Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Learning Curve

 I'm working on some more designs on my embroidery machine.  Because I got the machine used, it didn't come with lessons so I'm having to learn a lot by trial and error.  I'm sure there are some YouTube videos out there, but I find that I usually learn best by doing (and making my own mistakes).

I've been embroidering hats for my son's robotics team and putting the hat in the hoop.  They have been working really well, but if it messes up, I've lost a hat.  I've lost about 5 hats so far trying different things and was getting pretty frustrated with having to throw the hat away.

So, I thought I'd try other ways of making the hats.  These two superhero hats I sewed the design onto heavy stabilizer and then sewed the patches to the hats.

Great, except the Batman one is a bit crooked.
 So then I decided to try some Pokemon guys.  The first one, the bobbin thread messed up and I tell you, if you aren't watching, it will keep going and then you have a mess.  I decided the Pikachu was too big, so shrunk the design and now the stitching is too dense.  I am using SewWhatPro (which I LOVE) and they have put a new feature in that it is supposed to change the density of stitching when you change the size.  Well, it didn't work on these two little guys.
Finally, a successful Pikachu.  Not sure where he is going just yet, but maybe my son's backpack?
Then, I thought there has to be a better way to embroider onto the hats.  So, I put water soluble stabilizer in the hoop and put the hat under the hoop.  Then I put a piece of thin stabilizer under that.  It worked!  The water soluble stabilizer will wash out and I'm left with a design stitched onto the hat and it is much easier to get everything set up.

Here's a Princess Peach hat I'm making for my son's class auction.  His teacher gives out tickets for good behavior and doing homework and about once a month, they have an auction.  Last month, he bought lunch with the teacher for about 150 tickets :)

So, now I'm not feeling so bad about the things I'm having to throw away.  I paid about half price for my used Brother pe770 and that money can buy a lot of extra stabilizer and hats.


Needled Mom said...

It is a learning curve!!! If you are making patches to sew on the caps you might try using stabilizer with a netting material on top of it. It makes a nice firm patch to attach to the caps. I also glue my patch onto the cap before sewing it in place.

SewCalGal said...

I do enjoy machine embroidery and can confirm stitching on knits is a challenging experience. I've not yet tackled a knitted hat, but your post inspires me so I'll give it a try.

But, I will share that I've had better luck not hooping the knit but using a sticky back stablizer in the hoop, scoring it and using the tacky adhesive stablizer to place the knit item on (vs in the hoop). Not sure how this would work on hats, but for babie onesides, scarves and other items it has been better (and easier) than trying to stitch it out in the hoop.