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Placing embroidery on a shirt has got to be the most challenging task an embroiderer can face. Oh, there are many solutions to the fairly easy job of left chest placement but when you want to really decorate a neckline, cuff or yoke, things can get tricky.  Nancy Zieman and I first addressed this problem in our Designer Necklines DVD. Designer Necklines has been a continuous best seller and what we’ve learned from customers is they love the technique but wish it was more flexible.  So Nancy and I have taken their concerns to heart and developed a very handy software program that has all the flexibility they need and more.  It’s called Perfect Placement. We included 30 placement guides (collars, necklines, pockets, cuffs and …) and 72 scalable fashion embroidery designs.  The software is so simple to use:


Select a placement guide.


Merge the design(s), resize and position until you’re satisfied then send it to the machine.


Stitch the first color, the placement guide onto hooped adhesive stabilizer.


Place the garment edge on the placement guide and smooth the garment onto the sticky stabilizer.  Stitch the embroidery designs.


Everything stitches exactly as planned!

Of course Perfect Placement Software is also a powerful editing program. You can size (it recalculates the stitches), copy, paste, mirror, delete sections, recolor, group and ungroup, select a grid and/or hoop and print templates. It’s everything you need to edit embroidery designs without learning how to digitize.

I’ve been having a blast using the designs in Perfect Placement Software – in fact, I’ve stitched more garments in the last three months than I have in a year. Here are just a few examples featuring Perfect Placement Software.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had a few embroidery ‘fashion disasters’ in the past. You know what I mean. You plan the embroidery as best you can, hoop the garment, stitch the designs and then slip the garment over your head. Yikes! When you look in the mirror you’re greeted with embroidery sitting in the underarm area or right at the bust point or just off center enough to be annoying.  I’ve had this happen too many times – so now I rely on Perfect Placement Software to help me, well, prefect my placement!


Here’s your assignment this week:

Share with us a fashion disaster that happened in your sewing room and you could win a copy of Perfect Placement Software. Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered into the drawing.


The winner of last week’s assignment is:

John Deer’s Adorable Ideas is giving away FIVE $20 Design Points! To win simply leave us a comment below and tell us what you’re working on and how these Designs Points could help you. Good Luck!

And the winners are… Vicky I., Shannon C., Donna G., Barbara, and JoAnne F. Thank you to everyone that shared your projects with us. Keep reading for more giveaways and great tips and insight from Eileen.




  • Virginia

    My biggest disaster is that I sewed an item with washaway thread in the bobbin and did not realize it until I decided to wear it.

    • eileenroche

      Hopefully, you weren’t in a swimming pool!

  • Diane Kunowski

    My daughter got an embroidery machine and I was “helping” her with her first project. I showed her how to find where to place the monogram on a sweatshirt and she got it stitched – way way off to the left of center! Good teaching!

  • Dell

    I have a placement disaster. I embroidered an apron as a gift for my sister and the design ended up just above her waist. I thought I tried it on to check it out. Not sure what happened, but she will be getting a new apron soon.


    What a help this would be!!

  • Sue

    When I bought my first embroidery machine, I made a turtle-neck shirt for one of my granddaughters. My intent was to embroider a floral border on the front of the shirt left of center. I got it left of center, all right. It was so far left of center that had I attached the left sleeve, the floral border would have climbed right into the sleeve seam. Needless to say, it was back to the drawing board, or in this case the cutting table and the embroidery machine. My second attempt was definitely better, but still not perfect. This software would be SEW helpful.

  • mimi

    i have downloaded some great necklines,just a bit afraid to try them this would be GREAT

  • mimi

    I have downloaded some realy nice neckline designs ,a bit afraid to try .I think this would be GREAT!

  • alayne

    I was embroidering a shirt for my granddaughter. When I was finished, it came out perfect, except a small fold of fabric had fallen into the field and gotten stitched into the design. I had to carefully remove it, then stitch an extra design to cover up the hole. Not perfect anymore.

  • Debbie

    I had embroidered a t-shirt to wear that day. Of course I was in a hurry because I had to leave in 15 minutes. I had the embroidery part done and was trimmming away the excess stabilizer and then it happened…I cut a hole in a very embarassing spot. Needless to say I ended up wearing something else. I have yet to figure out any way of saving this shirt.

  • jan

    I was embroidering an applique onto a shirt for two little boys. First one turned out so cute. It was the second one is where I stitched the sleeve to the front of the shirt.

  • Carol Jenks

    I am embroidering over the head baby bibs. I have no problem getting the design centered, however, when I hoop the bib, then embroider, I discover that the embroidery is centered, but slanted on the bib. Help me please!!!!

  • Jennifer P

    I had the perfect t-shirt (because I had just finished making it) in the perfect color with the perfect design for the upper left chest. It was to be a birthday present for my wonderful church friend. I guess something slipped and the design came out awkwardly at the bust point. Needless to say, that shirt is now my practice stitch out garment and I had to buy a present for my friend. How frustrating! This software seems to be the answer for these mishaps not to happen.

  • Bonny

    I’ve not done much embroidering on garments because I find it so hard to get the placement right. This software would be great!!

