Machine embroidery: Beginner’s guide

In this article, we welcome you to follow along as Joanne Banko demonstrates easy tips for using an embroidery machine.

Joanne uses THE Dream Machine to reveal a recipe for embroidery success for new users and enthusiasts alike!

Joanne will walk you through the basic materials you'll need to begin embroidering today.

Here are the embroidery materialsembroidery materials she uses:

  • Stabilizers: The foundation of any machine embroidery project, a stabilizer prevents the fabric from moving, stretching, and puckering while giving the stitches a professional-looking, uniform appearance.
  • Embroidery threads: Machine embroidery threads are available in varying weights, thicknesses, and thread colors. They are comprised of two or more threads twisted together.
  • Bobbin threads: Used to create stitches on the bottom side of a piece of fabric,bobbin threads are small spools of thread that sit at the base of a sewing machine.
  • Embroidery needles: With longer eyes than regular sewing needles and uniquely shaped scarfs, machine embroidery needles prevent delicate threads from breaking and fraying.

Embroidery tips for beginners

Let’s now look at some additional embroidery tips so you can feel even more confident in your next project using a Brother embroidery machine.

We recommend:

  • Using the right embroidery hoop
  • Getting the proper stabilizer size
  • Considering a tear-away stabilizer
  • Using a hooping station
  • Avoiding stretching your fabric
  • Not over-tightening your hoops
  • Using some sort of adhesive

Keep reading for our essential embroidery tips!

1. Use the right embroidery hoop

Machine embroidery projects require small, circular embroidery hoops, so use the smallest one that will fit your design.

The closer your embroidery designs are to the edges of the hoop, the more stability you'll have when sewing. A hoop that's too large could cause the fabric to shift around, which may lead to uneven stitching.

2. Get the proper stabilizer size

The size of your stabilizer is also important. It should be big enough to extend about an inch past the edges of your embroidery hoop in all directions—9 to 12 inches should suffice.

Keep in mind that some hoop sizes refer to the interior dimensions of the hoop, while others indicate the sewing size the hoop will support.

3. Consider a tear-away stabilizer

You can also use a tear-away stabilizer, sometimes called a cut-away stabilizer. This is essentially a temporary stabilizer that you can easily remove after stitching your machine embroidery designs.

4. Use a hooping station

A hooping station will ensure better accuracy with your machine embroidery project by holding the bottom hoop and securing your stabilizer as you align your fabric and attach it to the top hoop.

Bonus tip: Placement and alignment tools can also help.

5. Avoid stretching the fabric

You must keep the fabric taut within the hoop with machine embroidery projects.

However, be careful about stretching the fabric. This will help prevent your stitches from puckering once you remove them from the hoop.

6. Don't over-tighten your hoops

A common mistake for beginners is to over-tighten the hoop screws. The fabric inside the circle should be taut, but making the hoop too tight can strip the screws and ultimately damage the wooden or plastic hoop.

Overtightening can also cause hoop burn, in which the ring mark from the hoop's tight grip essentially smashes down the fabric fibers.

7. Use an adhesive

Whether you're creating appliques, using special fonts, sewing monograms, or using a free-motion quilting technique, the adhesive is your best friend for embroidery.

You can use a temporary adhesive spray to stabilize stretchy fabrics in your hoops. For portions of fabric that can't be hooped but need to stay out of the way, you can use double-sided sewing tape.

Share your machine embroidery journey with us!

Are you ready to start your new project now that you’re more familiar with the embroidery process? We sure are!

We’re also excited about the possibilities of what you can create with your embroidery machine and eager to help you achieve them!

At Brother, we carry some of the best embroidery machines on the market.Explore our sewing and embroidery machine collection today to find the right one for you!

For more tips and information about machine embroidery, watch Joanne’s super-helpful tutorial video below!