Imperfect stitches happen, no matter how experienced you are. The more you stitch, the better you get. The more confidence you have, the more you trust your machine to produce professional results. Even so, not every project will be perfect. You can stitch the same design 30 times and 28 of them will be spot on, but two may not be up to snuff. Is it the end of the world? Of course not, but it does beg to answer a serious question, “To rip or not too rip?”
Some rip out EVERY misaligned stitch while others shrug and move on. Here’s the criteria I apply on making this call: How bad is it? Can it be easily corrected? Will the recipient even know if something is amiss?
How bad is it? On a scale of 1 to 5, is it glaringly noticeable? That’s a 5. Barely visible, that’s a 1.
Can it be easily corrected? On a scale of 1 to 5, will the removal of 20-30 stitches fix the problem? That’s a 1. A 5 is when you must start over as the project cannot be salvaged (and really that’s a 10!).
Will the recipient even know something is amiss? If yes, that’s a 5, you must fix it. If not at all, that’s a 1.
Recently, I stitched an applique name and everything started out smoothly.
But as I advanced to color 3, the satin outline of the first letter, something must have hit the hoop and the outline didn’t cover the tackdown. Ugh!
Immediately, I applied the 3 questions: How bad is it? It’s a 1 in my book because the tackdown and satin outline is the same color as the applique fabric and there’s a just a speck of background fabric peaking out.
Can it be easily corrected? Since I didn’t notice the problem until the satin outline was complete, it’s a 4. That’s a lot of satin stitches to remove. Plus, I was on a tight schedule so ‘easily corrected’ didn’t fit the time frame.
Will the recipient even know something was amiss? No, not this little angel. She’s only 5 and not an embroidery expert yet! If this was for a customer, then yes, by all means, rip it out.
End result? I removed the visible tackdown stitches, moved on and completed the project.
How about you? What’s your criteria for removing stitches?