Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

What does this mean?

educo | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

I have an old school machine embroidery book called, Singer Instructions for Art Embroidery and Lace Work which was originally printed in the 1920’s. That being said, I am a little confused with some of the language. I’m just starting to learn about machine embroidery and this book is geared towards those with a straight stitch machine which I have.

Anyway, here is the passage from the book which is from the first lesson:

“..one-half inches from each other, draw the bobbin thread and make it fast, taking two or three stiches on the upper end, from this point do ordinary stitching.”

I don’t understand what does “draw the bobbin thread and make it fast taking two or three stitches on the upper end..”

Am I supposed to bring the bobbin thread up? What should i do?

Thanks for helping a beginner embroiderer!


  1. starzoe | | #1

    Drawing in this context means to gather. I don't know why you would be gathering embroidery, though. To secure it means to take a few stitches so the gathering does not come out. A bobbin thread pulls easier than a topstitching thread.

  2. Pattiann42 | | #2

    This is standard proceedure when doing free motion stitching with a conventional sewing machine.  Lower the needle through the fabric.  Holding onto the tail of the top thread, pull up the bobbin thread,  take a stitch back, then forward to lock the stitch and clip both threads.  Continue with your stitching.

    This site has good information and visuals:  http://cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C-213.html

    Edited 3/26/2008 11:32 pm ET by spicegirl1

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    Yes, it's telling you to draw the bobbin thread up through the top of your fabric, then take a few stitches to "lock the stitches"(rather than sewing in reverse, which is what we used to do to lock at the beginning and end of sewing with the manual machines).   (I have to turn off the "fix" function on my computerized machine.)

    Did you drop your feed dogs or cover them so you can move freely about your fabric?  Your hands are now guiding the fabric instead.  It helps to wear either quilting gloves or those rubber finger tips that you can get at office supply stores.

    Some people like to use a silicone pressing sheet with a hole cut in it to expose the stitching area.  This is supposed to make the fabric easier to move because of the slippery surface.  I haven't done this myself, just heard from others and read it. 

    When I learned free motion work, I started with a quilt sandwich (two layers of muslin with a piece of batting between them).  For free motion embroidery/threadpainting I use a commercial stabilizer I buy in the embroidery dept. at fabric stores or at a store that sells sewing machines. 

    I hope you have lots of fun learning the techniques!  I love it!  Remember learning to write cursive?  Did they have you write a full row of a letter, such as o's, e's, and l's?  That is a good way to practice, then write your name in cursive, etc.  They probably have suggestions in the book for practice.  Relax your shoulders and don't overdo at first, it's easy to get carried away and cause yourself to get stiff so remember to take breaks. 

    Some people break alot of needles at first because they move the fabric with the needle down in the fabric.  You will get a rhythm after a while, the needle goes faster than your hands.  Some people say "put the pedal to the metal" but some go slowly, it's really a personal preferance.  There are no hard and fast rules.  Mary


    1. educo | | #4

      Thanks everyone for this technique! Since the book was printed in the 20's there is a lack of visuals and so the lesson focuses on language instead. I really love the book and how it's broken down into lessons, so I'm looking forward to moving on to the other lessons.I have a really avant garde question about fabrics. I'd like to embroider on latex, but since latex in not a woven material and close stitches can break and ruin the latex, so I was thinking to underline it with a tightly woven organza or something like that.What are your thoughts?

      1. MaryinColorado | | #5

         I have successfully embroidered on bathingsuit fabric with lycra.  I used Floriani fleshcolored fusable mesh cutaway stablilizer.  As long as the design is not too dense, it works fine.  Just do a trial run on a scrap.  The Sulky 40 wt. rayon even remained colorfast in chlorinated pools, which surprised me.  Mary

        1. educo | | #6

          Oh okay! I'm planning to do a combo of hand and machine embroidery so I'm wondering how far I can take it. I will note this.thanks!

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All