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There are a few things you can do to make your Free standing lace look it’s best once you have washed out the stabilizer.
TIP 1: make sure you use the smallest hoop possible. if your design is 3.5 x 3.5, make sure that you use the 4×4 hoop and not anything larger. Why? FSL tends to pull the stabilizer and you will have designs out of registration – when you have FSL that the satin stitches don’t cover the lace stitches, you will have FSL that will fall apart.
TIP 2: only one design per hoop. Yep, for the same reasons above, stitch your designs one at a time.
TIP 3: use the right kind of water soluble stabilizer (WSS for short). There are a few different kinds of WSS that you can purchase. The thin plastic type of WSS doesn’t work very well for FSL, so I do not recommend using it – it just simply is not strong enough to work well with the stitches. The result can be tearing and a big mess before you even finish stitching. I do recommend the fabric type WSS, which will stand up to the stitches. some people say to use 2 layers of WSS, but I only use 1 layer and it always works. Whatever works best for you.
TIP 4: personally I don’t think that sewing your scraps of WSS together and using them for WSS….some people do it and that’s fine, but I think that the sewed area is not the same as the non sewn area. There will be more movement as you stitch and strain the WSS, and that would result in registration issues. I like to do it right the first time so I don’t waste time and stabilizer.
TIP 5: YEP, wind your bobbin with matching thread. Even if you are not going to be looking at both sides of the FSL, using the same (or similar) color thread will make the one side look richly colored. Unless you are using white thread, the white bobbin thread will show up somewhere on the front of the design. I don’t change the bobbin when I am test stitching, but for pictures I do wind a bobbin. Seriously, it’s true. I do wind a bobbin for FSL.
TIP 6: you CAN use Kingstar metallic for FSL. I would not recommend any other metallic thread except Kingstar Metallic thread – it’s awesome and it works every single time. Yes, you can wind Kingstar metallic thread in the bobbin, too. Other than the gorgeous sparkle and bright colors, you won’t notice any difference when it comes to stitching. You don’t have to change the needle or set up an elaborate pully system for regular metallic thread. Just pop the thread on, change the bobbin and stitch. Easy peasy.
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