When I’m at a show and my gorgeous beast of a Machine is thundering away, it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who see him attached to a laptop and say “ah the computer does it all”.
It’s as if in the space of 30 seconds they’ve used some unknown profound insight to decide that my 20 years worth of experience of sewing and embroidery don’t exist. So I thought I’d take the time to throw a little light on just how I create your personalised messages at Lovingly Labelled.
Consider this – do you drive a car? It’s something I often ask people who make the laptop quip. So do you get into your car, turn on the ignition and then sit back and the car takes you all by itself to your destination? Or how about cooking – possibly like me you just throw the ingredients into a pot, turn on the cooker at full power and hope it generates something edible! But you probably have a little bit more skill than that.
Ah – got you thinking haven’t I! Just like using an embroidery machine, driving and cooking really does take at least a little skill, knowledge and experience to get the required outcome.
With embroidery there is a lot of computer work to begin with – Step ONE: using design programmes to create your personalised messages and ensuring customers are happy with the details.
Step TWO: Hooping and stabilising your chosen item, whether it’s a teddy, cushion, backpack or any of the items available from Lovingly Labelled. They need to be put into a frame so they have a firm surface – did I mention that I need to know whether to use cutaway, tearaway and/or water soluable stabiliser and which weight…… and that’s just for accessories. There’s different versions of these for clothing!!
Step THREE: The design is transferred to the machine (mine’s called Eric!) and with his six needles I need to ensure I’m using the correct thread weight and the tensions are spot on.
Sounds simple right? Well it probably is to anyone who’s used a sewing machine for any length of time. Tensions are important for making sure your stitching is neat, lies flat, has no loops, doesn’t pull on the fabric and the correct amount of top thead is showing – with no bobbin thread coming through. And of course there’s knowing what to do if these things are not right or your machine refuses to sew and keeps telling you he’s not happy!!
Step FOUR: If we’ve made it this far it’s onto the machine and away we go – stitch outs can be anything from five minutes to 70 minutes depending on what’s been ordered.
Step FIVE: Once it’s finished it’s off the machine, stabilisers trimmed and/or picked off and it’s ready for its photoshoot! Once it’s packaged it’s off to its new owner where hopefully it will be very much loved.
So you can see there’s definitely a fair bit more to it than just “the computer doing it”. Mind you despite all the skills required I can still burn toast!!
And if you’d like to see Eric in action please do watch the video below!