Sewing is great. In previous articles, we talked about all sorts of types of sewing and inevitably different sewing machines.
Some impressed you; others you’ve found some flaws but had to admit that what they can do is great.
Even though you (or most of you) started researching about sewing for some benefit (earning money or saving money by making your own covers and clothes), eventually you’ve discovered your creativeness and started loving it. It probably showed you some great sides of your personality you might have never discovered another way!
That’s why I love talking to you about sewing. Embroidery, quilting, ordinary sewing, monogramming and so on…I think all of it is great and according to your responses to my requests and researches, I now know you agree.
I just want to thank you.
Now to talk about what really interests you – sewing and sewing machines!
I’ve noticed you’re very interested in embroidering, especially how to do it at home?
I’ve chosen some of the best home embroidery machines and I’ll tell you all you need and want to know about them!
Top-rated home embroidery machines
If you want a good and reliable home embroidery machine you have to be aware they aren’t very cheap.
Most of you need this as an additional income. But before you earn something you have to invest.
Brother machines have great software, amazing accessories and naturally high-quality products.
Singer invented some of the first computerized machines, zigzag and the first portable sewing machine.
You choose your machine according to your future plans, your budget and how skillful you are.
It’s good to know that there are sewing machines only for embroidery and those that combine embroidery with some other type of sewing.
Now, let’s check out several models.
Brother Sewing Machine SE600
If you are looking for a modern, computerized sewing machine to bring your creativity to life with ease, the Brother SE600 is just for you.
This is a two-in-one machine for sewing and embroidery.
Multiple features and brand new enhanced technology make this an ideal sewing partner for you. It is built with a 4 x 4 inches embroidery field. And not only this – it includes embroidery hoop, arm, and foot. You don’t have to buy two separate machines. You have all you need in this one!
Embroidery features include preview and change of thread colors. You can move designs on screen and place letters on arcs. This is a technology miracle wrapped in a small package.
You get to see your designs on large color Sew Smart LCD touchscreen display before you start stitching.
Remember we talked about importing your projects? The SE600 sewing and embroidery machine allows you this throughout a USB port.
If you feel no inspiration, this machine makes things simple. You get to choose from 80 embroidery designs. Now, you have no excuse for just sitting and not doing anything. Instead, start embroidering!
Here we talk about 103 built-in stitches with auto-sized buttonholes. The needle goes up and down.
It has a variable speed control so the speed is up to you. You’ll also get a drop feed for free-motion sewing.
Tell me, what else could you ask for?
Even a complete sewing dummy as I used to be can sew and embroider on this Brother machine with just a little practice!
Needle-to-arm workspace is expanded which allows more space for folding quilts or bulkier projects. This eases your sewing a lot.
I have to mention 7 quick-changing sewing feet: monogramming, zipper, zigzag, overcasting, buttonhole, blind stitch and button sewing feet.
Warranty is long (like with all Brother Sewing Machines) – 25 years.
I could praise the SE600 all day long and I would still have something to add.
I’m telling you, if you want to become a sewing and embroidery professional, this machine is the first step.
I haven’t found a bad thing concerning it so far and I know you won’t either. I’ve been using it for home embroidery for a while and it’s all I hoped for!
A lightweight sewing and embroidery EverSewn Hero machine is ideal for working in small areas and for traveling.
This machine is great for beginners. It’s strong and long-lasting. There’s no mistake here.
The EverSewn Hero is one of the best home embroidery machines. It’s computerized (USB port and detailed LCD screen).
The workspace on it is 6.5 inches.
For easier work, it has an automatic needle threader.
And the stitches. Oh, yeah – the stitches. 400 decorative, utility and alphabet pattern stitches along with 40 built-in embroidery designs.
Next, you can adjust your sewing speed thanks to adjustable foot pressure. The sewing speed is 800 stitches per minute (maximum). It also includes 8 different presser feet.
This sewing and embroidering machine is great for all of you who are just about to start embroidering or sewing.
One of the things that are the most important when choosing the machine is how easy to use is (we talked about this). This one is perfect right because of that.
Brother Embroidery Machine PE800
One more great sewing and embroidery machine from Brother Industries.
This model offers you unlimited design options. It has a built-in memory and you can, by using USB port save designs for future use.
PE800 is an embroidery machine that’s pretty easy to use. Its embroidery field is 5 x 7 inches big so you can work on big projects with ease. Not only this. You can also combine designs and do the lettering.
You can see your designs in color (and switch thread colors to see how it looks) on the large LCD touchscreen.
Impressively, PE800 Brother Embroidery Machine offers 138 built-in stitches (including 7 English, 3 Japanese and 1 Cyrillic letter), 10 frame shapes and 14 design styles.
