Friday, December 28, 2012

Emboridery Essentials

 
Since I have received my Brother PE500 I have began collecting supplies to use as well as different nick-knacks here and there that I have come to realize I need to keep on hand in order to keep my machine up and running (I have spent a lot of time behind my machine since Christmas Eve). I have put together a list of these essentials in hopes that it will help you begin your embroidery adventure!
 
Embroidery Thread - I have been using the Sulky Rayon brand, but anything on sale works perfect. I prefer to use the embroidery thread rather than the common thread you would sew with because it gives a more shiny finish to your projects. I would purchase common colors, red, blue, green and then other fun colors like pink and lime green, gold; different things to play around with.
 
Stabilizer - I use lightweight tear away stabilizer, water soluble, or heat-a-way works too, any brand. I would advise you to purchase this when it is on sale and a lot of it, it can be pricey depending on the brand.
 
Bobbin Thread - Bobbin thread is different than the embroidery thread, Brother uses a 100% polyester thread, white. You only see the Bobbin on the bottom, it does not need to be the same color as the embroidery thread. This can also be pricey, so purchase when it is on sale!  
 
Extra Machine Needles - the PE500 uses a universal needle and the size just depends on the thickness of the fabric, I have 11, 14, 16, and 18 needles.
 
Hoops - The PE500 comes with a 6x4in hoop with a 4x4in embroidering area, but I would suggest purchasing a smaller size in order to complete smaller projects more accurately.
 
Notebook - Of course mine is Lilly, but I find that having something devoted to your projects is great. You have it sitting right there so you can take notes, or write measurements down and keep them all in one place without worrying about where "that piece of paper with that stuff on in went."
 
Extra Fonts - Purchase extra fun fonts that you can use over and over again. I have purchased a circular font from Apex Embroidery, and am looking at others to purchase from this site. I know these fonts seem pricey but most of them offer multiple sizes and each monogram font has letters that are pre-sized for the monogram. It is good to have a couple monogram font options as well as different alphabets, and of course Greek letters!
 
Carrying Case - It is important to have something to carry your machine in, you don't want to have to take the box out every time you want to go somewhere with it, and its not something you want to leave sitting around the house unless you have a room specifically for sewing! I have purchased a pink bag combo, it is important to make sure that your machine will be protected when traveling. With embroidery machines the embroidery arm often will not fit in a bag sized for a sewing machine this is why I choose to get the combo, it is a little more pricey, but I know my machine will be protected.
 
Storage - In the last few days, after purchasing more stabilizer and different threads, I have come to realize that storage is key! I purchased a simple plastic drawer unit, it was only about $15 in the store. I plan to add some scrapbook paper and decorate the drawers so that I know what is in them. It is also large enough to store other craft supplies you might have laying around.
 
Measuring Tape - I have a plastic measuring tape on hand so that I can measure the distance from the hoop to the side, and then again on the other side to insure that the design will be centered evenly on the item.
 
Tools - There are a few tools I have found handy in the last few days. A mini Screwdriver, this is helpful when trying to adjust your bobbin tension. Tweezers, these are helpful in case your machine jams and you cannot get the thread out with your fingers. The PE500 comes with multiple tools to assist you such as mini scissors, a seam ripper, a stylus for the screen and other things to help keep your machine running smoothly.
 
Items to Embroider - Of course you need something to embroider and practice on! I started with an old pillow case that I cut up into squares and practiced different designs as well as different letters on. Things such as cheap washcloths (these are 49 cents at Wall Mart) are good to use too. I also picked up a pack of white t-shirts, and Hanes Crew Sweatshirts. (Hint: When using thicker material like a towel, sweatshirt, fleece blanket...etc. use stabilizer on the top and bottom to insure the piece is stable, this also makes your monogram come out cleaner. Hint: Use a larger needle for thicker items, I would use a 14 or 16 on any towels, possibly an 18 depending on how thick the towel is.)
 
As I continue to do more with my machine and acquire different fonts and threads, I am sure there will be more things to add to  this essentials list but for now, this outta do it!

