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How to fix a hole in a knit sweater with machine embroidery

by Elaine Theriault

How did you like the embroidered monogram on the knit sweater? It turned out so well that I want to do more embroidery on knits. Today, we’re doing something similar, yet for a different reason. And I’ll be using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90 to accomplish the task.

A red and white sewing machine with a red interactive touch screen; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

The success of adding the monogram to the knit sweater made me think of a sweater that needed repair. Could I possibly use the Designer Ruby 90 to mend the sweater? Why, yes, I could!

I purchased a beautiful cashmere sweater a while back, and somehow, it developed two tiny holes in the front. Today, I’m using machine embroidery as a means of mending the sweater so I can wear it again.

A light orange sweater with ribbing

A cashmere sweater with two tiny holes in the front

The first step is to measure the holes to know how large an embroidery design I need. I didn’t want anything large or heavy as the sweater is relatively delicate.

A measuring tape made quick work of guesstimating the design size needed. Now it’ll be easy to search for a design about 30 mm in diameter.

An orange sweater with a purple measuring tape

A tape measure to guesstimate the size of the embroidery design

I started by looking at the Mini Designs in the N Menu on the Designer Ruby 90. I found lots, but not quite the right size that would suit the mending process. They were a bit too tiny.

A menu of embroidery designs on a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

The N Menu with Mini Designs

I didn’t find a design suitable in the N Menu, but guess what? I can search the mySewnet Embroidery Library to find a design. And the best thing is that I can search by size, technique, and theme. Since the size of the embroidery design is critical for my purposes, searching by size was very much appreciated.  Even better is that I can search for the design directly from the Designer Ruby 90 because it’s Wi-Fi enabled and connects directly to the mySewnet Library.

A menu of embroidery designs on a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

Browsing the internet-based mySewnet Library from the Designer Ruby 90

I found three potential candidates and downloaded all three into the Embroidery Edit screen. That’s a pretty handy feature to have as you can access over 7,000 designs in the mySewnet Library, and it’s easy to transfer the designs by saving them to the mySewnet Cloud or sending the designs directly to the Wi-Fi enabled Designer Ruby 90.

Three machine embroidery flowers on an edit screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

Three potential embroidery designs

Then I did a test stitch-out of all three to understand how they were digitized and picked the most appropriate for my mending task.

Three orange machine embroidered flowers on a white fabric; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Square Hoop (120mm x 120mm), Small Square Hoop (80mm x 80mm)

A stitch-out of the three potential embroidery designs

Once I selected the most appropriate design, I hooped my sweater using the same technique as yesterday. I used the Inspira Cut-A-Way stabilizer and a bit of temporary adhesive spray to stick the stabilizer to the wrong side of the sweater, and then I hooped it using the Husqvarna Viking Small Metal Hoop.

A metal embroidery hoop with four magnets; Small Metal Hoop (100m x 100m), Inspira Magnets for Metal Hoop

The small metal hoop with four magnets

The design had to be placed in the correct spot to conceal the hole. That was super easy using Design Positioning. This handy tool let me to move the design around on the Embroidery Edit screen and helped me position the design exactly where it needed to be.

Icons on the screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

The Design Positioning tool second from the left on the bottom

Once I was in Design Positioning, I selected the center of the design as the anchor point. Design Positioning is a two or four-step process depending on how big your embroidery design is and the location of where it’s going. My floral design was small and symmetrical, so it was easy to position using the two-step process. You can see the four steps in the bottom left of the screen. I love this feature, and it makes it super easy to get your embroidery design positioned precisely.

Design positioning tools on the screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

The Design Positioning screen

Once I had the embroidery design where I was pretty sure I wanted it, I double-checked by lowering the needle, and yes – it’s in the right spot. You’ll notice that the hole in the sweater is just behind and to the left of the needle. I did that for a reason. If I placed the center of the flower in the hole, I would likely end up with a hole in the finished flower. So, I positioned the design so one of the petals covers the opening.

A needle and machine embroidery presser foot on an orange sweater; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

Using the needle to double-check the placement of the embroidery design

And then I started to do the embroidery. Wait – I forgot to put the topper on the knit. Shoot, you can see how it was already pulling the stitches. So, I stopped and ripped out the stitches, which was easy, and then started again.

Machine embroidering an orange design on an orange knit; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Small Metal Hoop (100m x 100m), Inspira Magnets for Metal Hoop

Starting the embroidery process – without a topper on the knit

And this time, I put some pieces of the Inspira Water Works Soluble Film stabilizer (topper) over the sweater before I started stitching. Now, if you’re very observant, you’ll see a black dot in the center of the front flower. That’s because I put the center of the design right in the sweater hole the first time. I wasn’t ripping it out. But I learned for the second design.

A transparent film stabilizer on top of an orange flower sitting on an orange sweater; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Small Metal Hoop (100m x 100m), Inspira Magnets for Metal Hoop, Inspira Water Works Soluble Film

Use a topper so the embroidery stitches don’t pull or sink into the knit.

And there are the three floral embroidery designs. There were only two small holes, but odd numbers look more pleasing, so I added a third embroidery design. I mended the two holes first and then spaced the third one so it ‘fit’. I loaded the floral design once in the Designer Ruby 90, and I used Design Positioning to move the design to each spot.

Three orange, floral embroidery designs on an orange sweater; Inspira Water Works Soluble Film, Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Small Metal Hoop (100m x 100m), Inspira Magnets for Metal Hoop

The three embroidery flowers used to mend the sweater

Now to remove the excess topper. I was a bit concerned about the thread color – it’s pretty vibrant compared to the sweater. But hey, if I’m putting those flowers on the sweater, I want people to see them. If they ask questions, I’ll tell them how I mended the sweater. It’d be such a shame to throw out this expensive cashmere sweater! I’m thrilled with the results.

Three orange embroidery flowers on an orange sweater; Inspira Water Works Soluble Film

The three embroidery flowers with most of the water-soluble topper removed

Then using a pair of Inspira Applique Scissors, I carefully removed the excess Cut-A-Way stabilizer from the back. Because the sweater is very light, I cut around each motif. I can’t say enough about being careful when you do this. You do not want to cut the garment!

A pair of applique scissors to cut away excess stabilizer from the wrong side of an orange sweater; Inspira 4.5" Duck Bill Applique Scissor, Inspira Cut-A-Way Stabilizer

Using applique scissors to remove the excess Cut-A-Way stabilizer

And here is the repaired sweater. It’s a very loose informal garment, so adding the three flowers looks perfectly OK. And even if it didn’t, it’s my sweater – I can do what I want with it! And I saved throwing out that expensive cashmere sweater! I’m good with that.

The cashmere sweater after the repair using machine embroidered flowers

The cashmere sweater after the repair using machine embroidered flowers

Oh my gosh! Wasn’t that just the best? If you haven’t tried mending with your embroidery machine – start looking around your house. I’d like to mend a pair of pants or something made with denim, but alas, there isn’t anything much that needs mending around here. But I’m on the lookout for other garments that I can repair with the embroidery machine.

It was such an easy task to do with the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90. I quickly browsed the mySewnet Library right on the screen because the Designer Ruby 90 is Wi-Fi enabled. I used the Design Positioning tools to get the embroidery designs positioned in the exact spot, and it was so easy to hoop the sweater using the metal hoops. I can’t wait to do it again!

Be sure to come back tomorrow as I have a couple of small projects to finish up the week.

Have a super day!

Ciao!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: In machine embroidery: knit fabric stays put with the right stabilizers

Go to part 5: Sewing on a button and a snap with the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

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