It’s awesome! I mean imagine how creative you can be with all these options. There isn’t a chance that someone asks you to embroider something and you say you can’t!
This embroidery machine allows you to rotate, increase and decrease the size of your designs.
An automatic needle threader saves your time and you can thread the machine easily since everything is already printed on the machine.
The brother’s PE800 is perfect for home embroidery. It comes with step-by-step tutorials. You can see them on the screen.
If you are looking for a home embroidery machine that’s fast, quality, and versatile with long-lasting warranty and free customer support, then I recommend PE800 from the bottom of my heart.
Brother sewing machines are very easy to set up. That’s why I pay so much attention to them and write often about these machines.
Brother LB6800PRW is one more great embroidery and sewing machine. The best you can get from both, sewing and embroidery.
This model offers a full range of 67 sewing stitches with 98 stitch functions. With these, you can really make miracles.
It comes with 70 built-in designs, 120 frame combinations and 5 fonts for lettering. With all that comes a back-lit LCD touchscreen display where you can see everything you do.
This model is computerized and has a USB port. This means you can import more designs. The great thing (it’s not compatible with MAC).
For embroidering, you’ll get, firstly, 4 x 4 inches embroidery area along with the 4” x 4” embroidery hoop, 7 special sewing feet, embroidery bobbin thread, and designer rolling bag.
In addition, you’ll get an USB cable and a softcover. Absolutely adorable.
This machine is great for beginners because it’s easy to set it up, and easy to use. On the other hand, it has everything a professional needs!
It’s reliable, easy to thread (automatic thread and one-touch automatic thread cutter). The maximum sewing speed is 710 stitches per minute.
Brother LB6800PRW comes with a bilingual manual (English and Spanish) that will give you an absolute description of all setups. The only “flaw” is that you have to use it on 120V AC even if you have a voltage adapter in use!
With all accessories and additions, this is one great machine. With this sewing and embroidery machine, every project can be done in no time and what’s more important with great quality and precision.
SINGER Futura XL-580
For creativity without limits! The Singer Futura XL-580 model includes all sorts of innovative features. You can now use this machine for what you thought only professional seamstresses can do!
Completely computerized embroidery system allows you to combine multiple designs into one design file. And, you can add lettering to every project to make your projects recognizable everywhere.
Seriously, the sky is the limit. And with Singer, you can count on long lastingness and top quality!
This model offers 215 popular built-in stitches with two fully automatic one-step buttonholes. In addition, you’ll get 250 built-in embroidery designs with 5 fonts and outline lettering. Now, even when you don’t have your own idea, you can use some of the existing and you’ll always have something to do.
Automatic needle threader helps you speed up your work. Just guide the thread directly from the spool to the needle area through a single groove and thread it by pressing the lever. If you get confused, you have all the instructions in the manual.
60Hz LED light fills the surface with the light and makes your working comfortable.
Everything you expect from Singer sewing machine you’ll get wrapped up in this machine.
The combination of sewing and embroidery saves your money and expands your possibilities. Every single project you make you can personalize and make it shine. The fact the most important things are done automatically makes Singer Futrura XL-580 one of the best home embroidery machines.
SINGER Futura XL400
Let’s admit it – we love Singer Sewing machines. And why wouldn’t we when we get quality, professionalism and the whole spectrum of possibilities with them?!
It’s a fact that Singer is one of the leaders in the world of sewing machines. Automatized and improved, Singer Futura XL400 is a great machine for all of us who enjoy sewing. It’s small, easy to place and transport.
It has 30 most popular built-in sewing stitches with 2 automatic one-step buttonholes. You can use this model for embroidery and take advantage of 125 built-in embroidery designs, 5 fonts, and outline lettering.
You will work with ease and comfort thanks to LED light. If we add an automatic needle threader on the list of everything this model offers, you’ll be more than satisfied.
You won’t lack the time to use this sewing and embroidery machine since the warranty is 25 years!
Combine designs, preview them and start working. You can be as creative as you like.
How to pick an embroidery machine?
If you want to do things right, you need to choose an adequate embroidery machine.
This one can be tuff.
There are so many available machines on the market nowadays that it can be a huge process to decide which the best embroidery machine for you is.
A couple of good information to follow will help you a great deal!
- Choosing the right brand
First thing’s first! You have to decide which brand you need and want.
This can be tricky – so, if you aren’t sure, ask around. Choose some of the brands you know are good and do a little research on them.
Or, find a dealer that’s willing to help and talk to him or her.
- What do you need the machine for
If you are starting home embroidery you don’t have to spend money on commercial machines. They can cost a lot.
Instead, search for an embroidery machine for home use or get a basic sewing machine.
If, on the other hand, you want to start up some business, invest money in a commercial sewing machine. This can look like a big investment for a beginner but it will pay off!