21 comments:

  1. Hi, I have another question. Which format do i need to purchase from APEX, .PCS or .PCD?
    Thank you again! Jessicadkelly@yahoo.com

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  2. it's me again, miss madison:) i am ordering my machine and essentials. you said i may need a smaller hoop for more accuracy... are the hoops "brother" or just any type of hoop? i guess i'm asking, if the hoop has to fit something on the machine? ~@~ dani

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  3. Hi Dani! Yes you have to purchase the Brother brand hoops because they are the only ones that will fit on the machine, at least that is what I was told. Here is a link for the description from the Brother website... http://www.brother-usa.com/homesewing/accessories/accessorydetail.aspx?R3AccessoryID=SA431#.UcMZ_3jD-Uk I am sure you can purchase it on Amazon...but yes on the left side of the hoop where it latches to the machine is special for certain hoops. The hoop the machine comes with will cover about a 4x4 area and this smaller one will do about 2x2. I hope this helps!

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  4. I have the brother pe 500 and my material keeps getting sucked into the bobbin area and I have to cut it out- tearing my material. I'm on the verge of beating my machine with a hammer- what is the problem?? I've replaced needles, cleaned -- very good, changed bobbin & thread. Any ideas??

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    1. Hi! I recently experienced this same problem and it turned out that I had a hole in my bobbin holder, the black thing that the bobbin sits in. I would recommend looking at it and seeing if there is a hole or anything like that, mine was very small but was causing the same problem. I took it into a sewing store and they serviced it and replaced the piece for me. the service was $120 and the part cost $40. I hope this helps!

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  6. I have a brother pe500, it come with a medium hoop. I bought a large hoop. Do I need to change the hoop size on the machine? Help please

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    1. Hi Rozanne, I have not ran into this problem yet as I have not purchased a different hoop, but have not had the chance to use it. I purchased the smaller one and when messing around with it found that if I make the image smaller it clumps together in the smaller hoop. I have looked through my manual and was unable to find any direction for other hoops. So, I am not sure of the answer to your question, but I will continue to research to see if I can find out more information.

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  7. I have thos machine is there anyway to do bags?? Is there certain hoop I can get?? Also, when I use a font that I download how do I put a word together I always have to do one letter at a time?? Thanks

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    1. Hi, in order to do bags you can use the same hoop, but you have to make sure that the pocket of the bad is big enough to flip the bad inside not so that it does not sew the pocket closed. It takes a little messing around to get it to work sometimes. In order to make full words you have to purchase some type of software, this gives you the ability to put the entire design together and then send it to the machine to complete. I hope this helps :)

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  8. I have the PE 500 and am having a hard time finding replacement needles. Where did you find them? What brand and what sizes. I have been to Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics and haven't seen anything Brother Brand?

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    1. The needles I use are just normal embroidery needles, any brand, you can purchase at any craft supply store. There is not a brother brand that you have to use!

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  9. hm.. I am reached here by searching for calibration details of embroidery machines ... think it is right place for it and this site should be an encyclopedia for the embroidery business.

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    1. Hi, I am so glad that you have found this helpful! I am hoping to post more as I continue to embroider! I am in the middle of a crazy busy senior year, to extra time is small.

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  10. Does the embird program allow you to transfer the appliques to the program so that you can manuever the names? I am new to this and the only program I have to the monogram wizard plus.

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  11. I just got this machine, can it use multiple thread at one time?

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    1. Hi, you cannot use multiple threads at the same time, you will have to switch the thread for each different color, normally when different pieces are assigned to certain colors the machine will stop, and then allow you to change the thread. Hope this helps!

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  12. I just received this machine a week ago and am dying to try a monogram. In order to use a font from Apex do you need a certain software? If so, what do you recommend?

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    1. Hi Sarah, you are not requires to use a specific software to use the purchased fonts, you are able to reinsure each letter using the USB cord that comes with the machine. However, I find using the software makes the spacing and the design much easier to maneuver. Hope this helps!

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