Friday, 5 June 2015

Digitising Software /Embroidery and Appliqué/Cutting Machines

I have confessed in the past to being a bit of a gadget freak. One of my gadgets is a computerised embroidery/sewing machine. As it happens it is a Janome MC11000 but there are several decent brands out there. It's great for arty types like me. It sews as a normal machine, with loads of different stitches but also has an auto embroidery function. You put in a hoop, program it up and sit back and watch it do the work for you.

Nowhere do I say these are cheap, they certainly are not, but along with the machine, you need software (if you intend to create your own designs). This can cost as much as the machine itself! I kid you not, I rang a dealer today to ask the price of some software for a Mac and was quoted £1,250 - just for the software, not the machine! I nearly choked.

I already have VERY good software, it's called DRAWings. I just have to run either Parallels or VMFusion to run it on my Mac.

Anyhow, one of the things I like is that Sure Cuts A Lot allows me to save designs in SVG. I can import it into my embroidery software and convert to stitches or appliqué  with a few clicks of the mouse. Of course, if I am making appliqué, I can also cut the pieces with my Silver Bullet. That makes things so much easier! No more struggling with scissors around small shapes. Bliss. Or I can combine that with embroidery too.

It's worth noting that saving the SVG in SCAL, imports as a slightly different size in my embroidery software, so I resize it to match. I simply note the size of the design before I cut it.
If I was into quilting, I could make my segments more easily too. Accurate cutting is essential for good results.

I do think it odd that  it is impossible to find good value embroidery software for Macs.  I don't think expecting to pay around £200 is unreasonable.
So next time you feel like complaining about your cutting software, be thankful it is a lot more reasonably priced. It could be a lot worse!

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