by Carolyn Keber
Author of Step-by-Step Tutorials for Embird, PE Design and others.
Don’t we have a wonderful choice of designs available to us these days, either over the Internet or on embroidery design cards? But how many times have you found the perfect design to realize that it’s not in the size that you want to embroider it? Do you sigh in frustration and look for another design in the size you want or do you have a go at re-sizing the design? Have you tried re-sizing the design and found when you embroidered it out that it was either too dense or had gaps in the design?
Well, I’ll briefly explain what is happening to your design and hopefully how to fix it. (Jann asked me to write a brief lesson on this topic, but those of you that know me realize “brief” is something I don’t do. LOL - but I’ll try!!!)
Okay – the “powers that be” state that when re-sizing designs that the maximum that you should re-size up or down in size is 20%. Beyond that amount the quality of the design isn’t guaranteed. However I have taken designs such as Amazing designs and re-sized them by 100% successfully. It depends entirely on the design itself whether it can be re-sized by a large amount and also a little bit of “insider knowledge” and a correct program for re-sizing.
If you do not own a software program specifically for re-sizing then you are really stuck with either re-sizing on your machine – if your machine has this function – or resizing in your machine's embroidery software if you own it. Then you really are limited to the 20% increase or decrease in size. Any size beyond that is taking a bit of a risk on the finished result unless you test the design first at your new size.
If you resize upwards you risk gaps because as you enlarge the design you are also lengthening the stitches including any satin stitches. As satin stitches are generally already longer stitches, by increasing the size of the design you are also increasing the length of the satin stitches to such a degree that your embroidery software “thinks” that these stitches are actually jump stitches. Then when you view your design in a realistic or 3D view you will see the gaps in the design.
The reverse will happen when you decrease the size of a design without re-sizing software. Your stitches will bunch up as you are squashing them into a smaller area. You will now be in the danger of breaking needles when you embroider and we all know what ”fun” that is.
The best way to re-size designs – if your embroidery software doesn’t have this function – is to purchase a program that is designed for re-sizing. My favorite (of course) is Embird.
In Embird Editor you can take a design and increase or decrease the size of it and also increase or decrease the density if you wish. This means that the stitches will re-calculate if you choose certain settings. There is also the ability to change satin stitches to fill stitches if the length of the satin stitch goes higher than a set size. This means “no more gaps”. Embird also allows you to change the density of just certain parts of your design as well. If you find a design is too dense in one area only then you can separate this part of the design and change the density of just that part.
Just a word of warning though – if you currently own Embird and have a design open in Editor and then decide to go into the Density screen for a little “look” just to check it out, make sure when you exit this Density screen that you click on Cancel if you do not want the density in your current design changed. If you are “just looking” in this Density screen with no intention of altering your density in your design on the design page then by clicking OK to exit you are telling Embird that you want your current design to be the same density as their default setting – which is not necessarily the same density as your design. A few people have been fooled by this in the past – VBG
I am sure that if you own Embird that you have already discovered that it is an excellent all round editing program as well as being great for re-sizing. For those of you that don’t own Embird then you don’t know what you are missing!!