Remembering Nancy Zieman

It was with a heavy heart that I read the news of Nancy’s passing this morning. She was such an important and strong influence on my sewing life. I tried so many new things, techniques, and even machines (she gave me the courage to try using a serger) after watching her on TV. The sewing world will not be the same without her.

For fans and friends wanting to share memories, condolences, and how Nancy impacted theirs lives, please head over to the Nancy Zieman blog. There is also information on suggested memorial gifts, Nancy’s biography, and lots of great Nancy resources.




Cork Bottom Monogram Tote in 14 Easy Steps

DIY Monogrammed Cork-Bottom Bag

in 14 Easy Steps

Whether you need it for the beach, going to class, a game-day tailgate party, or to carry your latest sewing project, this tote is a perfect size and is always in style. I have made several of these as gifts and the recipients always love them. They always comment about how the cork bottom gives it just the right touch of sophistication. The best part is they are so simple to make!

DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Monogrammed Cork-Bottom Bag

Supplies

4 Fat Quarters or 1 yard of fabric

2 pieces of cork fabric cut to 18″ x 4-1/2″

2 straps, each 57″ long

Clover® Wonder Clips

Fabric Marker

Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra™ or Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch™ Stabilizer for extra stability

Cotton+Steel® Thread by Sulky or Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread

Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread for the machine embroidery

Sulky Cut-Away Plus™ Stabilizer

The Monogram –

  1. I used Interlocking Vine Satin & Filled Alphabet from SWAKembroidery.com. I made sure the center of the monogram was 9″ in from the edge, and about 7″- 9″ up from the bottom. That is your preference; you decide where you want the monogram to sit on the bag vertically, but centering it horizontally is pretty important.
  2. I used Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread in the top and bobbin and I used Sulky Cut Away Plus because the this design is pretty dense (heavy and thick).

DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag

Directions

  1. Cut 2 fat quarters 18″ x 15-1/2″ for the outside fabric (be mindful to keep the monogram centered); and cut the other 2 fat quarters 19-1/2″ x 18″ for the lining. The 2 cork pieces should be cut 18″ x 4 1/2″ DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  2. Pin the straps in place, 3-1/2″ in from each of the sides. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  3. Use the Clover Wonder clips instead of pins (you can’t pin the cork because the holes from the pins don’t go away); and with right sides together, sew the cork piece onto the bottom of the fabric (the 15-1/2″ bottom) with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  (Hint:  Place the flat side of the clips on the bottom, as shown below, for easier stitching.)DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  4. Press the seam towards the fabric. Surprisingly, the cork fabric acts very much like regular cotton fabric. I did use a medium temperature on my iron but I probably could have used high heat and been fine. As always, test before you ruin a project!
  5. Topstitch the two sides of each strap, and leave 1/2″ unstitched at the top. Be sure to backstitch at the start and end of each stitching line.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  6. Place the front and back pieces right sides together, and sew the sides and bottom together with a 1/4″ seam allowance.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  7. Box the bottom corners by laying the corner out, match the side seam with the bottom seam, and measure in 2″ from the corner.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  8. Mark the line and stitch. Be sure to backstitch.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  9. Now for the lining! I stabilized my bags by fusing Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra to the lining pieces of the bags. For extra stability, use Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch. Sulky Soft 'n Sheer Cut-Away embroidery stabilizer is permanent, textured, non-woven nylon that is ultra-soft next to skin. Sulky Fuse 'n Stitch Embroidery Stabilizer is a firm, crisp, heavyweight iron-on permanent stabilizer that is ideal for projects that need extra stiffness and retained support.
  10. Sew the two lining pieces, right sides together, along both sides and across the bottom, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.   Box the bottom the same way you did with the outside pieces. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  11. Fold and press 1/2″ down on the top of the lining (folded over so the wrong sides are touching). DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDo the same with the outside piece (this is why you didn’t sew the strap down that last  1/2″ at the top).  NOTE: If you bought Nylon straps, be careful with the iron, they could melt (ask me how I know 🙂 ).DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  12. Turn the outside of the bag right sides out, and put the lining inside.
  13. Carefully clip the top edges together matching the sides seams. This is also your chance to do a reality check – the lining with the outside – and adjust if one is bigger than the other.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  14. Topstitch the lining to the bag about 1/8″ from the folded edge. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag

You are done! Enjoy your new cool bag.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag




Tutorial: Clear Vinyl Bag – A Game Day Essential!

