How to Use an Embroidery Sewing Machine

By Diane Todd
Today’s machine can do considerably more than your basic six stitches.

The average household sewing machine has come a long way since the days when our mothers clipped and traded dress patterns from women’s magazines. Equally as encouraging to crafting enthusiasts is the fact that prices of the machines are coming down. Modern sewing machines are capable of not only a multitude of complicated stitches but also embroidery.

Perfect Personalization

Many embroidery-equipped sewing machines are capable of stitching a variety of letters and numbers quickly and easily. This feature allows the seamstress to instantly add personalization to handmade or store-bought items. Adding a child’s name to clothing offers an element of pride and whimsy. It can also keep children from confusing their garments with similar garments belonging to other children. A personalized gift tells the recipient that this article was made especially for them -- it isn’t a hand-me-down or a regift. It makes the gesture more thoughtful and personal.

Tailor to the Wearer

Using your embroidery sewing machine to add flair to your creations can take a basic or boring item and make it extraordinary. Take a simple child’s plain white t-shirt. Select a design that the child loves or features a favorite hobby -- a horse, for example. Next, select embroidery thread of the child’s favorite color. In minutes, you have changed the t-shirt from a dime-a-dozen to one-in-a-million. Many machines offer the option to upload images from your Mac or PC. The images can come from programs designed for machine embroidery or programs that allow you to create your own embroidery design. With the use of a USB cable, you can create your own logo or art work to feature on your items.

A Stitch for All Seasons

Embroidered mistletoe helps you prepare for Christmas

Crafters can use their embroidery sewing machine to update traditional designs to go along with the seasons. For example, a four pack of kitchen towels can be transformed for multiple uses over time. You can add embroidered autumn leaves to one, a snowman to the second, spring flowers to the third and summer flip flops to the fourth. Canned-good gifts can feature a cute symbol to mark the occasion or holiday. These elegant upgrades can be completed quickly and inexpensively, with the press of a button.

Care and Maintenance

An embroidery sewing machine is as easy to care for as a traditional sewing machine. Clean the machine and add oil after big or time-consuming projects. Replacement parts are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, when compared to industrial embroidery machines. Always be sure to use the correct weight in needles, thread and stabilizer in order to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on any one region at a given time. Replace your needles periodically (when needed, depending on usage) and keep your machine covered when not in use.

About the Author

Diane Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from North Carolina State University and is a former video and web producer for a North Carolina multimedia agency. She also spent several years as a media specialist/graphics designer for the Cumberland County school system in Fayetteville, N.C.