I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Saturday 11 November 2017

Machine Embroidery and the Brother NV800E

The Brother Innov-is NV800E 

This embroidery only machine makes short work of embelishing anything from garments to bed linen and home wear. But it is not just an embroidery machine, it does free standing lace and applique too. The long arm makes it suitable for larger projects but it is equally at home with small intricate designs. Interested?

Not only does it embroider beautifully it appliques with ease and makes free standing lace. I make these bookmarks to give as gifts.

Watch this short video to see it in action

It's such a pleasure to use this machine , and so uncomplicated that within minutes of it being delivered I was producing my very first embroidery.

This is one of a set of velvet cushion covers I have been making. Velvet is notoriously difficult too work with but this machine had no problem with it whatsoever. More about how I made them later.

As you know I recently spent a day with Jaycotts to ask owners of the wonderful Brother Innov-is VQ2 sewing, quilting and embroidery machine
 The post is here if you would like to read it. The Brother Innov-is VQ2 .

Many of you already own a sewing machine which you do not want to replace, but if you  would like to own an embroidery machine too,  look no further than the NV800E from Brother.
I have this machine at home and I wanted to tell you more about it and why I like it.

First of all it has a large colour LCD touch screen. This is the place where you select your pattern and make alterations to it.
Once a pattern has been selected you then have editing options, so you can easily change the shape, size and position of the design. Not only that you can also change the thread colours and rotate the design creating a mirror image.
Each design gives the total time to sew and the amount of time before the next thread change.
It is easy to combine patterns and to change the font on your lettering.
A useful feature is that you can easily check that the embroidery fits inside your chosen frame.
Once you start embroidering the LCD screen displays the thread being used and the minutes it will take to complete that section. The colour list and thread number moves after each colour is stitched and puts the next colour at the top of the list.
There are many other functions easily accessible on this screen,  for example you may need to go back a few stitches or save a design to a memory stick. There is also a stitch counter which comes in handy if you need to turn the machine off and come back to it later
Once editing is complete the design is previewed in full colour.

If you read my posts by email the above you tube clip may not show, but do hop over to my blog and have a look  or go straight to YouTube  on this link  You tube embroidery
 Embroidery in progress mesmerises me every time. It is possible to be doing something else and just keep an eye on the machine, but I usually sit and stare as embroidery is magically produced!

The machine has a large 160mm X 260mm embroidery area which gives plenty of space for more intricate designs.
There are optional embroidery frames in various sizes to accommodate all your embroidery needs
There are 136 built in embroidery designs  and 11 font styles. If you are worried that this is not enough to then the machine has a USB port to enable you to download designs readily available on the internet.
If that is still not enough then there is a software package available with a huge variety of stitches and embroidery designs and it enables you to scan and embroider your own photographs too. For more information on the design software then contact Jaycotts on the link at the end of this post.

The machine is very easy to use and thread. It has an automatic needle threader and it automatically adjusts thread tension
The Innov-is 800E has upper and lower thread sensors which warn you if your thread has broken or has run out.
It has comprehensive instructions which are so easy to follow that you will be embroidering in minutes.
I also like the design guide booklet which lists all the Brother threads and compares colours in the embroidery thread range and the country thread range - which are a matt thread.
There is a huge range of thread colours available at Jaycotts, I suggest starting off with one of the boxes and adding to it as you become more expert Brother Embroidery Threads

I reviewed this machine when I first got it and the blog post talks about setting it up and explains which Stabiliser to use for each project so do take time out to read this blog post too My review of the Brother NV800E

The designs can be as simple or as complicated as you like. This is one of the first designs I did, it is a very simple design on Navy Linen. My first steps on my Embroidery machine
I found that it is much easier to embroider on woven fabrics than on stretch or knit fabrics. I have embroidered on knit with good results but the fabric needs to be stabilised very firmly so that it does not stretch out of shape during the embroidery process.

I did some embroidery on pleather and found that it was delightful to work on. I did change to an embroidery needle for heavier fabrics and had no problems whatsoever.
If you would like to read the post on making bags, the link is Easy Totes and Shopping bags
I am going to be making some more of the simple shopping bag as I give them away or use them for charity fundraising. I will be taking advantage of the Christmas designs built into the machine for these.

Talking about needles, the embroidery machines stitches thousands of stitches for even just a small project so you do need to change the needle very frequently. You will find that the machine will skip stitches if you do not bother to do it. Machine needles

I love the free standing lace which this machine produces. It is very easy to make too. The lace shown above was made with a country thread as it was made to embelish a linen tunic and I wanted a flat finish. I used normal bobbin fill in the bobbin.

