Embroidery Library

Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly
(In-the-Hoop)

Free project instructions for creating stuffed heirloom applique ornaments.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)


You'll be crafting something truly magical with this multi-piece fabric butterfly! Simply choose a solid fabric and coordinating thread to make a butterfly that is as unique as your imagination. Please note that your fabric acts as the black portion of the butterfly's details. No stitching is present in the black sections, with the exception of the border finishing stitch.


Project Needs & Notes:

- 1/3 yard quilter's cotton or flannel
- Water-soluble stabilizer (such as Vilene of Sulky Ultra Solvy)
- Medium weight cutaway stabilizer
- Temporary spray adhesive (such as Gunold's KK100)
- Hand sewing needle & thread or clear glue
- Embroidery thread
- Scissors
- Iron
- Ironing board
- Pressing cloth

Designs featured in this tutorial include:
- X15476, Graceful Monarch (In-the-Hoop)

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Freestanding lace and fabric designs have been specially digitized for water-soluble stabilizer. After the stabilizer is removed, beautiful fabric and embroidery remains.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

When you download the design, you will find multiple files. Some are the embroidery files, and the others are dieline files marked with the letters "DL."

Dielines are used to cut the fabric to the correct shape and size. Open and print each dieline file using embroidery software. Learn more about working with dieline files by watching this video.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

All dieline pieces will have a layer of the main fabric and a layer of cutaway stabilizer. Spray one side of your cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive. Smooth the stabilizer onto the wrong side of the main fabric piece.


Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Then, spray the backside of the first printed front dieline piece with temporary adhesive. Smooth onto the right side of the fabric. Also spray and place the back dieline piece.


Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Cut the dieline pieces out of the adhered fabric and cutaway stabilizer. Then remove the paper dieline. For this type of multi-piece design, all the front and back fabric pieces for every file need to have cutaway stabilizer on them for stability.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Next, we will be working with our water soluble stabilizer.

There are a couple of different kinds of water-soluble stabilizer. One is clear and plastic, and that brand is Sulky Ultra Solvy. The other is soft and fibrous, called Vilene. Both will work very well. Vilene is used in this demonstration.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Hoop the stabilizer firmly. Make sure it is nice and tight with no wrinkles.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Attach the hoop onto the machine, and load the first embroidery file (not the dieline files).

Use a 75/11 sharp sewing needle instead of an embroidery needle. The sharp sewing needle has a finer point and it will make smaller perforations in the stabilizer.

Embroider the design. The first thing to embroider will be a placement dieline (or outline stitch). This marks the area on the stabilizer where the fabric piece will be placed.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

After the dieline has sewn, remove the hoop from the machine but do not unhoop the stabilizer. Find the front fabric dieline piece for this first embroidery file. Spray the stabilizer side of the piece with temporary adhesive. Then smooth the front fabric piece onto the stabilizer inside of the sewn dieline.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Then place the hoop back onto the machine and embroider the tackdown for the front fabric piece. The tackdown will hold the fabric piece in place for the remainder of the design.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Before sewing the back piece tackdown, remove the hoop from the machine but do not unhoop the stabilizer.

Turn the hoop over so the back side of the embroidery is facing up. Spray the stabilizer side of the correct back piece with temporary adhesive, and smooth it in place within the sewn dieline on the back side of the hoop.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

As the freestanding fabric pieces will be seen from both sides, wind a bobbin to match every thread color used in the design.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Using a matching bobbin for every color, embroider the back piece tackdown. This will hold the back piece in place for the rest of the design.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Then follow the color change sheet, and embroider the rest of the design. Make sure to change out the bobbins to match every thread color.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

After the embroidery has finished, unhoop the stabilizer. Then, using scissors, carefully trim away the excess stabilizer from around the design.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

The stabilizer's packaging should give instructions for removing the excess. For Vilene, soak the embroidered fabric for 2-4 hours. Keep in mind, that the longer a piece soaks the more flexible and floppy it will become. If you would like the pieces to remain stiff, soak for a shorter period of time.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Allow the pieces to air dry, and then press it with a pressing cloth on top to protect the embroidery.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Repeat the previous steps to embroider the remaining pieces of the butterfly. Each will have their own embroidery and dieline files labeled "a," "b," "c," and so on.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

In this tutorial, the butterfly is assembled using a hand sewing needle and thread that matches the inner details. If preferred, a hot glue gun or other clear drying glue of your choice can be used to assemble the butterfly instead.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Begin by attaching the top two wings onto the body. Make sure all right sides are facing up, and that the body is on top of the top wings.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)

Then add the lower wings onto the body. Make sure they tuck under the top wings slightly.

Free project instructions for creating a Multi-piece Fabric Butterfly (In-the-Hoop)



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Products used in this Project:

Graceful Monarch (In-the-Hoop) $6.99

Available in 1 Size:

3.88" x 3.80"