- Necessary functions
Before buying, make plans.
Make a list of the types of projects you want to do and search for an embroidery machine that has all the functions you need (the right bobbin, needles, types of stitches and other).
Think about the space between the needle and the body (throat width) – new machines have different.
Check the hoop size available for a home embroidery machine. If it doesn’t fit your needs, keep on searching.
All machines come with accessories. Check if the one you want has everything you need for planed embroidery projects!
Embroider designs. Some machines have designs memorized by the computer. You can’t change anything here. Instead, choose the embroidery machine with the loading option (you can add designs from the internet). Take the one that has a USB port, not floppy.
Some sewing embroidery machines even offer the possibility to import your own designs. This is great.
And the last but not the least: the warranty.
Before you decide which embroider machine you want, check the warranty period. The more it lasts, the better the machine is (no argues about that).
When you find the machine that suits your needs – get it!
How to do embroidery with a sewing machine?
Whenever we hear about some special type of sewing we wonder if it’s necessary to get a specialized machine. The same is with embroidery.
Lots of you asked me if it’s possible to do embroidery with a regular sewing machine. And, yes, it is.
I have to admit that it’s easier with embroidery machines but here are some tricks to do it with an ordinary sewing machine.
You need zigzag functions. If you have Brother, Singer or any other sewing machine that supports zigzag stitches (has a zigzag foot) you can do the embroidery.
- Embroidery hoop. Use it for embroidering on an ordinary sewing machine. Maybe it sounds abecedarian but it’s important. It will help you hold the fabric since embroidering is not a piece of cake! You can hold the fabric with your hands but it won’t look the same. Without embroidery hoop you risk losing professional look of your embroidery. And isn’t this a primary goal? You don’t need an embroidery hoop bigger than 7 inches (it needs to fit in between the needle and the body of the machine).
- Feed dogs. Lower them down. I always put the accent onto the manual. Every sewing machine comes with instructions and whenever you want to switch or change something (right, left, up or down, it doesn’t matter) read the manual first! This way you’ll surely avoid damaging your machine. When you lower the feed dogs, you get free moving. This way you’ll be leading not just following and arguing with your sewing machine.
- The thread. You can use any thread for home embroidery. But remember to always use fully wound bobbin thread for embroidery. The best is to use the embroidery thread made of rayon because it will give professional look to your project and make the stitches strong. Similar is with threads made of polyester or cotton. Only use it full. Combine colors and don’t worry if you don’t have the original thread. As you see, it’s good but not irreplaceable!
- Stabilizer. If you do the embroidery on some slippery or thin fabrics, water-soluble stabilizers are a great help (you’ll avoid puckering). You can find it in tubes. The size of the tube and the price you get to choose according to your needs and budget.
How to do it?
Before you start embroidering on some important project, take a fabric sample and try. If you have never embroidered before, practice a bit. It makes no harm and it can be very helpful. This way you’ll avoid some rookie mistakes!
Here is one example for you.
- Take the tulle. This should be a type of tulle that once it’s rinsed out of stabilizer holds together. Tip – take care of the type of material! It’s your tool!
- Don’t make a too big difference in colors of the fabric you are going to embroider and the one you are going to use for embroidering. It may look funny and that’s something you don’t want. Use similar colors!
- Choose the design. You can draw it on a piece of paper or print it. Whatever suits you.
- Because here we are using a water stabilizer we shouldn’t use a pen or a marker for the drawing. It could go throughout the stabilizer and that’s something we don’t want. You can use sharpies or anything else that’s alcohol-based. You can remove it with alcohol but not with water.
- Get a thread in the color of your design. And make sure that you’ll have enough thread. Use a new thread cone for every new embroidery project. You don’t want to lack it the minute you are finishing. In the end, if you don’t spend everything, it’ll find its purpose on some other project. It won’t be wasted money! If you’re making big projects you’re gonna need a lot of thread. Smaller or thinner designs – less thread!
- Get a quilting foot. There are machines that include this in their basic accessories. It’s really easy to set it up. It just goes up and down and the lower part stays flat on the fabric.
- The stitch you should use is zigzag. If you have a basic sewing machine just learn how to combine straight stitch and the zigzag and nothing can stand in your way!
- Put the design you’ve chosen into the center of the hoop. For your first projects use the picture or whatever you want to embroider that’s smaller than the hoop. It’s possible to do it with the design bigger than the embroidery hoop; you’ll just need more patience.
- Cut the tulle. Make two pieces so you can put your stabilizer into “a sandwich”. Trace the picture onto your stabilizer using the sharpies we talked about. This and making “a sandwich” can be tricky since these aren’t the most obedient materials, but again, patience is all you need. Make it as flat as possible.
