Embroidery: It’s not that bad…

As you may have surmised, today’s post is a little different πŸ™‚ Today, I venture into uncharted territory… And it features the new Embroidery only machine from Janome.


Let me set this up by saying that my best friend Vicky is a shift manager at Starbucks. This is a double-edged sword for me as 1.) I’m addicted to coffee and this fact only enables that addiction. And 2.) I can get coffee ANY time I need it! πŸ™‚ You can see how this might be slightly conflicting…

Word has gotten around that I do a bit of sewing and Vicky’s Manager asked me to embroider all her baristas’ names onto their holiday aprons. Embroidery terrifies me! The machine does all the work for you, sure. But, logistically speaking, it’s kind of a nightmare! Setting everything up takes time and patience and I don’t possess either of those qualities (is “time” a quality???).

I typed up a reasonable yet competitive estimate for her… to my dismay, she approved it.


Box O Aprons
Box O Aprons

This is happening whether I like it or not…


Did you count the names? It’s 17! I had to do 17 aprons. I’m not ashamed to admit I was scared to death. Embroidering on a sample while I’m demo-ing a machine to a potential customer is one thing. When I’m being commissioned to embroider on real garments for a major corporation… that’s a different story all together. The pressure’s on!

Per the request of Starbucks, I used white thread (ExquisiteΒ is my go-to!) and I marked the aprons one inch from the top seam and one inch from the left side seam of the apron.

I used chalk; comes off super easy.

The last letter of the name had to be right on the edge of those measurements. I’m still shocked I managed to pull it off!

Templates make all the difference! The grid marks on the hoop template match the grid marks on the edit screen of the machine. As long the baristas’ names are the same (on the machine grid/template grid), the embroidery will be exactly where you want it to be on your garment. Make sense?


Hooping is my least favorite part of the embroidery process. The placement of the Baristas’ names made me hoop the apron at its thickest (the strap). Can you see it? Not only is the strap thick, the name is dangerously close to the edge, so the apron couldn’t be hooped “centered.” It was quite tricky. One apron actually came unhooped in the middle of embroidery!! I had to stop the machine, rehoop it, and backtrack the stitches a little bit.


The Janome 500E has different hoops than other Janome Embroidery machines. That little black knob on the right side of the picture is where the hoop fastens in to the embroidery arm. You slide that black knob down, line up the holes to the corresponding metal knobs and boom! It’s hooped. If I can do it, anybody can! #EasiestHoopingEver


Plus, this is embroidery only (in case you forgot), so the bed of the machine is quite large. This gives you a stable platform for larger garments/cloths. If you need more room, though, it comes with an extension table.

The names took 3 to 6 minutes to embroider. It was the marking, measuring, hooping, stabilizing, and fretting that took up most of my time. In a way, I’m glad I was “forced” to do this because now I’m not as scared of embroidering as I used to be πŸ™‚ Also, I got to know this machine very well during the day-long process, which will only make me a better/more relate-able salesman (how can I say something is easy to use if I don’t know from personal experience?).

To see this machine in action, I’ve uploaded my very first video. I make a cameo appearance at the end. It’s only 1:04 minutes long and it’s super, uh, not-professional πŸ™‚ I uploaded this for my friend Gema, more than anything. She’s been begging me to do a video and, uh, here it is! πŸ™‚

Better videos to come πŸ™‚


4 thoughts on “Embroidery: It’s not that bad…

  1. Yeay!!! You’re gorgeous!! And so camera ready!! Woohoo, so pleased I’ve made you video something… More please! πŸ™‚
    (and that machine is hypnotic to watch…I could stare at it, doing it’s thing, for hours!) x

  2. Oh yes, nearly forgot,well done on a) being so entrepreneurial getting that commission and b) pulling it off so professionally… Very inspiring πŸ™‚

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