Thursday, August 30, 2012

Embroidery Machines: What's Your Take?


Machine embroidery is one of those things I never thought I would be interested in--it seems so fussy and complicated. So many threads! Hoops! Stabilizers! Computer programming! Machines that just sew on their own for hours on end! (Which is kind of creepy, in my opinion.)

But I'll admit that my interest has recently become piqued. I love the look of embroidered fabric, especially with a vintage vibe. I mean, just take this 50s gown embroidered with--wait for it . . . STRAWBERRIES.

Of course, if you wanted to recreate this look, finding a berry-embroidered tulle fabric would be next to impossible. Which is why I find myself suddenly interested in embroidery machines. With the right software and equipment, you could just make your own fabric!

I then found out, through the internet search rabbit hole, that there are machines like the Brother NV5000 (pictured above) that have tons of pre-programmed florals, and yes! STRAWBERRIES. Not that it's in the budget right now, but you know--maybe someday.

The problem is that I really know nothing about the whole machine embroidery world. So, as usual, I turn to you, dear readers. Are any of you into this stuff? Do you embroider your own fabric? Do you have a machine you love? Please tell!

115 comments:

  1. I have mixed feelings. You can do amazing, AMAZING things. And I think some folks get a bit carried away. I've been known to use a friend's machine. OK, I guess my feeling is that it's a great thing to be able to do, that can be taken too far (like most things!). :)

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  2. Hi Gertie, I have a pfaff 2144 sewing /embroidery machine. I had thought I would do wonderful things with it - but to be honest I haven't used it to it's full potential. It came in really useful when my sister wanted her wedding dress train embroidered in blue thread - it was impossible to find the right fabric at the time. But now I mainly use it to add accents to bags or to embroider labels . :)

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  3. I have an embroidery function on my Husqvarna Viking that I thought I would use a lot but haven't. I still love my machine though. Recently I have been more inspired to use it and that dress is gorgeous! Digitizing my own design is more complicated than I had thought it would be. Plus, my hoop size isn't that big so to do yardage for a dress like this would be really time consuming. That said, I do have the fanciest embroidered towels!

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  4. I have an embroidery machine, it's a middle of the road brother. the real issue is that the cheaper the machine is the less functional it is. the crazy expensive ones are so easy to use. Mine is a bit of a compromise. It has a 5x7 hoop and a decent stitch speed as well as a built in computer. Features that would make it much easier to use are built in memory and the ability to line up for a repeat pattern for a pattern that was larger than the hoop. We have apple computers so I couldn't get one of the machines that has to be plugged into a computer because the software is only windows compatible.

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    1. There are Mac compatible programs out there if you look. I have a Brother PE770 and I've thought about getting the program for it. Right now I just use a cheap Windows-based netbook for downloading embroidery patterns, but I just can't stand using it. Try this website: http://www.macemb.com/ I haven't tried them but I've heard good things about them. Also this place has embroidery programs for Mac: http://www.stitchbuddy.de/ Also, some Brother machines only come with the 5x7 hoop but can take an extra-large hoop so you can do the larger designs. You should do a web search and see what you can find. I'm planning to get a larger hoop, since there's a design my daughter desperately wants on a jacket back and it's too big for the 5x7.

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    2. Can you.download. embroidery designsto a USB then.use. it in the machine without using. The computer

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    3. As far as I know u have to download it to the computer then to the USB. If ur buying embroidery designs or digitizing it yourself use the computer. The only way you can do direct USB if you could go to a dealer that sells sewing and embroidery machine because they have a kiosk inside their shop that you might be able just download it directly.

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  5. I have an inexpensive brother sewing and embroidery machine and I've used the embroidery function a handful of times It does pretty great work. I'm not big into embroidery so I didn't need all the bells in whistle. I just wanted be able to embroider something if the mood struck me. I like having the option.

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  6. I have had my Bernina embroidery machine for about a year, and I love it. I use it almost only for kids' and craft things, though (like putting my dog's name on the bed I'm making her). For my time, it's just too much pain to do it large scale on fabric. I have made a top or two with tonal embroidery strategicall placed.

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  7. I actually have an embroidery machine - a Pfaff 7570 - and I've never even pulled the embroidery unit out of the box! Ha, I guess I just prefer the beautiful texture of hand embroidery. My machine isn't quite as sophisticated as some of the newer ones (it was one of the first embroidery machines available to the homer sewer's market - when it was originally released in the early 90s it retailed for like $6500! I think it bears mentioning that I did NOT pay that price for it used lol), but the store I bought it from did some test embroidery so I could see the stitches & it really does a lovely job.

    One thing the embroidery machine is useful for - gifts! You can monogram practically anything & it really adds a nice touch to something that is otherwise plain. My mom bought me a bathrobe & monogrammed an L on it and it makes me feel so fancy when I wear it haha.

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  8. I have a Viking Ruby, but while I bought it with all the best intentions of using the embroidery features, nine months later, I haven’t done much with that part of the functionality.

    A lot of my hesitance has to do with software: there is currently no Mac software on the market (something that is changing soon… there’s one launching in Oct., I think). And, it is REALLY expensive to get the software that allows you to make your own embroideries and what not—as expensive or more than most non-embroidery sewing machines. So, everything that I *want* to do, I can’t, because I have neither the right computer or software (yet). Someday…

    I have used it for some simple monograms and class projects, but that’s about it.

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    1. I'm going to training for the new Mac software in early October!! I'll report on my shop's blog with a full update (greysfabric.com)

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    2. There is software for the Ruby for the Mac

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  9. Hi Gertie, I have one, I wanted it for years and last year I could afforf one. Right now I try to get more advanced with software. It is a world of its own, a lot of stuff to thing and know about. It' s cool little luxury for me ;)
    I got a brother innovis 750.

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  10. I just got a Pfaff Creative 2.0 and I'm loving it. I mean, you can make FREESTANDING LACE! Who'da thunk it?? Pfaff's coming out with new software for Mac and then the fun is really going to start. Yay!

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  11. I had to buy a new sewing machine not really that long again. My mom has always had an embroidery machine so she suggested that I would get one. It is a very basic model that you can transform into an embroidery machine but you can buy loads of preprogrammed cards for it with most amazing designs. My mom has software for it as well, but as I have no immediate plans to design things myself I will do with the cards for now. So far I have only used it once to test out, but I am sure I am going to use it more... I have some ideas already but as I haven't had much sewing time since I have bought the machine, it has to wait...

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  12. The range of stitches that current machines offers is both exciting and a little depressing (I'm a hand-embroidery enthusiast). But what really puts me off investing in a machine is the cost, along with the cost of the software I just don't see myself using it often enough to justify the expense. What I'd really like to find is a place where I could rent time on an embroidery machine (kind of like renting time on a computer at Kinko's)for the occasional project.

