Embellishment Favorites: Couching with Monfilament Thread

As I create with sweatshirts, sweaters, up-cycling and other sewing – even teaching my young students here at Londa’s Sunroom Sewing Studio, I find there are certain embellishment techniques and tools that I use over and over.  My next few blog posts will share my favorites.

COUCHING YARN OR TRIM 

Couched yarn can cover construction edges.

Add here picture of inside of the collar

To make an embellishment yarn look like it is ‘floating’, just couch (stitch) it down with  monofilament thread in the needle.   Regarding color (Clear or Smoke), it depends on what I’m doing.  I generally prefer to have the stitching  look ‘invisible’.  When laying down a lighter colored trim, I select Clear, and for a darker colored trim, I select Smoke.

IMPORTANT TENSION ADJUSTMENT NECESSARY 

I’m quite certain that you will find it necessary to reduce the upper tension (dial down to a lower number) so that the bobbin thread doesn’t show up in little ‘hints’ on the top of the work.  See the picture below…

 

Lower upper tension until the bobbin thread is NOT peaking at each zigzag point.

Regardless os what ‘number’ you have to move the upper tension down to – just do so until you do NOT see the bobbin thread ‘peeking’ at each side of the zigzag.

STITCH WIDTH AND LENGTH

Length:  I almost always use ‘3’ for the Stitch Length.  It just seems to work.

Width:  Just as wide (no more) that is needed to encompass the trim being ‘couched’ over.

MONOFILAMENT THEAD RECOMMENDATIONS

  • YLI Wonder Invisible Thread – 100% nylon. Available  in clear and smoke.
  • Transfil Monofilament Thread – 100% polyamide nylon monofilament thread. Available  in clear and smoke.

AND, here is a warning – since sometimes I want to use it in the bobbin – I always keep a bobbin of each ‘color’ wound as well. Do NOT wind fast – OR a full bobbin if your bobbins are plastic!!! If you do – you probably won’t get it off the spindle…. I use plastic bobbins for most sewing on my Pfaff 7550, but for this thread – I have metal bobbins. With the metal, I CAN wind them full – which is a good thing – because winding the bobbins is a royal ‘pain.  What would be some of the situations where I’d want the monofilament thread in the bobbin?

  • I desire the monofilament to end up on the top
  • I don’t want the bobbin showing on the wrong side, or I want it to show ‘less’  so in that case, I would use the monofilament-filled bobbin.

 

 

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