Embroidery problems and how to fix them

free embroidery designs
Hello embroiderers! How are you doing?
This week I’ve been working on some spooky orange and black Halloween patchs with some of these designs. While I was at it, I had made a few mistakes, especially related with the thread color change issue.
That is why I wanted to make this post where I will tell you how to deal with some everyday problems that you’re likely to come across with if you’re an enthusiastic embroiderer.
We are all human and we make mistakes, but in the world of embroidery these mistakes can have very serious consequences if we do not act immediately to repair it. The problem is that generally this mistake makes us nervous and we are not able to react properly. But before any mistake in an embroidery, it is important to quickly adopt certain measures to be able to repair it in the best possible way.
Here are some recommendations that you should follow when you detect an embroidery error. These are just some tips for you to put into practice when you have to deal with some trouble.

Keep calm and… remove the stitches!

Please, don’t underestimate this great advice. Don’t forget that you’re dealing with an electric machine with needles. It is important to remain calm so that you can analyze the situation and make the right decisions. The embroidery machine only seems to give problems when we are embroidering a very valuable garment, or we have a very tight delivery date. Usually the problem exists because we are working in a hurry, and then the situation becomes even more complicated. But you should never try to fix the error in a hurry because the result can be even worse. If you have embroidered something incorrectly and try to undo the stitches, you may end up piercing the fabric. The key is to remain calm and patient while fixing the error, and this will give you a better result. In addition, if we are in a hurry, it is possible that we will make mistakes again.

Keep the garment in the hoop

When you detect an embroidery error, the first thing you should do is: (repeat it with me) DON’T remove the garment from the frame. This is a very simple recommendation, as the first reaction to an error is to remove the garment from the frame and remove it.

If you remove the garment from the hoop, it will be nearly impossible to hoop it back in exactly the same position. Whereas if you keep it in the hoop after correcting the mistake, you could proceed with the embroidery. All you have to do is find the correct stitch and start the embroidery machine again without having to readjust the machine. At least you will have a reference to restart the embroidery. When you discover an embroidery problem that you need to correct, take note of the exact point in the design where the error occurred. And when it comes to repair, you should always write down the stitch where the embroidery machine stopped.

Sometimes you can even write it down on the stabilizer used on the back of the garment. The problem will generally have occurred before that stitch, but at least you have a point of reference within the design. And later you can return to that point (or slightly before that stitch), when you have already corrected the error.

And why is it important to note where the error occurred in the picking point? Although the easy thing would be to leave the machine stopped until the error is resolved and the embroidery can be resumed, this is totally unproductive and the most efficient thing is to continue embroidering another garment unless the error repair is very simple. If you need 20 to 30 minutes to undo the stitches, you could use this time to embroider another 3-4 designs. It is advisable to have a spare frame (one or two of each size), to be able to remove the frame with the garment in which you have made a mistake and continue with your production with all the information about the error written down, to use it later.

How to undo stitches

In most cases, repairing an embroidery error requires undoing the stitches. It is preferable to undo only the part of the design that is incorrectly embroidered in order to embroider it correctly. Try to undo the minimum number of stitches, and not the entire design.

A little trick is to frame the design on a piece of paper or lining to mark the error on it and use it as a reference for the previous stitches. This way, you can use your point of origin (the starting point of the design) as a reference as well. Instead of starting the design in the center, you can start at a point in the previously embroidered design. After loading the stitches, you can find that point and align it with the embroidery machine.

Try to undo an entire part of the design, and not just the section that needs to be repeated. For example, if when embroidering a name we have made a mistake only in one letter, it will  be easier to align it if you undo all the letters before or after the error, instead of undoing only the incorrect letter and trying to align and repeat the embroidery of that single letter.

Embroider on top

Sometimes you don’t need to undo stitches to fix a mistake, because you can cover it up with the correct stitches. These errors usually occur when embroidering with a thread of the wrong color. When you spot the problem, simply go back to the point in the design where you got the wrong color and embroider over it with the correct color thread.
The only problem is that sometimes the thread of the correct color could show through the new stitches. To avoid this, you can add a matching piece of stabilizer before embroidering with the correct color thread. The stabilizer will act as a barrier, preventing the first thread from showing through the new color. You can use a tear-off stabilizer and after embroidering you can stop the embroidery machine to tear off any excess stabilizer before continuing with the embroidery.
Hiding mistakes with new stitches is a very old trick used in the world of embroidery. You can even create a fill design to hide the initial error.

Repair holes

Repairing holes can be tricky or easy. If the hole is generated in the embroidery area, the stitches will generally be able to hide it. In this case, you just have to go back to a position before the hole, put a small piece of stabilizer under the garment and embroider on top. The embroidery stitches will repair the hole and thanks to the stabilizer, that area won’t break easily again.
The problem may occur when the embroidery does not cover the hole, in which case it will be necessary to patch the hole. Consider creating a fill area to hide the hole and embroider on top. Of course, you must take into account the value of the garment you are embroidering on, if the hole occurs in a really cheap shirt and the repair is not easy, simply throw the shirt in the trash or save it for another moment of creativity 😉 .

Minimize wasted time

Ideally, you can fix bugs without having to stop production. By getting the embroidery machine to keep working while you fix the error, and then finish embroidering the repaired garment, you’ll be sure to minimize wasted time.
That’s all for today, and I hope these tips are helpful to you! The best advice is never stop practicing, and never let a tiny mistake take away your inspiration to continue creating. Practice makes the master, and I think that even the master can make a mistake… The trick is to know how to repair them!
What other embroidery mistakes are you used to and how do you deal with them? Tell me about it on the comments below!
Take care and sew you soon!
Mary

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