  • Carol

    Getting text in a straight line fairly easy if the font is small and the text string short. However, I was doing vests with large lettering on the back. With luck, and a lot of work, most of them turned out ok. One, however, was all up hill. This software would have saved it. It would have also saved me a lot of time.

  • Diane Crane

    I was putting an applique on a onesie for my future granddaughter, and when I went to trim the applique fabric, I cut a hole in the onesie. I could not figure out a way to cover it up (a bow looked silly on that spot), so I ended up making a whole new one. Not long after, I was making a Christmas pillow for myself, and I cut a hole in it (also could not cover it, so had to start over). Besides the placement software (which would be GREAT), maybe you could throw in some magical embroidery scissors that only cut the fabric you want them to cut…!

    • eileenroche

      Ha! They would be priceless!

    • Peggy Schroeder

      I use the little curved embroidery “snips”. They are a kind of spring type that has no finger holes, you just squeeze them to work. I open them up, and put one of those squiggly foam(or gel) things that go on pencils on each side. That way, they don’t hurt your fingers so much. The points are small, so it is a little more difficult to cut the fabric. They get right under the thread, and make trimming easier. I use lots of these, and buy several pairs at a time. I think these are the best scissors on the market at this time for embroidery work! (Besides, they are very inexpensive).

  • Donna G.

    This looks like a fantastic embroidery help! My biggest embroidery disaster was finishing a rather lengthy embroidery on a jacket only to find that one of the sleeves had been under the hoop, and yes, it was embroidered to the jacket too!

  • Susan J

    One of the first projects I attempted was a polo shirt with a logo and name for my BIL’s birthday. I test-sewed out the design multiple times, but being a newbie, I didn’t test it on the same fabric I was embroidering on. When I went to embroider the design on the expensive, name-brand polo shirt it turned out so horrible. It was puckered and tilted and the placement was all wrong. I was so disappointed. I have learned a few lessons since then, but I never attempted embroidering on another expensive polo shirt. This new software just might give me the courage to try it again

  • Shelly Christensen

    My most recent disaster was when I was putting a pumpkin design on the front of a t-shirt for my teenage son. He was helping me, I marked the center and lower and upper positions, then I hooped it and gave it to my son to put on the machine and embroider the design. We were both excited about it, the design stitched out great and then we unhooped it and the design was upside down, 🙁 and the my son wouldn’t wear it, go figure. lol

  • Bev Barnett

    On reading all the above, I think I can relate to just about everyone of them. My worst would be on an industrial machine.I always wanted to use a multi head industrial machine.So took a three day a week job. Loved it. Got very good at it. In trying to keep the logos to the smallest hoop, most times would come close the the edge. Till one day,crash.The needle just kept on chomping into the hoops and frames.It flicked the hoops out and they went flying,and the noise was soooo loud Lol. I have to say it is much harder to hoop up for logos on a home machines, it takes me ages. It would be much easier if the manufactures could change the hoop set up ie; The hoop frame should go in the centre. Sorry this is so long gggggg.

  • Jo

    Hi, I have too many disasters in my sewing room. LOL The latest being after completing a block for my DGD’s quilt which took me a week to get right I picked up the wrong back block and cut the one I worked so hard on down to fit. To my horror it was now an inch too short since I picked up the back from a shorter row. Scream!! My DH says just cut the other block the same size, I says the other blocks in the row can’t be cut down w/o cutting into the designs on them. He says weld it. LOL He was a welder.

  • Jo

    Oops, I posted wrong type of disaster! 😉 The main fashion disasters are catching part of garment either under or on top with design stiching due to not paying close enough attention. Happened on a onesie and had to go buy another one. ;(

  • Barbara

    Worst disaster ever?!? It had to be the shirt that my mom put a hole in trying to remove tabs from the sleeves. I took the sleeves apart, chose the designs, made the templates and got everything hooped. Sounds good, right? Then came the second sleeve — thread nest, puckered stitches AND I forgot to mirror the image! The shirt was ruined, and I had to replace it. The story has a happy ending — I replaced the sewing machine with the one of my dreams, and this software would solve the mirroring problem.

  • Benie Webre

    I was working in the wee hours of the morning, setting sleeves into a jacket. They went in perfectly – best sleeves I’d ever done. When I picked up the jacket to admire my work, I realized that the sleeves were in backward. I”m a morning person; I should know better than to sew after 10PM

  • Barbara McKenzie

    In the early days of home embroidery machines, placement was much more difficult. I was embroidering black roses on a wedding gown hem and one of the patterns was slanted up. I was able to salvage it by recutting the hemline and I was the only one who knew there was a problem, but needless to say, I was a little frantic for awhile. BTW, the gown was beautiful – white silk dupioni with black roses across the bodice and around the hemline and train.

  • Deborah

    Well, disasters in the sewing room….lol There are some days the sky is blue and the sun is shining & I am sewing my little heart out and loving every minute. Then….there are those days where I wonder if I can do anything right 🙁 So, I say.. go to bed tomorrow will be a better sewing day. We have all been there… Keep on sewing it makes the world a better place.

  • Beth R

    I embroidered a towel with an open, intricate design using a type of WSS that would leave fibers behind – needless to say, the fibers showed afterwards, leaving a fuzzy look. At least I learned something!