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  13. I so thought I'd use mine. I've now had it for eight years, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've used it. I have a Bernina 200E. I spent $10,000 (Yikes!) to get all the bells and whistles, and it was the worst investment I ever could have made. I'm actually passing it on to my daughter this weekend. It's cumbersome to store, time consuming to design a motif (which, I suppose would take less time with practice) and expensive to buy preprogrammed motifs. Normal maintenance is much higher as well. Then you have the cost of thread, stabilizer and so on. As far as normal sewing goes, it has a very wide opening for the embroidery stitches, so if you try to do any delicate sewing, it tends to eat the fabric. Even with a single needle stitch plate.

    Sorry, I don't want to rain on your parade, but I have to be honest.

    If you decide you want to do it, I'd recommend either going with a dedicated professional embroidery machine, or an inexpensive one to test the waters. Or find one on Craigslist. But certainly don't pay retail for one!

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  14. Like many others, I wanted that embroidery machine more than food. I skipped food for a while and bought the machine. Mucho dinero's. when I first got it I used it a lot then less and less. The embroideries are beautiful. They are great for gifts and monogramming. Considering how little I have used it I am figuring each hand towel costs about $45 and the table cloth about %500.00. A luxury, no doubt about it, but since I love sewing doo-dad's of all sorts, books too, I will keep it and use it now and then. But that's just me. I have been reading your book since it arrived last week. Good work!

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  15. I have a Brother Innovis 900D - that I use all the time.

    but...I have children and friends with children...so I do lots for them and my family!

    I love having the option to do this type of embroidery. I also love to smock and hand embroider clothes as well.

    My machine converts easily between embroidery and regular sewing work. I also have my older machines to use while the other is embroidering.

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  16. I got the first Brother machine in the early 90's when my daughter was born. It was $2950. I bought lots of design cartridges, a scanner so I could make my own, and tons of thread and stabilizer. I made lovely things for her. Until she was 5. After that, not so much.

    Right this second I'm using it as a door stop in the basement. It needs service. The good news for this machine is that it is all metal inside, rather than plastic. However, the repair will probably be as much as buying a new one in Walmart.

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  17. Hiya! I have a Babylock Sofia, relatively cheap as Babylocks go, with embroidery features. I pretty much never use the pre-programmed embroidery patterns, but I do create my own quite a bit. The frustrating part of that is that the best software is so darned expensive. There are at least two different free software kits, but StitchEraUniversal (the free version) is a bit tricky to download (I had to have my husband do it I got so frustrated), and they both have pretty steep learning curves. Nonetheless, I embroidered inside my wedding gown and several cute baby clothes projects. I've also used it to make non-standard sized button holes (such as for a waist stay coming through a lining in a strapless dress). Pretty great to have the functionality.

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  18. I know next to nothing about machine embroidery, but have to comment anyway just to say I love the tulle/strawberry dress in the picture. How awesome would it be to have a dress like that as a wedding dress?

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  19. I adore machine embroidery, and I actually have the Isidore Innovis 5000. It's a wonderful machine and I LOVE it. That said, UPS just delivered Brother's new Dreamweaver XE VM6200D about 20 minutes ago. I haven't taken it out of the box yet (I'm letting the excitement build) and am positive that I'll love it just as much - if not more than my Innovis 5000. Embroidery is fun once you find the right project to motivate you to try it. If you're embroidering with abandon or no purpose, it will seem silly and pointless. However, you've already found a purpose, so you're half-way there!
    I am going to be the first to teach embroidery classes at one of the national machine quilting shows next year, and I'm elated! If you decide to take the plunge, I will certainly help you as much as possible. :O)

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  20. Oh - the one thing I have ever been envious of! I have a few friends that have them and have wanted one for years now. They are just so expensive and I have so little room. Love the overall embroidered dress, though I had mostly envisioned monogrammed items.

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  21. I have used my Husqvarna Viking D-1 for about 7 years now. Just replaced it with a HV Diamond. I love having an embroidery machine - you have so much freedom to embroider anything you want - even create free standing lace which can be applied to anything. I said I would never buy another emboidery machine after the D-1, but I did, I love it, and don't regret it, and will do it again if I live long enough! Granted, it can be expensive at the start, but you learn quickly the most inexpensive way to do embroidery on a tight budget, e.g. buy stabilizer and thread on sale at Joanns 50% off. Just look for the deals.

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  22. I had an old White 3300 that I loved, but it broke and I couldn't get a replacement part. I found a used Brother ULT2003D. This machine is sewing and embroidery. It is capable of more than I'll probably ever be able to do. BUT, I highly suggest finding a local dealer and having them keep you in mind for used machines. This machine was sold by my dealer originally, and she took it in on trade when the customer bought two high end Laura Ashley embroidery/sewing combo machines. Yes TWO! This machine is in amazing shape and I purchased it and all the accessories for $500! I did shop for one for months, but it totally paid off. I'm in love!

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  23. I have several embroidery machines and love my Brothers. I also have a Pfaff which is just a pain to download designs to, so I never use it. But my Brothers I use all the time. It's a middle of the road as far as pricing. I did have to download windows onto my Mac to be able to transfer designs, so that can be done on a Mac. I use the Brothers all the time. Right down I working on the jacket that is on the cover of Creative Machine Embroidery. I tend to sew wearable art so I am forever just adding a bit of flare and embroidery just works great for that. It is also nice for those gifts, table runners, baby quilts pillow cases....

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  24. I owned Husqvarna Designer 1 for 10 years and I loved it and used the embroidery feature a lot. It used Floppy Disks. I bought a Pfaff 2144 to replace it, I still have it since it is a great backup machine for sewing but it is a terrible embroidery machine. I bought a Husqvarna SE and the same design stitched on both machines looks so much better with the Husqvarna. I have done my own digitizing which isn't that hard if you are computer savvy. I do alot of manipulating of avialable designs. I did my niece's Irish Dancing Dress, which required lots of all over designs and hundred of thousands of stitches. I think I would recommend getting a super cheap machine and if you like it, getting a commercial machine since there a bigger hoops available and special attachements for sewing things like cuffs and caps, not to mention having to change threads and not being able to use your beloved sewing machine to sew because it is busy stitching out embroidery.

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  25. Hi Gertie,
    About 10 yrs ago I got interested in machine embroidery and not wanting to spend a lot of money on a machine if I didn't end up using it much, I bought an embroidery only machine-the Brother PE-500 (I think that's the model). I loved doing embroidery and wanted a machine that did more. The embroidery only machines usually only do a 4x4 design. A few years later I bought the Brother Innovis-2500D which sews and embroiders and I really love it. It will embroider a design up to 6x10 but there are newer machines that have even bigger embroidery fields. And the top-of-the-line machines have USB ports, can be hooked directly to a computer and updates can be downloaded to them.