Clear Vinyl Bag Tutorial – A Game-Day Essential!

Professional sports stadiums have required them for years, and now a clear vinyl bag is required at all college football stadiums as well. Don’t put your things in a zip-lock bag! Here is how to make an easy and adorable vinyl bag that shows your team pride!

Supplies

Clear Vinyl Bag Tutorial

Awesome pink cutting board by Havel Sewing!

Clear Vinyl – cut 1 piece 22″ x 15″

Fabric for the top – 2 pieces 6″ x 15″

Fabric for the bottom insert- 13″ x 8-1/2″

Cardboard for bottom – 12″ x 3-3/4″ (You may have to adjust this to fit – fair warning)

17″ or longer Zipper

38″ Strap

Hot glue or small strip of fusible webbing

Sulky® Tear-Easy™ (these can be scraps left over from machine embroidery projects)

Cotton + Steel® Thread by Sulky in a matching color (You can also use Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread or Cotton Blendables® Thread if you want the stitching to stand out a little more)

Tips for using vinyl

A note about clear vinyl:  This is a tricky thing to work with. You can’t iron it and you can’t use pins. It also sticks to the bed of your machine and the bottom of your presser foot. All in all, it is not my favorite thing to sew through; but I was determined to make some cute vinyl bags to carry to football games, so I figured out some tricks that make using the stuff bearable.

  1. After you have purchased your piece, open it up flat and let it relax. Tug on it some so the wrinkles and creases will release. This won’t get them all out, but it will help.
  2. Measure twice, cut once. Seriously. If you cut it wrong, you will have to cut a brand new piece since sewing pieces together would be way too obvious.
  3. Use clips, not pins. I prefer Clover® Wonder Clips
  4. When sewing, sandwich the vinyl between two pieces of Tear-Easy Stabilizer. The Tear-Easy won’t stick to the sewing machine bed or the presser foot and once you are finished sewing, it will tear cleanly away as if it was never there. This is probably the tip that will help you keep your sanity when it comes to sewing with vinyl.

Directions

  1. Fold the two 6″ x 15″ fabrics in half, lengthwise, and press; so you now have two 3″ x 15″ pieces.
  2. Sew the raw edge of one of the folded fabric pieces to one 15″ side of the vinyl with a SCANT 1/4″ seam (scant is important). 
  3. You are now going to do a french seam (otherwise this edge would look very messy inside the bag). Fold the fabric over the top of the seam and sew a full 1/4″ seam. Just one side. You will sew the other side on after you have the zipper sewn in. 
  4. OPTIONAL: Take a small fussy-cut square of your team’s logo or symbol. Put a piece of Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer™ Stabilizer on the right side of the fabric, and sew around all four sides. Trim seams to about an 1/8″ or cut the seam allowance with pinking shears. Then, cut a small slit in the Soft ‘n Sheer only and turn. This turns down all of your edges and gives the little piece some extra stability. Top stitch it to the center of the front of your bag.  (I did mine about 2″ down from the fabric and centered on the vinyl). You may need to put a little strip of Tear Easy on the top and bottom hear too – just to keep it form sticking to the foot or the machine bed.

    (Go Gators!)