  • Terrie Underwood

    I was so excited to try out my new 10 needle machine! I had the onesie for my granddaughter hooped perfectly, and appliqued a cute bird on the front. Only after I removed the onesie did I discover I have forgot to slip the back under the bobbin arm. Front was stitched beautifully to the back 🙁

  • Gail Beam

    My biggest disaster was embroidering on a stadium blanket that turned into a blanket inside a bag. I thought I had the Mastiff design embroidered on what would be the outside center of the front of the bag. Wrong! The embroidery turned out to be on the inside of the front of the bag.

  • Nancy

    I too can recount a number of disasters in my 18 years of home embroidery. The funniest one was the green faced Santa I did very early on. The worst one was embroidering the front to the back of a t- shirt. Made a rag out of that project it was so hopeless.

  • Sharon Aiken

    How are winners chosen for your prizes each week, and by whom?

  • Mitzi

    my worst embroidery/fashion disaster was a bow that I’d created to applique onto the a shirt (because I was too timid to embroider directly on the garment). I made the bow on a wash-away stabilizer and when I washed the stabilizer out to prepare for appliqueing on the shirt, the entire thing disintegrated!

  • Ginger

    I really messed up a sweatshirt when I embroidered the design over in the shoulder-side seam. I never got to wear the shirt much out in public. Was an embarrassing piece of work!

  • Jean

    I was putting 5678 on the seat of shorts and stitched the front to the back….not very useful!

  • Irene Clark

    I was embroidering with 2 colors and trying to get other things done. , All all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flutter. One of my spools of thread had gotten caught in the Wheel.By the time I caught it, almost 1/4 of the spool was gone. What a mess to clean it all out.

  • Diane

    2012 was the year of the quilt! As an eager new quilter, I made three quilts for Christmas gifts – one for each of my adult children. I embroidered a dozen words on each quilt before quilting the layers. What a feat! Until I realized that on the last quilt I was embroidering, an edge of the quilt got tucked under the hoop. Several hours and many torn-out stitches later, I remedied the problem and finished the quilt. My daughter, who never cries, cried when I gave it to her. It was worth all the tears I shed while repairing my embroidery job!

  • Barbara Rowlan Wong

    I was so excited when I found an apron in a gorgeous shade of yellow. I’d looked forever for this color to embroider a design in my sister’s favorite flower, a sunflower. I am very picky about where I put a design on aprons as I like them higher than most. After I got everything lined up perfectly with stabliizer and topping, the design stitched out beautifully. When I removed it from the hoop it was so off center I was going to throw it away but decided to put “NANA” to even it out. My sister loved it!

  • Diana Cleary

    One of my disasters was trying to embroider on a top for my granddaughter. I constructed the top, placed it in the hoop, folded the excess out of the way and embroidered it only to find out I had somehow embroidered on wrong side of the top. Trying to ‘fix’ the problem I cut another top out and decided to embroider it first before sewing pieces together. Embroidery looked terrific. When I went to sew it together, I had embroidered the perfect design upside down! Third try came out great.

  • NancyS

    The first time I tried to use my machine I mistakenly attached the small hoop for a large design. I somehow overrode my machine’s warnings and the needle jammed into the hoop, breaking the needle and damaging the hoop. It also damaged the machine (its timing, I think), so right off the bat I had to ship the machine off for repair. Learned an important lesson on that one!

  • Melinda Mehl

    I was embroidering a project today. Placement was OK but could have been better. The disaster was that part of the got under the hoop and was well stitched into the embroidery design. I had to cut it apart to remove the hoop. I will just have to repurpose the beautifully stitched product.

  • gayle hill

    Love this Perfect Placement Software. Just wondering if it will split designs as well as everything else it can do.I am looking to get some software to try some different things this year.

  • Gaila C

    I have been very careful when I embroider. I do a lot of monograms. My disasters have been mainly forgetting to turn the letters the way I need them on the fabric. I really do that a lot. I haven’t had my machine long and haven’t ventured out much into really getting the most out of it. I think I’m just scared of messing something up.

  • Janet H. Kirby

    My worst embroidery disaster has been a design that I sew on a light jacket. It was beautiful but it was just ever so slightly tilted.

  • Kim Fisher

    I was stitching a design on a v-neck t-shirt. Unfortunately I didn’t get it hooped correctly and the design on one side stitched on the ribbing. This software would have prevented that!

  • Patty Fiske

    Oh, it is the placement on large sized tshirts for women, totally different than men and usual placement ends up too close to the armpit because smaller shoulders.

  • Marlene Church

    I make FSL Christmas ornaments for my family every year. This year I stitched them all out (15 of them) on what the label said was dissolvable stabilizer. When I went to rinse it out it didn’t dissolve. I ended up cutting the stabilizer as close as I could and starching the ornaments. From now on I will test a piect of the stabilizer to make sure it is actually dissolvable.

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    I embroidered a tshirt for a child and found when I had finished that the sleeve had been sewn too. In removing the stitches a hole appeared in that area. I was able to salvage the project by embroidering an appliqué over that area. I did learn to use clips after that to control excess fabric!