    When you're at the sewing expo in Novi, MI check out the embroidery machines. I go to the show every year and Brother always has a big area of machines and there are usually sales. I bought my Brother a couple weeks after the Novi show one year and I got it at the show sale price which was $1000 off. I thought I wanted a Brother but wasn't sure. One thing the dealer told me was that compared to some companies, Brother machines are easy to learn and use and I agree.

    Of course, the more advanced the machine, the more expensive it is. Also buying the embroidery designs, threads & stabilizers can get expensive. There are also lots of sites that have free or low cost designs.

    Hope this helps.

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  26. I have been digitizing for about 8 years now and there are many of us who love machine embroidery. It gives you lots of different options and the prices for machines and for software range from very little to more than my first house cost!

    Someone earlier suggested talking to a dealer. One of the best in the entire world is in Wilmington, DE. The first thing they ask is what you might want to do with a machine and then they show you machines that will accomplish what you want. That isn't usually the most expensive either. If you want to come down for a visit, just let us know and we'd be happy to introduce you.

    My particular interest is in using embroidery designs in quilting and we have done quite a bit in that area. If we could answer any questions for you, please don't hesitate to let me know (gigi@charmingstation.com).

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  27. I purchased a Viking Topaz 30, and hated it, so I traded it in for a Diamond. Man, I love that machine. I think what finally made me really start loving machine embroidery was the ease of use. The machine has a giant screen and you can do everything on it and see exactly what you are going to get. On the Topaz I was setting everything up in the software, transferring to the machine and HOPING I would get a good outcome. I think you just have to commit to learning and using it if you are going to make the investment, so do your research and buy as much machine as you can justify. The Topaz was $3000 wasted for me, the Diamond $6500 well spent as I use it all the time. (most recently, custom princess crowns for my 5 year old's birthday party). My next step is to really start learning the software so I can digitize my own designs. I've only gotten as far as manipulating stitches and designs already digitized, which still keeps me very busy.

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  28. I have a Pfaff 2140. I am meh about it. The woman who gifted it LOVES her Pfaff 2140 and raves about it. The types of fabric that I want embroidered are too gauzy to enjoy their treatment with the machine.

    I think the problem is that I really really like hand embroidery, and if it doesn't look like that, I'm not a fan. I don't do the all-over prints like those strawberries. I do hem edgings.

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  29. I just got a Husqvarna Viking Topaz,love it so far.I do hope to use it to make free standing lace,allover embroidery like the above dress,some logos for friends ect.,hoping to get my $4grand out of it.they are lots of fun and can go while you use your other machine.Going to a class where learn to digitise scanned images.

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    1. I have the same one and i love my machine! I am constantly embroidering.. Gertie check out urban threads and you will be hooked with all the cool embroidery out there. they also do a free pattern every 2 weeks

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  30. I think it's important to say that the older embroidery machines are, indeed, cumbersome and doing things can be time-consuming. And, of course, digitizing your own designs is a separate skill set from sewing and does take time to learn. Older machines needed cartridges and things to get new designs and they weren't always compatible with other machines. I wanted an embroidery machine back in those days but was intimidated by the amount of hardware and software it required, and, of course, it was never compatible with a Mac. However, with the advent of the USB port, getting designs is so much easier. You don't have to do as much work, and you can buy designs online. Another plus: you can buy individual designs, rather than having to buy an entire CD or set of designs. This way you aren't investing loads of money in CDs or cartridges. As with everything, there's a learning curve. But I think if you want to get a machine it's good to know exactly what you want to use it for, and make sure you get a machine that will do what you want. I also think that going to a dealer is probably the way to go in order to get a class or 2 to get started properly. I didn't buy through a dealer and I kind of wish I had.

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  31. What absolutely beautiful frocks. I've never used one because I can't afford one but I'd love to have a go, although I think they would drive me to screaming melt down! I don't like Brother machines at all, perhaps a Husqvarna would be better.

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  32. I LOVE sewing gizmos, latest tools, etc., and I specifically chose a machine that didn't do embroidery. The design cards are expensive, I don't like pictures of things stuck on my stuff, and the learning curve on stabilizers, threads and digitizing software is steep and seems like a PITA. I like your strawberry dress, but if you figure each of those strawberry clusters is 5 min plus thread and stabilizer, plus time to mark where they all go on yardage, yikes. That's gonna be >8 hours before you even sew anything. Granted, it is a special dress that is time-worthy, but how often would you *really* do that? For me, I would like to *think* that I would do that, but honestly, I really never would.

    If I were to get a wild hare and decide machine embroidery might be really fun, I would do as someone else suggested and research models and buy an embroidery-only machine, used (trade-in), from a dealer.

    For me anyway, a really good dressform would be a much better investment. :)

    Happy sewing!

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  33. I purchased a Janome 10000 with a small inheritance about 12 years ago (before that had a 1965 Viking). Loved it and upgraded to the 11000 3 yrs ago. Since retiring have made it a point to use it and try new things. Lots of fun for baby and children things - bibs for my new grandma friends, fund stuff for grandkids etc. I purchased from local dealer that offers free instruction and I highly recommend that. Also they have very reasonable club that meets once a month for teaching new techniques. The more you learn the more you use and the more you enjoy. Also works well as a great sewing machine and the embroidery unit is incorporated into the machine so no cumbersome attachments. Can't justify upgrading to the 12000 as this one seems to do all I need it to.

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  34. I have a Bernina embroidery attachment and have literally never taken it out of the box. BUT I know that Babylock makes a sewing machine, the Sophia, that has a built-in 4-x-4 hoop and is pretty easy to use. I don't super love the machine--not better than my Bernina--but it requires a lot less set-up and finicky prep work to use than some of the others I've seen.

    I also know a girl who does whole wedding gowns with embroidery all over them, and they are show-stoppers. Done well, embroidery can be life-altering.

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  35. Earlier this year I bought an entry level sewing/embroidery machine, the Singer Futura XL400. To be honest I was a bit naive about them, I thought all you had to do was press a button and hey presto the design would be sewn. It has been a steep learning curve for me - frustrating at times (stabiisers - ugh!) but thoroughly enjoyable. I love using it now especially embroidering on to linen or silk dupion my 2 favourite fabrics. I am especially proud of this violet silk clutch https://www.etsy.com/listing/106189937/embroidered-violet-evening-clutch-bag

    And speaking of vintage, there are a lot of vintage hand embroidery design now being digitised.

    My aim is to learn everything I can about what this machine can do and then move up the ladder. So yes I think an embroidery machine could complement vintage dressmaking very well.

    Linda x

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  36. Gertie -
    Take advantage of being in NY + have your embroidery done for you at Jonathan Embroidery

    http://www.jeplus.com/

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  37. Oh totally understand the crazy urge.

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  38. I would dearly love to have one, and personally would get a Pfaff. A big part of that decision is the dealer: I have one who is fabulous! For me, it would be used mostly for gifts and costuming.