  5. Time to add the zipper. Pin the zipper into place with the zipper pull moved in about 1/2″.
  6. Put a zipper foot on your machine and topstitch on either side of the zipper. 
  7. Now add the second piece of fabric to the other 15″ side of the vinyl and do the french seam on this side, too. Be sure that you first sew the fabric to the inside of the vinyl, and then the outside, so the seam stays on the inside of the bag.
  8. Sew the sides up with a 1/4″ seam and be sure to backstitch over the zipper at the top. I used clips to hold everything in place and put a piece of Sulky Tear-Easy on top and bottom of the bag.
  9. When tearing the Tear-Easy away, tear toward the stitches on one side; and the second side of the stabilizer will pull right off after you tear the first side.
  10. Box the bottom of the bag by forming a triangle with the corner and drawing a straight line 2″ in. (Note that the seam allowance is in the middle of this triangle.) I used a Sharpie® marker to draw the line so I could see it through the Tear-Easy when I sewed. Don’t trim the extra vinyl. It will fold under your bottom piece for extra stability.
  11. Now the strap: If you bought a nylon strap like I did, you can use a candle to singe the edge. Now simply topstitch the strap on each side. I did a square with an X inside for extra reinforcement. 
  12. For the insert in the bottom, cut a piece of cardboard 3-3/4″ x 12″. Do a reality check and test this in the bottom of your bag. Adjust the size as needed.
  13. Fold the 13″ x 8-1/2″ piece of fabric in half with right sides together (folded it will measure 13″ x 4-1/4″ ); and sew on the long side and one short side with a scant 1/4″ seam.
  14. Turn and put the piece of cardboard inside.
  15. You can use hot glue or fusible web to close the other short end.
  16. Put this inside the bottom of your bag and you are done.
  17. Enjoy the game!Clear Vinyl Bag TutorialClear Vinyl Bag Tutorial






Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Football season is finally here! It is one of the reasons I love fall. My little town in North Georgia is a true “Friday Night Lights” town and I wouldn’t be a true southern girl if I didn’t love college football as well. Overall, the temperatures in the south in the fall are perfect and, many days, you can still wear shorts and t-shirts to games – but the nights do start to get chilly.



This prompted me to make some cute and ridiculously easy scarfs for those chilly fall football nights.

Supplies

The Easiest Directions Ever

  1. Embroider your school’s ‘saying’ (i.e. Go Canes, Go Noles, etc.) about 8″ above one end of the scarf, centered. I did this by folding the fleece in half, long ways, and then measured up in order to be able to hoop the fleece centered. I hooped 2 layers of Sulky Tear Easy, the fleece, and then one layer of Sulky Heat Away (you could use Solvy, too).
  2. Stitch out the embroidery. I used the same thread in the top and bobbin.
  3. Finish the edges one of three ways:
    1. Serge the edges with a serger. You can do this in the same contrasting color you used for the words or in a matching color. Serger Hack: If you only have one spool of the thread you want to use to serge, wind three bobbins. On a small project like this, it is enough thread to go around the scarf.
    2. Sew the edges using one of the overlocking or decorative stitch on your regular sewing machine.
    3. Turn the edge under and sew. 
    4. Okay, I lied. There is a fourth way. You could do nothing to the edge. It’s fleece. It’s not going to fray. I personally liked using my sewing machine and the overlock stitch best.

Helpful Tip: I want my corners to be round so I used a plastic plate and chalk to mark the curve and then cut the shape. I folded the scarf in half so I could cut both ends at the same time.

That’s it! Really! I told you it was easy. So go make a scarf and cheer on your team. 

Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Visit the Team Spirit Shop for Embroider Buddies and team thread colors.

Happy Sewing!




DIY Halloween T-shirt Glows in the Dark! (And you can make it in less than an hour)

This Halloween T-shirt Glows in the Dark! (And you can make it in less than an hour)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas – Fall! I love Fall. The colors are beautiful, the weather is perfect; there is football every weekend and Halloween! We love Halloween at my house. This year, to kick off the season, I made this adorable skull t-shirt.

