Saturday, April 5, 2008

Machine embroidery without a drop feed system

I want to thank the amazing Julie Dunbar for teaching the public her machine embroidery technique through the Martha Stewart Show and Threadbangers.

She essentially copies an image onto water soluble embroidery stabilizer (like this) and then sews though it with her feed dogs lowered and a freehand foot on. Unfortunately, some low end sewing machines, like my beloved Brother LS-2125, don't have a drop feed system. A couple of adjustments can overcome the problem.

The Brother LS-2125 comes with a small darning attachment you can snap over the needle plate to cover the feed system. This raises the plate by about 3-4mm, so (as far as I can tell) you can't sew with a foot (or even a foot holder) in place, only the exposed needle.

Here the manual advises you, in bold face, to "keep fingers away from moving parts, especially needles." So control of the fabric is limited by how close you are willing to get to "moving parts," but sacrifices in accuracy are compensated by (what I like to pretend is) a charming degenerate quality of line. To illustrate: the crab above, made on t-shirt jersey, is about 4" across.