- Take the hoop and put one part of it on the top of your sandwich. Fold it a bit and then turn it upside down so you could put the second part of the hoop. This is probably the trickiest part since you have to take care of making all three layers equal and flat. Gather all parts taking care your drawing is in the center as much as possible.
- Set up the machine! Put on the quilting foot using a screwdriver (the instructions you’ll find in the manual).
- Thread the machine using a thread you want to do embroidery with. You can put a new needle if you want.
- Before you start, put the pressure foot down. Set up the stitching.
- Start embroidering. Do it slowly. If, once you’ve finished, tulle is a bit wrinkled, just iron it a bit at a very low temperature.
Embroidery machine: first steps
The first step is to understand what an embroidery machine is and what it is used for. Next, learn about its parts. You should get to know your machine as much as possible before you start working on it.
Next, practice and do it a lot. No one was born taught. If you want to manage embroidery, you’ll have to work on your embroidery skills. Nothing comes overnight. Practice and you’ll learn!
After you have learned and familiarized with your embroidery machine, you need to learn some basic things like threading. This is really important if you plan on embroidering on long runs.
After threading comes design. You need to choose the right design for the right project.
And of course, you need to choose the right fabric and other embroidery supplies. One of the most important is the stabilizer. If the stabilizer is bad, your entire project can turn into a complete disaster!
With embroidery, it’s important to be patient. It’s inevitable to make mistakes in the beginning but trust me you’ll overcome them as time passes.
How to transfer embroidery designs from computer to sewing machine?
As I advised you, take an embroidery or sewing machine that has a USB port. All newer machines have it.
It’s much easier to import embroidery designs this way.
Enter the folder where you keep your designs on your computer. Transfer the design you want to embroider to USB.
Now connect your USB with your machine. Follow the instruction on your embroidery machine screen to transfer the selected design (the machine is on).
Remember to transfer not only the picture but also information about the color and graphics. Your sewing machine needs all the information.
Can I use embroidery thread for regular sewing?
We talked about using regular thread for the embroidery. And we said it’s possible but you only need quality thread entirely wounded.
But, what about the opposite situation – should we or should we not use the embroidery thread for regular sewing?
Basically, no. Embroidery thread is great for decorative stitches but not for seams. Why? Because embroidery threads are more likely to break. If you make steams using these threads, there is a big chance the steam will break, especially if it’s a part of clothes that’s been folded constantly or is exposed to rubbing.
On the other hand, feel free to use it for any type of decorative stitches. For example, you’ve probably noticed folded edges on the pockets of your jeans. They are seamed with embroidery threads. It looks great and can’t tear apart.
In any other situation (if it’s not for decoration) I wouldn’t use embroidery thread for regular seaming!
Key features to look for in a sewing and embroidery machine
What to pay attention to when you’re buying sewing or an embroidery machine? What are the most important features?
These are only some questions people ask me all the time.
- There are so many brands today that people sometimes get lost. If you aren’t sure, go with brands such as Brother, Singer or Janome and you can’t make a mistake.
- Working area. This is an important feature. You have to pay attention to the size of the working space so you could work on different projects. If the space is too small, there aren’t many things you’ll be able to sew! The larger the working space is, the more comfortable you’ll feel and, consequently it’ll be easier for you to work.
- Quality of stitches. If you start stitching and you can let go of your fabric and your sewing machine keeps on stitching, that’s perfect. You don’t want your stitches, decorative or any other to look unprofessionally and ugly!
- Automatic end of stitches. You’re sewing or embroider machine should have the option of making the automatic end-of-stitches. At the end of every seam, it should raise the needle, raise the foot and cut a tie off a thread, and continue right where you stopped like nothing happen. This will speed you up and make all your projects look professionally!
- Dark fabrics can be tricky so it is important to see well while working on them.
- Choose the machine that has good embroidery hoops. They are mostly made in the shape of the rectangle. They can be pretty big and this may cause problems while embroidering. There are now hoops with magnetic clips. These are probably the best you can get because there is the smallest possibility of wrapping the material, making wrinkles or moving.
- Feeding system. Basically, this includes presser foot and feed dogs. With regular seaming this is ok. But when you work on thin fabric layers you could use help – a walking foot. This isn’t something necessary but is an advantage if you’re going to sew and embroider professionally!
- When you invest your money into an embroidery or sewing machine you expect to get a whole bunch of needles, feet, hoops, screwdrivers and so on. You don’t want to waste time looking for appropriate accessories. Pay attention to this before buying. Janome has some of the best accessories packages.
- If you are a rookie, you want a machine easy to use. Your machine should have a complete Instructional Manual with all possible problems included.
The price. Before you decide which sewing or embroidery machine you want, count your budget and decide the final price. Then ask around (on the internet or with your local dealer) about all previously mentioned things. When everything fits in, buy it!