Disclosure: Needlepointers.com was gifted the Just Earrings pattern and the Exquisite threads used in this tutorial from DIME, Designs in Machine Embroidery. This post also contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.
Have you machine embroidered free-standing lace embroidery designs yet? If not, these free-standing lace earrings would be a wonderful project to start with.
These lace earrings stitch up quickly within minutes with your embroidery machine. Stitch them up to coordinate with your favorite outfits and have a one-of-a-kind look.
Our video tutorial (click the link below) will show you how to make these free-standing lace earrings with your embroidery machine or keep reading this photo tutorial.
What is Free-Standing Embroidery?
Free-standing embroidery is an embroidery design that is stitched on a water-soluble stabilizer. After the design is finished stitching, the stabilizer is washed away and the remaining design is made only of thread.
These freestanding embroidery patterns are specially digitized to stand on their own after the stabilizer is removed. A normal embroidery design stitched on water soluble stabilizer would fall apart after the stabilizer is removed.
A lot of free standing embroidery designs resemble lace and are called free-standing lace or FSL designs. Free-standing embroidery designs can be used to stitch three-dimensional objects, earrings, ornaments, and many more items.
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WHAT YOU NEED:
- Just Earrings by Eileen Roche from DIME (find the link at the end of this tutorial)
- Exquisite Sew 'N Wash water-soluble fabric style stabilizer
- Embroidery Thread - I used Exquisite Polyester Summer Color thread by DIME but any machine embroidery thread will work.
- Earring wires
- Earring or Jewelry Pliers
- Hotfix Crystals & Heat tool (optional)
- Embroidery Machine
- Small Curved Embroidery Scissors
- Bowl of water
Find links to purchase these supplies at the end of this post.
INSTRUCTIONS to make the free standing lace earrings
STEP 1: Free standing lace earrings Pattern
The pattern used in this tutorial is the "Just Earrings" pattern by Eileen Roche. A link to get this pattern is at the end of this tutorial.
This pattern includes 18 different earring designs and comes as a download from the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.
Copy the designs onto a USB drive or transfer them to your embroidery machine using your favorite method.
Load two copies of each earring pattern on your machine and place them side by side. I used a 5" x 7" hoop and was able to place four pairs of earrings in the hoop.
If you have software on your PC for setting up embroidery patterns, this software can also be used to arrange the earrings in the hoop.
STEP 2: Hoop Stabilizer
Hoop TWO layers of a mesh style the water-soluble stabilizer. The water-soluble stabilizer I used is like a fabric but it will wash away when placed in water.
STEP 3: Top & Bobbin Thread
For this project, the pattern recommends using the same color top and bobbin thread. Since these are freestanding lace earrings, the bobbin thread will be visible on the back of the earrings.
This is different from most machine embroidery projects where you use a thinner white bobbin thread.
Wind a bobbin with the desired thread color and load the bobbin and top thread into your machine.
What kind of thread do you use for free standing lace embroidery?
Any kind of 30 or 40-weight polyester or rayon thread can be used for free-standing lace projects. Even specialty threads like metallics can be used.
For these earrings, I used 40 wt. Exquisite Polyester thread in Summer colors.
STEP 4: Stitch the free-standing lace Embroidery designs
Using your embroidery machine, stitch the free-standing lace earring designs onto the water-soluble stabilizer.
The photos above and below show the earrings I stitched.
Once the designs are stitched, remove the hoop from the machine and the stabilizer from the hoop.
Trim any excess threads from the back of the design.
STEP 5: Remove the Stabilizer
Cut around the earrings leaving a small amount of stabilizer all around. To remove the water-soluble stabilizer, place the lace earrings in a bowl of water. Swish them around and the stabilizer will wash away.
Take them out of the water and blot them dry with a clean paper towel and wait for them to dry completely.
Free-standing lace patterns are made in a way that when the water-soluable stabilizer is removed, the stitched design stays intact. Only patterns made to be used with a water-soluble stabilizer will work like this. If you try this with a conventional pattern, the design will fall apart once the stabilizer is removed.
STEP 6: Add the earring wires
To finish the earrings, use the jewelry pliers to open the loop on the earring wire.
Hook the earring onto the earring wire loop with the front of the earring facing forward. Then, use the jewelry pliers to close the loop.
The finished earrings are shown below.
STEP 7: Add hotfix crystals (optional)
Hot-fix Glass Crystals can add some extra glam to your earrings. I used some crystals and a bedazzled iron to add crystals to one pair of earrings.
To add the crystals, heat the bedazzler iron. Place one of the hotfix crystals on the earring and cover with the iron tip. Hold for 10 - 15 seconds or until the crystal is affixed to the earring.
The photo below shows one of the earrings with the crystals added.
Earrings with Fringe
A couple of the earring designs have a fringe. Using your embroidery scissors, trim the fringe along the bottom of the loop.
The earrings are finished! Would you like to wear these earrings? If yes, what color would you like? Click the link to the Youtube tutorial (near the start of this page) and let us know in the comments.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Some other machine embroidery projects you may be interested in are: