As I feel completely ready to tackle an underutilized feature of my Singer 401 sewing machine, I found myself researching what supplies do I need to start working with decorative stitches. I found what I needed on the embroidery supplies section at my local fabric store.
Here are the very basic supplies you will need to make sure your decorative stitches will look great:
- Embroidery Stabilizers: Tear away or wash away… Which one is easier to handle? I found only tear away. It was expensive. It seems that these are made for embroidering machines. But I could use this to stabilize fabric when working with appliques and decorative stitches. I also bought “Best Press”. It is a fabric stabilizer. You spray and press and is a clean way to stabilize your fabric before sewing, quilting, or embroidering. Quilters rave about it.
- Decorative /Embroidery threads: You can use polyester, rayon, metallic threads, yarn, pearl cotton, and you can get creative with these. On my wish list I have at the top Madeira and Superior thread brands. I could purchase these online, but I just decided to go to my local fabric store and test what I can find. I found out that rayon and metallic work really well with embroidery needles. So far, metallic, rayon, and poly get along with embroidery needles, Size 11 (Schmetz brand) and my Singer 401 is very happy with these guys.
Check for thread specs and composition and test if these perform best with embroidery or topstitching needles.
Brands that performed well:
Metallic threads: Looking at the composition just in case there is any correlation between composition and quality of stitches or problems with broken needles and jammed threads:
- Yellow color: 44% Nylon , 34% Metallic, 22% Cotton.
- Red color: 60% Nylon, 40% Polyester
Coats Dual Duty XP All purpose thread: 100% Polyester covered
Sulky’s “Premium Metallic” : 59% Nylon, 40% Polyester, 1% metallic. Note: Use 90/ 14 size Topstich needles with this “premium” Sulky Metallic thread
Premium Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon Thread: 100% Viscose / Rayon composition. Has a shiny and silky texture, and it comes in solid and variegated colors. I love the look and feel of the stitches.
100% Polyester thread: Works really well for decorative stitches. Another favorite brand.
So that is all for now, I will continue providing more details on how to setup your Singer 401 sewing machine to enjoy working with decorative stitches.