Machine Embroidery Designs

JUNE Free Design – Butterflies and Puckering



Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes. ~Author Unknown

Did you know how important butterflies are. Well, they are extremely important. Butterflies are the second largest group of pollinators… to bees. Without pollinators, we have a major problem with food production.

Now that we have a beautiful butterfly, and we know how important they are, we want to make sure that our Butterfly sews out beautifully without any puckers.

First and foremost, pre-launder the item you are going to embroider your design on. Most all fabrics will have some degree of shrinkage after washing and drying. How much shrinkage will depend on the amount of natural fiber in the item but there are few fabrics that don’t shrink.

In addition to fabric shrinking, polyester embroidery thread stretches when you are embroidering. After you are through with your design and the item has “rested”, the polyester thread will relax. After it relaxes, it will shrink back to his natural state. If you have not pre-washed your item, the item will shrink and the embroidery thread will shrink back to its natural “unstretched” state, thereby compounding the shrinkage problem and you may have a “curled” design most likely accompanied by “poofy” or ruffled edges.

Second, do not overstretch or pull the fabric when hooping it. Do not stretch the fabric as “tight as a drum” as I have read in some articles. If you do, when the fabric is released from the hoop, it will relax to its natural state and again, you most likely will have puckering. While you need to assure that the fabric is taunt when hooped, do not overstretch it.

Third, analyze your project. No, you don’t need to be a psychiatrist. However, you must determine that (1) if the fabric is too light, or (2) it is not properly stabilized, or (3) it is not properly hooped (either too loose or too tight), the natural result will be that the fabric cannot support the extra weight of the embroidery thread and again, you will have puckering.

Fourth, another cause of puckering can be if your bobbin tension is too tight. You may need to loosen the tension to get a satisfactory sew out. If you have a dual machine, i.e., one which embroiders and sews, be sure to change the tension before you embroider as you can have a major disaster on your hands if the tension is set wrong.

In a nutshell, if you are wanting to embroider a heavy design, i.e., one that is layered and shaded, you will want to consider a medium weight fabric and a cut-away stabilizer. A less dense design with a light cutaway will work well on lighter fabrics. It can be frustrating as sometimes no matter what you do it seems some designs curl and pucker. Keep your best friend close, the proverbial pressing cloth to take care of those issues.

Happy Stitching!