And by ‘made’ I mean I purchased the actual shirt and just put the skull on the front 🙂

It is quick and easy to do and took me less than an hour.

Here’s how I did it…

I found a cute skull online, and printed it onto Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch™ Stabilizer. (Just go to Pinterest and search “skulls”; you will have plenty to choose from.)

I pulled off the release sheet, and stuck the skull to the front of the shirt; placing it where I wanted the skull to be stitched.

I grabbed my spool of Sulky Glowy™ Thread in pink (because I have daughters and they want pink skulls. Glowy also comes in yellow, orange, blue, purple, green and white)

I put a white Sulky Prewound Bobbin on the bottom, and used the Glowy on top. I just used a regular straight stitch and my presser foot to do the outline of the skull. The beauty of Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch is that it is water soluble, so it stabilizes as I am sewing, gives me a pattern to follow, but will wash away when I am finished!

You can see in this close up that I went off the pattern lines a couple times. It doesn’t matter! The pattern is just going to wash away when I am finished! Plus, I think those wonky stitches give this skull some extra character.

For the eyes and nose, I switched over to free-motion. I lowered the feed dogs on my machine, and put on the free-motion foot. 

After stitching the first couple stitches slowly back and forth (like a back-stitch of sorts), I just kept going in circles and filling in the area until I was happy with it.

When the stitching was complete, I just washed away the Stick n Stitch.

diy halloween shirt

And it’s done!

I completed this shirt, including washing the Stick ‘n Stitch away and ironing the shirt dry, in about an hour.

BONUS! It glows in the dark. How cool is that!?!?!

Happy Fall and Happy Sewing!




My “I Heart” The 80’s Quilt Tutorial

When I was at Quilt Market in the spring, I fell in love with Cotton+Steel Designer Kim Kight‘s new collection – Snap To Grid. The collection just sung to me with memories of the 80’s: Great music, geometric designs, and of course NEON COLORS! As soon as I saw the fabric, I knew I wanted to make a quilt with them and with the Sulky super cool PolyDeco™ Neon colors!

My “I Heart the 80’s” Quilt Tutorial

This is actually a super quick and easy (not to mention, fun!) quilt, too!

Supplies:

I started with 6″ squares of Cotton+Steel Snap to Grid fabric and 6″ squares of RJR Cotton Solid Supreme in Optic White, white Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky for piecing, and Sulky 40 wt. PolyDeco thread in lots of awesome Neon Colors.

Instructions:

Layer one square of white with one square of Snap to Grid fabric and sew a quarter-inch seam around all four sides.

Yes.  All four! I promise – you will love this.

Now cut corner to corner, turn the mat, and cut corner to corner again.

This gives you four, half-square triangles. Isn’t that cool! I used this same technique with 2-1/2″ squares to make tiny triangles in this blog post. 

Now you can lay out your triangles however you want. I played with the order for awhile until I came up with something I liked. I pieced the quilt top together with 50 wt. Cotton+Steel thread by Sulky, in the top and bobbin. This thread sews like a dream in my machine!

Now it was time to pick the thread for quilting! I narrowed it down to five of the PolyDeco Neon Colors.

Okay, let’s talk about the proverbial “elephant in the room.” Yes, I am quilting with polyester thread. It’s okay. It’s not going to somehow hurt my quilt. This thread is made to work really well with cotton fabric. Many, many quilters (especially long-arm quilters) quilt with polyester thread. We can all stop freaking out about it being against the rules. Ladies, that rule was silly in the first place, so we have thrown it out. Not many of us are purists anymore. Secondly, I couldn’t have gotten these bright neon colors in cotton thread. In laymen’s terms (because I don’t understand it, when our thread engineers try to explain it to me), cotton just doesn’t dye the same way as polyester. So, getting neon colors, especially this bright, is hard to do. So bring on the PolyDeco Neon, baby!

I put the walking foot on my machine and just started quilting straight lines.