    Another option is to try free-motion embroidery. Both types have the same issues with placement of the embroidery. Both require thread color changes. Depends on if you want/have the time to sit and do the embroidery yourself, or want to just select, push a button, and go.

    Bottom line is I highly recommend shopping dealers, then machines.

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  39. I've been sewing for a really long time, since before embroidery machines existed. I used free motion embroidery to embroider a design in silk tulle for my wedding dress. I loved doing it and it took forever. The new embroidery machines would do what I did much more easily. I don't have an embroidery machine but would love one as it would have made the job easier.

    Like Frances G I recommomend you find a good dealer. One who will help you choose the best machine for you and show you how to use it.

    Like Frances I would go for a Pfaff or a Bernina. All the people I know who have embroidery machines love them. I think the disappointment comes when people buy the top of the range machines that cost them a bomb and then they don't use it.
    I don't think you would regret the purchase of an embroidery machine if you have clear ideas in your head of what you will use it for.
    I still use free motion embroidery and I am very lucky I have a good eye for placement and don't have to really measure. An embroidery machine will help with placement.

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  40. I could attach the embroidery unit on my machine (bernina) and it's even on sale now because my model is discontinued. But it's still 600 USD. Having considered that I don't really embroider and having subscribed to a forum where people often complain about software compatibility, I gave up. I can still use free motion embroidery. Pity I forked out the money for a machine I thought I could hook to the pc...without realizing I needed the embroidery attachment!

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  41. I bought a Futura 400XL last winter because of the flexibility it promised. I only recently had the time to work with it and immediately had problems. I bought it through JoAnn Fabrics because I was a 30+ year customer and had always gotten good service. When I went to the JoAnn store and asked for help about a problem with the tension, and wanted to buy a foot pedal that hadn't come with the machine, the store was of NO HELP. They told me to go to the Singer website. I went to our local authorized Singer Service Center and they laughed at me for having bought a machine from JoAnn and couldn't even order a foot pedal for my new machine.

    I eventually got help through a number from Singer for a representative in New Jersey (Thanks Valerie!) When I called JoAnn about the fact that the HSN offered the same machine with additional (expensive) software for the same price, and that I had learned more from watching HSN on Youtube, their rep told me I should have bought my machine from HSN if I wanted the extras.

    I've decided that I will not be buying anything else at JoAnn---fabric, yarn, accuquilt dies, etc. because they have no concern or respect for their customers. My opinion: if you go with Singer, by via HSN and use the Youtube videos.
    I hope to use the machine more, but for the time being, my design capabilities are limited to the minimal designs that came with the machine or those that I purchase.

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  42. I have no experience with embroidery machines, but I laughed a little when I read that the fussiness turned you off - what are couture techniques if not fussy? :) Fussy for good reason, of course (the gorgeous results being proof of that), but fussy nonetheless.

    Also, I remember seeing an article in Threads earlier this year about embroidering your own lace. How awesome would that be?

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  43. I bought a low-end Brother some years back. And while I like the embroidery, this one was not a good fit - other than the price. The built-in designs are limited as you would expect from a low-end model. Trouble is the cards were super expensive for the little use I would have gotten. So i never bought any. I want to get another embroidery machine. And I'll be looking for connectivity to my computer. I'm a computer tech by trade so that part simply does not bother me at all. And that's what annoyed me even more about those cards for my model - the hardware simply was not that expensive. You were paying for the designs/licensing. I don't have a problem with that generally and I know how people have to make a living. But $60-80 for a card of 8-10 designs seemed exorbitant to me.

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  44. You would love it, dear Gertie!
    I love my Baby Lock Ellure. It was about $1,500 new and is a joy if you love to sew! Extremely easy to use out of the box (I needed not lessons) and a real dependable workhorse for both sewing and embroidery. Disclaimer: I am not into that cutesy/country/ticky-tacky stuff, and I work a lot of hours so I don't have time to play or be silly - but I still think it is a great thing to have. Why? It is an extreme joy to crank out gifts for everyone! If you have any sewing experience, you can make a gift for any event, holiday, party, etc while you are getting ready for that event! It is that easy. And people absolutely love to receive a personalized gift!

    Yes, the purchase is a little pricy upfront, but it pays off very quickly. I look for towels, bags, pillowcases, etc on clearance or sale for very little money, and as a result, can give someone the best gift for $1-10 and a few minutes of time. It is a lifetime machine, so I figure I can easily make the price back multiple times just in savings on gift prices. And if I had more free time and wanted to sell my work, people are constantly offering to pay me to do embroidery.

    I highly recommend it - you would love it more than I because you sew more and could do lovely vintage features. Let us know how it goes.

    PS You should ask all of these commenters who are unhappy with their purchases to sell their machines to you! Sounds like those machines did not get used much. But if you get a used machine, get a newer model because they have improved a lot in recent years.

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  45. Actually I'd rather be crazy enough to hand embroider my own fabric...even a million cute strawberries! Love that picture!
    Laurie

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  46. I don't think the strawberry fabric is enough argument to buy an embroidery machine. I would not do it.

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  47. I am a BERNINA dealer and I love to read your blog. I know you own a 1008, so I would strongly encourage you to stick with a BERNINA. Nothing sews like a BERNINA, right? Don't worry about what designs come with a machine. Most designs are available for all machines. The BERNINA embroidery software Designer Plus V6.0 is now available for Mac. As a Dealer my job is to help people find the right machine for them. My opinion for you, Gertie, is that you would be more interested in the designing element, which can be quite time consuming. If I were you, I would come up with the idea and pay someone else to do the digitizing and embroidery. You could probably even barter your sewing services. I LOVE my 830 and use it for sewing and embroidery. Most of the embroidery I do is for home decor and quilting, not for apparel sewing. I hope this helps. Again, I love your blog.

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  48. I have a Brother 770. Very easy to transfer any designs from your computer using a thumb drive. The standard hoop that comes with it is 5 x 7. I purchased a 4 x 4 and a 5x 12 adjustable, which makes it easier to embroider multiple designs without re-hooping. I like that it's a separate machine from my regular sewing machine. I love to make lace medallions for heirloom sewing, add small florals to collars and buttonholes, and monogram things for a 50's touch. My husband and daughter picked out the machine as a gift for me. They choose this machine because it is licensed for Disney designs. My granddaughter loves Tinkerbelle. The most expensive startup cost, other than the machine itself, was acquiring a palette of thread colors. I also took a class in how to choose the right stabilizer because it does make the difference between a professional and an amateur look. More important than the quality of the machine.

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  49. I have felt the same way for years, but recently been rethinking and almost wish I had bought the sewing + embroidery combo from Viking recently. Embroidered accents on dresses? Cardigans? Now it sounds reasonable, and less fussy than hand embroidery (as cute as all those Sublime Stitching patterns are...).