  The blog post "How to make a tunic top with free standing lace" explains how to use and remove the soluble stabiliser
Lace does use an enormous amount of thread so make sure that you have plenty in the colour you want to use and thread a few bobbins too.

Another use for free standing lace is for Christmas decorations like this star, coasters and even the  bookmarks I mentioned earlier.

When I am making lace which will be viewed from both sides I use the same thread in the bobbin as in the top. This makes it attractive in both sides.
Not to be confused with free standing lace as in the examples above,  the machine is capable of stitching lace motifs on very delicate fabrics such as fine lingerie silk, organza and voile. They do look very stunning. Imagine butterflies or flowers embroidered onto a gauze over-skirt or on filmy voile curtains.

This is the placement of my free standing lace on my tunic top. I wore this top all summer long, it is definately one of my most favourite garments ever.

Another short YouTube clip, this time showing free standing lace being produced.
The link is Making free standing lace

You may be surprised to learn that the NV800E produces applique just as easily as it produces embroidery.
This adds yet another dimension to your sewing. It's fun, quick and very addictive!
The design is best kept relatively simple to show off both the fabrics used in the applique and the decorative stitches used to sew it in place.
The machine sews the outline of the design onto the fabric. Then you change to your applique fabric and the machine sews the outline of the design which you then cut out carefully and place it over the outline. Then the machine sews it in place, often with a satin stitch. It really is fun to do. 

Another short clip, the link to this post is Applique

I have been working on a little project this week. My spring cushions looked out of place with the curtains closed and candles lit and I decided to make use of a large piece of dark red velvet I was holding onto.
There are various designs I could have chosen and the picture above shows a selection of the ones already on the machine. The photograph shows the size of the design, the threads needed and the time it will take to stitch.
I wanted wintery designs but not Christmas because I want to be able to use these cushions until spring comes around again.
I think that soft furnishings are the quickest and easiest way to bring the new season into a room, and I change mine at least twice a year.
Velvet is difficult to sew and ironing needs to be done carefully to avoid damaging the pile so I chose a self adhesive stabiliser. There are various stabilisers available and you will need a selection of them depending on what you are embroidering. Stabilisers for embroidery

This is one of my chosen designs which is so cute! I changed two of the colours as they would not have stood out against the dark background. I also looked for an opportunity of adding a little sparkle and added a touch of silver to the snowflakes. Do be careful when using glittery threads, less is more in my opinion.

Perhaps slightly Christmassy is this candle but it works really well against the richness of the velvet. Again I added a tiny touch of a glittery thread.

There are other designs on the machine too and I was particularly interested in the quilting blocks. I thought that they would look fabulous in the centre of two of my cushions. 

This design was worked in off-white with a touch of silver for the highlights.

Another quilting block, this time worked in a pale gold and cream. I think that this design works really well on my velvet.

Finally I just adore this design so much so that I decided I could live with some Holly until spring! 

These are three of my finished cushions. If you would like to make cushions then please take a look at this blog post where you will find instructions to make quilted cushions as well as how to insert the zipper in the back.How to make your own cushion covers
By the way , if you use some fabric you already own you can update your room for nothing! I removed my spring cushion covers, washed them and put them away.
I am delighted at how such a simple project has added warmth to my lounge, not only that it cost me exactly nothing except a couple of evenings work.

Contact information

In addition to the Brother Innov-is 800E Jaycotts sell other embroidery machines, some are embroidery only as this one is, and some like the VQ2 embroider and sew. It all depends on you and what your requirements are.
Take a look at the range of Brother machines available at Jaycotts and you will be spoiled for choice Brother machines at Jaycotts
Once you have taken a look and decided what type of machine would best suit your needs then give them a ring and talk it through with them. It is a big decision and you need to get it right. With Brother machines you have the added confidence in knowing that you can access support and tuition - which is free of charge. If you are close to Chester, or you fancy a weekend break then do arrange to call in and try the machines out for yourself.

You can contact Jaycotts online, Contact Jaycotts

By telephone , on 01244 394099 (office is open Monday - Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm)

Or by visiting them in person,  jaycotts Ltd, Unit D2, Chester Trade Park, Bumpers Lane, Chester, CH1 4LT

You will find the customer service is incredible. Jaycotts are warm and friendly and will do their utmost to meet your requirements.

Thank you for reading this post, I do hope that you will be tempted enough to consider purchasing an embroidery machine. One thing is certain - you will never regret it.


#machineembroidery #sewing #cushions #velvet #jaycotts #sewangelicthreads