I gotta say, I am in love with this quilt. An added bonus, the PolyDeco Neon thread quilted wonderfully. I left the Cotton+Steel thread by Sulky in the bobbin and just switched out the top thread when I wanted to change the color. I had no issues quilting and my machine was basically lint-free when I was finished!

With Halloween just around the corner, I think I will be using these neon threads a lot in the near future. What do you think? Will you venture into the world of PolyDeco Neon thread with me?

Happy Sewing!




Fashion Flip: Turn A $3 Denim Skirt Into A $50 Skirt!

Fashion Flip:

Turn a $3 Denim Skirt into a $50 Denim Skirt

Here is another great Fashion Flip! This time we are taking this denim skirt that I got for $3 at a thrift store and using some great thread and decorative stitches to make it into a skirt that could easily sell for $50! Denim and embroidery is all the rage this fall too, so cheers to us sewists who can create these awesome pieces at a fraction of the cost AND ours will be like no one else’s clothes. I just love being unique, don’t you?

If you have read my blog for any length of time then you know I am a huge Florida State Seminoles fan, so it will come at no surprise to you that I wanted a skirt to wear to an FSU party.

Before…

I just love my adorable PINK cutting mat from Havel’s Sewing!

Here is the skirt before I did any stitching. Unlike the Fashion Flip Jeans, I am not cutting any part of this skirt off, so I will have to do my test stitching on a different piece of denim.

I used a scrap from another denim project, but tried to match the texture and color as closely as possible. Not all denim is made alike. This particular skirt is fairly thin and has a decent amount of spandex in it so it is stretchy. I took that into account when I was choosing my stitches.

Stitches look different depending on the stitch width and length so when I found the one I liked, I wrote it in permanent marker on my test piece.

I used a topstitch needle and 50 wt. Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky in the bobbin and Sulky 30 wt. Cotton solid color threads for the decorative stitching.

Because this denim is thin, I used one layer of Sulky Tear Easy Stabilizer under the stitching as well. This kept every stitch nice and even and the skirt moving evenly through the machine.

After I did the three rows of decorative stitching, I felt like it wasn’t quite finished so I added the rows of white stitching.

After!

It proved to be the perfect finishing touch!

I love my new skirt, it’s perfect for my upcoming party and I love that I have seen similar skirts for $50 in high-end stores.

Happy Sewing!




Fashion Flip: Turn $6 Jeans into $100 Jeans

Fashion Flip: Turn $6 Jeans into $100 Jeans

Like most women, I love to shop. I also love keeping up on the latest fashion trends. If nothing else, it gives me something to talk about with my two middle-school-aged daughters! The problem is my taste in fashion far outweighs my clothing budget, so when I saw these jeans for almost $100 on one of my favorite websites, I got really excited.

Why you ask? Because I knew that I could make jeans with that look! You know all those fancy-dancy decorative stitches on your machine that you look at, love them, but have know idea when or how to use them? These jeans are the perfect place to let your decorative stitches be the star of the show.

The first thing I did was head over to Goodwill® to find the perfect pair of jeans for the project (my kids and I call it Goodwill hunting).

Check out my adorable pink cutting mat from Havel’s Sewing!

These jeans were a good fit, soft and a nice color of denim. The best part, however, is they were $6 bucks! Score! So, I brought them home so I could do a Fashion Flip on them.

After washing them, I cut off the bottom seam.

I compared the picture of the jeans I was copying to determine how and where to do my stitching. I estimated that I needed to cut the bottom of the jeans off at an angle to make these sit a few inches above my ankles.

I kept the part I cut off to use for my stitch auditions. If you counted up all the decorative stitches I have on all the machines in my sewing studio, I probably have no less than 3,500 (OK – That might be an exaggeration, but it’s a lot, believe me). So auditioning is a must. What is even better is I can audition directly on the denim that is my final project.

