How to Set Up Your New Embroidery Machine

So you have your new machine and you’re ready to start embroidering! Before you begin however, there will be a few steps to take before your machine is ready. Follow these steps and you’ll be embroidering with the best of them in next to no time at all.

1. Unpacking

You’re not going to get much done with your machine still in the box are you? Take care when unpacking your new machine as they can be quite delicate and most machines are a bit on the heavy side.

2. Check Instructions

Many people (myself included) tend to ignore instructions. When it comes to a new embroidery machine though, I really recommend giving them at least a once over.

For those of you new to embroidery, this is probably your first machine. I strongly recommend reading the instructions thoroughly, just to make sure you don’t break your new expensive machine before you have even used it.

3. Attach your embroidery arm

Some machines come set up as a regular sewing machine. If this is the case, root around in your box and you will find the separate embroidery arm. Simply slide off the removable section so you can connect the arm. To convert back into your sewing machine the arm will just slide off, same as before. Simple right?

4. Connect to your computer

Only the most expensive machines have their own computer built in. If your machine is like mine it needs to be connected to your personal computer. Double check to make sure all the cables are connected and then turn your machine on.

5. Install software.

I often struggle with computers. Luckily, installing your machines new software is really easy. Most software installation is as simple as sticking the CD into your computer and hitting the install button.

This is great, even people with very limited computer expertise will have little difficulty in getting the software installed and ready for use.

6. Set the machine ready for embroidery

Ok so here comes the complicated bit. Although experienced users will find this bit really easy, those that are setting up their first machine might struggle. Any problems you have should be covered in the instruction manual that came with your machine.

The three main steps are:

1. Thread the machine

Refer to the instructions for the correct way to thread each machine. This step is normally pretty simple, but if you happen to do it incorrectly your machine should beep to let let you know you have messed up.

2. Insert the bobbin

Open the little cover that slides over your bobbin case and insert your bobbin. Some machines come with bobbins, for those that don’t you can wind your own. The steps for this should be covered in your instruction manual.

3. Set the bobbin thread

Turn the wheel on your machine that lowers the needle, you will only need to do this once. When the needle returns to the higher position it will hook the bobbin thread and pull it up for you. Use whatever small tool you prefer and pull this thread until it is all the way out and allow it to rest over the back of your machine.

This next bit is very important. Make sure the top thread goes through the sewing foot and over the back, just like the bobbin thread.

7. Start embroidering!

You’re now ready to start. With your machine ready to go there is just a few things left to take care of. I’ll take a moment to explain the next steps towards getting your designs onto the fabric they are intended for.

  • 1. Hoop your material – Some machines come with different sizes of hoop, my machine has 2 different sizes. It is important to ensure the design you have settled on fits inside the hoop or you will have problems once the process starts.
  • 2. Place your stabilizer – Use stabilizer under your fabric. This is to provide support as you stitch, most fabrics are not designed to support the stitching that you want to add to it. There are loads of different types of stabilizer, you can buy it online or at any sewing store on the highstreet.
  • 3. Load up design on your software – Once you have decided on the design you are going to create, load it up on the software that came with your machine and you are ready to go.
  • 4. Create test design – It’s a great idea to do a test on a small piece of fabric or cloth before you attempt to embroider your $50 jumper. I recommend using a test piece of similar colour and type to what you intend to sew on later. This way you can get a better idea of what the finished article will look like.
  • 5. Check for any issues – While your machine is sewing your test item, keep an eye out for any errors that your computer highlights for you. A common issue to look out for is bits of white loose thread. This is a tension problem causing your bobbin to behave badly. Simply adjust your tension controls until this is fixed.
  • 6. Create your new design! – Now you’re ready to put your design on whatever item you choose. Follow the previous steps and transform your chosen article into something much more personal.

Final Thoughts

While definitely not the most simple of tasks, setting up your new embroidery machine should be a fairly straight forward affair. Different machines will have different set up procedures, but they will all run along similar lines.

As I said before, it’s a wise choice to read through the instruction manual thoroughly before you start setting up, this will minimise any issues you may run into. Anything you don’t understand can normally be rectified by a quick google search.

After some practise, setting up will become second nature and will only take you 10-15 minutes depending on how nimble your fingers are.

It won’t take long before you are proficient at setting up your machine and can then begin to enjoy creating and embroidering your new designs.