Fixing the Dreaded Stabilizer Malfunction With Scraps

Whether you are new to embroidery or a seasoned pro, at some point in time, you will have a stabilizer malfunction. I’ll show you how you can avert a catastrophe and, hopefully, save the project.

Stabilizers perform an important job in machine embroidery. Not only do they support the stitches, they also help to keep stitches aligned properly. Tear the stabilizer, and you face the possibility that the embroidery will have gaps where it doesn’t line up properly.

Keeping stabilizer scraps on hand will help when malfunctions occur. Keep them in plastic containers or zip bags and be sure to label the type that is inside. At a glance, no-show mesh looks a lot like fabric-type wash-away, and we know that both behave completely differently.

Make a Patch

Sometimes, a needle break or nasty bird’s nest will tear a hole in your stabilizer. If you are starting embroidery from scratch, make sure it is snug in the hoop. Cut a patch slightly larger than the hole you need to repair.

Adhesive tear-away stabilizers make great patches for tear-away stabilizers. Otherwise, just spray the patch with temporary adhesive and secure it to the hooped stabilizer on a fat surface, being careful to not stretch hooped stabilizer while smoothing the patch in place.

If you are using water-soluble stabilizer, wet the edges of your patch and place it over the hole. Let it dry and start again.

Adhesive water-soluble stabilizer works like a bandage, saving an applique that cut into the fabric-type water-soluble stabilizer.

Reinforce Stitch Areas

When stitching freestanding lace designs, additional layers of scrap stabilizer can be added in the stitch area if problems occur or the stabilizer becomes compromised. Multiple layers won’t hurt since the stabilizer will wash away when you are done stitching.

The same can be done with heat-away stabilizer when creating freestanding applique projects. Sometimes, stitching on single layers will perforate the stabilizer, pulling the embroidery out of registration.

Since it tears away so easily, extra layers can be used to build up the weak areas, especially satin stitching. Spray scrap pieces with temporary adhesive before applying them in the hoop, being careful to not stretch hooped stabilizer when smoothing it out.

Painter’s tape can also help to stabilize compromised in-the-hoop projects.

Be sure to comment and share your tips on stabilizer saves!