So I picked out some beautiful threads for the stitching. I decided to go will Sulky 30 wt. Solid Color Cottons for all the stitching. 30 wt. is my go-to thread weight because it is thick enough that it stands out nicely, whether I am using it for decorative stitching or quilting; but it’s not so thick that it steals the show. Because I am almost always using 30 wt. thread, my machine is already set up with a topstitch needle.  You’ll need at least a 90/14 Topstitch needle for this project.

I proceeded to test several stitches that I thought would work, in several of the thread colors, until I was confident that I could stitch enough lines on the jeans for the project. Now let’s prepare the jeans.

I measured up the inseam about 11″ and marked with a white chalk pencil. Then, I measured the outside seam about 5″ and marked.

Next, I drew a diagonal line connecting the two marks. This is my guide for the first line of stitching. Now let’s pull out the seam ripper! For this project, it’s best to use a seam ripper with the little red ball on the short end.

You are going to need to rip up the outside seam a few inches above where your white line ends at the inseam, so the jeans can lay flat for stitching. You can do that from the inside, like the picture above, or….

From the outside. I recommend doing it from the outside. Put the little red ball in the seam, hold the two sides of the seam taunt and rip up away from you. If you have a nice sharp ripper, you should be able to do the whole seam in one or two swipes. Once you rip open the first seam, do the same thing with the serger seam. If you do all of this from the outside of the jeans, the serger threads will all stay together and you don’t have a bunch of little cut thread pieces to clean up. By keeping the little red ball inside the seam, you won’t accidentally cut your fabric, just the thread.  (Did you know that is what that little ball is for?)

Once the seams are ripped open, iron the two legs flat. (NOTE: This is why I used the chalk pencil and not a FriXion pen.)

Now it’s time to start stitching. I used 50 wt. Cotton + Steel® Thread by Sulky in the bobbin that matched the color of the jeans so I only had to change my top thread as I stitched the lines of decorative stitching. Start with a locking stitch, and then just stitch your rows!

I used the original picture as a guide for my stitches and color changes, but mostly I just kept stitching rows and switching colors as I liked. I stitched both legs exactly the same.

When the decorative stitching was finished, I used the same 50 wt. Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky that was in the bobbin to stitch a line about 1/2″ from the bottom where I cut the jeans off, and then sewed the jeans legs back up. If you want, you can then serge the inside seam as well.

fashion flip jean embroidery

That’s it! They are done! What do you think? I might be biased but I like mine better than the pricey version, especially the $6 price tag.

You can check out another great Fashion Flip here, where I transform a $3 skirt into a $50 skirt with machine embroidery.

Happy sewing!




The Very Best Way To Ruin Your Machine Embroidery Project

When I first started doing machine embroidery it was with a machine that I had borrowed from my mom. I didn’t take any classes and I didn’t read the manual that came with the machine (sound familiar?). I just started pushing button and trying things out.

Needless to say, almost everything I tried came out looking awful. So to give you a good laugh (and hopefully you can learn from my mistakes), here is my list of how to ruin your Machine Embroidery Project.

  1. Don’t change the needle. A dull needle that has already sewn several thousand stitches is one sure-fire way to ruin your project and cause you great frustration in the process. You could get a lot of thread breaks and thread shredding with an old needle. Using the wrong needle size for the thread and fabric you are using can also ruin your project. Schmetz has a great guide (check it out here) that gives you a guide for which needle is right for your project. Sulky also gives needle recommendations for our threads on sulky.com and on the end of many of the spools!
  2. Just use whatever thread you have laying around. Not all threads are the same. Shockingly, the thread you can get 3 spools for a dollar at the checkout of a big-box store is not going to be the same quality as the ENKA Certified Rayon that is sold by Sulky.
  3. Don’t do a test sew out.

    Picture courtesy of dzgns.com

    I know you paid good money for the embroidery blank, t-shirt, or bag that you are planning to embroider on. If you like messing up and having to re-buy your blanks, by all means, just go for it without testing the design, the stabilizers, or the positioning of the design on the item.

