top 10 tips for machine embroidery beginners

When beginning a new hobby of any kind often it will be the first instinct of any person to jump right in and get started, especially with something as fun as machine embroidery. This, of course, can be a great way to learn by doing, but it can also lead to mistakes and confusion.

With machine embroidery, as with any other hobby, not having any understanding of what you’re doing/projects going awry can quickly sour your interest so it is always a good idea to grab some tips before beginning. Here is a list of Sweet Pea’s top 10 tips before starting your first machine embroidery project:

1. Equip yourself

Possibly the most important thing to remember when preparing for your first machine embroidery project is to ensure you have all the equipment you will need to complete the machine embroidery project. You are probably aware that you will need an embroidery machine for machine embroidery, but other less obvious items are much easier to overlook or forget. Nothing is more irritating than getting halfway through a project and realising you don’t have the right machine embroidery needle, stabiliser or fabric to accomplish what you wanted to. Even things like sharp embroidery fabric scissors, though seemingly obvious can be easy to forget. Looking through all the steps of a design before beginning is a great way of getting an idea of what you will need when beginning a machine embroidery project. Here is a list of basic supplies you will need for machine embroidery when beginning.

2. Time time time

Learn to do in the hoop puppy zipper purse 4x4 5x5 6x6 with caption.jpgAllowing yourself plenty of time and reaching realistic goals with your designs is going to go a long way in ensuring you don’t get frustrated or bored with machine embroidery. It is fine to challenge yourself, but don’t find the hardest project you can for your first attempt at machine embroidery and set aside a half hour to get it done or you simply won’t accomplish what you want to. Try a free learn to do in the hoop purse to begin.


3. Read around

There are a lot of blogs out there giving advice on almost every aspect of machine embroidery and there is no better time to do a little bit of research than when you are new to something. That’s not to say you shouldn’t experiment a little but a little structure goes a long way. Sweet Pea has lots of blogs with tips and tricks besides this one with new ones coming out every month. 

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4. Test

Test stitches. I don’t want to harp on too much about test stitches here as they get frequent mentions in other blogs but I cannot stress enough their importance whenever using a new machine, thread, fabric, needle, design, design style or if you are new to embroidery. 

5. Quality

Machine embroidery is just like any other aspect of life in that you get what you pay for. I understand that most people have to work within a budget (I certainly do) but keeping this in mind you can save yourself a lot of irritation for spending a tiny bit more on a better thread for example.


6. Know your limits

Try not to tackle projects too advanced as you are likely to become frustrated and give up. As previously stated it’s important to challenge yourself but take it in increments.


7. Frugality

This may seem like a contradiction after what we said about having the right equipment and ensuring you are aiming for quality, but it is important to balance this with cost. Think about spending the right money on the right things in the beginning. Start with a small stash of fabric and a machine that is within your means.


8. Socialise

Share your hobby with others and get involved in a community! No one is going to appreciate your designs as much as other friendly enthusiasts so get involved with a Facebook community like the Sweet Pea page.  Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 11.36.22 am


9. Vary it

You should start off creating a number of different kinds of designs at least early on so you can try to master everything. If you find one you really like you can focus on this but in the beginning, it is important to branch out and experiment, most importantly have fun and enjoy the projects you are working on.


10. Make sure it’s fun

One of the most important things to remember is that if this is a hobby for you, it needs to be fun. Have fun and don’t stress, mistakes happen and they are easy to fix so try not to get frustrated. Machine embroidery is very addictive and once you start you'll never want to go back, so enjoy every second with your embroidery machine!
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