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Embroidering on Sweatshirts Lookbook


Stitching tips, fun placement ideas, and so much more!

Master embroidering on sweatshirts for picture-perfect results!

Hello! As the temperatures start to drop, there’s nothing like a cozy embroidered sweatshirt to warm you up. A sweatshirt is blank canvas, ready for you to embroider and create a custom, personal look. They come in an endless variety of styles – included hooded, zip-up, and pullovers. This Lookbook explores the best tips and tricks for stitching on sweatshirts (plus fun ideas for placement, too!). Find our top recommendations for stabilizer, hooping, and needle choice, plus tips for getting stylish results. Enjoy this helpful guide, and master embroidering on sweatshirts. Then, when you’ve had a chance to explore this mini-magazine, pass along to sewing groups, friends, and more!

The Embroidery Library Team

In This Issue 4






10 Embroidering 12 Beyond the Basics 22 Quick Guide 2


Stabilizer: Cutaway & Mesh When embroidering on sweatshirts, the right stabilizer is the best way to prevent gapping, pulling, and thread tension issues, too. For best results, cutaway stabilizer is the optimal choice. A medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway is our top choice, as tear-away stabilizer and watersoluble stabilizers deteriorate over time and don’t support the fabric. If using tear-away, the needle perforations weaken the stabilizer. Essentially, it tears away while embroidering as well as while washing and wearing. Cutaway stabilizer gives excellent results -- no puckering, no shifting, and no gapping! You can also turn to no-show mesh or polymesh. They are softer kinds of cutaway stabilizer and are also a good choice.

Embroidering on Sweatshirts 4

Concerned about cutaway stabilizer being too stiff or rigid? Run your embroidered sweatshirt through the wash once or twice to soften the stabilizer.

Fall With Flair Design Pack


Placement: Using Templates & Marking Templates are printouts of designs, and are excellent tools for determining placement.


Open the design in embroidery software and print it at full size.


Cut out the template.


Arrange the template on your sweatshirt until the placement looks good to you. 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, centered between the shoulder seams. If working with a very large or very small shirt, you may find that placing the designs closer or farther away from the neck looks better.

Embroidering on Sweatshirts 6

Frosty Filigree Snowflake Border


After positioning the template, mark the center point, as well as the vertical and horizontal axis lines.






Hooping: Tips & Tricks


For the best results, hoop the shirt and stabilizer together to ensure all the stitches land in just the right spot -- no shifting, gapping, or misalignment.


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.


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.


Roll the excess sweatshirt up and around so nothing gets caught on the machine while embroidering. Clips, such as hair clips or binder clips, keep the excess fabric secure.

Embroidering on Sweatshirts 8




Embroidering: Getting Excellent Results

Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design. Move the hoop so the needle is right over the center point. Embroider the design. Use a size 11 or 75/11 sewing or embroidery needle when embroidering on sweatshirts. Embroidering on Sweatshirts 10

After embroidering, turn the sweatshirt inside out and cut the excess stabilizer away. Leave about 1/2� of stabilizer around the design. Cutaway stabilizer will soften after a wash or two.


Beyond the Basics: Placement Ideas Embroider designs in all shapes, sizes, and themes to give your sweatshirts a whole new look! A pop of embroidery amps up the back of a hooded sweatshirt, while embroidering on the front pocket showcases your creativity. Wedges and sprays transform a zip-up sweatshirt with a fashion-forward approach. Get creative with unexpected yet eye-catching ways to add embroidery to any wardrobe!

Medium complexity designs are great for sweatshirts, but consider the size and shape for appropriate draping. A large “block of stitches� will not drape well on the fabric when worn.

Embroidering on Sweatshirts 12

Wolf Silhouette Scene

Mehndi Beauty (Goldwork)

Fall Feathers Wedge


Flutterby Flourish (Candlewicking)

Embroidering on Sweatshirts 14

Dream Border


Project Instructions

Beyond the Basics: Embroidering on Sleeves

Any ordinary sweatshirt with long sleeves can be artfully transformed with embroidery! From tribal motifs to floral sprays and borders, you’ll find many designs that will turn heads and complement your sense of style. Embroidered sleeves are a fun and fashionable way to add a personal touch to any sweatshirt.


Collegiate (Crafty Cut Applique) Design Pack (3 Inch)

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Project Instructions

Beyond the Basics: Zip It Up! Create a crafty look on any zip-front sweatshirt with split applique designs! Stitch a name, phrase, or word to embellish your hoodie, or pick from a variety of shapes and themes like this adorable owl. Stitch on their own for a fabulous focal point, or use in conjuncion with other embroidery designs for a stylish look.

Woot! Woot! Owl (Split, Crafty Cut Applique)


Wrapped Up in Winter Owl Simply Snowflakes Border

Embroidering on Sweatshirts 18

Prayer Swirls


Project Instructions

Beyond the Basics: Sweatshirt Conversions

Warm, cozy sweatshirts are the best for staying comfortable all winter long. Add a turtleneck or knit collar to bring a whole new style to your favorite sweatshirt! Turtlenecks will help protect from the cold even more, plus add another area to embroider. And knit collars make each garment a little bit dressier, too.


Pleased Arctic Polar Bear

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Flower Power Baby Lion

Wild & Free

Beyond the Basics: Kiddin’ Around! Kids’ sweatshirts are adorable with a hint of embroidered flair! We added some of our favorite designs to the examples on this page in two different ways. One was hooped and embroidered just like an adult sweatshirt. The other two sweatshirts were too small to hoop, so we stitched the design on a second piece of fabric, and used a blanket stitch (or E-stitch) to add them to the front of the sweatshirts.


Quick Guide NEEDLE

A size 11 or 75/11 sewing or embroidery needle is a great choice when embroidering on sweatshirts.


One piece of medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway stabilizer is the best choice. No-show mesh or polymesh are softer kinds of cutaway stabilizer and are also a good choice. Tear-away and water-soluble stabilizers are not recommended.


For best results, choose designs of medium complexity, but consider the design size and shape for appropriate draping. A large “block” of stitches will not drape well on the fabric when worn.


Sweatshirts shown in this Lookbook were purchased from Target, Hanes, and Land’s End. Other sources include Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, and T.J. Maxx.

Copyright (c) Embroidery Library Inc. 2016. All rights reserved. 22

Excited about all the new sweatshirt tips and tricks found in this Lookbook? See even more helpful hints in our Embroidering on T-Shirts YouTube video. Click here to watch it now! Embroidery Library has long been known for excellent machine embroidery designs and inspiring ideas. We’ve been drawing and digitizing designs, here in Minnesota, since 1998. Embroidery Library is 100% employee-owned, and each of us has an artistic nature and creative spirit. Every design we create is absolutely unique -- we don’t use clip art, and we don’t outsource. Master embroidering on sweatshirts with this Lookbook, then pass along to your sewing circle to share the wealth of tips and tricks!

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Embroidery Library Embroidering on Sweatshirts Lookbook  

Master embroidering on sweatshirts for picture-perfect results. Stitching tips, fun placement ideas, and so much more!

Embroidery Library Embroidering on Sweatshirts Lookbook  

Master embroidering on sweatshirts for picture-perfect results. Stitching tips, fun placement ideas, and so much more!