  4. Don’t use the right stabilizer. This is probably the best way to ruin an embroidery project. If you just throw any old stabilizer in, no matter what type of design you are stitching or what type of fabric you are stitching on, I can all but guarantee you will screw up the project. Need some proof? check out these pictures of designs that were not stabilized properly compared to the ones that were.

    Embroidery with the wrong stabilizers.

    Embroidery with the right stabilizer

     

    If you want to know the right kinds of stabilizer to use, check out the Sulky Stabilizer Selector Tool.
  5. Heck! Don’t use any stabilizer at all! Once again, it’s probably the quickest way to screw it all up.

Truthfully, I don’t want you to have to make the mistakes I made so, please, change your needle! Use good quality thread, and by all means, use the right stabilizer. If you aren’t sure what stabilizer to use, check out our Stabilizer Selector Tool. 

Happy Sewing!




The # 1 FAQ – What Stabilizer Do I Use? – Answered

The #1 Question: What Stabilizer Do I Use? – Answered!

When I asked Patti Lee, Vice President of Consumer Relations for Sulky of America, what is the number one question that people ask you; without hesitation, she said, “What stabilizer do I use?” Every day, all day it seems, Patti is answering this question.

As a result, we created the new….Sulky Stabilizer Selector Tool!

What stabilizer do I use seems like a pretty straightforward question, but the truth is, it’s an incredibly complicated one! The answer depends on what type of fabric you are stitching on and the technique you are using (Applique, Hand Embroidery, Monogramming). Depending on the type of fabric and the technique you are using, the Stabilizer Selector Tool on our website could give you any one of 2,278 different answers! Crazy right?

This tool took our team of experts here at Sulky over a year to put together. We wanted to be sure that you are getting the best information possible so you have great results. Our motto is “Create with Confidence”, after all.

Here is how the Stabilizer Selector Tool works:

First, pick a technique.  There are 34 techniques to choose from. You can choose anything from Applique to Sashiko; and Monogramming to Thread Sketching.

Next, pick your fabric. There are 69 to choose from (did you even know there were that many types of fabric? Me either!). These experts thought of it all. You can choose anything from Cashmere to Cotton, to Lightweight Knit and Hats!

 

Once you have your combination set, the suggested stabilizer (or stabilizers, as is often the case) pops up. They are listed by which ones should be a backing stabilizer, what should be a topping, and how many layers of each you will need.

sulky stabilizer selection tool

Sulky Stabilizer Selector Tool

Note: I wish I could tell you that using the stabilizer selector and following the suggestions gave you a 100 percent guarantee of perfect results every single time.  However, these are the absolute best suggestions that our experts can possibly give you with the limited information that is being asked; but let’s face it, there are other factors in machine embroidery that are also important for success. For example, all fabrics are not manufactured the same – there are different weights and quality. When is the last time you changed your needle? What kind of thread are you using? Are you hooping properly? Are you spending enough time with your embroidery machine, or is she getting jealous of the other machines in your sewing room, so she is forced to mess up while you aren’t looking, so you will only pay attention to her? (Please tell me my machine isn’t the only one that does this!)

In other words, here is the fine print: Though these results are based on the suggestions of our Experts, there are numerous possibilities that can be used for nearly all techniques/fabric combinations. We are confident you will experience great results with our suggestion, so go ahead and Select With Confidence!

The bottom line: If you use the Stabilizer Selector Tool and follow the suggestions, we are confident you will like what you see and it is certainly a great place to start, especially if you are doing a brand new sewing technique or sewing on a fabric that you have never used before. However, we always suggest that you test before you sew :).

If you want something for your actual sewing reference library on these recommendations, we have some dandies in recipe-format with pretty pictures to inspire you in this book.  It’s a great reference and would make a great gift, too.

Happy Sewing!