In machine embroidery: knit fabric stays put with the right stabilizers

Isn’t it super exciting to learn something every day? Whether it’s learning about the mySewnet Ecosystem, embroidery

techniques, or stabilizers, there’s so much exciting stuff going on in the sewing and embroidery world. There’s no end to learning new things with the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90.

Yesterday, I explained how to use Inspira Water Works Soluble Film and Inspira Aqua Magic stabilizer for stand-alone embroidery and for embroidery on fleece. Today, we tackle something that I’ve not done before. Yep – another experiment, and at the same time, we’re trying out a different category of stabilizers.

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

I think I’ve mentioned several times that I keep a pile of fabrics, garments, or other objects that I’ve collected that I use to experiment with embroidery techniques. So there’s never a lack of having something to embroider. Inspiration and designs are available from so many places! The problem is choosing the items and deciding what embroidery design to stitch on them.

One of the advantages of an embroidery machine is you can personalize anything. You may want to personalize your quilts by embroidering the recipient’s name on the quilt, embroidering the block names on sashings, or making a block from a machine embroidery design. Or how about personalizing an article of clothing?

There’s no limit to your creativity with the embroidery tools we have available to use, especially if you want to play with the mySewnet Embroidery Software.

This week, I’m working with different kinds of stabilizers. The more you know about the supplies and how they work, the easier it’ll be to select the correct product for the job at hand, and nothing will be off-limits. So far, we’ve had a look at Tear-A-Way stabilizers, as well as water soluble stabilizers. Today, it’s all about Cut-A-Way.

Cut-A-Way stabilizers are great when working with knits. Knits are stretchy, and we certainly do not want them stretching out of shape because the machine embroidery distorted it.

There’s no time like the present to experiment with knit fabrics. My experience with machine embroidery on knits is limited, so I found an old cardigan that is ideal for embroidering a monogram. I created the monogram using letters that I found in the mySewnet Library. Then I sent them to the mySewnet Embroidery Software and finally to the Designer Ruby 90. That entire process happened through the mySewnet Cloud – no USBs required.

I printed out a template using the mySewnet Embroidery Software to help me with the placement of the motif on the sweater. When placing your motif, you must be careful as you don’t want the monogram sitting too low.

I laid out the sweater and pinned the template in place. After trying it on, I realized it was right where I didn’t want it to be. So I raised the template, and it’s much better. If possible, I’ll try the garment on with the template pinned in place. I’m a visual person, and I want to see where it’s going! Sometimes, we think we are right, and do the embroidery only to be disappointed with the placement. So check it several times to be sure.

There are embroidery placement charts that you can find online, but I’m good at using my judgment and eye.

The paper template for the monogram on the sweater

Now that I have the placement right, I’m using the template to mark some registration lines to hoop the sweater properly.

Using the paper template to place registration lines on the garment

I used the Husqvarna Viking Small Metal Hoop so I wouldn’t have to hoop the knit in a traditional hoop.  I love that metal hoop and find that it’s becoming my go-to hoop for unusual things. I used the Inspira Cut-A-Way stabilizer. Since the Cut-A-Way is not fusible, I used  Odif 505 emporary spray adhesive to stick the stabilizer to the back of the sweater and then hooped the sweater and the stabilizer together.

Inspira Cut-A-Way stabilizer

Because I’m working with a knit, I also used the Inspira Water Works Film Stabilizer on the top to prevent the stitches from sinking into the nap of the knit.

A topper stabilizer sits on the sweater in a metal hoop

I used a white Clover Chaco Liner to mark some registration lines on the sweater, and now it’s easy to line up those registration lines with the metal ridges on the Small Metal Hoop.

Matching the registration lines with the marks on the side of the small metal hoop

Now that the sweater is hooped and ready to be stitched, it’s time to get the embroidery motif. I’m using the same monogram I used on the fleece sample yesterday. Now, where’s that darn USB that I saved it on? Wait! I saved it in the mySewnet Cloud. So I opened up the mySewnet Cloud on the Designer Ruby 90, and there is my file. How easy is that?