  • Virginia Perry

    My disaster – I created the “perfect” monogram. Somehow, I hit the mirror image button and the resulting monogram only looked good in the mirror. A good conversation piece though.

  • Kari

    One of my first embroidery projects was a wrap-towel for my teenage daughter. It was white tiger on a navy blue towel, and towel kept showing through. So I used a white trash bag as a “topper” and while the embroidery is beautiful to look at – it’s bullet-proof too!

    • Peggy Schroeder

      Thought I would let you know that I have done the same thing. Then I came across some left over wedding tulle, and thought “why not”, and I have been using bridal tulle on terry cloth towels ever since. You just lay a piece that you have sprayed a little bit with temporary adhesive spray, on the place where you are going to stitch, when it is done, you can pull most of it off around the edges, any remaining, it will kind of fluff up in the laundry, and you can just trim it off with the little curved embroidery snips. I have never had any of the towel loops come through, even after many washings. Hope this helps.

  • Linda

    I made Santa aprons for my grandchildren to use on Cookie Day! Perfect placement. Problem…the apron strings were sewn to the back of the face. Emergency repair at the last minute…cut the strings and attached ribbons. That’s what you get for doing everything at the last minute. LOL

  • Brenda Melahn

    While embroidering the band name on wool knit beanies for my son’s band, I was trying to be thrifty by using every inch of space on my stabalizer — when I got to the very top “spot” I squeezed in the name perfectly — and proceeded to embroider the front to the back of the beanie.

  • Dinah

    I’m a beginner at embroidering on anything that needs placement. I would love to win this!

  • Fonda Baus

    I embroidered (6) t-shirts for my son-in-law with his buisness name and phone #. Only to find out that I had put them too high on the shirt. They wound up too close to the sholder area. UGH!

  • Karen U.

    I forgot to turn the design and wow it was upside down on the shirt!

  • Vicki Heim

    I just embroidered a t-shirt with the cutest little turtle and after many minutes of repositioning it still practically end up in the sleeve. I also put a design on my sisters sweatshirt that went from a shoulder to a chest design.

  • Jackie

    I’ve had more then a few disasters, usually one side is great and the other side not so good. Once I checked my placement three times and it looked perfect but when I stitched it out I had embroidered the design 3″ lower then planned.

  • Karen Rilstone

    Hmm, how about a design off center. I had to madly add to the design so it looked perfect. Only I knew that it was wrong. Phew!

  • Myrna King

    I made a christening gown with a traditional slip for my newest granddaughter last year. I was going to enter the dress in the christening dress category at the Martha Pullen Sewing Market in Arlington — all that needed to be done was to put the baby’s information on the slip. My sister was visiting me and wanted to embroider the information on the slip. I agreed and cautioned her to be sure and make sure that the writing was showing right side up from the bottom of the hem. She agreed and started embroidering. Guess what? After starting the embroidery machine — I heard her gasp. I knew what had happened — the first name was upside down. So, now the real work began. We started ripping out, crying, using bad language, and on and on. We finally got all the stitching out but there were holes in the fine batiste. She had a tip that I had not heard of — using spray sizing on the area to reduce the appearance of the holes. This worked and we re-hooped the slip and got the information on the slip — right side up. Whew!! That was close. It was about 2:00a. when we finished. I entered it in the christening gown category the next day — and the dress won 1st place. Who knew?? Sizing for shrinking needle holes.

  • Calla Ferguson

    A split design of a butterfly caused an expensive placement disaster for me…twice! I tested the design and it stitched perfectly..but I didn’t test the “placement” of the three parts together. I could not get the 3 parts lined up straight even though I measured and marked and measured again! I still haven’t used the design, but I would love to try it again using “Perfect Placement”! This software would have paid for itself with this project alone!

  • Marloes

    Ohh, what a nice giveaway! My biggest disaster? I’ve got many to choose from but what I really hated was when I was in a big hurry and I thought it would be convenient to use textile glue to do some small hems. Unfortanetely the glue was not washingmachineproof (although it really promised me that it was), and since all hems were to stiff it was impossible to do some stitching with my machine. So this lovely tshirt for my daughter ended up in the garbagecan.

  • Rosalyn

    I was stiching shirts for a group to wear at a charity walk. I was feeling great about how they were turning out and the design was going horizontal. Then number 14, as I unhooped it, I realized that the design was running vertical. I didn’t have an extra shirt so I could re-do. The “mistake shirt” ended up being the one that everyone on the team wanted.

  • Vicky Isliefson

    I guess I am pretty typical. My disaster was embroidering a folded part of a partially sewn top under the hoop where it wasn’t supposed to be. It was one of my first embroidery projects, so I had not heard of stitch eraser and had to pick it out by hand. I eventually got the top made, and still have it but it seems to have “shrunk”. I think we all have to learn that one the hard way!

  • Diana Kohle

    LOL-I could have used this last week when I stitched out a design on a tshirt. The customer was “very healthy” in the chest area and the design went directly across her chest, right on the bust line. (I guess it should have been a tiny bit higher). We had a good laugh, then I quickly redid it on another shirt for her.

  • Carolyn

    I was embroidering on the back of a sweatshirt. It was centered correctly, but when I took it out of the hoop, it was upside down. What a disaster! Any help with correct placement would be great.

