Fabrics 101: Embroidering on Sweatshirts

Fabrics 101:
Embroidering on Sweatshirts

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts. Free project instructions to embroider a towel border with an animal design.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.


A sweatshirt is like a blank canvas, ready for you to embroider and create a custom, personal look. This tutorial shares stitching tips and placement ideas to help you get picture-perfect results.
 


Project Needs and Notes

- Sweatshirt
- Medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway stabilizer
- Air-erase pen
- Temporary spray adhesive
  (like Gunold KK100)

 

Free video with instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.


Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Sweatshirts are made of cotton, or a cotton-polyester blend.

Begin by washing and drying the sweatshirt to preshrink it, and to remove excess dye.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Plan where you want to stitch the design. A template is a printout of a design, and it's an excellent tool for placement.

Print a template of the design from embroidery software. Then, arrange that on the sweatshirt until the placement looks good
to you.

If you don't have software, Wilcom's TrueSizer is a free program that can print templates.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Borders, trios, and designs that are horizontal are very popular choices for sweatshirts.

Traditionally these designs are placed so the top of the design
is 3" down from the neck.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

If working with a smaller size, like a child's size sweatshirt, you may find that placing the design closer to the neck looks better.

In this example, a smaller size of the design is positioned 2 1/2" down from the neck of this child-size sweatshirt.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

After the template is positioned where you want to stitch, mark the center point, as well as the vertical and horizontal axis lines.

These marks will be used for hooping.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Turn the sweatshirt inside out.

Spray a piece of cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive, and smooth that on
the back of the area that will be embroidered.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Turn the sweatshirt right side out.

Slide the outer hoop inside the shirt.

Press the inner hoop in place, lining up the marks that you made on the shirt with the marks on the hoop.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Roll the excess sweatshirt up and around so nothing gets caught on the machine while embroidering.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Use clips to keep the excess sweatshirt out of the way.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Embroider the design. Use a size 11 or 75/11 sewing or embroidery needle.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

After embroidering, turn the shirt inside out, and cut the excess stabilizer away.

Leave about 1/2" around the design.

Cutaway stabilizer will soften after a wash or two.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

And here's the finished result: a sparkling snowflake sweatshirt, ready to add a warm and cozy look to your winter wardrobe.

The design used in this example is the Frosty Filigree Snowflake Border.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

The above is an example of traditional design placement on
a sweatshirt. Let your creativity run wild to come up with unique and non-traditional results, too!

This sweatshirt cardigan has the Filigree Sewing Machine 1 on the pocket, and the Chocolate Nouveau Border on the sleeve.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

The Fall Feathers Wedge design cascades gracefully down the front of this zippered hoodie.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

This button-down sweatshirt cardigan has the Lovebird Heart Border on the back, Lovebird Heart on the front, and the matching corner on the pocket.


Stitching tips for sweatshirts:
 

Needle 75/11 or size 11 sewing or embroidery needle
 
Stabilizer A medium-weight cutaway stabilizer (2.5 ounces) is the best choice. Do not use tear-away stabilizer or water-soluble stabilizer.
 
Design Choice Medium complexity designs work well, but consider the design size and shape for appropriate draping. A large "block" of stitches will not drape well on the fabric when worn.
   

Why use cutaway stabilizer?


Earlier you read that cutaway stabilizer is recommended, and that tear-away stabilizer is not advised.

If using tear-away stabilizer, the needle perforations weaken the stabilizer. Essentially it tears away while embroidering, and while wearing and washing, too. That leaves nothing behind to support the fabric.

You may also experience thread tension issues when using tear-away stabilizer, such as thread nesting, knotting, and looping.
 


Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

To demonstrate the difference in quality, we embroidered a simple design onto a sweatshirt, and used tear-away stabilizer.

Note the gaps, and how the fill is pulling away from the satin stitches. This occurs because the tear-away stabilizer gets weaker and weaker as the needle penetrates it.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

You can also see the shirt is puckered. This will get worse over time as the shirt is worn and washed.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

This is the same design, on the sweatshirt. Cutaway stabilizer was used, rather than tear-away. There's no puckering, no shifting, no gapping -- the results are picture-perfect.


Scroll down to see even more sweatshirt inspiration with these projects from the Stitchers Showcase! See all the sweatshirt showcases here.
         
Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.   Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.   Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.
         
Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.   Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.   Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.
         


Questions or comments? Let us know! Send an email to us; the address is stitch@emblibrary.com.
Fabrics 101: Embroidering on Sweatshirts

Fabrics 101:
Embroidering on Sweatshirts

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts. Free project instructions to embroider a towel border with an animal design.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.


