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Multi-needle Monday: Mistakes Happpen to All of Us

I am sure you get frustrated when you embroider a special gift and you stitch the name incorrectly. Maybe you used the wrong color thread, stitched the design upside down or placed the name or logo crooked or not centered. Whatever the case, we all do it, some people more than others. The majority of our readers are hobbyists and do not embroider nearly as often as I do so I understand how these mishaps occur.

I will be honest, when stitching hats, I always purchase two extra, just in case. Some of my mistakes have even been published on this blog. I know commercial shops plan for errors as well. It is not always human error; machines do act up and “eat” fabric once in a while. The best way to react is to stay calm and keep the item hooped, if it is possible, remove the hoop from machine. Carefully remove the back bobbin stitches. I also like to add another piece of stabilizer (float or use sticky tear away) for extra stability.

Recently while shopping at a large discount store in my town, I came across a number of backpacks on sale for back to school. I immediately recognized the style as a popular wholesale vendor I order from. It is ironic because the bags (at least 30 or so) were already personalized with different names.mistake1BLmistake2BL

The embroidery is professionally done but somehow the wrong names were stitched and instead of ripping out the mistake, they chose to take a small loss and re-sell them. I have come across this situation before at a high end home décor outlet store which offers a popular online monogram studio. The outlet was selling monogrammed (3 letter monograms) towels, robes, bath mats and Christmas stockings which I am sure were mistakes and ended up at the outlet.

Another funny mistake was brought to my attention last year when a customer ordered Christmas stockings online for their growing family. The red velvet stockings had a white velvet cuff. When the stocking arrived all of the names were stitched in white thread! Each name should have been embroidered on the cuff with red thread. I am sorry I did not photograph this mistake. Imagine a “human” took the time and embroidered 6 stockings incorrectly, never noticed the white on white colors.

Take time and plan your embroidery; proper placement, check spelling (I wish they had spell check on the embroidery machine screen), thread color and design orientation. Try not to embroider when you are tired or distracted most mistakes happen during this time.

Take advantage of this coupon link to save on my Craftsy class “ How to Start a Machine Embroidery Business”.




  • Angela Perez

    To error is human as they say. I’ve made mistakes and had to redo project. It’s usually when I’m in a hurry. I noticed when I rush with embroidery it almost always ends up with something wrong with it. Thank you for sharing your experience. Because even professionals make mistakes. I usually do a test run of every design if possible, because like you said, sometimes the machine just acts up for some reason.

  • Jacque`

    It isn’t always a spelling error. There are times when you get the tail end of a shirt stitched in and then there is no way you can undo the stitching with out totally messing up the shirt. Then it it a new shirt purchase. Yuck!!

  • Carolyn

    Mine is usually not having a color on the right thread spool on my 10-needle machine. The silliest thing is when I realize it’s starting with the wrong color, I usually shout at my machine, “NO, STOP, NOT THAT COLOR, IT’S ON NUMBER ….!” as I scramble to hit the stop button, as if it’s the machine who made the mistake. Recently, my daughter was here when it happened. She said, “Little louder, Mom, it didn’t stop.”

  • Bruce

    I agree with Jacque, there is no way you can undo the stitching with out totally messing up the shirt.