I spent my career as an educator teaching children in grades K through 6. Directions are the bread and butter of a teacher. Teachers aren’t always terrific at following directions, though. I am making a garment onto which I will be appliqueing lace on the front as well as on the back. In my opinion, free standing lace is one of the most elegant items that can be created on an embroidery machine.
In the past, I have followed the directions to the letter about what types and what weight threads to use, the speed of the machine and needles to use. My embroidery always seemed to bog down as the satin stitches began to layer one upon the other, breaking needles, thread and necessitating the slowing of the machine to its slowest speed just to get through. This just didn’t seem right to me, so I decided to make some rule changes of my own. Some types of laces are more open than others, so this writing is pertaining only to the lace I made today; a fairly dense lace. For this lace, the directions asked for 40 weight embroidery thread for the top. I followed that direction. The directions then asked for the same 40 weight thread to be used in the bobbin. To me that seemed as if it would be too thick so I decided, since the back of the lace would not show, to use 80 weight bobbin thread that I bought at Bonny’s last week, which is very thin.
The needle recommendation was for a new 75/11 sharp needle. I instead used a new 80/12 chrome coated Microtex.
The directions also said to use 2 layers of non-woven water soluble stabilizer; I used 3.
Lastly, the directions asked for the machine speed to remain unchanged. I embroidered all of the under stitches at the highest speed. As soon as the more dense satin stitches began on the outside of the design, I dropped the speed by one level. As the even more dense stitches began in the center of the lace, I dropped the speed to half.
This 33,000+ stitch lace was done in 1 hour and 20 minutes without a hitch.
I pass along this knowledge in hopes that, you too, will be a directions maverick!