Online Embroidery Workshop Supplies

Welcome to my Embroidery ONLINE workshop – there are some supplies that you will need to have at hand so you can fully explore all the techniques that I have to show you.  I am based in the UK and so I have suggested retailers that I use [where possible I have also researched international options, but you may have your own trusted suppliers]

This is not a hard and fast list, be flexible: its fine to use items that you already have in your ‘stash’ that are similar to my suggestions.  The key thing is that you get to try out the various different techniques.

Sewing Machine – in good working order with the ability to straight stitch, zig-zag and that can be adapted to create free motion embroidery.  The teeth will either drop or if its an older machine you may have a plate that covers the teeth.  If neither of these, then you can cover the teeth with tape or as a last resort remove them when we get to that stage.  Please make sure your machine is working well and has had a recent clean out/service…there’s nothing worse than sitting down to sew and things goings wayward.  I shall demonstrate techniques on different machines throughout the workshop to illustrate you don’t need a ‘fancy’ machine. [note you do not need an ‘embroidery’ machine i.e. a programmable machine…you are the programme!!!]

  • If you have a machine with a ‘drop in bobbin’ then there may be a lower tension bobbin case available for your machine: I have one for my Janome machines…and I’m sure many other similar models will have these: I don’t have details of all the different machines so please contact the appropriate supplier in your area – your local independent sewing machine shop will be the best place to ask [it may also be mentioned in your manual] [www.janome.co.uk]

  • A free motion foot for your machine – sometimes known as a darning foot….older machines may not have a specific foot designed for them but there is a universal version.

  • A straight stitching foot [A satin stitch foot is a optional extra, but not really necessary: I don’t use one!]

  • Spare spools for your machine

  • Sewing machine needles – A variety of sizes but including 100/16 top stitching needles. ‘Jeans’ needles are a reasonable substitute if you can’t get anything else.

Threads – I will talk a lot more about threads in a specific video.  I tend to use Wonderfil [www.wonderfil.co.uk] and Aurifil [www.aurifil.com], but I’m loving Maderia [www.madeira.co.uk]  more and more. You will need

  • 50wt threads a few in cotton, a few in rayon/viscose [the latter you’ll usually find at 40wt but 30wt is good too]

  • 12wt threads a few in cotton, a few in rayon/viscose

  • 8wt threads &/or stranded hand embroidery yarns, fine wools and other yarns too thick to go through the needle

  • 100wt thread, this is ideal bobbin thread for some of the work you will be doing.  I would recommend a very neutral colour: a larger spool is more economical. Wonderfil call this ‘InvisaFil’…other bobbin threads will be ok too

Fabrics – if you have similar fabrics in your stash then please use those – no need to rush out and spend loads of money, yet I don know just how tempting it is to visit a fabric emporium!!  I have stuck to neutral tones. [www.whaleys-bradford.ltd.uk NB. Whaleys prices don’t include postage or vat and it can be a shock when you get to the check out, so be aware!]

  • 0.5m of medium weight calico or similar plain weave cotton

  • 0.5m of muslin or other fine open weave cloth

  • 0.25m of cotton organdie – I use the Whalyes version as it is very crisp but you can get other similar options at a more economical price.

  • 0.25m of dissolvable fabric

  • 0.25m stitch n tear [optional]

Sundries – I’m guessing you’ll have variants of all to these already to hand. [www.barnyarns.co.uk have most things a stitcher could want!!…including many of the fabrics mentioned above]

  • Large fabric scissors

  • Small fabric/embroidery scissors

  • Disappearing fabric pen

  • Embroidery hoop – I use a square wooden version which I have bound with strips of cloth to give extra grip.  A round wooden hoop is fine too.  I’m less keen on the plastic & metal versions but if they work for you, got for it!

  • Camera/phone to record your work and load into the private classroom [more of that later]

  • Ring binder file with plastic sleeves/notebook/or similar to store your techniques, notes and samples for future reference

I’ve tried to keep this list minimal because I do feel it should be all about you and the machine rather than extensive purchasing.  I’m going to be showing you how I work with my machines, how I look after them…how we walk together and how we run…many of you may have heard be say that we often miss out the enjoyable walking stage [aka straight stitch] because we are so keen to run and play with free machine embroidery: there’s great work to be created with very simple stitches!

©Dionne Swift 2018 All rights reserved

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