is to make sure that the needle is not dull or becomes crooked, which can affect the quality of the embroidery. Always use a 90/14 universal needle to ensure a good stitch for any type of embroidery. To change the needle, loosen the needle clamp screw located at the top of the machine. Take the old needle out and insert a new one, ensuring it is the correct type of needle.
3. Selecting the Right Stitches
You will then want to select a stitch for your embroidery. The key here is picking a stitch that is loose enough for simple and straightforward embroidery. A straight stitch is always a good option for this, and it can be used for leaves, petals and most other shapes. The zigzag stitch is also a popular choice; it’s a great stitch to use for filling in patterned designs with colours and texture. You can also use decorative stitches, the overlock stitch, the blanket stitch and the appliqué stitch.
4. Choosing the Right Design
Once you’ve selected the right stitch, you will want to pick the right design and fabric to embroider. The design you choose should be intricate and detailed enough that it will be eye-catching once complete. When it comes to fabric, the trickiest part is adding stabilizer, which prevents the fabric from becoming stretched or distorted when you’re embroidering it. For Brother sewing machines, use a tear-away stabilizer for best results.
5. Cleaning and Maintenance
Making sure your Brother sewing machine is properly maintained will ensure it lasts for years and years to come. Clean the lint from around the feed dog teeth, thread guides and bobbin area. Then, spray the throat plate with a lubricant to avoid rust. Regularly check all screws, belts and other components to make sure they are not loose or damaged. Occasionally, you may need to replace the needle and adjustable pressure foot if they become worn.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have your machine set up, it’s time to practice. Embroidery takes time and patience, and it will take a few tries to get the hang of the technique. Start with simple patterns and designs and work up from there. If you have a pattern you’d like to follow, transfer it onto the fabric before starting on the embroidery. As you become more confident with operating the machine, you can switch to patterns with more complexity.
7. Finishing Touches
When you are finished with the embroidery project, you can complete the look by adding extra embellishments to your design. Ribbons, buttons and beads are all popular and easy additions that can really make a project stand out. Iron-on transfers such as hand-stitched images, geometric shapes or nature-themed stained glass designs are also a great decorative element.
8. Tips for Tensioning
When embroidering with a Brother sewing machine, tension is essential for successful results. Having the machines properly threaded and tensioned will ensure strong, consistent stitches. Begin by loosening the upper tension setting slightly and checking the bobbin thread. If the bobbin thread is not visible on the top side of the fabric, you will need to increase the upper tension. Conversely, if there is too much bobbin thread on the top side, the upper tension will need to be decreased.
9. Customizing Designs
One of the advantages of using a Brother sewing machine for embroidery is the opportunity to customize designs. If you have an idea for a unique project, you can create it with your machine. There are several ways to customize designs with your Brother sewing machine, such as creating combination stitches, adjusting stitch settings and playing with the speed of the machine.
10. Choosing the Right Thread
When it comes to embroidery, the right thread is just as important as the right fabric and design. You want the thread to match your design and enhance the look of the finished project. For Brother sewing machines, use a No. 80 Cordonnet thread for lightweight fabrics and a No. 40/2 thread for thicker fabrics (such as denim). Silk and rayon threads are best for a smooth finish, while polyester and cotton threads are good for a more textured finish.
11. Using Transfer Patterns
Transfer patterns are perfect for beginner embroiderers who want to be certain their embroidery looks perfect. These are adhesive-backed paper designs that can be ironed onto the fabric. They are great for projects such as quilting and appliqué and can be a great starting off point for more elaborate designs.
12. Learn More Complex Patterns
Once you get the hang of the basics, you can start looking into more complex designs and techniques. Split-stitch embroidery is a great way to get started with more complicated patterns; it’s a form of line-work embroidery that creates a clean-cut, intricate look. You can also experiment with French knots, buttonholes, satin stitch and free-motion embroidery.
13. Home Decor Applications
You can also use your Brother sewing machine and embroidery skills to make stunning home décor. Embroidered tablecloths, pillows and curtains are easy projects for beginner embroiderers that can give any room a creative and personal touch. You can also use embroidery to make beautiful wall hangings, rugs, books and albums.
14. Taking it on the Road
As you become more experienced with embroidery, you may want to take it on the road. When this happens, investing in an embroidery machine travel bag is a great idea. This will help keep your machine safe and secure in transit. The bag will also make it easy to transport the machine to wherever your embroidery projects take you.
15. Making the Most of Technology
The Brother sewing machine is a great tool for hand embroidery, but the use of technology can also make embroidery easier. For instance, there are a number of software programs available that enable you to design patterns from scratch, create detailed 3D effects and simulate complex embroidery stitches. There’s also a range of free embroidery pattern websites that offer thousands of free designs.
16. Financing Possibilities
If you’re interested in purchasing a Brother sewing machine and you’re having trouble finding the money, there are financing possibilities. Brother sewing machine financing plans give you the opportunity to purchase a machine without having to pay all the money upfront. You can also find used or refurbished machines at a fraction of the original cost.
17. Get Creative with Colours
When it comes to embroidery, choosing the right colours is essential for creating a stunning finished product. To make the most of colours, use a combination of shades and textures for a multi-dimensional look. For 3 dimensional effects, choose complementary hues of the same colour; for a subtler look use tones of black and white. And never be afraid to go bold and experiment with bright colours.
18. Take Advantage of Special Promotions
When it comes to buying supplies or accessories for embroidery, always keep an eye out for special discounts and promotions. Most fabric and hobby stores have regular sales and discounts throughout the year, and many online companies offer free shipping. Taking advantage of these promotions can help you save a lot of money in the long run.