A sweatshirt is like a blank canvas, ready for you to embroider and create a custom, personal look. This tutorial shares stitching tips and placement ideas to help you get picture-perfect results.
 


Project Needs and Notes

- Sweatshirt
- Medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway stabilizer
- Air-erase pen
- Temporary spray adhesive
  (like Gunold KK100)

 

Free video with instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.


Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Sweatshirts are made of cotton, or a cotton-polyester blend.

Begin by washing and drying the sweatshirt to preshrink it, and to remove excess dye.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Plan where you want to stitch the design. A template is a printout of a design, and it's an excellent tool for placement.

Print a template of the design from embroidery software. Then, arrange that on the sweatshirt until the placement looks good
to you.

If you don't have software, Wilcom's TrueSizer is a free program that can print templates.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Borders, trios, and designs that are horizontal are very popular choices for sweatshirts.

Traditionally these designs are placed so the top of the design
is 3" down from the neck.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

If working with a smaller size, like a child's size sweatshirt, you may find that placing the design closer to the neck looks better.

In this example, a smaller size of the design is positioned 2 1/2" down from the neck of this child-size sweatshirt.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

After the template is positioned where you want to stitch, mark the center point, as well as the vertical and horizontal axis lines.

These marks will be used for hooping.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Turn the sweatshirt inside out.

Spray a piece of cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive, and smooth that on
the back of the area that will be embroidered.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Turn the sweatshirt right side out.

Slide the outer hoop inside the shirt.

Press the inner hoop in place, lining up the marks that you made on the shirt with the marks on the hoop.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Roll the excess sweatshirt up and around so nothing gets caught on the machine while embroidering.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Use clips to keep the excess sweatshirt out of the way.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

Embroider the design. Use a size 11 or 75/11 sewing or embroidery needle.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

After embroidering, turn the shirt inside out, and cut the excess stabilizer away.

Leave about 1/2" around the design.

Cutaway stabilizer will soften after a wash or two.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

And here's the finished result: a sparkling snowflake sweatshirt, ready to add a warm and cozy look to your winter wardrobe.

The design used in this example is the Frosty Filigree Snowflake Border.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

The above is an example of traditional design placement on
a sweatshirt. Let your creativity run wild to come up with unique and non-traditional results, too!

This sweatshirt cardigan has the Filigree Sewing Machine 1 on the pocket, and the Chocolate Nouveau Border on the sleeve.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

The Fall Feathers Wedge design cascades gracefully down the front of this zippered hoodie.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

This button-down sweatshirt cardigan has the Lovebird Heart Border on the back, Lovebird Heart on the front, and the matching corner on the pocket.


Stitching tips for sweatshirts:
 

Needle 75/11 or size 11 sewing or embroidery needle
 
Stabilizer A medium-weight cutaway stabilizer (2.5 ounces) is the best choice. Do not use tear-away stabilizer or water-soluble stabilizer.
 
Design Choice Medium complexity designs work well, but consider the design size and shape for appropriate draping. A large "block" of stitches will not drape well on the fabric when worn.
   

Why use cutaway stabilizer?


Earlier you read that cutaway stabilizer is recommended, and that tear-away stabilizer is not advised.

If using tear-away stabilizer, the needle perforations weaken the stabilizer. Essentially it tears away while embroidering, and while wearing and washing, too. That leaves nothing behind to support the fabric.

You may also experience thread tension issues when using tear-away stabilizer, such as thread nesting, knotting, and looping.
 


Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

To demonstrate the difference in quality, we embroidered a simple design onto a sweatshirt, and used tear-away stabilizer.

Note the gaps, and how the fill is pulling away from the satin stitches. This occurs because the tear-away stabilizer gets weaker and weaker as the needle penetrates it.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

You can also see the shirt is puckered. This will get worse over time as the shirt is worn and washed.

Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.

This is the same design, on the sweatshirt. Cutaway stabilizer was used, rather than tear-away. There's no puckering, no shifting, no gapping -- the results are picture-perfect.


Scroll down to see even more sweatshirt inspiration with these projects from the Stitchers Showcase! See all the sweatshirt showcases here.
         
Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.   Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.   Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.
         
Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.   Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.   Free project instructions on how to embroider on sweatshirts.
         