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  50. Hi, Gertie, this is Blanca Sanchez (aka: @BelaChic on twitter, and I've made comments to you on Facebook as well). By the way, I am so very happy with your new book. I preordered it on Amazon a long time ago and got it earlier than most people. You did an amazing job, and I hope to make the wiggle dress this week. I also ordered the retro butterick patterns you designed and can't wait to construct those as well. Just love that vintage, refined, tailored look :-)

    It's so cool to hear about your latest experience with embroidery. I have been doing machine embroidery for about three years now, and I actually own three embroidery/sewing machines (along with three sergers) and just LOVE them! Okay, you may think I am crazy to own so many machines, but I actually use them all. No investment in good equipement goes to waste with me - that's for sure. At any rate, I find that Husqvarna Viking makes the BEST embroidery machines. They may seem pricey to a novice, but in the end their machines are worth every penny and are extremely easy to use. And, you can use 5D software to create your own designs and embroider them right away. My favorite machine models are the Diamond Deluxe and the Ruby. Viking has done an incredible job.

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  51. I have a singer embroidery machine and it hooks up to my laptop you can program all sorts of embroidery into it. I will say very complicated quite the headache and the embroidery does not always turn out. I now 99% of the time just use the machine to sew. I think that the Bernina makes a much better embroidery machine more reliable and can do much more than the cheap ones. ~Hope that is helpful ~Heather

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  52. I have a Janome MC350E. It runs for about $1,000, and it does everything I want it to do. It's tricky to get up and running with these machines -- there's a lot to learn -- but the work they put out can be amazing.

    There is something that's not really discussed, however. Like buying a horse, it's not the initial purchase price that gets you. It's everything else. You need at least half a dozen different types of stabilizers (not to mention learning why you use which kind for which project). Then there's thread....my apartment looks like a thread warehouse now because you use it like a painter uses paint, except you can't mix them to get the right colors so you wind up getting zillions of them. You'll want not only a certain color, but one shade up and one shade down so you can get that blended effect. Then there are the different textures: polyester? rayon? cotton? metallic? variegated? etc.? How about the specialty threads: glow in the dark? the ones that change from one color to another in the sun? Lots of fun -- more $$$. Then there are the patterns you'll want (the ones that come on the machine are pretty bland), software (at the very least you'll want to adjust the sizes of the patterns you'll get), and on and on and on.

    I told my husband we're going to have to panel our fire escape to make room for all the special stuff this machine requires. I use it a lot -- because when you spend this kind of money you'd better, or you can't look your husband in the eye.

    There's a lot more expense involved besides the initial purchase. My suggestion is to visit someone -- not a store -- who actually has one (I'm in Manhattan if you want to come here) to see what is really involved. I was in love with the idea of having one and practically skipped home from the store the day of purchase, but had I known what was really involved with this I'm not sure I would have gone ahead with it. Plain and simple: they're money pits.


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    1. I totally agree with you about the thread! I'm off out shopping this morning to buy some more to get the shading right on a design. I have a drawer full already but never seem to have the right shade!!!!
      Linda x

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    2. A drawer? Really? Only a drawer? I had to buy special storage boxes. Some women buy carts. Other women have pegs installed on their sewing room walls to display. You need (!) so many frickin' different colors and types!

      And the spools aren't all the same size, so you have to get special thingys to feed them into your machine. Special potions so the metallics don't nest or split. Bobbins only that machine can use. Tiny vacuum attachments to clean it. I could go on and on -- it would be laughable if a) I had the room to store all this stuff, and b) it were happening to somebody else.

      I've got it, I use it, people coo over what I make. It's all good...until I trip over another frickin' box of thread or find I need another something or other. I repeat: MONEY PIT!!! ;-)

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  53. I have a Huqvarna Designer SE. I love the machine and the embroidery features. I was very lucky to have a friend who turned me onto the embird software programs. It is much cheaper than other software programs and the updates are free or very cheap. There is a learning curve, but it is a lot of fun! I kept my old machine so I can sew on one while the other is embroidering.
    Jean

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  54. I had a Husqvarna Orchidea, & even though I was at that time making mainly bridal wear I hardly used the embroidery option. Too much hassle by far! And too many parts to go wrong.
    Nowadays I use a more basic model & if I do feel the urge to embellish something, am happy to do some freestyle mbroidery instead. ( There's a corset with embroidered front panels on my Handmade Corset Company facebook page, if you want to take a look at the results.)

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  55. My friend got me interested in machine embroidery after I saw all the great stuff she could do with it. I was very taken with the Jenny Haskins quilt she was working on. She also embroidered over a large hole my dog tore in a new top, saving it from ruin. So I decided to look for one. After lots of shopping and comparing, I decided on the Janome 350E. It's an embroidery-only machine and very easy to use. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in machine embroidery, especially someone new to it. I do wish it had a color screen. But that's my only complaint. As for the learning curve, I was able to take lessons at my Janome dealer and lean on my friend for tips. There's also emblibrary.com for tutorials and designs galore.

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  56. Check out the heirloom sewing people (Martha Pullen et al.)--they do a lot with machine embroidery.

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  57. I am new to embroidery and the key for me was easy software. I have a Singer Futura that I bought from one of those TV shopping networks. I can't remember which one. I LOVE it! Another issue that I had was finding designs that weren't too cutesy. I had no interest in digitizing my own stuff. I frequent Urban Threads (I am making my son a jean jacket with some of their western designs) and a collaborative site called Secrets of Embroidery. I am still learning, but I like embroidery more than I thought! Good luck to you.

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  58. There was a magazine ad for an embroidery machine. Most elaborately embroidered gown I've ever seen. The dress looked like a rather stiff silk, possibly thai, and the entire train was done in peacock feathers. I'm sure that ad is more than 10 years old, but it was spectacular!

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  59. Oh how I saved and scrimped to buy my embroidery machine. I have a good sewing machine so didn't want a machine that was both. It came, the excitement, the anticipation! I downloaded, I uploaded, I bought fancy thread, needles and stabilizers and then I played, a whole weekend of playing. That was two years ago, and now? Well, it sits on a shelf and I blow dust off the dust cover on a weekly basis. Do I use it? Na..... I'm thinking of putting it on eBay......

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  60. I made the switch last year and I enjoy it. I use my ME machine for details, really, rather than whole outfits, because while I found the learning curve alright, it's a real time sink. I find that if I do a large or detailed design, it can add hours to a project, between the set-up and the tweaking, colour choices, and of course the stitch-out. So it's fun, but not essential for me. I still prefer sewn details (fabric, colour, piping, pattern detail) over ME.

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  61. Embroidery has never been my thing, but I have a friend who used to do it commercially, and she did really well for herself. The downside, which I've heard from friends who love doing machine embroidery, is that unless you have one of those specialized 5-thread (or more!) machines, changing threads can get tedious. But oh boy, if you had one of these babies, I bet you could go to town! http://www.babylock.com/embroidery/endurance/

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    1. I've got the 6 needle Babylock Endurance & LOVE it!