  • Ruby

    I tried all day yesterday to put a design on the front of a sweatshirt. I used sticky stabilizer. The shirt kept coming off everytime I tried turning the shirt wrong side out. I’ve completely given up. I would like some easy way to do that. Thanks Ruby

    • Mary Haggenmaker

      Use the “iron on stabilizer”. You iron it on to the garment and then hoop the garment and stablizer. Works well on t-shirts also.

      • Terry Senko

        I have become a huge fan of basting down my items as long as I’m using a fabric where the basting holes won’t show after the stitches are removed. It helps with puckering which has always been a challenge for me and provides so much security to avoid puckering or slipping. Especially helpful with the sticky stabilizer if you are not hooping a thick garment or towel.

  • Betsy

    I haven’t embroidered on shirts in a few years since they rarely never come out “perfectly placed”. They’re usually crooked or off-center no matter how careful I try to mark/center them. So, most of my attempts have been “fashion disasters”!

  • Becky

    When I got my first embroidery machine I was, of course, putting embroidery on anything that didn’t move. Well, I embroidered a beautiful tiger on my son’s black sweatshirt. The stitching was great but no one would really know that since it ended up just under his arm. Haha…I’ve learned a lot since then, but the Perfect Placement software sounds like a wonderful tool and I can’t wait to try it out.

  • Debra Wilson

    I have tried placement of embroidery on a few Tshirt. Guess where the designs always seem to point to. I am now always doing applique but would love to sew straight to the shirt-and be able to wear them in public

  • Nancy Owens

    I have had many unfortunate placement issues,(in my mind) so many in fact that I have never been brave enough to try! This software would be my shot of courage. Thanks Eileen and Nancy! My Heros!


    I’ve probably sewn all the mistakes mentioned above. My most frustrating embroidery comes when I wish to embroider fonts. I like to use fonts in every direction and way possible. Never come out like I wish!!Another time I embroidered a split design, necklace-type, on a T-shirt..the 2nd half refused to line up with the first half.

  • Susan Burns

    I was trying to emboider a design onto a pants leg for my grandaughter. When I was done I realized I had sewn the design through the front and the back of the leg, sewing it closed. To this day I don’t know how I could have been so stupid!

  • Gail Laub

    My Daughter-in-Law, a Paramedic, asked me to embroider her name on a second hand jacket, over where the other name had been. It came out beautifully but ever so slightly puckered on the nylon material. I foolishly tried to “steam” the puckers out by holding the iron about an inch and a half above the fabric. As I approached the design with the iron, I immediately melted a big place under the lettering starting before the first letter. My DIL said, “No problem….she gave me a picture of the Star of Life logo and said I could add that to the jacket. After finding a similar design with the cross and snake, I made multiple copies of it and deleted all stitches that would be under the overlapping crosses. It stitched out well but I felt terrible for ruining her jacket and having to correct my mistake by embroidering a way off center design under her name. She was fine with it, though, and wore it to work. Her boss loved it and asked me to embroider his jacket! Who knew?

  • Peggy Schroeder

    Hi Eileen.

    The fashion disaster that immediately comes to mind is a white tee shirt that I embroidered an embossed horse design on. I measured, marked, secured it down tightly, and thought it was just right. Turned on the machine and let it go. It stitched out beautifully, that is, until I took it off the hoop—Somehow, I got it just enough off to look terrible. It was tilted!!!. When you have a white tee shirt with a royal blue embossed area that is a rectangle, it must be straight to look right. Needles to say, it ruined the shirt, I would not even put it in the rag bag where someone might see it; I stuffed it into the netherlands of the back of my closet, hopefully to never be seen again.

    • eileenroche

      Hi Peggy, We all have those disasters – too horrible to share! But I use those projects to test stitch embroidery designs. I put them to good use and by the time the fabric is full of test stitch-outs, I’ve forgotten what was so horrible in the first place!

  • Paula S

    All of your tools have been a great benefit to my embroidery endeavors. This will be one I have to investigate and see the benefit it will bring to future embellishments/projects. Eileen I have enjoyed all of your emails and information provided by the blog. My worse endeavor was not properly accounting for the “girls” when I positioned a design element – which only pointed out the obvisious. After all the work and thread, the item was worn only once.

    • eileenroche

      Thanks for your kind words, Paula!

  • Paula Roney

    I don’t think there is anyone that didn’t start out embroidering at least one shirt front and back together, or caught the sleeve under the embroidery hoop to make an embroidery sandwich. Live and Learn! I’ve also had some disasters using the serger around a neck hole. I’ve been serging along thinking I’m a real hot shot, only to get to the bottom of the neck curve and slice into the body of the garment because I didn’t snip into the curve and straighten out the seam before I started up the other side. No amount of reading can teach you these valuable lessons.

  • Doree Shandera

    A friend was taking her husband and 2 children on a surprise Bday trip to Disneyland. She wanted a design put on each of them and it was in a format for a machine I wasn’t as comfortable embroiderying on. At the time I didn’t know how to change the format, so I struggled through. They were presentable, but I have noticed that she never asked again. Lol

  • Martha

    Well, it gives me hope to read that others have had disasters too! I am still an embroidery machine rookie, but was so disappointed when a pillowcase project I was doing for a wedding present was ruined because of placement issues–there was not enough time to try it again. Thanks for sharing everyone!

