How to save on stabilizer when embroidering

Every year, our group of 12 friends make homemade gifts for each other for Christmas. I was stitching 80+ fabric tags for them this past week and remembered a trick a saleslady at Bernina once taught me:

How to save on stabilizer

Tearaway is a stabilizer used in machine embroidery especially in the hoop designs. You can either:

  • hoop the tear away and pin the fabric on top or 
  • hoop the fabric and place the tear away at the bottom of the hoop.
How to save on stabilizer when machine embroidering machineembroidery embroidery stabilizer How to save on stabilizer when embroidering

Tearaway or cutaway (depending on your stitching and fabric) saves the ladies of the humming machines lots of frustration. 

There are of cause different opinions on tearaway and cutaway but I will suffice to say that it is just a matter of personal preference (and sometimes availability).

Why did I use tearaway?

Because, my tags were double layers and I did not want to end up with any stabilizer between the fabric.​  Being able to tear it away, ensured that I could remove most of it as well.

The trick?

  1. This trick will work if  you need to stitch out the same design multiple times.
  2. Cut the stabilizer slightly wider and longer than the hoop.
  3. Hoop the tearaway - ensuring that it is flat and without bubbles.
  4. The stabilizer must be 'tight-as-a-drum'.​
  5. Embroider your first design in the hoop completely.
  6. Remove the hoop from your machine.
  7. Ever so carefully, tear the fabric and tearaway covering the design from the hooped stabilizer.  (Not 'un-hooping')
  8. If you have removed the article from the hooped stabilizer, the only 'hole' in the stabilizer must be the exact imprint of your design.  Photo 1 below.
  9. Now, when you are done admiring your work you should be ready to stitch the next design.
  10. I pin my stabilizer (to cover the hole) on top of the hooped tearaway.  The pins must please not be in the way of your design!!! Photo 2 below.
  11. Next I place my fabric (and backing, if there is) on top of the layered stabilizer.
  12. From the top, you will have your fabric (backing), layered stabilizer slightly bigger than the design (hole) and then the hooped stabilizer.
  13. Stitch your next design.
  14. Remove the pins and lift the embroidered article from the hooped stabilizer.
  15. And repeat the process.
  16. I used the same piece of tearaway about 20 times (mine was a medium thick tearaway), depending on the condition.
  17. If the tearaway is not tight anymore, it is a sure sign to replace.
  18. And there you have it, one design stitched about 20 times before you cover the whole hoop with stabilizer again.
  19. and... save a lot of stabilizer and time in the process.
Have you read my post:- 15 Sites that offer free embroidery designs yet?

Photo 1

Hooped stabilizer with opening where design was removed How to save on stabilizer when embroidering

Photo 2

Hooped stabilizer with more stabilizer layered on top How to save on stabilizer when embroidering

As an embroiderer, do you have some money and time saving tricks?  Please share it in the comments below, if you have a second.

PS:  It will be great if you would share on social media too....

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