My goal here at Sew Sweet Academy is to help embroiderers at any level enhance their skills while building a business! Today I want to share with you the tools I use to run my business on a daily basis. Some are absolute essentials, while others just make life a LOT easier. I hope this list can help you!
There are so many essential factors that go into each and every embroidery design, such as stitch time, number of stitches, and the colors of thread used. This info will come in handy if your customers become repeat customers because you will be able to recreate the exact design without having to figure everything out again.
I could never find a notebook or planner that kept my notes as organized as I wanted, so I created one! My Pretty Perfect Planner includes project sheets for everything that I use to complete a successful order, as well as pages that help me outline my goals, keep track of inventory, keep track of profit and loss, and more.
I believe that this planner will become the second in command in your embroidery business in no time! If you don’t have a business, but enjoy embroidering for friends and family, the planner will still be invaluable with how it helps keep track of individual projects and your supplies. Grab yours here today!
Single Needle Embroidery Machine
Just getting started, or looking for a more convenient way to do smaller projects? The Brother PE800 is the perfect machine for that! It can accommodate a 5x7 embroidery area and includes over a hundred built-in designs and fonts so you can get started with no additional software needed.
Stabilizers are the backbone of your embroidery business, or at least of your designs! They give your design the structure it needs for the design to stitch out properly without it stretching out or stitches breaking. Stabilizers aren’t a one size fits all type of product though; you will use different types for different projects. For example, I use tear-away stabilizer for most projects that aren’t on a stretchy fabric, such as hats, thick sweaters, and tote bags. For projects with some stretch to the fabric or thinner fabrics, like T-shirts or scarves, I prefer to use this cut-away stabilizer. When you are stitching on an item with lots of texture, such as towels, it is helpful to have a wash-away stabilizer on top of the fabric to prevent the stitches from sinking into the textured surface.
Do you have difficulty getting just the right placement of your design? I get it! Over the years I’ve learned a few tips that have helped me, which I talk about more in my Academy. In the meantime though, here’s a couple of items I have found helpful in getting my placement just right! I use this water soluble marker to mark just where my design should go. I normally use the purple side because I find that sometimes the blue side doesn’t come out of the fabric quite as easily. I also use these pins. You can use any pins, but I like these ones because they lay flat and make it easier to maneuver around. Speaking of pins, I find it super handy to store mine on this magnetic pin holder. It holds a good amount of pins, and will also makes finding dropped pins on the floor much easier.
These stickers are incredible for perfectly lining up and centering your design, especially on the commercial Brother machines. Just place them at the center of where the design goes, and then use the camera on the machine to line it up with the grid marks.
Another product that makes placement much easier is this spray adhesive. Just a thin coat will help keep your fabric and stabilizer from shifting around while you hoop it. Be sure not to spray it near the machine though, as the residue can drift over and gunk up the moving parts.
I love and use a variety of brands of thread, but I really like the Simthread collection for the variety of colors and the strength!
Snip, Clip, and Grab
Nothing is more frustrating when you’re embroidering than trying to grab a short thread with your fingers or trying to snip a thread with a large pair of scissors without snipping your design. A good pair of snips and tweezers will make your life so much easier!
I like these snips for trimming those tight spaces or taking out a design that went wrong.
A few other items I like to keep on hand are:
-these applique scissors
-the Snag Nabbit for repairing any snags in my fabric; and
-these tweezers for grabbing hard to reach threads on my design or in my machine!
One thing you never want to find yourself short of when embroidering is machine needles! Despite our best efforts, they tend to break or bed at the most inconvenient times, and I like to make sure I am more than prepared for it. My favourite are the Organ needles from Brother, and you can stock up on them here.
I also find it helpful to have extra bobbins on hand, they always go faster than you would expect! You can get either the regular pre-wound bobbins, and the magnetic prewound bobbins, depending on your preference and machine.
Finally, if you like to create or edit your own designs, or are just looking for a way to convert files, I find that the Sewwhat Pro Embroidery Editor software has everything I need! You can easily purchase and download from their site to get started with it right away. I appreciate the editing tools on this software, which allow me to resize, change colours, delete elements, add fabric for an applique, and more!
Whew, we went through a lot there! I hope this was helpful for you, and maybe even helped you find a new tool to ease some of the frustrations you’ve come up against while embroidering. If you would like to keep up to date on techniques and tools I find helpful, come join us in my Facebook group. We have a lot of fun there, including a live video every Sunday night where I stitch something from start to finish with you.