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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: lendube
Date: 11-02-2006, 04:36 PM (1 of 8)
I'm in the middle of trying to figure out what I need to do to get this to work. I've got some ideas still but thought I'd get this out there in case someone knows.

I'm planning to embroider up to 40 of these shirts but starting the first has got me frustrated.

It's a v-neck pullover in polyester microfiber. The shirt is lined with a polyester lining. The outer fabric is coated with a Teflon Fabric Protector. It's soft and silky feeling.

The problem I'm having is that the needle isn't picking up the bobbin thread. The thread is also shredding.

I've checked the bobbin and cleaned out the case, changed needles, and am in the process of trying different stabilizers. The two I've tried were lightweight and now I'm going for a heavier one.

The sample embroidery was on a muslin with medium weight stabilizer and it worked up beautifully. Didn't have a similar fabric to practice on so now I have a sacrificial shirt to practice on at least!

Anyone have a clue??? Thank you so much.

User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: lendube
Date: 11-02-2006, 05:13 PM (2 of 8)
Okay, the heavy stabilizer seems to be doing the trick. I'm still a bit anxious but so far - so good and it's half way through this 10,000 stitch design.

So, can anyone tell me why it is that I read that for lightweight fabric use lightweight stabilizer? Match the stabilizer to the fabric seems to be the genreal advice.

Any comments or suggestions are still very much welcome.

Oh, btw, I also switched to a size 12 Teflon emb. needle from a size 11 reg. emb. needle. Don't know if that did any good or not.

Thanks, Lennie
User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: plrlegal
Date: 11-02-2006, 05:26 PM (3 of 8)
lendlube maybe Pam will jump in with her thougths on your problem as she is an ace at machine embroidery. I've done several shirts (mostly knit) on my embroidery machine and I used the iron on stabilizer that is for knits on the inside of the shirt then a water soluble stabilizer in the hoop and wss on the top and have had very good results each time. But that is just what I do for shirts -- t shirts as well as sweat shirts and I would say that changing to a bigger needle (I think I keep a 14 in my embroider machine) made the difference in the thread shredding.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: Chrysantha
Date: 11-02-2006, 10:47 PM (4 of 8)
I'd use an iron on mesh stabilizer , add more if you need to, and use a topper...wash-away mesh or solvy.
I'd also use a bigger needle. (denim), Make sure the fabric is STRAIGHT in the hoop and tight, but don't pull
it out of shape.
They have new 'no show' iron on meshes just for this kind of project. OESD, Floriania and ABC.
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: Tom Land
Date: 11-03-2006, 10:34 AM (5 of 8)
"So, can anyone tell me why it is that I read that for lightweight fabric use lightweight stabilizer? Match the stabilizer to the fabric seems to be the genreal advice."

Lennie when sewing on stretchy fabrics you will tend to need heavier stabilizer. The stabilizer gives the fabric some supprt so it won't stretch and try to go down with the needle. If it does go down with the needle you tend to get shreded thread or skipped stitches. Even on wovens the rule you mentioned doesn't always hold true. The stabilizer must be sufficient to keep the fabric from going down with the needle as well as prevent the fabric from shifting from stitching (parts don't match up or outline is out of place or puckering). Using the smallest needle possible also helps a lot. I prefer the Titanium #11 for almost everything.
Besides the fabric the density of the pattern can dictate stabilizer. A denser pattern will need heavier stabizer. The stabizer should always be in the hoop with the fabric and on dense patterns or stretchy fabric it helps to use a stabizer that adheres to the fabric.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: lendube
Date: 11-03-2006, 12:21 PM (6 of 8)
Thank you so much Tom, Chrys and Patsy. You helped a lot with your suggestions.

The very dense design did come out well after all. I'm happy with it.

I will try a topper but I don't expect to see a difference since this isn't a dense fabric at all. I have Clear and Melt by Inspira.

I meant to say "Titanium" (instead of Teflon) needle #12 is what I'm using so I'm glad Tom recommended that. I have a sticky stabilizer but it's not very heavy and I thought since there is a lining in the shirt the lining would stick and possibly give me more problems. I can try the sticky with the reg. beneath it though.

These shirts are a Xmas present for the local firefighters to be presented at the Xmas party the second week in Dec. This does give me time to get it right.

Thanks so much everyone! Lennie
User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: paroper
Date: 11-04-2006, 10:01 AM (7 of 8)
A lot of people use WSS on top almost as a rule. I think it is a pain and expensive. Unless you have a lot of nap in your microfiber shirt, you probably don't need to have WSS. The larger needle probably did as much good as the heavier stabilzier...both sounded like perfect choices. I'm pretty sure that Tom hit the nail right on the head. It sounded to me that the fabric was not being penetrated by the needle and his explanation was perfect. The decision to test the design first was a smart move because it gave you a basis for the solution!

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: lendube
Date: 11-04-2006, 11:23 AM (8 of 8)
Thank you, Pam!

No, there's no nap in the fabric at all. Don't think I'll need the topper. Sounds like I've got the best way to do it now. It's a little intimidating when it's such a large project! Now I'm just hoping that they're all nice and straight! Luckily there are only two color changes so I can be busy with other things in the meantime.


User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
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