Embroidery Library

3D Fabric Angel (In-the-Hoop)

Free project instructions for creating a 3D gingerbread house, in-the-hoop.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.


Craft heavenly decor with this 3D angel embroidery design! Stitch each piece in-the-hoop using beautiful fabrics, then glue together to assemble. Let your angel soar on top of your Christmas tree, or use this design to decorate holiday tabletops and more!


Project Needs & Notes:

- 1/3 yard quilter's cotton, linen, or similar fabric (for dress)
- 1/4 yard fabric (for face)
- 1/3 yard cotton, linen, satin or other non-stretchy fabric (for wings, halo and harp)
- 1/3 yard organza (for outer gathered skirt)
- 1/8" wide ribbon
- Temporary spray adhesive (such as Gunold KK100)
- Tear-away stabilizer
- Medium weight cutaway stabilizer
- Heavy weight water soluble stabilizer
- Embroidery thread
- Scissors
- Craft knife
- Cutting mat
- Wire cutter
- Hand sewing needle with large eye for ribbon (such as a chenille or tapestry needle)
- Hot glue and glue sticks
- Pipe cleaner or wire

Designs featured in this tutorial include:
- X14990, Elegant Angel in 3D (In-the-Hoop)

Finished size:
Large (X14990): 13 1/2" tall x 9 3/4" wide x 8" deep
Medium (X14991): 11 1/2" tall x 8 1/4" wide x 6 1/2" deep
Small (X14992): 9 1/2" tall x 6 3/4" wide x 5 1/2" deep

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

When you download the angel 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. If you do not have embroidery software, Wilcom TrueSizer is a free program to use.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

For this design the front and back fabric pieces for every file will have cutaway stabilizer on them.

First spray one side of a piece of cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive. Smooth the stabilizer onto the wrong side of the fabric piece.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then spray the back side of the printed dieline pieces with temporary adhesive, and smooth it onto the right side of the fabric.


Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Cut the dieline shapes out of the adhered fabric and cutaway stabilizer. Then remove the paper dieline.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

The torso piece (file "b") has a small opening in the center. Use a craft knife and cutting mat to cut this out of the front and back fabric pieces before embroidering the design.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer firmly. Make sure it is nice and tight with no wrinkles.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Attach the hoop onto the machine, and load one of the first embroidery files (files "a" - "e" are sewn the same way).

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 the "dieline" (or outline stitch). This marks the area on the stabilizer where the front fabric piece will be placed.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

After the dieline has sewn, remove the hoop from the machine, but do not unhoop the stabilizer.

Spray the stabilizer side of the front fabric piece with temporary adhesive. Smooth the fabric piece onto the hooped stabilizer inside of the sewn dieline.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel 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 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

After the front fabric piece is in place, the inner details of the design will sew out.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Some files ("c", "d", and "e") have additional applique pieces as well. Follow the color change sheet, and sew out the applique piece's "dieline". Then spray and place the applique piece before sewing its "tackdown" step.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then continue to embroider the inner details of the design. Stop before sewing the "back piece tackdown" step.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Stop before sewing the "back piece tackdown" step.

Remove the hoop from the machine, and turn it over so the back side of the embroidery is facing up. Spray the stabilizer of the back fabric piece with temporary adhesive, and smooth it into place on the back side of the embroidery.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

As all the embroidery from here on out will be seen from both sides, wind a bobbin to match each of the remaining thread colors used into the design.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Place the bobbin into the machine, and follow the color change sheet to embroider the "back piece tackdown". Then embroider the remaining details and finishing borders.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

After embroidering, tear away the excess stabilizer.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Repeat these steps to embroider all the first pieces of the angel (files "a" through "e"). Make sure to embroider two inner skirt pieces (file "a") to make a completed angel.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

The wings (file "f") will be seen from both sides, so they sew out a little differently.

First start by hooping a piece of tear-away stabilizer. Embroider the "dieline". Then spray the stabilizer side of the front piece, and smooth it into place.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then embroider the tackdown for the front fabric piece.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Before sewing any inner details, turn the hoop over so the back side of the embroidery is facing up.

Spray and place the back fabric piece on the back of the hoop inside the sewn shape.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Every embroidery step from here on out needs to have a matching bobbin used for every step and color. This is so the angel's wings will look nice from the front and back when you look at her.

Wind a bobbin to match all the thread colors used in the wings.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then embroider the rest of the design following the color change sheet. Make sure to match the bobbin to every thread color for best results.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Once the wings have finished sewing, tear away the excess stabilizer from around the design.

If all the bobbins were matched correctly the back should look  as nice as the front.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

The outer skirt piece (file "g") also embroiders differently, and will be seen from both sides very clearly.

First, cut a piece of organza and water-soluble stabilizer that are bigger than the hoop. Spray the back side of the organza well with temporary adhesive. Then smooth it on top of the water-soluble stabilizer.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

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.

Use a size 11 or 75/11 sharp sewing needle. A sharp sewing needle has a smaller, finer point than an embroidery needle. That means it will make smaller holes in the stabilizer.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Hoop the organza and water-soluble stabilizer together. Make sure they are taut and have no wrinkles.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

As both sides of the outer skirt will be very visible on the angel, wind a bobbin with the same thread that is being used in the top needle.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then embroider the entire design using a matching bobbin.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

After the embroidery is finished, locate the outer border of the skirt. Carefully cut right along that outer border, making sure not to actually cut any of the threads.