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  62. I think you should look into getting one, visit some stores. I'm not sure about the negativity in the comments. I have a great old Bernina (25 yrs+) and love to sew, but don't have the time and money to play much. I bought a Baby Lock Ellure Plus because a friend had one and was making things for her kids and for gifts like crazy. And she can barely sew! It is a fantastic, reliable, and easy machine. No regrets! It is so easy to use even without any lessons if you have any sewing knowledge. I just went back to the store a couple of time to ask questions after I used it for a while instead of taking the free lessons that came with it because it was so easy. You don't have to buy additional software, although I did and it was also easy to learn. And you do not have to buy so many threads, stabilizers, designs, etc unless you really want to go overboard. I found so much advice, ideas, and even free designs (thousands of them - more than I could ever use!) online. I read and heard that Singers and Brothers not of the best quality (remember: embroidery machines sew far more stitches per minute than sewing machines) and for me, the Bernina and Pfaff were more complicated and expensive than I would want. Look around what brand and model would be best for you. If you buy new, the reputation of the store would be as important as the machine in case you had a problem. But even dealers have used/reconditioned machines for sale.

    Like I said, I don't understand all the negative comments because my machine works really well, it was easy to begin using, it is so fun and productive, and you don't need more than some good basic supplies. I would buy a new or used good machine rather than a cheap one. Maybe that is why some people are so unhappy.
    You can do a lot of amazing things with a pretty good machine and just the basic supplies. You would love the lace and heirloom sewing. Find a friend through the blog who might give you a demo!

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  63. Commenting because my pre-ordered copy of your book arrived today and it's fabulous! I really like all of the couture-type tips without wasting any page space with how to do a basic seam - thank you! I'm looking forward to tackling most of the blouses and dresses, and especially the suit jacket and coat dress.

    I'm a complete neophyte to embroidery - I'm just starting to be intrigued by hand-embroidery but trying to hold off because I really, truly do not need yet another crafty hobby. But it sure is beautiful and I love what people can do with a bit of creativity and effort.

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  64. I have been living vicariously through you since I stumbled upon sewing one year ago. I am thrilled to see that your next step is embroidery. I have watched many videos on Youtube and I always get excited when Nancy Zeiman does an embroidery spot on her show. I have not been able to afford an embroidery machine, as of yet. Therefore, I speak from others' experiences and not my own. I have, however, done a lot of reading and video watching on the subject. The best advice I have seen is to start small instead of buying a machine that would do it all but then only touch a few of it's features, as some fellow bloggers have also said. If you start with an entry-level embroidery machine, you have many advantages: try and like, try and don't like, try and soar. You could test machine embroidery for what it is and then decide if you want to stay or go bigger without regrets of spending a fortune and not using the higher advanced functions. Either way, if you do get a machine, can you make an unboxing video?

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  65. i have one .. got talked into it by a friend .. and I never use it. You have to sit and babysit it .. in case thread breaks or something .. you have to buy expensive software that after a few years they don't support anymore .. thread, stabilizer, needles. It's expensive to get into. Doing fabric like you are talking about would take hours and if one berry gets messed up then the whole piece could be unusable. That said I know lots of folks who love theirs. Borrow one and try it out!

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  66. About 4 years ago I upgraded my 20 year old brother with the Project Runway Brother (LB6770). I got it because it was one of the less expensive machines that would embroider. I thought it would be very nice to embellish pockets, cuffs, collars and lapels. And it is perfect for that, however, the only size hoop is 4 inches. I wish I had spent just a little more and got at least a 5x7 hoop, or even a lot more for the much bigger hoops or continuous feed hoops. The four inch hoop is very limiting. I would also like to design my own embrodery - but those programs are beyond my budget.

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  67. I spent almost a year working in an embroidery shop. We had a big 5-head Brother machine, and a single head one. They each held 12 or 16 (can't remember) cones of thread and overall were easy to operate. They were industrial machines though and not the kind you'd normally use at home.

    It takes a lot of practice and experience to create your own designs. There are so many things to take into consideration, from fabric type to how much overlap the different areas might have to what order each area should be stitched. There's also really good money to be had if you're good at it.

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  68. Judi W. said it all pretty perfectly up there. I have one that my father in law got me as a "thank you for loving my son" gift and it's a Janome. It's ok. I guess. I love it more for sentimental reasons. The only place I ever find designs I like is Urban Threads.

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  69. Hey there!
    We have a great sewing shop in our small town that will machine embroider by to the customers request. The service is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of buying my own embroidery machine. Getting my own embroidery machine is on my lotto win wish list.

    P.S.: Just received your book in the mail on Thursday last week! I can't concentrate on commissions, cooking supper.... anything... except making that gorgeous wiggle dress of yours. I'll be sure to share the results!

    Thanks so much for being you! :D

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  70. I have a cheap Brother embroidery machine. I enjoy it but mostly because I'll monogram anything that stays still long enough. Attempting to embroider a whole piece of fabric, no I wouldn't use it for that, even a big one with a huge embroidery hoop would take several days to do. Plus buying all that stabilizer, yikes. That being said I don't have to babysit mine to make sure thread doesn't break. Its only messed up once and that was my fault (loose needle). I can't imagine using it for much more than monogramming. It was $400 so pretty cheap but it does professional looking work, I'd be crushed if it were much more. I love the huge $7k embroidery machines, but having used them, I just find machine embroidery just doesn't hold my interest.

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  71. Lovely dress, but those 'strawberries' kinda look like (mutated) strawcherryberries ... I wonder what they taste like :p

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  72. I also have an inexpensive brother--SE-350/SE-400. I just looked my machine up on ebay and it was $299, including a usb cord. This is a combo machine with a small hoop that I bought and figured out how to use without a dealer or any help. It is wonderful for gifts, covering a stain on a garment, home dec items like pillows etc. (I made a pillow for my in-laws embroidered with the names of their 32 grandchildren--the grandchildren love to find their own name) I also think of it as "creating fabric," as you said. Adding some embroidery allows me to use some cheap, cheap thrift store fabric but still get a special look. I don't find the thread etc to be that expensive. I bought a set of fifty threads a couple years ago for like $50 and I am still working on them--and I also use them for sewing since they match so many colors. And gasp--sometimes I don't use stabilizer or I use other scraps of fabric as stabilizer,-- whatever, strike me down, sewing Gods. Like previous posters, I've bought individual embroideries for Urban threads etc, but you can also find many, many free designs out there since many of the designers offer a free embroidery designs from the sets that they put out. (I almost NEVER use the free designs that came with the unit) I think you would like at least an entry level machine, Gertie. For one thing, it would make it easy and quick to embroider "Adopt Me" on your bandannas!
    You could set up the machine to embroider strawberries while you were folding laundry or doing dishes--you would just have to keep an eye on it to change threads and re-hoop. Give it a chance, Gertie. You might really like it.

