Testing Sewing Machine Embroidery Patterns

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Duration:   1  mins

Old T-shirts make a great piece of fabric for testing out your sewing machine stitches. In this video, Leah Rybak demonstrates a quick and easy trick for testing a sewing machine embroidery pattern before you start your next project.

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9 Responses to “Testing Sewing Machine Embroidery Patterns”

  1. Maria

    What do you do to correct a less than good stitch out design? ( example- as she showed in her video). or an error?

    • Customer Service


      This will depend on what kind of issue you are having. If it is skipped stitches or poor stitch quality- the issue may be that you need to change your needle or re-thread your machine. If the problem is that the fabric is bunching in areas- you may need to change the weight or type of stabilizer you are having. If there are actual issues with the design- there may be problems with the digitizing or machine issues, which would mean that you would need to check with where you got the design from and/or consult your machine manual or contact the manufacturer.


  2. Sue

    Why wouldn’t I try my test on a small piece of the same fabric I will use for the final product? Seems like that would tell me more than using some other fabric.

  3. Kathy Larzelere

    The idea is good if you are going to embroider on T-shirts. I usually make sure I get just a little more of the material I am going to use – or a fat quarter of the same material. If it stitches out clean, I have a sample I can show others if they ask ,”do you do embroidery?” I do have a question tho. Why should I have to purchase a membership to watch an entire “Free” video to the end? That defeats the idea of a “free video”

  4. Nan

    She should have shown the difference stabilizers make for the fabric(t-shirts this time) and often that makes the pattern acceptable…or not!

  5. Dana

    I agree with Leah as to using t-shirt or inexpensive material to practice. I would rather thrift it to practice. The t-shirt idea will give me ( my being some what of a rookie at this) a more stable material tom practice with until I become more proficient with other materials. My being a metal worker by trade would rather practice with aluminum rather with gold. My pockets are not that deep. I comment to this not to be argumentative but to bring a good point to her tutorial. Leah’s tutorial was spot on. Thank You for the in sight.

  6. Ora

    Totally agree with Rosemary. It does no good to test on t-shirt fabric unless you are planning to use it. National Sewing Circle is irresponsible to allow bad advice on “free” videos. Many people don’t read comments and will try a bad method and get poor results on their projects. Designs are digitized for specific fabrics. Example: never use a design with a heavy fill on a t-shirt fabric, only an open airy design

  7. Rosemary

    Why would you test an embroidery design on a knit fabric unless you were going to embroider on a knit fabric of the same thickness, fibre content etc, this is a complete waste of time and thread. This is the third video I have watched of questionable quality, glad I have not paid the full price for premium membership!

    • National Sewing Circle

      You are correct that you would want to closely match the fabric that you are testing your stitches on with that of the fabric that you are using in your project, so this may not be a good method if you plan to embroider on a sheer fabric or something similar to that. However, the Gildan brand t shirt she looks to be using using is 100% cotton (though sometimes you can find them in a 90/10 mix of cotton with either polyester or nylon). This would work for a test stitch swatch for many clothing and home decor projects. It would also be good if you are just simply testing out a newly digitized design to make sure there are no jumps and all the design components and colors are aligned-and you haven’t yet decided what you are going to use the design on. This way you aren’t using up any fabric that you may want to put towards a future project.

      Hope this helps!

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