Reva's Tips

Reva's Tips: Make It Just the Way You Want It

Reva's Tips: Make It Just the Way You Want It

Is that embroidery design that you just bought perfect for the project that you are working on? Most Likely not, they never seem to be for me. If you have embroidery software for your computer, then your possibilities are virtually endless. Did you know that even basic software can let you bring in a design and customize it so that it is just the way you want it? Every piece of software is a bit different and may have different capabilities from another, so check your instruction manual or sign up for a basic usage class if you need.

Once the design is on your computer screen:

• Change the colors of your design to match your project or the brand of threads you own

• Change the size of the design. Most software will allow you to adjust the size and then it will add or take out stitches so that the design will sew out properly.

• Add lettering or monogramming to personalize your project

• Copy, paste, rotate and flip your design over so it is just right

• With editing capabilities, you can delete portions of a design that you do not want

• Take a portion that you like and duplicate it. You can even use bits and pieces from several designs to make something new

• Convert designs that are not for your brand of machine into your machine’s language

• Create your own designs from artwork - many programs can even create embroidery designs automatically or convert photos into embroidery

• Some software will even create files that can be used with electronic cutters, like your ScanNCut

If you are new to embroidery software, the best piece of advice that I can share is to play with it often. Don't be afraid of it just because you are not yet proficient. It is actually very difficult to mess up the program, so play! Start by finding a project that you want to accomplish and use the software to make it happen (like adding a name to a design to personalize a project). Once you do this, you will be comfortable with that task and it will become easier. Of course, a basic usage class is a great way to get an overview of how things work. Another important thing is to give yourself a break! There is no way that anyone could possibly know everything about a piece of software the first time that they touch it. Nor should they expect to have to know it all before they begin using it. Baby steps… accomplish one thing, no matter how small, and be pleased with what you did! Then that task will become easy and a new skill can be added. Before long you will be far more comfortable with your software than you may have imagined (more so than if you had not started working with it).

I started working with embroidery software back in the days of DOS, floppy disks and software that was truly difficult to use. There were no classes and the manual was… well, less than ideal. I knew nothing about computers, but I purchased a laptop computer just for me. I wouldn't even let my husband touch it because I was determined to learn for myself. Before long I became very comfortable with embroidery software and the computer (this last thing, by the way, cracks my brother-in-law up since I was the most computer illiterate person he knew in high school - I just didn't get it).

How did I learn?

• I watched how designs that I liked stitched out so I could understand what they were doing

• I played and tried different things, even just a few minutes a couple days a week

• I added names to designs, if I worked on something specific that I wanted to do then I found that I remembered it better

• I edited designs to remove parts that I did not want and created new designs with the parts and pieces

Make those designs just as you want them to be! Open up your software, give it a try, play and make it happen. I am confident that you will be happy with the progress that you make.

Happy Sewing,

~Reva

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