For best results, cut as close as possible. If a thread is cut by accident, use a little bit of clear glue to keep it in place and stop it from unraveling.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Follow the water-soluble stabilizer's instructions to remove the rest of the stabilizer. For Vilene, soak the piece in water for a couple hours. Then gently scrub the embroidered piece under running water for a few minutes to remove any stabilizer that might remain. Scrub with your hands and not anything harsher like a sponge.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Allow the piece to air dry, and then press it flat with an iron and pressing cloth.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Repeat to sew out, wash, dry, and press a total of three outer skirts pieces (file "g").

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

To assemble the angel, first take the two inner skirt pieces (file "a"). Lay them flat next to each other, and match up two of the long sides.

On a sewing machine, set a zigzag to a larger stitch width and a smaller stitch length. Using thread to match the embroidered borders, zigzag stitch the two pieces together side by side.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

For this demonstration we used a different color thread so you can see the zigzag stitch clearly in these photos, but on your project, make sure the thread matches the embroidered borders.

For best results, sew from the top to the bottom of one long side. If the zigzag seems like it could unravel, simply use a clear fabric glue on the back of the skirt pieces right over where you started and stopped sewing the zigzag stitch.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then repeat this technique to zigzag stitch the three outer skirt pieces together side by side. Make sure to match both the top thread and the bobbin thread to the embroidered borders.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

To make the "a" outer skirt pieces into their final cone shape, match up the opposite long edges. Use and hand sewing needle and matching thread to carefully sew the long edges together. Do not glue this step, as there is a lot of tension being held here, and the glue may not last over time.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

The remaining pieces can all be glued together easily using a hot glue gun.

First take the torso piece (file "b")and place glue on either of the lower triangle shaped areas. Make sure the glue is on the front side of the piece.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Slide the triangle with glue on it into the top of the inner skirt (file "a"). Match up the sides of the torso with the outer borders of the inner skirt pieces, and the top of the triangle with the top edge of the inner skirt. Hold it in place until the glue dries completely.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then repeat to place glue on the opposite triangle shaped area of the torso piece (file "b"). Slide it into the other side of the inner skirt, and hold it in place until the glue dries.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Next, take the arm piece (file "c"). Flip it over, so you are looking at the back of the piece. Place glue on the back side of both of the shoulders at the very top where they point in.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then place them near the top center of the torso piece (file "b"), and hold them in place until the glue dries.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Take the front head piece (file "d"), and place glue just at the bottom of the neck. Make sure the glue is on the front side of the piece.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Slide the neck into the center opening of the torso piece (file "b"), so the hair covers the shoulders of the arm piece (file "c"). Hold it in place until the glue dries.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Slide a pipe cleaner through the entire angel, so one end is resting against the back of the face piece (file "d"), and it is inside the torso (file "b") and inner skirt (file "a") pieces. This will add extra structure to the angel. Glue the pipe cleaner to the back of the angel's head.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then trim the opposite end of the pipe cleaner so it does not stick out past the edge of the inner skirt. Hot glue that end of the pipe cleaner onto the inside of the inner skirt, so it stays in place.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Take the back of the head piece (file "e") and turn it over so you are looking at the back side of it. Spread glue on the back side of the halo and face area. Do not glue farther down into the hair, or the wings will not fit.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Matching up the edges, place the two head pieces together with wrongs sides together. Hold them in place until the glue dries.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Take the wings piece (file "f"), and locate the front side (not the back with the matched bobbins). Spread a small line of glue just down the front center of the wings on the front side.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Then slide the wings up under the back of the hair, so the glued front side is against the torso. Be careful not to get any glue on the skirt. Hold the wings in place against the torso until the glue dries. You do not need to glue the hair to the wings. In the end, the nicer front side of the wings should show from the front when you are looking at the face and arms.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

To add the outer skirt, cut a length of 1/8" wide ribbon to 16" inches long.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Use a needle that has an eye wide enough for the ribbon as well as a sharp point (such as a chenille needle). Thread the ribbon onto the needle, and start threading it through the eyelets at the top of the outer skirt pieces. For best results, weave from one end to the other, and start weaving from the outer "right" side of the outer skirts.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Weave in and out of all the eyelets. The pull gently to gather the skirt together on the ribbon. This creates a gather (almost like pleats) around the top edge of the outer skirt that allows it to flare out around the angel.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Wrap the gathered outer skirt around the waist of the angel (so it matches up with the top of the inner skirt (file "a"). Tie the ribbon in a bow at the front center of the angel. Double knot or glue the bow in place, so it cannot come undone over time.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D fabric angel in-the-hoop.

Trim the tails of the ribbon as desired, and place the angel on display. The cone skirt of the angel even allows her to be used as a Christmas tree topper.

3D Fabric Angel (In-the-Hoop)



Discover lots of machine embroidery ideas and inspiration on the Embroidery Library Pinterest page.

Pin it yourself using the "Pin It" button on this page.



Questions or comments? Let us know! Send an email to us; the address is support@emblibrary.com.

Products used in this Project: