“There are two types of people; those who sew samples, and those who wish they had . . .” – Embroidery Professor
One of the earliest lessons one can learn on their way to be a proficient machine embroiderer is how important it is to sew a sample of the design before committing it to the garment or item. Naturally we learned this lesson the hard way when 12 letter-type jackets (wool jackets with leather sleeves) had to be eaten because the design on the back was sewn the wrong size. Had a sample been sewn and checked, this situation could have been avoided.
The best material to use when sewing samples is 2 pieces of cutaway. Cutaway provides the perfect “baseline” for sewing samples because it removes all other factors unique to different fabrics and will not interfere with sewing. Furthermore, the design will look its best sewn on cutaway if all other things are in order, i.e. its a good design, the tensions on your machine are set properly, etc.
After you sew out your sample on cutaway and it looks good, then you can double check things such as size, spelling, letter placement and so on. If it doesn’t look good then you can start troubleshooting, i.e. looping on top could be tension issues with your machine, narrow, disappearing satin stitches on cutaway will definitely disappear on fabric, etc.
Get in the habit of sewing samples on cutaway before you sew the design on your garment. It will save you time and money in long run from ruining a garment and it will get you in the habit in making sure your embroidery is the best it can be, which will lead to more confidence and less stress.