How to do Machine Embroidery on a Sweatshirt

Living in Michigan, I wear a lot of sweatshirts. Seriously, it’s cold here.  Don’t get me wrong, the weather is lovely for 3 seasons (I’m really not a fan of winter…) but it’s not a billion degrees.

If you are like me, you probably have some plain looking sweatshirts sitting in your drawers.  It’s really easy to take one out and add some pizzaz with machine embroidery!

Machine Embroidery on a Sweatshirt Tutorial

Finished Emboidered Sweatshirt.jpg

Supplies Needed:

Step 1: Choose Embroidery Placement

Well, this sounds obvious and really, it is.  Some patterns will have a printable PDF or photo of the pattern so you can place it on your garment and decide on placement.  I just measured the size of the embroidery pattern and placed it 3″ below the center of the neck hole. Mark the placement with the water soluble pen.


Step 2: Stabilize your fabric

You will need to cut a piece of stabilizer bigger than your pattern and hoop size.  Then spray glue this to the wrong side of the shirt where you will be placing your embroidery.

Hooped Sweatshirt.jpg

Step 3: Hoop Your Shirt

This step took me the longest I think. I wanted to make sure my placement was centered properly.  If you have to try hooping it a few times, that’s okay to get the placement correct!  Make sure you get the back side and sleeves out of the way.  You can secure them to the sides of your hoop with clips if you want to be extra sure that they don’t creep underneath your embroidery hoop.  You don’t want to embroider a sleeve to the back of your embroidery….

Step 4: Embroider Your Sweatshirt

I suggest to embroider at half speed. Especially if you have a pattern with over 20,000 stitches.  This will help your design from puckering.

Finished Embroidery in the Hoop.jpg

Step 5: Cut Excess Stabilizer

Unhoop your sweatshirt and trim back your cut away stabilizer with scissors.  Leave about 1/2″ around the design.  That’s it!  You now have a lovely embroidered sweatshirt! The stabilizer is stiff at first but after a few washings it will soften!

Enjoy your new sweatshirt!

I used the Janome Skyline S9 machine to create this design.  I also recommend the
Janome 400e embroidery machines.  These are embroidery only and perfect for someone who already has a sewing machine they love but still wants to get into embroidery!  Click the button below to see the models we have in stock online!  Give us a call at 877-808-8695 if you have questions or to find out our machine specials!

Janome Embroidery Machines