  • Barb Miller

    One of the first embroidery projects I tried, ended up ruined. I made a t-shirt with a golfing logo. It must have not been tight enough in the hhop and it moved during the process. I make it worst when I tried to remove the stitches, and put a hole in my t-shirt.

  • Kathy

    Doing a silk jacket, and somehow the hoop slipped or the fabric moved, to this day I have not tried to fix it. Maybe with the Perfect Placement software I’ll give it an nother try

  • Wendy

    I have done several t shirts for the same group at church. I could see this product being so helpful to make sure they all were stitched in the proper place. I have had “issues” before and wasted many shirts.

  • Alice Phillips

    My biggest disaster was a dress that was almost complete and I wanted the embroidery design along the hemline and only in the front. As a teacher I was always moving around the classroom and had caught the hem in the back several times. After careful planning the embroidery was done and I had managed to hoop the back instead of the front. Well now the embroidery goes all the way around,good thing plans can change

  • Denise Z. G.

    Placement is so critical for success, this tool would become indispensable. I would love the confidence it would inspire.

  • Martha

    Hearing about other disasters makes me feel right at home!!
    With new grandchildren I am afraid I messed up more than one
    onesie. It is hard to keep the fabric out of the way when they are tiny.
    Somehow they are always off too,
    But a moving baby disguises everything.

  • vicki

    Sometimes when you’re embroidering you think you are the only person this has happened to and how could you mess up so badly? So then you’re reading about all of these “disasters” and you’re thinking, been there – done that! So now I know! I’m not really messing up – I’m NORMAL! What a relief!!! It only has to happen once and you learn to watch for it the next time! LOL The best
    disasters are the ones you are doing with a friend and both of you are laughing as you rip out the stitches of that sewn front to back job!

  • Doreen

    When I first started embroidering I started with free standing lace designs. Being totally clueless I decided that I would stitch out some of the snowflakes that came with my machine. When I rinsed them all out I was left with a big messy glob of thread. I didn’t know that free standing lace was digitized specifically for that purpose. I thought I could just turn any design into fsl. Definitely did not work well at all. Of course I’ve had the back and front sewn together, back hoop fall off while stitching and tilted embroidery.

  • Connie W

    My worst sewing room/embroidery disaster happened when my Ellisimo was 3 months old. I was embroidering, using a vertical thread stand behind my machine and as I sat in front of the machine I could see something “flapping” around at top speed on the right side of the machine’s hand wheel. It scared me. I stopped the machine and there was this “thing” hanging on the wheel that looked like a gray “hairpiece”. It was my gray thread that had somehow gotten caught in the wheel and was spinning around it. It happened so fast. You can not even imagine the mess I had. I was lucky that I was able to get all the thread picked out of the inside of the wheel, but it took a long time. Believe me, I learned a valuable lesson that day, to be very careful my thread is never anywhere near that hand wheel.

    • eileenroche

      Connie, I’ve seen that happen! You’re right, it happens so quickly – it seems like a mile of thread gets spun around the handle in about 2 seconds. Take quite of bit of patience to undo the mess. But you (and I) survived!

  • Cheri Williams

    I embroidered by daughters name on the front edge of her hoodie and inadvertly embroidered the hoodie strings in place and not even equal on each side!

  • Berenice

    Disasters are legion, from the hoodie caught under the hoop to crooked names to the upside down birthday shirt… All lessons that needed to be learned. The worst was not doing a stitch out on a wedding dress design only to find that the file was corrupted and most of the design was a bunch of single stitches jumping all over the place. Had to redo skirt because of needle holes marring the fabric.

  • Donna

    I was putting a Disney princess on a jacket for my granddaughter and I stepped away to answer the front door. When I returned, the sleeve had gotten caught in the design area and half the face was on the was holding the sleeve to the back of the jacket.

  • dale henry

    My disaster: I was trying so hard to center my design, taking it out the hoop putting it back in. Finally had it dead center.Great , embroidered out beautiful. Colour was great ,design look perfect.
    However it was upside-down yikes!
    I somehow flipped it when I was centering the design.
    Now I take a deep breath and step back,before the start button is pressed.

  • Cathy

    My disaster was when I walked away from my machine while embroidering a new shirt. Well a part of the shirt that was not supposed to have embroidery got caught, and I had to cut out of the machine, so I had a hole in the front of the new shirt. Needless to say, there was an opportunity to add to the design, so the shirt was saved.

  • Cindy Broome

    My embroidery disaster was placement – but in a way you could never imagine. I was in a bit of a hurry, mistake #1. I was just trying to “patch” a slight hole made by a flying piece of ash from the campfire, on a shirt I had worn only once. I got the perfect color match on the thread and was only going to do a little floral design to cover up the hole, mistake #2. I hooped, I stabilized, and I stitched it out, mistake #3. When I took it out of the hoop, cut away the excess stabilizer and went to put the shirt on, I felt something funny. I ran to a mirror and to my horror – the something funny was the stabilizer – and it was on the right side of the shirt! I have fixed mistake #1 – don’t be in a hurry. Mistake #2 really wasn’t a mistake, actually, it helped because the thread matched the color of the shirt so close. Mistake #3 – I did everything but look one more time at the placement! I do wear the shirt, it was a very tiny design. And I tell people that if you want to see a really great design, let me turn it over. I think if I owned the Perfect Placement package, I might not make this disastrous design mistake again. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it, just trying not to repeat it again!