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  73. Funny you mention it, I just bought a Brother Quattro 2 last weekend. Either machine embroidery is awesome or I'm completely crazy, because I could have bought a small used car for the price. Have you looked at the embroidery patterns you can get on Urban Threads? It doesn't all have to be fuzzy duckies.

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  74. Those look more like CHERRIES to me, on that dress, but without a closeup, I can't tell for sure!
    I would like an embroidery machine, but I would use it mainly to stitch out base patterns which I could then embellish...I LOVE doing hand embroidery but it just takes soooo LONG..it would be nice to have a machine to do at least PART of the job for me; that way I could have so many more coolly embroidered outfits! And there's applique, as well; these machines can do applique too, you realize! I saw the method in one of my magazines and it was SO CLEVER; I immediately got a dozen ideas!

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  75. I came really close to getting the Brother Project Runway sewing/embroidery combo, but the reviews were less than sparkling, so I shelved that thought until I could get additional funds together and maybe spring for a Bernina (non-embroidery model). I really don't see me using one and it ending up being more complicated than I would enjoy. For me, sewing is like putting puzzles together and that wouldn't be part of the equation. And nevermind the fact that I am really not terribly creative or crafty. If someone else hasn't done it and shown me how, it doesn't happen in my world.

    I could see how as creative as you are, it could be advantageous, giving really unique touches to your particular creations.

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  76. I have a Babylock Ellageo, 10 yrs old, and can't recommend it highly enough. Yes, it was expensive, but with a 6x10 approx. field it does all I need.

    Don't buy machine company software. Check out Embird, which you can buy in modules so you pay for only what you need and can use.

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  77. Absolutely gorgeous!! You too are an inspiration to me.

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  78. Hi Gertie - I am new to the world of blogging so please excuse me lol - my hubby bought me a Futura Singer C350 a few wks ago - it also has embroidery attachement etc with it - I have not ventured into that area yet, really dont know where to start with it

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  79. Everytime I want something embroidered( which is not often) I take it to a professional to do. I haven't really wanted to do a custome job. I think it would be cool to have, but I don't think it's worth the expense. I would want a huge hoop capibilities machine (like everybody on here so far) and they are SO pricey. I've found that the ladies that do custom dog embroidery will look for a design that you want and upload it to their computer for you (it costs a little more, but like I said I do this maybe once or twice a year...) And they have the larger hoops to accomidate the larger dog beds. I talked with one lady that said her machine was thousands of dollars and she had 2 of them so she could always be working on it. Craziness, but that was her livelyhood.

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  80. In addition to my fleet of vintage Singers, I have two Janome embroidery machines. A friend game me her old 9000 five years ago and I purchased a new 12000 this summer. With the digitizing software that came with the new machine, I've been making my own designs. Awesome does not even begin to describe the feeling!

    There is a learning curve. I'm lucky because a friend creates digital embroidery designs for a living, so between her and her, now my, sewing machine dude, I've learned so much.

    I love tone on tone embroidered garments. Being able to create designs and add them to my projects is so awesome.

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  81. Putting my two cents in.... Funny, I just did a post on one of my favorite things and it happens to be my Husquvarna Designer 1 sewing/embroidery machine. I LOVE it. I will say, it does tend to be one of the more expensive machines though. After seeing mine, my mother bought the exact one, my sister bought a janome, sis in law and best friend both bought Brother machines. So you see, once you see what all they do....everyone wants one. You can check out projects on my blog. Come on....take the leap...you won't regret it!

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  82. Had to jump in too! I own a Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 (original one that uses a Floppy disk) and I LOVE IT!!!! I have had it at least 12 yr. and have NEVER had ANY problems with it!!! I was a great investment!!! The main thing is to get the "recipe" right when embroidering to make it come out beautiful (right needle, thread, stabilizers, hoop, and speed to be compatibile with the fabric AND the Design density of stitches) It took me a long time to figure it out because there wasn't much information back then, but now it isn't a problem anymore, the information is everywhere. Also, the Viking software is extremely User Friendly, I didn't even really need to read the manuals, even for the machine!! I did take Free lessons from my dealer however, and they were so much fun!!! I don't regret buying it at all!!! The machine also sews Extremely well!!! My Mother bought a Top of the Line Bernina (Artista 180) shortly after I got mine and she doesn't like her machine and wishes she had bought one like mine instead. I have used mine Many times. There is expense in all the variety of hoops, thread, accessories (feet, etc.) software, but it is worth it and just buy a little at a time and watch for deals. I think you would really enjoy it!!!! And with all you do for the sewing community, You deserve one to play with and teach the rest of us more ways to play with ours!!! I pray you get one for free to demonstrate what all you can do with it from a sponsor!!!! (I get free designs of the internet, but have also bought quite a collection of designs from the digitizers that offer free designs. I have a few "cards", but mostly prefer the ones digitized by sewers.
    thanks for your time!!!

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  83. I spent a very long time comparing embroidery machines on-line (there are lots of reviews out there as well as manufacturer information) before I chose mine- a Janome 350e (Embroidery only) and I absolutely love it. I highly recommend it, and wouldn't worry too much about extra expense- or at least don't let it put you off entirely! Mine came with a roll of stabilser and I am very stingy with it- they tell you to hoop your stabiliser with the fabric, but you can just pin a scrap onto your fabric where the design will be, using tiny applique pins on the top and it doesn't affect the embroidery. I also keep stabiliser after I've torn it off round the embroidery, and frequently manage to use it the next time. I've even been known to piece stabiliser without any problems- just put a few tacking stitches through, then pull them out afterwards.

    As for the cost of thread, I've found that I can use cheaper (non-brand) thread on my machine if I use the spool vertically. The spool holder on the machine is horizontal, and cheaper threads tend to snap if fed this way. However, you can get a universal upright spool holder which works for all main machine brands, which you can attach where you normally put bobbins to wind. I find this feeds really well without breakage and allows me to use lots and lots of colours of thread without too much investment! I wouln't use cheap thread for normal sewing, but I find cheaper embroidery thread is still lovely and glossy, and the finished items don't tend to undergo enough strain or harsh treatment to make better quality thread necessary.

    As for designs, there are a huge number available for free or in sales on-line, and it's easy to convert the file types for your machine type. The features on the machine also mean you can get more out of each one, for instance by only stitching bits of them, or by increasing or reducing them in size. On the Janome 350e you can do more size changes by zooming in (or out), coming back out of this option and then going back into it again and repeating- it will only increase (or reduce) a certain amount each time, but you can make the change greater by doing it repeatedly.

