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7 Do’s and Don’ts of Clothing Embroidery

Updated: May 18, 2021

So you want to embroidery a t-shirt or spruce up that old jean jacket? Before you get stitching, check out these 7 helpful tips for hand embroidering on any garment.

1. DO use a stabilizer like this one. Or purchase a design on a stabilizer, like these.

2. DON'T overly stretch your garment out in the hoop. Regular embroidery calls for fabric to be very taught in the hoop. You may find your fabric needs to be a little looser in the hoop so that your garment isn’t stretched out when finished- this is especially true for stretchy fabric and clothing like t-shirts.

3. DO use small stitches. Large stitches can easily snag if they’re not taught to the fabric.

4. DON'T pull your stitches so tight that the fabric ripples or puckers. Using a fabric stabilizer can help this from occurring. Your stitches should lay flat to the fabric but not be tight that the fabric is distorted.

5. DO keep a clean back. Having a messy back or lots of loose threads could cause the threads to catch and mess up your lovely design.

6. DON'T stitch with all 6 strands of embroidery floss. Six strands is too thick for most garments and can leave holes in the garment fabric while sewing. Instead use smaller numbers of thread strands, like 2 or 3.

7. DO use the proper needle. Much like large thread strands, larger needles can also leave holes in the garment fabric. Thicker needles such as tapestry or darning needles are helpful for garments made of denim or canvas but thinner needles such as #5 embroidery needles are better for more delicate fabrics like t-shirts.

Want an embroidery pattern designed for garment sewing? Try my Pocket Plants pattern!

** Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item listed in this post, I pay receive a small portion of the sale. **


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