Questions or comments? Let us know! Send an email to us; the address is stitch@emblibrary.com.
Copyright (C) Embroidery Library Inc 2016. All rights reserved.
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Size: 10.79 x 6.88 (274.1 x 174.7 mm)
Stitch count: 97101 Price: $7.99

 
Size: 9.16 x 5.86 (232.8 x 148.7 mm)
Stitch count: 74135 Price: $6.99


Size: 7.78 x 4.96 (197.5 x 125.9 mm)
Stitch count: 57052 Price: $6.49

 
Size: 6.86 x 4.36 (174.2 x 110.7 mm)
Stitch count: 46030 Price: $5.99


Size: 11.75 x 4.50 (298.5 x 114.3 mm)
Stitch count: 31495 Price: $6.99

 
Size: 9.41 x 3.60 (239.1 x 91.5 mm)
Stitch count: 25083 Price: $6.49


Size: 7.81 x 2.99 (198.4 x 76.0 mm)
Stitch count: 20965 Price: $5.99

 
Size: 6.00 x 2.56 (152.4 x 65.1 mm)
Stitch count: 16116 Price: $4.99


Size: 9.40 x 5.56 (238.8 x 141.3 mm)
Stitch count: 91541 Price: $7.99

 
Size: 7.80 x 4.62 (198.2 x 117.4 mm)
Stitch count: 68691 Price: $6.99


Size: 6.87 x 4.07 (174.6 x 103.4 mm)
Stitch count: 54717 Price: $6.49

 
Size: 11.00 x 4.94 (279.4 x 125.5 mm)
Stitch count: 53504 Price: $6.99


Size: 9.41 x 4.23 (239.0 x 107.5 mm)
Stitch count: 43474 Price: $5.99

 
Size: 7.80 x 3.52 (198.1 x 89.4 mm)
Stitch count: 31250 Price: $5.49


Size: 6.86 x 3.09 (174.3 x 78.5 mm)
Stitch count: 26611 Price: $4.99

 
Size: 5.25 x 2.36 (133.4 x 59.9 mm)
Stitch count: 18688 Price: $4.49


Size: 5.86 x 9.21 (148.8 x 234.1 mm)
Stitch count: 53325 Price: $6.99

 
Size: 4.35 x 6.86 (110.5 x 174.2 mm)
Stitch count: 33498 Price: $5.99


Size: 6.81 x 4.61 (173.0 x 117.1 mm)
Stitch count: 22077 Price: $4.99

 
Size: 3.86 x 2.63 (98.0 x 66.8 mm)
Stitch count: 10267 Price: $3.99


Size: 6.00 x 1.79 (152.5 x 45.4 mm)
Stitch count: 7063 Price: $2.99

 
Size: 3.86 x 0.97 (98.1 x 24.7 mm)
Stitch count: 4624 Price: $1.99


Size: 10.55 x 6.25 (268.1 x 158.7 mm)
Stitch count: 37603 Price: $6.99

 
Size: 9.38 x 5.55 (238.3 x 141.1 mm)
Stitch count: 31602 Price: $6.49


Size: 7.78 x 4.61 (197.7 x 117.0 mm)
Stitch count: 24206 Price: $5.99

 
Size: 6.83 x 4.04 (173.5 x 102.7 mm)
Stitch count: 20458 Price: $5.49


Size: 5.25 x 3.11 (133.4 x 79.0 mm)
Stitch count: 14557 Price: $4.99

 
Size: 3.86 x 2.29 (98.1 x 58.2 mm)
Stitch count: 9796 Price: $4.49


Size: 11.00 x 4.21 (279.5 x 107.0 mm)
Stitch count: 44072 Price: $6.99

 
Size: 9.40 x 3.60 (238.9 x 91.5 mm)
Stitch count: 32244 Price: $6.49


Size: 7.81 x 2.99 (198.2 x 75.9 mm)
Stitch count: 24723 Price: $5.99

 
Size: 6.86 x 2.63 (174.3 x 66.8 mm)
Stitch count: 20593 Price: $5.49


Size: 5.26 x 2.02 (133.5 x 51.2 mm)
Stitch count: 14535 Price: $4.99

 
Size: 11.00 x 6.89 (279.4 x 175.0 mm)
Stitch count: 69214 Price: $6.99


Size: 9.40 x 5.89 (238.7 x 149.6 mm)
Stitch count: 53745 Price: $6.49

 
Size: 7.80 x 4.89 (198.1 x 124.2 mm)
Stitch count: 39965 Price: $5.99


Size: 6.86 x 4.30 (174.3 x 109.1 mm)
Stitch count: 34254 Price: $5.49

 
Size: 5.25 x 3.29 (133.4 x 83.7 mm)
Stitch count: 23787 Price: $4.99


Size: 5.87 x 9.41 (149.1 x 239.0 mm)
Designs in Pack: 6 Price: $9.97

 
Size: 4.94 x 5.99 (125.5 x 152.1 mm)
Designs in Pack: 6 Price: $9.97


Size: 3.87 x 3.87 (98.3 x 98.3 mm)
Designs in Pack: 4 Price: $6.97

 

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