DIY Embroidery Machine Sews Your Name In Your Undies

DIY Embroidery Machine

If you were in the market for a sewing machine with embroidery capabilities, you’d either be spending a bunch of money or settling for a lower-cost machine that can only do a handful of pre-programmed designs. A DIYer by the name of [SausagePaws] came up with a 3rd option, he would build one himself. He was also highly motivated, [Mrs SausagePaws] wanted one!

An off the shelf embroidery machine is similar to a standard sewing machine except the movement of the fabric is done automatically rather than by hand. Not only does the work move, but it has to move in time with the needle traveling up and down. [SausagePaws] took a no-nonsense approach and decided the simplest way to go about the task was to mount an embroidery hoop to the end of an XY drive system.

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Sewing Conductive Thread in Parallel Lines

sewing-parallel-lines-conductive-thread

[Cynthia] has shared a great video of  machine sewing parallel lines of conductive thread onto ribbon using a cording foot which usually comes standard with most machines. This technique could be particularly useful when using addressable LEDs like a NeoPixel to get the ground, data, and positive lined up fairly accurately. Sewing the conductive thread onto ribbon also makes it a hell of a lot easier to attach to many garments or textiles,  and also makes it easier to replace or reuse.

The method is pretty easy, essentially using the grooves in the cording foot to guide the conductive treads and ensuring even spacing. Two of the lines are sewn down approximately 3 mm apart using a zigzag stitch. The third line is sewn separately making sure the stitching doesn’t break the first two lines. In the video, a striped ribbon is used which has slight troughs that additionally helps the threads stay in place and the sewer to stay on target.

[Cynthia] of Cynthia Designs Studio has been experimenting with embedding electronics in textiles and has quite a few great videos that you can check out on the Cynthia Designs Studio YouTube channel.

We have seen a machine embroidered LED matrix and a hand sewn LED quilt here on Hackaday, but those who have tried know that conductive thread can be very tricky to work with and keep conductivity.  Do you have any tips or tricks for hand or machine sewing conductive thread? If so, please share in the comments below.

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DIY Scroll Saw

scrollsaw

Scroll saws are super handy tools, but it’s sometimes hard to justify buying one for a single project. So why not make it your project? [SDX42] shows us how, using a…wait a second, is that an old sewing machine?

First a little back story. He picked up an old sewing machine that had been thrown out by its previous owner: they said it didn’t work right. He took it anyway and decided to fix it up. He encountered two problems. First, it turned out to be a lot harder to fix than he first imagined. Second, he realized he had no use for a sewing machine. What he did need, however, was a scroll saw.

A sewing machine is actually fairly similar to a scroll saw. They both work by converting rotary movement into linear reciprocation. The only difference is the layout. [SDX42] flipped the mechanism upside down and built a scroll saw frame on top of the stripped-down sewing machine. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but we’ll let him explain it to you in the video after the break.

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