The mySewnet Cloud menu on the Designer Ruby 90

I didn’t want any jump stitches to appear inside the sweater, not that there were a lot of jump stitches in this design. Still, as I moved from Embroidery Edit to Embroidery Stitch Out, I turned off the Automatic Thread Cutter and Automatic Jump Stitch Trim feature. The Designer Ruby 90 stops a few stitches after starting the embroidery to let me trim the thread tails on the top.

The Welcome to Embroidery Stitch Out screen

Before I hit START, I can double-check the placement of the design. Is the needle centered on the crosshairs of my registration lines? Yep – everything looks good.

Checking the position of the embroidery motif

Now here’s an essential thing. Before you start, make sure that none of the garment is beneath the embroidery hoop. The last thing you want is to have the sleeve or an edge embroidered into the back of the design. Yep – we’ve all done it. So be sure to check and perhaps double-check to make sure the bottom of the hoop is clear.

Everything is now ready to start the machine embroidery

If you’re working with a garment that wants to fall into the embroidery hoop, you can get a Metal Hoop Fabric Guide Set, which helps prevent your work from falling inside the top of the hoop. I didn’t need them here, but they can come in very handy.

A metal guide prevents fabrics from falling into the embroidery hoop

Now we’re ready to hit START! I’m mesmerized when watching the embroidery machine stitch out. I could watch it for hours. But this is a small design, and it won’t take long. And see how that topper is preventing those stitches from falling into the knit.

The embroidery stitches sitting on top of the topper stabilizer

Here’s something else to watch for when hooping your garment. When marking your registration lines, you want those lines to be parallel to the grain lines of the knit, so the design looks straight. When hooping the knit, double-check that the lines of the knit are straight! No one wants a crooked monogram.

There’s one more thing to mention about working with the metal hoops. Be careful of the placement of the magnets. You do not want to position them into the embroidery area as they can affect how your design gets stitched out if it is close to the edge, as was the case with my monogram.

This magnet is too close, so be sure to watch that when hooping your fabric.

Watch the placement of the magnets.

Oh my gosh – it’s done, and I quickly took it off the Designer Ruby 90 and un-hooped it.

The monogram is complete.

I removed the excess Water Works topper stabilizer, and the monogram looks awesome! And it seems pretty straight on the grain of the knit.

The monogram

The next step was to cut away the excess Cut-A-Way stabilizer on the back. Be careful when you do this. The last thing you want is to cut a hole in your garment. There is a wide variety of Inspira Applique Scissors that you can use to trim the excess stabilizer away. Just be careful!!

The back of the monogram with the Inspira Cut-A-Way stabilizer that is permanent

I had to put the sweater on right away to check it out. The monogram is in the right place, and it looks stunning.

The monogram on the sweater

The last test was to wash the sweater to see what happens with the Cut-A-Way stabilizer that stays on the back of the embroidery design. Oh – it’s perfect!!!!! There is no pulling or rippling – the monogram lies beautifully flat on the garment.

The embroidery design after it’s washed

And here’s the final result. That looks so cool. OK, this was just a test on an older sweater to see how it would turn out. I’m thrilled with the results, so I say look out! I’m ready to tackle a new sweater!

The upcycled sweater with a monogram

Isn’t that just the best way to dress up a plain sweater? You can personalize it as I did with a monogram or try another motif – florals or something geometric. There are many options in the mySewnet Library or the mySewnet Embroidery Software. The key is to have good tools like the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, and don’t forget the Inspira line of stabilizers.

Be sure to follow all the steps so the result will be exciting. Let’s not forget the fantastic technology in the mySewnet Ecosystem that allowed me easy access to my embroidery file – right on the Designer Ruby 90.

That’s it for me today, but be sure to come back tomorrow because I have something exciting that I’ve done with the embroidery machine, and you don’t want to miss that.

Have a great day


This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Inspira water-soluble stabilizers for superb machine embroidery results

Go to part 4: How to fix a hole in a knit sweater with machine embroidery

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