  • Karen

    I had done airplanes on jackets for a group, 1 jacket after wearing was missing a color. I think the bobbin thread was not there. I added it by hand using a needle nose pliers to push and pull the needle through.

  • Norma

    My biggest embroidery disaster was on a blanket. I was working on giving everyone same color blanket with their names on for Christmas. Embroidery the names and my husband was in charge of wrapping them up, was even making sure that I marked the names on my list after I go it done.I was so excited when I was done and after I look at all the names I was missing one blanket, we looked everywhere and could not find it, we had to unwrapped all the gifts… come to find out that I had embroider a blanket with two different names… one on each corner. Had to get another one on a different color. Now when I have to do items of the same color, I separate those that are done and those I have to work on.

  • cmikk

    I worked very hard to pick just the right colors to embroider a fish on a t-shirt I purchased for my granddaughter, stabilized just right and sewed it out. It was beautiful, except it was upside down on the garment.
    this is not to mention the things that were sewn together because I didn’t make sure everything was away from the needle.

  • Kim

    My biggest fashion disaster was when I sewed a two-piece sleeve in backwards. It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t fit at all.

  • Michelle H

    I guess my biggest fashion design error was trying to add some lettering to a tee shirt for my husband from his last Navy ship and speeling the words wrong. I had to go get a new shirt and start again!

  • Pamela Black

    I tried to embroidery a jeep in orange on an apron for my son. (his hobby mountain climbing with his jeep.
    And the words “You can wear an Apron for other than BBQ.
    I ended up embroidering the jeep right over the words. So had to run to the store and get two new black apron. The third time is the charm as they say. And thank goodness in time for Christmas last year.

  • Mary Haggenmaker

    I was still working my day job but I was doing embroidery on the side. This lady I was working with was into some serious team bowling. Her sister had a design and she wanted me digitize the design, which I did, and put the design on the back of the 11 shirts along with the nickname of the team member. On the left front of the shirt she wanted the name of the team. Some of the team members were rather full figured and apparently the team name was not in a “good” place. I ended up refunding what they paid me and buying the shirts. Some of my grand daughters ended up with some interesting night shirts.

  • Rebecca Grace

    I was doing a left chest design on an expensive blouse that I had purchased as a gift for my sister-in-law. She’s 6′ tall so I had to special order this blouse from J. Crew (they have tall sizes on their web site, but not in stores) and there was no way I could get another one in time for Christmas. So, expensive blank, sewing gifts at the last time… Naturally this was a recipe for disaster! Well, I got part of the back of the shirt stuck under the hoop somehow, probably because I was on the phone while I was embroidering and not paying attention. The blouse was ruined and I had to come up with something else — monogrammed cocktail napkins! 🙂

    By the way, I just got a chance to watch your PBS Embroidery Basics lessons on Sewing With Nancy. I picked up some good tips especially from the hooping demonstrations. I always tried to center my fabric in the inner hoop and then push everything together, instead of laying the fabric and centering it over the bottom hoop and then just moving the inner hoop into position. Your way works SO MUCH BETTER!

    • eileenroche

      Glad you picked up a few tips, Rebecca. Thanks for watching!

  • Kathie M

    I think my worst embroidery disaster was a blue dupioni shirt I had just finished. It was crying out for embroidery around the neckline and something must have shifted when I hooped it as one part ended up perfect and the other part ended up with the sleeve sewn to it.

    • Paige P

      I embroidered a sleeve to a shirt once, too. 😛

  • LeAnne L

    I got the dreaded design in the armpit on a present for my husband. Read all the tips on where to place the design, but it still ended up way farther left than it should have.

  • Paige P

    The very first project I ever embroidered bird nested and it took me an hour to get it undone from the machine. I switched embroidery thread brands and I haven’t had a problem since, but that first project was frustrating enough that it was almost my last!

  • Betty

    I thought I was the only one that had these “oops” moments. The problem is I’ve done them all. I’ve enjoyed all of your ideas and magazines for years. You and Nancy Z. are my very favorites. Keep up the wonderful work you do.

  • Jeniffer Sterland

    I was embroidering a tablecloth with Sue Box Roses. All was going so well. Placement just fine. [As fine as it needed to be for rambling roses that is!]. The cloth was polyester, and I had been embroidering segments, unhooping then pressing with a warm iron and pressing cloth, the Project was a little over half-finished.
    I pressed a rose, and Szzzztt! The iron was too hot! Burnt a hole in the middle of the rose!
    I placed a little bit of white fabric underneath, and embroidered a leaf over the top of my patch. Would you believe part of the stitching elected to run down the edge of the leaf and edge of the hole, leaving a little bit of white showing through!
    Fortunately, part of the Design featured a ‘white ribbon’ and it takes a very concentrated effort to spot the patch. I often show it to friends, and even though I know where it is, I have difficulty finding it! One can be very lucky sometimes.