    I should say that when I'd chosen the machine I wanted I waited and waited for a good deal on ebay, and eventually found a Buy It Now (hate auctions!) for a good price which included the lowest level digitising software. If you can get the software I'd say go for it, as it's not that tricky. You can get very creditable results by spending the most time preparing your initial image for transformation and then just using the basic convert to stitches function. I spend a lot of time preparing images in Gimp (like Photoshop but free!), and then the conversion is really quick. I do it automatically and then zoom in to get rid of the random joining stitches which it always seems to throw in for no reason!

    Sorry for the essay- hope something is helpful! I'd love to see what you would make with a embroidery machine!

    Katie.

    P.S. I pre-ordered your book and it came today! I'm so excited!

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  84. I would love an embroidery machine. I also was thinking what would I use one for? hmm I keep going back to this website and checking out all the latest cool designs and tutorials: http://www.urbanthreads.com/ Most require an embroidery machine, which I do not have. I might save up an buy one down the track.

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  85. I have been doing machine embroidery for about 10 years. I started with a top of the line Brother ULT that was truly a POS! How's that for using my own acronym for the machine? It was always in the shop...never worked right for any length of time. I finally bought a 6 needle Babylock EMP6 and what a dream! I can set up a design and do other things with minimal interaction, especially if the design uses 6 or less colors! I have used several different digitizing programs, and my favorite by far is Embird. It's easy to use and I love the iconizer so I can easily see the design rather than a file name. There are also some great embroidery design sites out there that offer free designs to check out their work. My faces are urbanthreads.com and Embroidery Library. Machine embroidery is fun and addictive! You will want to embellish everything!

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  86. I own a Janome MC 12000 and use it to add embroidery to my clothing. I like to design my own artwork and digitize the designs for the clothing I sew. I waited until retirement to buy the machine of my dreams. (should not have waited so long)
    The learning curve has been steep (and I'm a retired computer science teacher) but worth it to be able finally design the clothing I want.

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  87. Loved reading all the comments... I used to be an embroidery snob, doing it by hand and very sparingly. Loved silk ribbon work by hand, and the tone-on-tone kind of thing. DH bought me a small Brother model with a 4x4 hoop one year for a birthday or something. It was a second hand machine but I used it so little it wasn't a big deal. When it required service after a move, I traded up for an Innovis 900D with a bigger hoop. I'm now doing small jobs on it and the granddaughters are my best customers!

    BTW one of the things that turned me off was people who think all 20 designs on a card should go onto the same garment or project!

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  88. I have a Bernina 430E that I bought about 3 years ago. Not only is the machine a total workhorse that can do ANYTHING I ask of it, it has an available embroidery module. The beauty of this is that when I want embroidery, I hook it up to my laptop and create awesomeness. When I don't want to embroider, I store the module. What I love best about it is that it was an entry level machine but *incredibly* solid. I "interviewed" a LOT of machines & dealers and hands DOWN the Bernina wins. Yes, the machine was $3000 out the door, but it's the last sewing machine I'll ever own. I want to be buried with it.

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  89. Great thread!I love embroidery really. I used to have embroidery machine but it was ruined. Reading this makes me want to buy new one.

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  90. I love my Janome 350e. I get many designs from Urban Threads, and Embroidery Library. I just started making battenburg lace to add to garments (wish l could add a pic!). I use it a lot and coulldn't live without it.

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  91. I have had a few brands of machines over the years for sewing but now I am SOLD on Bernina. They're just the best and if I'm going to spend my precious time on a project I want it to be with the fewest amount of headaches! I have had the 430 for years but this year also bought the 635 for embroidery. I also got the computerized program that you can digitize things to make your own designs... unfortunately I haven't had the classes to know how to use it haha! soon :)

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  92. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

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  93. This dress looks beautiful!! I love the custom embroidery that is on it! I would love to make my own wedding dress. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures and posting this blog. Great Work!

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  94. I just recently joined the embroidery machine world! I first bought a Viking Topaz 30 but just couldnt get the Ruby out of my mind. After a month, I decided to trade! So I am now an excited Ruby Deluxe owner. The difference can be in the support and training you get from the sewing store. I am in San Antonio and Patty's Sewing has been awesome! They have so many classes anyone can learn how to use these machines!

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  95. I am curious if anyone has a Brother PE700II. I purchased it kept it on my table for 2 years . I finally said I am going to learn to use or tear it up. It was easy to use with the patterns it contains, but I wanted to download patterns and I could not figure out how to do that. I have an usb port but when I downloaded pattern I could not get it to my machine. Does anyone have this machine or have any suggestions to help me. Or should I trade it in??? Thanks

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  96. Has anyone dealt with the Viking Hclass 600e

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  97. I have had an embroidery machine for over 20 years. I started with the Janome 8000, then the 9000, also Brother home machine and a Brother commercial machine. I just love to sew and also love to machine embroider. I just did a large giraffe head outline that you add crystals to after you are done, by Hatched in Africa. Such fun. Looking to buy a Brother Duetta4500D if I can find one.

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  98. For anyone looking to upgrade their embroidery or sewing machines. I would recommend looking at the Brother PR-650e or the Brother PR-1000e. These machines are great for embroidering custom items. There is a huge market right now for custom baby onsies, hats, socks, etc. They are very easy to learn, user friendly, and very portable. They are also very affordable if you can find the right place to buy. My mother owns two PR-1000e's and one PR-650e. She absolutely loves them and highly recommends them to anybody interested in starting an embroidery business. For anyone interested, you can find them here at www.stitchitintl.com

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  99. Has anyone used TruEmbroidery for Mac? I'd like to know if it is as good as it is advertised to be?

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  100. I sent your articles links to all my contacts and they all adore it including me.
    Vicarage Designs

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  101. embroidery machine is to create perfect cloths for our fit and fine body it is very good for easy sewing and low energy taker.so it is very useful to us.

    thanks

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  102. I bought an Ellageo 2 and also a used Janome MC 100001 because I found an inexpensive software program for a mac for the Janome. I am now thinking of buying a new embroidery machine but lost interest when I couldn;t use my Mac to get embroidery designs off the internet. I use to embroider all the time. But now when I've tried to go back, the supplies needed to embroider are astronomical. I have thought of selling both my machines to buy a new one, but still can't decide as I use embroidery so infrequently. Don't know what to do! I could buy a good used car for the cost of the machines.

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    1. The Brother Project Runway Limited Addition LB-6800 is both a sewing and embroidery machine. I purchased mine online at a very reasonable price. I am just learning, but it seems to be a very good machine. You can research it online. You will find it gets good reviews.

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  103. This may not be the proper forum for seeking help. But I am going to give it a shot. I am new at machine embroidery. I have a Brother LB-6800, Project Runway. I have created a phrase that I want to embroidery on some towels. It is 4" wide. There is plenty of room on both my hoops (7" and 11" wide). I have set the hoop size in the software. (Using Embird Software). But the sewing machine says my design is too large for the hoop (not true). Does anyone know how to fix this?

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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