Sulky Embroidery Club

Machine Embroidery “The Right Way” on Knit

I have a confession. When it comes to machine embroidery, I am a newby. I love it, I’m just not very experienced. If you ask me to put a monogram on basic cotton, I am all over it, but anything beyond that I a refer to my embroidery bible or I ask Patti Lee, Sulky’s resident guru and VP of Consumer Relations.

Recently, I wanted to put this design onto t-shirt material, so I asked Patti what stabilizer I needed for this design. She said I needed to use Sulky Solvy® as a topper, Sulky Soft n Sheer Extra™ as a backing and Sulky Tender Touch™ for the back. Confession number 2: when she was telling me this, I thought, “She is just trying to sell extra stabilizer. I don’t need all that!” So I proceeded to my machine and embroidered the design using one layer of Sulky Tear-Easy on the back. I hooped the Sulky Tear-Easy and the t-shirt and this is the result:


Horrible, I know. Even after lots of steam and careful stretching, I could not iron the puckering out. Worst than that, the t-shirt was so distorted, I could no longer use it. So I got another shirt and tried again using all the stabilizers that Patti had recommended. I ironed the Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra to the back of the t-shirt, put Sulky Solvy on top and hooped all of it. I stitched the design out using Sulky 40 wt Rayon on top and Sulky White Bobbin thread on the bottom. When complete, I pulled up the excess Soft ‘n Sheer Extra (you can heat it a bit with the iron if necessary) and then trimmed it with a pinking sheer for a no-show edge.  I finished it off by cutting a piece of Sulky Tender Touch with a wavy blade rotary cutter (again, because the t-shirt is white and I didn’t want any stabilizer to show through) and ironed it over the back of the design. This is the result:


Needless to say, I had to call Patti and eat crow. I promised I would never doubt her again. Here is the comparison:


Embroidery with the wrong stabilizers
Embroidery with the wrong stabilizers
Embroidery with the right stabilizer
Embroidery with the right stabilizers


Alright, now it’s your turn! What’s your embroidery confession of the day?

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  • Elsie Bulva

    I had a similar episode on a t shirt when all the special stabilizers were not available and if they were they were not where I lived. Needles to say I never wore the t shirt. Now many years later I am trying to get my quilting done that I have promised and stick to learning the embroidery capability of my machine. Some of us take a LOOOOng time to learn something but I say better late then never. Then I will apply it to my quilts

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