How Embroider or Sew with Metallic Thread, Days 9 and 10 of Live Butterfly Kit

butterfly cocoon or chrysalis
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Day 9 and 10 of our Live Butterfly Kit and all of our caterpillars are officially in their own cocoon or chrysalis.  I kind of miss our little caterpillar friends. Soon we will move them to their chrysalis station in their butterfly habitat and prepare for the arrival of our painted lady butterflies.

Baby Girl is taking after her Mom in  loving all things girly and sparkly!  She loves when I create things with sparkly metallic thread, however my machine hates metallic thread.  I did some research on how to make it easier, because I wanted to make several metallic butterflies to make Baby Girl’s birthday dress.  I had already made a couple butterflies, however my machine and I were not getting along.

Butterfly head band with free standing lace (sneak peak at Baby Girl’s Butterfly Dress)

I found the two things you need to make sewing with metallic thread easier.  A vertical thread stand and metallic needles! You can also drop your thread tension to 1.  I won’t guarantee the metallic won’t break, however I can tell you it won’t break quite as often. I also included in this picture my favorite water soluble stabilizer, as I was working with free standing lace for this project.  The 3D Butterfly Embroidery design is by artapli on Etsy.

how to sew with metallic thread
Vertical Thread spool, Metallic needles, Water Soluble Stabilizer

The thread stand keeps the metallic thread up right and should come off the spool counter clockwise.  If you can slow down the speed our your embroidery machine it will also help. I haven’t been able to figure out how to slow down my Brother SE400 yet, if anyone has a tip for that, please let me know.

The thread spool I purchased has a thread hole, but don’t use it with metallic thread (works great with regular thread).  I used the thread loop at first, but after awhile my thread kept getting stuck and wrapped around the loop.  My tip is to let it thread directly to your machine. See below how the thread gets twisted in the thread loop?  The stand is also too far forward.

metallic thread twisted and breaking
Metallic thread twisted and too far forward

I found setting your embroidery thread stand to feed similarly to the picture below works the best.  If I sat it too far back, the handle would of the embroidery machine would get in the way.  If I moved it too far forward the hoop would occasionally bump the stand.

how to keep metallic thread from breaking
Feeding Metallic Thread from Thread Stand

My first attempt using the new thread spool and the new metallic needle and my machine made an entire free standing lace butterfly without breaking one thread!!  OMG!!!  I made many more and my thread did break a few times, however I felt comfortable enough to walk away from machine while it was embroidering without fear of it completely ruining my machine.  I did not have any more thread tangles in my machine.

Supplies needed to make sewing with metallic thread easier:

  1. Vertical Thread Stand
  2. Metallic Needles
  3. Embroidery Machine (I use a Brother SE400)
  4. Quality Metallic Thread
    1. Large Metallic Thread Starter Pack
    2. Small Metallic Thread Starter Pack
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