Sunday, February 7, 2016

It's a Matter of Fixing Mistakes When Sewing Machine Embroidery Projects!

Fixing Machine Embroidery mistakes!

Yes, I have been playing and learning more about my Embroidery Machine.  I promise, there have been several 'mess-ups' and some were beyond repair.   Case-in-point, I have some dish towels hanging in my kitchen that are the left-over-beyond-repair-projects.  They work just fine.....they just look a bit funny.

Yesterday, I was using my machine to embroider a design on a little pull-over for my Grandson.  He loves Minions, Trains, and Angry Birds......which gives me plenty of material to try!

How to Fix Some Mistakes When Using Machine Embroidery!

As I mentioned before, I am still in a learning phase with my Embroidery Machine, mostly because I don't have a tremendous amount of time to focus on it.  I have attended courses and read about embroidering on ready-made pieces of clothing.  I'll be honest, some of it seems like too much time to invest in a little person's garment! So, I purchased a fleece pull-over yesterday from the local membership club.  It made a great blank canvas to try something new.

First, I decided to unpick one side seam to open up the garment. This way I could lay it as flat as possible.  The seam was coming apart so well that I thought I could rip the seam apart.  BIG MISTAKE!!!!  I ended up ripping the fleece!  Luckily it ripped along side of the seam!  I knew I could fix that bit of poor judgement later.

Fixing Machine Embroidery mistakes!

Well, trying to entertain a 4-year-old with Lincoln logs and a Lego Car Wash while attempting this was quite a distraction.  Any errors that I made were not his fault, they are totally mine.  I love his desire to include me in his play.  I ended up having a the Car Wash on my counter as I sewed.

Here is how I began.  I used a 'sticky back' stabilizer that allows me to hoop the stabilizer, score the 'wax paper top' and pull this layer away.  This allows me to carefully place my garment on the 'sticky' layer.  The Fleece was a bit thick to hoop.  I began stitching my design.  As I mentioned, there was a cute distraction nearby, and realized I had uploaded the wrong design!  Initially I removed the hoop and tried to unpick the microscopic stitches.  Then, I decided to upload the correct design and see how much of the error I could cover.  Yes, I know....this is LAZY!  However, I saw it as a way to save my sanity.....and the garment.

Fixing Machine Embroidery mistakes!

Well as luck would have it, many of the 'errors' were being covered by the correct design.

Fixing Machine Embroidery mistakes!

Even when the image was complete, there were still stitches from the 1st (error) design.  See the arrows, they show the remaining errand stitches.

Fixing Machine Embroidery mistakes!

Okay, for round two of my mistake-making.  My little 4-year-old visitor wanted to try the 'Engine'.  (That is his word for my Embroidery Machine as he says it is loud like a Train Engine).  I was letting him use the touch screen to enter his name.  I positioned his name above the embroidery pattern and cued my little visitor to push the 'green go button".  It started stitching nicely....until I ran out of bobbin thread. (Isn't that they way it always goes?).  My little friend ran off to play until I 'fixed it'.  I then discovered that we had put an 'a' instead of an 'e' in the program which would mean that we would be spelling his name wrong.  

Here was my dilemma, if I cancelled the 'pattern', I would lose the correct placement of the letters I had already sewn.  If I let it continue, I would not only have to unpick the wrong letter, but also have to try to line it all up again and insert the correct letter.  (Didn't I tell you this was a series of errors?).  I finally decided to try to 'skip' the error letter by cuing my machine to move to the next letter in the series.  Do you know what?  It worked!

Now, I had a missing letter.  I deleted the pattern, and just entered 'e'.  I used the arrows on my machine to try to line up the letter to fit where it should.  Initially when I tried to embroider the 'e', it was too low and the horizontal bar of the middle part of the 'e' was where the bottom of the letter should be.  I repositioned and touched the needle in the middle until I found the place where it should go.  Eureka, I worked! An added bonus was that the stitching of the "e" covered my initial lettering mistake. 

I did have to unpick the areas that were not covered. However, the task was much less than it would have been if I had tried to remove the entire stitching error area before adding the correct embroidery pattern.  It only took a few minutes. I always try to unpick from the underside. With a material like fleece, it was easier to see the stitches and remove them.

Fixing Machine Embroidery mistakes!

Next, I had the issue of the torn fleece.  As I noted before, it tore along the seam line.  I used a straight stitch to reestablish the seam.

Fixing Machine Embroidery mistakes!

Then, I serged the edge to make it look as clean as the other edges inside.  So, how was it received? 

Fixing Machine Embroidery mistakes!

"I wove it Nonnie!"  Translation:  "I love it Nonnie" (I am his Grandmother and that is my 'grandma' name).  He almost wore it to bed. He already ate a Tootsie pop (which his Grandpa gave him) and got a few pieces of sucker stuck to it. A true sign that he really loves it.

  • Even with the best plans, mistakes happen.
  • Try to do things like this without a cute distraction!
  • Even errors can be overcome if you catch them soon enough
  • Covering errors with a design is a viable option
  • Skipping part of your design (when in error) is a successful strategy.
  • Using ready-made clothing is so great because you don't have to assemble the garment as well.
  • This has taught me: 1) have PATIENCE (which is often in short supply with these types of tasks), and 2) I can do this again and may try something a little more difficult.
  • Even with the drama, I enjoyed the antics and precious time I had to spend with a cute little 4-year-old Grandson!

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