  • Cathy Van Daalwyk

    My disaster,would be the first time I turned a sweatshirt inside out to stitch the design on it. Well somehow the body of the sweatshirt got caught under the hoop in the design and I had to cut the sweatshirt to get off the hoop. Thank goodness you tips have helped me since those days!

  • Cindy McCarty

    I was new to machine embroidery when I embroidered collar points on a shirt that I had made. As hard as I tried at getting them symmetrical, I could still see that they were off. UGH!

  • Lois Simmons

    I’m brand new to machine embroidery but wanted to give gifts at this Christmas. I carefully lined up a tea towel for an elaborate design (which came out lovely)…except that it was off center! I now have a rather funny looking tea towel as I did not have the heart to give it away.

    • Melinda Mehl

      Have you thought about adding some decorative embroidery or stitching on the off side to make it look centered? I would at least try that. If it doesn’t work, you are no worse off. Stitch or print out your idea on something else first so you can make decisions about size and placement before stitching on your project. Good luck!

  • Joyce White

    The biggest disaster that I had was when I was embroidering a lap scarf. The design was stitching and some how it moved and the needle hit the hoop and got stuck. The needle broke and the machine jammed. I had to cut the machine off and remove the hoop and the broken needle.

  • Laura Brinson

    I was decorating a t-shirt with lots of halloween embroidery designs (mostly redwork type) and it was coming out beautifully, I was planning on wearing it to the school where I worked (the kids love to see that stuff and are in awe when you tell them you made it!) got on the last design, stepped out the room for a minute and heard that awful sound we embroiders hate to hear, rushed back in and my sewing machine had eaten my t-shirt, finally got it out, but there was a big hole in it in a very obvious spot and I didn’t have the know how or time to fix it 🙁 still keep it around thinking someday I will figure out what to do with it.

  • Sherry

    I am the biggest chicken! I have shirts begging to be embroidered but I am afraid of creating a disaster!

  • Marge Geraci

    Describing my disaster is really a story to be told. Just This weekend I attempted to put a design on a brand new and expensive t-shirt. First of all as I was stitching it, I noticed the darn design was sorta upside down. This was disaster number one. However, I noticed if I put the design on the other side of the design it would be at lest wearable. Being very careful I attempted to place the design on the other side. All was going well, and then that Horrible sound as it was sewing when I stepped away for a moment and lo and behold I turned around and the darn design was upside down and the edge of the sleeve was caught under the needle. Well, the only thing left for this shirt is material for try outs or good ole trash. If only I’d had Perfect Placement my shirt would have been wearable and beautiful.

  • Mary Mauldin

    I was embroidering my sisters and my daughters long sleeve tee shirts for Christmas. It was my last one and time was short. I had it on the machine and was nearly through with it when I realized I had the lower part of a sleeve caught under the hoop. When the blood circulation came back to my brain after almost fainting I decided to finish it. Took it out of the hoop, cut both sleeves off to make 3/4 sleeves, hemmed them and no one knew the difference but me and I didn’t tell.

  • Cheryl Allen

    I think I’ve bought all the extra tools that would help me to get organized to actually do a nice neck design or yoke desing on a shirt, however, I’m such a chicken to actually try to put it on and find I’ve ruined a really nice shirt. Sooooo, all this STUFF, sits here and stares at me while I do just about everything else in my embroidery. My husband just bought me a really nice Innov Is 2800D and I’ve just got to learn how to do this now! I would really like to see if this software is the answer to my fears~

  • Sharon Brockhouse

    The old on the boob!

  • Kate Barrett

    I’ve read all these posts. All I can add is I feel your pain, and now I don’t feel so bad! I’m elated to know it isn’t just me!

  • Joann

    My very worst disaster was a sweatshirt. I had read somewhere to use large hair clips to hold the surrounding area of the shirt out of the way. I didn’t notice that the clip got hung up with the lever that raises the foot up and down. The machine jammed. And something inside the machine came off track and i had to take it to a repairman. Needless to say the shirt was ruined, but i salvaged it with an embroidered applique.

  • Christine

    How great to know its not just me, now I can laugh about all me hook-ups underneath and wrong placements.I am not alone!!!

  • Christine

    Oops my !

  • Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the amazing spirit.

  • Saundra Romanus

    My worst embroidery disaster was when I first got my machine. I was embroidering Hand Towels. I hooped the stabilizer and then marked the center with the plastic marking shield. Then went to let the dog out. I came back placed the towel on top with the topping taped on top. Put the hoop onto the machine and began the embroidery. The machine was running noisy, I thought I needed to change the needle. Needless to say I left the plastic thing under the towel! It has a big hole in it and I am too embarrassed to take it to the sewing store to order a new one!

  • Linda Severs

    It was getting late. I painstakingly inserted a very puffy sleeve into the bodice and sewed it. When I turned the garment inside out to view my work, I was amazed and dismayed to find I had just managed to sew the second sleeve into the same armhole as the first. Needless to say, I ripped it out–and decided that “just one more step” doesn’t work as well as “just one more page” does when it is late at night!